Campaigners gagged by draconian injunction head to the High Court

22 July 2015 - 12:15am
Press release

Campaigners go to the High Court today in a bid to overturn an injunction forbidding protest at an arms factory in Shenstone, Staffordshire. 

UAV Engines Ltd is a subsidiary of Elbit Systems - one of Israel's largest arms companies and a producer of drones and other military technology used in Israeli military assaults on Gaza. Drone engines produced at the Shenstone factory are exported to Israel.

Protests and vigils have been held at the site since 2009. The injunction - granted in a hearing on 30 June - forbids any protestor from coming within 250 metres UAV Engines Ltd. The hearing will be the first opportunity for the court to hear from the campaigners, who did not know about the injunction when it was granted. 

The injunction was granted days before the 'Block the Factory' national protest which took place outside the factory on 6 July.  Hundreds of Palestine solidarity campaigners and anti-drone protesters took part in the event calling for an end to arms sales to Israel. 

Nineteen people were arrested as the police sought to uphold the injunction. None of those arrested have been charged with any offence and all remain on police bail.

Ryvka Barnard of War on Want said: “Gagging protesters’ right to demonstrate is anti-democratic. It’s especially worrying to see an injunction granted that silences public dissent over the production of weapons used for grave human rights violations abroad.”

Chris Cole of Drone Campaign Network said: “There are serious legal and moral issues associated with the development and growing use of drone technology. It is simply wrong that the court has imposed such a draconian order banning protests at one of the main drone manufacturing locations in the UK”.

Maya Evans of London Palestine Action and one of those specifically named in the injunction said: “Today I am in Birmingham to challenge a draconian injunction which is silencing non-violent protest. If this injunction continues to stand, it will shut down the potential for people to voice their freedom of speech, which will certainly fuel extreme feelings and actions.”



For more information contact Chris Cole 07960 811437 and Maya Evans 07973 484 202

The court hearing will take place at 10.30 am on Wednesday 22 July at Birmingham High Court 33 Bull Street Birmingham B4 6DS


Latest news

The Ecologist: President Santos: environmental saint or sinner?

21 November 2017 - 11:00am

President Santos of Colombia recently won two international awards for championing peace and biodiversity despite criticism from campaigners who say he is "encouraging agro-industrial projects that displace local communities", writes Catherine Early at The Ecologist (20 November 2017).

Quoting War on Want's Seb Muñoz, Early writes about the controversies around Santos' contributions, including the issue of displacing indigenous people through destructive extraction industries:

Read more

Rise, Resist, Renew: Alternatives to Mines & Money

20 November 2017 - 4:30pm

Between 25-30 November, we will be hosting frontline activists from Uganda, Philippines and Colombia to challenge the Mines and Money Conference in London – the premier space for the global mining industry and its destructive deals. Our speakers will be sharing stories of resistance, successes and alternatives to mining – and opposing mining violence and current threats from extracitivism in their communities. Join us!

Read more

Join the conversation

Next week: Disrupt the #MinesAndMoney conference in London! Join activists from Uganda, Philippines and Colombia in… 9 hours 54 min ago
For the #Tunisian activist, Sabra Chraifa, alternatives to mainstream « development » should not be with less « pol… 12 hours 59 min ago
Our friends @Col_Caravana are hosting a special event to celebrate the work of Colombian Human Rights Defenders!… 15 hours 21 min ago