Anti weapon firm protesters block entrances to Instro Precision site at Discovery Park

Activists block entrances to the Discovery Park business (Image Palestine Action)

Protesters from the Palestine Action group have blocked entrances to the Instro Precision site at Discovery Park, Sandwich, this morning (October 4).

Protesters say the company supplies Israel with weapons to kill Palestinian people in Gaza.

Instro Precision, which is owned by Israeli military company Elbit Systems, says it is a supplier and system integrator of support equipment for military and commercial electro-optical sensors in the world.

The company started operations as a precision contract manufacturer in the 1960s. Today, products are sold in more than 50 countries with main customers being blue chip prime contractors in defence and homeland security sectors.

Instro says it  supplies ‘high precision military equipment’ and specialises in support equipment like tripods and manual pan and tilt heads for military observation equipment. Instro produces observation, surveillance and targeting systems.

In 2019 the firm moved to Discovery Park from Broadstairs, where it had been the target of numerous protests. There have also been several protests at its site in Discovery Park.

Thirteen activists are currently involved in today’s protest, which has involved blockading the two entrances to the Discovery Park site, occupying the entranceway and overhang to the Discovery Park main office and spraying the premises in red paint.

Palestine Action says: “Instro, which is owned and controlled by Elbit Systems, manufactures a range of military equipment for the purposes of warfare, targeting and popular repression. These include weapon sights for infantry and heavy artillery, such as the XACT th64 sights – which have been sold in quantities of thousands to the Israeli military, likely outfitting their sniper regiments which man the Gaza border.

The protest at Discovery Park

“The owners of the industrial estate, Discovery Park, are also being targeted in this action, with their offices shut down by activists. This is due to their extensive partnership with Elbit Systems, having worked collaboratively to design and erect Instro Precision’s state-of-the-art arms factory.”

However, the action has not prevented Instro staff from attending work.

The action has been slammed by South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay who commented on social media that it was the: “Usual protestors disrupting a respected @DiscoveryPark_ business.

“Hope Instro/ @ElbitSystemsLtd use full opportunity to take civil action against them for criminal damage & business interruption.”

The MP claimed the action was “anti-Semitic.”

Kent Police are in attendance. A spokesperson said: “Kent Police is currently attending a report of a protest in Discovery Park, Artillery Way in Sandwich.

“Officers were called to the scene at around 6.20am where it was reported two vehicles were blocking access to the site and criminal damage had been caused to a building.”

37 Comments

  1. Well done, Palestine Action. The Israelis are trying to claim that reporting its crimes against the Palestinians is “anti-Semitic”. No, it is simply the truth. Stop the persecution and murder of Palestinians. Give Palestine statehood and independence.

    • No comment about the constant aggression from the Palestinians. Thousands rockets fired from Gaza into Southern Israel.
      Israel is surrounded by Arab States and has a right to defend itself.
      Craig MacKinlay is right. There is a stench of antisemitism.

      • Actually, no. Under international law Palestine, as an occupied country, has every right to defend itself and to use violence to remove the occupier. The people who the rockets are landing on who don’t have the right to be there. They are living on land and in houses that were taken illegally from Palestinians, all outside of the area granted to Izrael in the 48 mandate. The Palestinians imprisoned in the concentration camp of Gaza are firing rockets at their own houses, for which they have the property deeds, but which are now second homes for Jewish settlers coming from around the world.

        • Gaza is not a concentration camp. It is not occupied.
          Israel was created in 1948 to give a safe home to Jews after the Holocaust.
          Judging by the comments on here, thank goodness it exists as Jew hatred is alive and well and living it Thanet. The comments on here are truly sickening. Antisemitism was emboldened and allowed to flourish under Jeremy Corbyn. Keir Starmer is trying his best to rid the party of Jew hatred.
          Zoo is another derogatory term for Jews and anyone using it should be ashamed.
          I stand with Israel.

  2. Israel has a defensive dome against rockets, paid for by the American taxpayer. The Palestinians have no such protection. They are occupied by a military force which regularly targets children, either shot or imprisoned by military courts. Israel has been busy forming alliances with several Arab states, so no threat there. “Anti-Semitism” is one of those trick words used to silence criticism. A female Jewish member of the Knesset exposed it as being so. Craig MacKinlay talks through his back passage.

    • Hear, Hear Robert! Whenever I hear the name Craig Mackinlay I instantly think of chocolate tea pots! All arms manufactures are to be condemned, especially drones to the Americans, who are notoriously bad at using them to target their enemies, and hit innocent civilians instead! It is not anti-Semitic to criticise Israel, although their government along with their Jewish sympathisers like to claim it is! Jews are not a race, see all the books by the distinguished Israeli Professor Schlomo Sands, especially “The Invention of the Jewish People”, where he shows with clear research, that there is no such thing as being racist if you criticise someone of the Jewish faith, because it is a religion, and not a race, you listening Margaret Hodge, Labour MP and others! In the Christian bible there are frequent references to the 12 tribes of Israel, and the disputes between various Jewish cults, which exists to this day, and none of them claim to be a race!

