Midlands: Solidarity action against Israel’s home demolitions outside JCB’s HQ

JCB protest

Submitted by Stop the Demolitions

Today, March 4th 2021, two activists visited the World Logistics centre of JCB Engines near Stoke on Trent to protest against JCB’s involvement in the demolition of Palestinian homes and communities in occupied Palestine. The protest focussed on the devastating impact of home demolitions on children and the callous disregard by the Bamford family (owners and Directors of JCB) for the well being of Palestinian children. A simultaneous protest was held in Sheffield at the main dealership for JCB in the north of England, TC Harrison JCB.

The protests were timed to coincide with and support a Day of Action targetting the NSPCC, a British children’s charity which accepts huge donations from JCB, and seems oblivious to the huge hypocrisy involved in accepting money from a company which provides bulldozers to commit war crimes against Palestinian children.

The two activists (keeping covid safe by maintaining social distance and wearing masks) hung two large banners and flags to the fencing along the perimeter of the JCB site. The banners read:

Anthony Bamford: working with Israel to demolish Palestinian homes

Anthony and Carole Bamford: Why don’t you care about Palestinian children?

Information sheets providing more information about the complicity of JCB and the hypocrisy of the NSPCC were hung in the two bus stops used by the JCB workforce.

JCB Security personnel removed the banners and flags, in spite of the fact that the banners were not within the JCB site. Strangely, they also found it necessary to block part of their own road entrance to the site with a container and three cars; this was part of what they claimed was a strategy to ensure that any future blockades of the site by protestors would not succeed in blocking their exit and entry. They also decided to call the police, even though one of the two activists had made it very clear that no other protestors were coming and no disruption of the site was planned.

Natalie, one of the protestors, commented; ” JCB management and owners persist in behaving as if the unremitting violence and abuses carried out against the Palestinian people by the Israeli state have nothing to do with them. In reality JCB equipment is used in so much of this violence. JCB could stop selling its equipment to Israel tomorrow with scarcely a dint in its profits. It chooses not to. We will not stop our protests against the callous company.”