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Protesters target weapons manufacturers supplying Israel-Hamas war

Protesters target weapons manufacturers supplying Israel-Hamas war

Protesters against the Israel-Hamas war have hit on a common tactic: rallying against companies that provide weapons and technology to the Israeli military.

A crowd of more than 100 people gathered on Thursday outside of a University of Arizona satellite campus that is home to defence contractor Raytheon.

The company has provided weapons to the Israeli military, Fronteras Desk reports.

Protesters, with shirts bearing the message ‘End the genocide economy’ blocked roadways into the facility, and police arrested 26 people for trespassing, including a local radio reporter for KJZZ.

“Multiple demonstrators entered private property, blocked the roadways, and prevented employees from entering and leaving the facility,” the Pima County sheriff’s office told 12news in a statement. “Despite Raytheon and law enforcement requests to leave the private property, many refused, and 26 people were arrested for criminal trespass.”

The Independent has contacted Raytheon for comment.

Similar protests have been staged around the state and the country in recent weeks.

Earlier this month, a group of Jewish, anti-Zionist, pro-Palestinian activists staged a “die-in” at Raytheon’s Tucson office.

Just this month, similar demonstrations have occurred across five states.

In Boca Raton Florida, crowds gathered outside Real-Time Laboratories, a subsidiary of Elbit Systems, a major weapons supplier for Israel.

"We need to start directly targeting the material supporters of apartheid and genocide," activist Jeff Weinberger, told the Miami New Times. "And that includes, obviously, weapons manufacturers."

"Elbit America employs thousands of Americans who are dedicated to the mission of creating innovative solutions that protect and save lives," the company wrote in a statement to the paper. "While we support the rights of protesters to express their views peacefully, we take the safety and well-being of our employees extremely seriously, and we will continue to work closely with local officials to ensure safety for all."

In San Diego, California, hundreds rallied outside the offices of defence contractor Northrup Grumman, which organisers saying they hoped to bring about a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict, which has killed over 16,000 people, mostly Palestinian civilians.

Further north in Oakland, protesters temporarily delayed a cargo ship they said was bringing military equipment to Israel.

Palestinian protestor Meena Abushamala told CBS News several of her relatives had been killed in the war.

"One missile killed three generations. An uncle, their son, and their child," she said. "I’m enraged that our government is still sending aid, missiles to Israel."

The US Coast Guard said it is investigating three people who were interfering with the ship, including by climbing on its ladder.

“Individuals who breached the maritime facility and trespassed aboard the Cape Orlando are currently under investigation for potential violations of federal law,” the agency said in a statement.

Last week, an estimated 150 people rallied at a facility for Boeing in the St Louis suburbs.

“We were outside Boeing today to demand that Boeing stop manufacturing bombs and warplanes used by the Israeli military," Su Mac, a Palestinian artist from the area, told The New Arab.

"We wanted to go to the Boeing facility to demand a ceasefire and remind them that there’s blood on their hands," she added"These are bombs that are made in our backyards and they’re getting away with it."

In Minnesota, a group of about 50 blocked the entrances to a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin based in St Paul.

“We don’t support weapons manufacturers in general, and we want Lockheed out of our city,” Andrew Josefchak of the Minnesota Anti-War Committee told MPR News. “But the reason why I’m here today specifically is because Lockheed’s bombs and jets are being used to massacre civilians.”

The Biden administration is seeking an additional $14.3bn in aid to support the Israeli war effort.