The cage on the entrance
Manager Amos Orr serves tea to activists at the exit
Hooray for the firecrews who all said No!!
Cutting one of the D-locks
“The construction of the wall being built by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, and its associated régime, are contrary to international law”
“Israel is under an obligation to terminate its breaches of international law; it is under an obligation to cease forthwith the works of construction of the wall being built in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, to dismantle forthwith the structure therein situated, and to repeal or render ineffective forthwith all legislative and regulatory acts relating thereto” (3)
Protestors arrived with a whole bunch of D-locks and temporary fencing, and within a short space of time had managed to erect a structure across the entrance to the premises, which was attached to one of the gates, and had activists locked to the corners.
The police arrived within 10 minutes, but failed to stop activists from erecting a second barrier across the exit, with 3 protestors locked to the structure.
An incredible number of police were on the scene within an hour, and 2 fire engines and ambulances were called to the scene. Firemen inspected the D-locks by which people were attached to the structures, and after a series of long discussions, decided that they did not want to be involved in cutting the activists free. Activists reminded them that they had supported the fireman’s strike.
The manager of Agrexco, Amos Orr, an Israeli arrived and tried to convince activists that Agrexco, which operates under the Carmel label, was the wrong target, as Agrexco markets Palestinian strawberries - according to him there will be strawberries labelled “Produce of Gaza” in Morrison’s stores within the next week or so.
The fire crews left by about breakfast time, and after a while most of the police officers drifted off, leaving a crew of about 10 behind. At that stage they appear to have decided that they would sit it out. Despite the cold, activists were able to keep going, although many discovered the difficulties of relieving themselves when chained by the neck to fencing. A few trucks arrived and left after they could not gain entry, and in a subsequent police statement Amos Orr claimed that the action had cost the company between £30k and £40k – elsewhere in the police statements, a figure of £100k was claimed – it appears that other trucks were told not to come.
At 9.15 a Chief Inspector arrived and gave protestors 15 minutes to dismantle the structures and offered to facilitate a protest between the two gates, as long as “othing was obstructed” Whilst he was issuing his edict, a number of journalists and photographers from local papers arrived, and the whole edict seems to have been forgotten as journalists pursued interviews and photographers snapped away busily.
At about 10.30 he issued a warning under Section 69 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 under which the senior police officer present may instruct persons he has reasonable suspicion to be committing/intending to commit such an offence to leave the land and not come back for 3 months. Protestors asked to be aloowed to stay until they had observed a minutes silence at 11am, and thought that the request was being negotiated. At this point one of the protestors decided that he would come out of the structure (10.45) at which point he was promptly arrested, providing a disincentive for any of the others to give up.
A third fire engine was called to the scene and again the crew refused to get involved in cutting the activists out of the structures. Some police officers then searched in the bushes and found some of the keys to the locks, which enabled them to remove another two activists from the structure on the entrance, and both were promptly arrested– leaving one activist who was D-locked by his leg – and who was there until about 1pm, when a special task force arrived with hydraulic cutters – apparently they had been on standby at the Cenotaph all morning. The fourth activist was then removed from the cage after his D-lock was cut, and the entrance was cleared. The task force then spent an hour cutting the three activists away from the exit.
7 activists were arrested in the end, and were taken to Uxbridge Police Station, where 3 were held overnight and 4 were released with bail conditions which meant they were not allowed to be in the borough of Hillingdon – 3 were held overnight as they were on police bail for a previous action.
All 7 appeared in court on Friday afternoon, and all were released on conditional bail. The three held overnight were given the condition that they “may not enter private property, without the permission of the landowner, for the purpose of protest. In addition all 7 were given the condition that they may not go within 500 metres of Agrexco.
A trial date has been set for March 2005, and the defence will examine the legality of trade with the state of Israel, in light of the fact that they have continued to build the wall on stolen Palestinian land despite the ICJ ruling which also states that:
“All States are under an obligation not to recognize the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall and not to render aid or assistance in maintaining the situation created by such construction; all States parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949 have in addition the obligation, while respecting the United Nations Charter and international law, to ensure compliance by Israel with international humanitarian law as embodied in that Convention;”
Agrexco manager Amos Orr confirmed that his company deals in produce from illegal settlements in the West Bank and Gaza.
For further information, or to get involved in future actions, you can contact the group at email@example.com
TEAR DOWN THE WALL !!!!!!!!!!!!!