Activists have once again blockaded the BAE Systems factory in Glasgow as they protest the ties between the UK and Israeli arms industries and call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

The plant in Govan is producing Type 26 Frigate ships for the Royal Navy, which will be fitted with armour developed by Israel after construction.

The company itself is the UK's leading military manufacturer, and makes 15% of the components for the F-35 stealth bombers.

Israel has taken delivery of 39 of the jets and ordered 75, with the aircraft deployed in the ongoing offensive on the Gaza strip.

Since the commencement of hostilities more than 30,000 people have been killed in the occupied territory, with ceasefire talks ongoing.

Read More:

There have been calls for the UK government to halt the sale of arms to Israel, particularly in light of the ongoing case at the International Court of Justice where the country has been accused by South Africa of genocide.

The ICJ issued six provisional measures in the case, including that Israel must must take all measures to prevent acts which could be considered genocidal, ensure its military does not commit genocidal acts, prevent and punish any public comments that could be considered enticement to commit genocide, take measures to ensure humanitarian access, and prevent any destruction of evidence that could be used in a genocide case.

On May Day, which is traditionally a holiday for workers and trade unionists, groups across the UK are blockading arms factories, including the BAE plant in Govan.

The Herald: Activists blockade the BAE Systems factory in Govan, GlasgowActivists blockade the BAE Systems factory in Govan, Glasgow (Image: Gordon Terris)

Jamie, 32, who works at a Scottish university said: "Even though the First Minister has said he supports an arms embargo, Scotland is still part of the chain of killing.

"With Scottish arms companies having over 1000 secret talks with Westminster since 2012, we need action. That's why we are doing the embargo ourselves, bringing Scottish solidarity to the people of Palestine who have suffered uncountable horrors and humiliation in 75 years of occupation."

Justine, 39, an education worker and trade unionist from Glasgow, said: "We have seen workers across the UK participating in solidarity actions with Palestine, including donating money, time and resources, building relationships and taking direct action.

"On this May Day we are thinking particularly of our fellow workers in Palestine whose lives are maimed by the Occupation and the current genocide. Shutting down arms factories for even a day of business doesn't just show our disgust - it damages the profits of bosses and shareholders, while the workers still get a full day's pay."

Ali, 25, a junior doctor, said: "Targeting the arms trade in the UK has already been effective - protests and direct action against Israeli weapons company Elbit Systems in England has forced it to close and sell its factory in Staffordshire. We’re here to make sure that there’s no business as usual for those who sell arms to genocidal regimes."

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: "Around 4.55am on Wednesday, 1 May 2024, police were called to a report of a demonstration outside the grounds of a business premises on Govan Road, Govan, Glasgow.

"Officers remain at the scene."

The action was co-ordinated with protests across the UK, including in London at the offices of the Business and Trade Department and BAE factories in Glasgow, South Wales and Lancashire.

Organisers said more than 1,000 workers and trade unionists across the country had taken part.

Three arrests were made at the demonstration in England's capital.

A Metropolitan Police statement said: “We are policing a protest in Admiralty Place and Horse Guards Parade. Officers have made three arrests after protesters blocked access to a building. Protesters must stay within the law.”