        • And your a Pillock Seaside Lover! So, as Professor Schlomo Sands in his and others research, pointed out there are NO DNA or any other scientific indicators to prove that people of the Jewish faith are a separate race! The Black ones from Ethiopia may have a case for being a separate race though, after all they are practicing Jews, and recognised as such! And yes, I deplore the fact that Israel has created a concentration camp in Gaza, where 2 million people are imprisoned in a small area, depending on the UN, and charities for food, and medical help!

          As far as shooting rockets into Israel is concerned, they are home made, and most are shot down, and of course I deplore their use. But if I was a young Palestinian, trapped in Gaza, with no future, I would be ever so annoyed when Israeli police attack Israeli Palestinians, and their Mosques in Israel, and would want to show my displeasure when this happens! Israeli Palestinian MP’s are limited as to what power they have in the Israeli government, so please don’t refer to Israel being a democracy, it isn’t!

          • Hello rude Dumpton.
            The Arab party is part of the Israeli government.
            Gaza is not occupied. People are not imprisoned.
            The weapons are not home made, they are supplied by Iran and are huge.
            Once again you choose an extreme left winger who has renounced his background.
            Israel has a right to exist. Jewish people have a right to exist.

    • You obviously believe the anti-Israel propaganda.
      Israel is the only democracy in the middle East. Israel does not target civilians unlike the rockets from Gaza which deliberately target civilians.
      Nor is Gaza occupied.
      Criminal damage of property should never be condoned. I hope the protestors are arrested and dealt with by the courts.

      • As I said Seaside Lover, your a Pillock! I get all my information from the Independent Newspaper, no other source!

        • Which is very left wing, Dumpton unlike its name.
          And you continue to insult me like most of the hard left Israel haters.

          • Really, the Independent newspaper is “very left wing”, no it isn’t you Pillock Seaside Lover, it just NOT right wing enough for you, and all the other no nothing Numpties out there!

  3. Hats off to Palestine Action! It is simply obscene that Elbit are allowed to operate in this country. And the comments by Craig MacKinlay are absolutely disgraceful. What on earth is anti-semitic about protesting against a murderous, racist regime condemned by Human Rights Watch, Beth’ Salem (an Izraeli human rights group) and many others as being an apartheid state? What is clear is that MacKinlay and much of the rest of the UK Establishment, including Starmer’s Zio-Labour Party, are complicit in this ongoing crime against humanity and the non-sensical anti-semitism smear is just a pathetic attempt to hide that complicity. Shame on all those in the media and politics who are using fake accusations of anti-semitism as a political tool to stop criticism of the settler-colonial crime that is ‘Izrael’.

    • You are truly odious.
      Zio is a derogatory term against Jews.
      The Palestinians refused a state, chose war, and lost.
      You are clearly a hard left advocate of antisemitism.

      • “Zio” is a derogatory term against Zionists, not Jews. Educated, decent Jews hate Zionism as much as the rest of us. Why? Because Zionism is fascism, and Zionists are fascists. It is a violent, racist, settler-colonial ideology underpinned by mysticism whose aim is the annexation of Palestine and the removal of its existing population through ethnic cleansing. It was condemned as a racist ideology by the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 3379, adopted on 10 November 1975 by a vote of 72 to 35, who “determine[d] that Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination”. I forgive you for your defence of Israel’s fascism as you are clearly very ignorant of the history. That’s why its easier for you to spout childish insults than it is to engage constructively with the points being made. Just like Izrael, you’re losing the argument.

        • Everyone knows the term Zio is used against Jews.
          Your whole answer is based on your hatred of Israel. You clearly refuse to accept the Jewish state created by the United Nations.
          You are being antisemitic calling Zionists fascists.
          You called non Zionists decent Jews.
          You are a Jew hater.
          The United Nations have a history of voting against Israel. Look at the countries who comprise the United Nations.

          • Seaside Lover,
            The United Nations has passed countless resolutions against Israel for human rights abuses with Israel ignoring all of them. Israel bombs Gaza on a regular basis, targeting civilians. Homes are destroyed and families are destroyed. Now that is truly sickening and not your screams of “Jew hatred” and so on.
            The term anti-Semitic is merely a term of abuse and without any other meaning. Others should be aware of that fact.

  4. They are right to protest otherwise who would know we are hosting arms manufacturers, who presumably do not arm the Palestinians. Tory government is trying to stop all protests and demonstrations, like the Chinese government . Craig Mackinlay is wrong, this is not antisemitism as the Holocaust Survivor Association defined it Otherwise no one could ever criticise Israel .

  5. No surprise the Tory MP is outraged again-he has consistently voted against equality & human rights of British people in parliament, so you can imagine what his view on Palestine is & the Tories along with the help of the Royals love selling weapons to despotic regimes around the world & Israel.

