State of Emergency - direct action against war, from the root to the fruit
18 August 2007
For immediate release
This afternoon a group of protesters from anarchist group State Of
Emergency have blockaded the main UK warehouse of Israeli company
Carmel Agrexco in Hayes, Middlesex. Their action coincides with the
nearby Camp for Climate Action and is part of the growing movement to
boycott Israeli apartheid, which aims to end Israel's breach of
International law and abuse of human rights in the occupied
territories of Palestine.
The action has been taken to coincide with the Camp for Climate Action
because all of Carmel Agrexco's produce is air-freighted into Heathrow
and also to highlight the consequences of the resource wars which are
inevitable as the climate changes.
According to the UK government's own figures air freighting of food is
the fastest growing mode of food transport, having increased by over
220% since 1992, and although it only accounts for 1% of food miles
overall it produces 13% of the CO2 emissions from food transport.
The Israeli water authority, Macarot, drills wells to irrigate
Carmel's crops close to existing Palestinian wells but at a greater
depth to dry up the Palestinian wells. The Israeli wells are fortified
and guarded by the Israeli army, and many Palestinians are in Israeli
prisons for the 'crime' of trying to obtain fresh water from wells in
Israel has complete control over water resources in the West Bank and
uses 82 percent of the underground water. The Palestinian daily
consumption of water is 35 to 50 litres per capita, while the daily
consumption of the Jewish settlers is 280 to 350 litres per capita.
Much of Carmel Agrexco's fruit, vegetables, flowers, herbs and other
produce is grown and packed on illegal Israeli settlements. Carmel
Agrexco is thus complicit in war crimes under the International
Criminal Court Act 2001 (ICC Act).
Carmel Agrexco is Israel's largest importer of agricultural produce
into the European Union and is 50% Israeli state owned. The warehouse
is in Swallowfield Way, Hayes, Middlesex, and is their main depot in
Many of the protesters have visited Palestine and witnessed at first
hand the suffering of Palestinians under Israeli military occupation.
They have seen land that has been claimed by illegal Israeli
settlements, but was stolen from Palestinian families. They have
visited villages where the whole community have been issued with
demolition orders by the Israeli Army to make way for more illegal
The action today is part of three years of action against the company.
Palestine solidarity protesters have taken part in five blockades of
the premises, the first in November 2004.
Before the protest a legal warning letter was sent to Carmel Agrexco
stating clearly why they are in breach of the law.
Today's action aims to draw attention to this company's complicity, in
murder, theft and damage of occupied land, collective punishment,
apartheid and ethnic cleansing, and other breaches of International
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org / tel. 07948 173982 for
Photos from inside Carmel Agrexco
Photos of the last blockade of Carmel Agrexco
Photos of the second blockade
Text of letter sent to Carmel Agrexco by Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Report on Carmel's Involvement in the Jordan Valley:
Press release from previous trial (with links):
War on Want's Report -"Profiting from the Occupation":
Notes to Editors:
1. For comments please call 07948 173982
2. On 9th June 2005 a coalition of Palestinian Civil Society
Organisations issued a 'Call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions
against Israel until it complies with International Law'.
See http://www.stopthewall.org/downloads/pdf/BDSEnglish.pdf for the full
statement and signatories.
3. Israel occupied the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Golan Heights in 1967
in contravention of international law.
Since then Israel has moved over 380,000 settlers into these occupied
territories in contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention (article
49), the Hague Regulations and United Nations Security Council
Israel continues to build an illegal apartheid wall inside the West
Bank despite the Advisory Ruling of the International Court of Justice
in 2005 that the wall is illegal. Fifty five illegal Israeli
settlements will be on the Israeli side of the wall separated from the
Since 2000 Israel has demolished 664 Palestinian houses, in acts of
collective punishment. These demolitions constitute a war crime. They
have demolished a further 12,953 palestinian homes for 'miliary
reasons' (often to expand Israeli settlements) and 1,214 because they
were built 'without a permit'
4,000 Palestinians have been killed as a direct result of Israeli
military actions during the current uprising which began in September
(Above statistics confirmed by Israeli Information Centre Btselem see
Contact email@example.com/tel. 07948 173982 for interviews/pictures
There were 6 arrests in total, two of them legal observers.
4 have been arrested on suspicion of burglary for being inside the premises.
There were over 60 activists present in total and everyone was stopped and searched by the police before they were allowed to leave.
The action meant that the depot was shut and unable to operate for 3 hours.
the Carmel warehouse
the lock-on at the main gate