  6. If I’m right the news is that gun sights are made by this firm and sold to the IDF. It’s well reported that the IDF are shooting Palestinians in the legs as this causes significant stress on the medical facilities for rescue and recovery and then reconstructive surgery, prosthetics and rehabilitation.
    Leaving aside and rights and wrongs about the creation of the State of Israel this policy is appalling. It should be enough for our MP to declare it wrong.

  7. Robert Edwards spouts untruths. Hama’s fires rockets from civilian areas and uses the population as human shields and when Israel retaliates the world is taken in like Robert.
    Antisemitic is a term of abuse against Jews although Arabs are also a Semitic race.
    The Israeli parliament now comprises the Arab party.
    Robert you sadly personify a typical antisemite of whom there are far too many.

    • Semitic refers to a family of languages and not a people or race. The term anti-Semitic was invented in the 19th century to replace the German word Judenhass, meaning Jew hatred. Anti-Semitic is a misnomer and totally fraudulent. Arabs are not a “Semitic race” but largely Indo-European of the Mediterranean sub-race Proper, like the Portuguese.
      Jews are not a race because the differences between the Ashkenazi and Sephardic make them very different people with different roots.
      The Israeli war criminals use the human shield charge as an excuse to bomb civilian areas. If they were concerned about any moral issue then they would not do it.

      • Wrong.
        Are you the Robert Edwards who stood as a Green party candidate?
        And who signed a petition for Corbyn’s reinstatement by any chance?

        • Wrong? No, I have just given you facts which you can not answer with a rational argument.
          I have never stood as a Green Party candidate. Although I would support Jeremy Corbyn because the canard that he is anti-Semitic is mistaken. He supports the Palestinians, as do I, which is the source of the anti-Semitic libel. No Jew hatred in it.

  8. A few years ago, the Campaign Against the Arms Trade demonstrated outside Instroprecision because it’s an arms manufacturer. I filmed it. Craig Mackinlay accused everyone who was there of being antisemitic because its an Israeli owned company. I was staggered and a bit horrified to think Broadstairs had an arms industry! But I was more staggered to think that our MP has such a weird grasp of logic that he can turn bike riding peaceniks who had just come from BAE systems on a tour of Kent Arms factories, into jew haters. Its just smearing! Is he doing the same now?

    • I wondered when you would pipe up. We know your views on Israel, Jeremy Corbyn and your support for Chris Williamson which got you expelled.
      No wonder Thanet has been described as a hotbed of antisemitism.

      • Israel is an apartheid state. The Zionists call it a Jewish state. Therefore it is for Jews only. Now that is racism.
        The existence of some Arabs in the Knesset signifies mere tokenism. Their influence is very minimal. Strangely, during the existence of apartheid South Africa, its sole greatest ally was Israel. Why? because both states were established on the supremacy of the ruling group based on suppression of a large majority. White South Africa had to relinquish its supremacist power base and concede to the majority. By the same token, Israel will eventually concede to the majority in a unified state, giving the Arabs their freedom.

  9. I was born and grew up in Ramsgate. I’ve lived in London for 50 years and am a member of Haringey Justice for Palestinians. I support Palestine Action wholeheartedly and admire their courage. Well done to all the local activists who got involved – you are anything but antisemitism and I salute you – it’s not easy being left-wing in Thanet. Solidarity always.

  10. I can’t believe the nonsense spouted by “Seaside Lover”, are you paid to utter such rubbish?
    Your don’t even have the gumption to use your own name, personally I wouldn’t not have replied to your stupidity. but you have irritated me beyond belief, I will leave it at that.

    • If anyone incites “anti-Semitism” on here it is Israel apologist, “Seaside Lover”. People like that do not go out of their way to endear themselves to reasonable people. Name-calling and denial of facts seems to their modus operandi.

  11. My final comment is for everyone on here who has attacked and abused me thus illustrating that antisemitism is widespread and exists in Thanet.
    You can call me names all you like but I stand with Israel which is not an apartheid state.
    Israel has the right to exist. It has the right to defend itself. It was created by the United Nations as a homeland for Jewish people who the Nazis tried to wipe out.
    I’ve got news for all the Israel haters on here, Israel isn’t going anywhere. It will thrive and flourish and will withstand all the hate from people with views exemplified in these comments. You won’t win.

    • No one has attacked and abused you. You have been doing all the name-calling.
      Israel was founded with the use of terror against the Arab occupants. They wiped out entire villages of men, women and children … Deir Yassin being infamous for witnessing dead Palestinian bodies being thrown down wells.
      It was not created by the United Nations but through the Jewish lobby in the United States placing pressure on President Truman to get the British out of the Palestine Mandate.
      Israel will eventually go the way of all brutal colonialism. It is inevitable as day follows night.

Comments are closed.