Blockade Ferra, disrupt the flow of weapons to genocidal Israel

April 17, 2024
The Blockade Ferra campaign prevented all deliveries from going in or out
The Blockade Ferra campaign prevented all deliveries from going in or out. Photo: Alex Bainbridge

More than 100 people participated in a blockade of the Ferra Engineering factory in Magan-djin/Brisbane on April 15 as part of an global day A15 of action against genocidal Israel.

Actions were organised in more than 50 cities around the world, including 19 separate actions in Australia. The aim was to disrupt weapons manufacturers and to highlight Western complicity in Israel's genocide.

Ferra Engineering produce more than 100 parts for F-35 fighter planes. Critically, weapons adapters for F-35 fighters all come from Ferra Engineering.

“No other company in the world makes [these weapons adapters],” Jacqui told the action.

The weapons adapters are the mechanism that allow bombs to be attached to and to be dropped from the planes.

Jacqui also highlighted that Ferra Engineering has received extensive support from state and federal governments for its military production.

“Ferra would not be capable of producing and exporting weapons like this if not for the extensive support from the federal government,” she said.

Abbie Hayden told Green Left that the April 15 action is part of an ongoing “Shut Down Ferra” campaign. “In January, 30 people stormed into the Ferra factory and were able to disable some of the machines. That caused severe financial damage to Ferra.”


No justice, no peace
No justice, no peace. Photo: Alex Bainbridge

In addition, activists have been picketing the factory every few weeks and held an action at Queensland parliament to highlight the government's financing of Ferra's war production.

The campaign managed to stop work for the day, for the first time. “No deliveries have been able to come in or out,” Hayden said.

Palestinian activist Remah Naji, Greens parliamentarian Max Chandler-Mather and First Nations activist Sam Woripa Watson spoke at the blockade.


Confronting police outside Ferra Engineering
Confronting police outside Ferra Engineering. Photo: Alex Bainbridge

Watson told the crowd that they would be sending an Aboriginal flag that they'd taken to every Palestine rally in Magan-djin/Brisbane to be part of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, that is attempting to break the blockade of Gaza.

Pro-Palestine activists occupied Penny Wong's office in Kaurna Yerta/Adelaide as part of the A15 actions. Protestors staged a die-in in the lobby.

Protesters said Wong and the Labor government are complicit in the genocide in Palestine by refusing to cancel weapons contracts. The International Court of Justice called for weapons transfers to Israel to be suspended.

Other protests were held in Naarm/Melbourne, Boorloo/Perth, Gadigal/Sydney and Djilang/Geelong.

Thales, Elbit Systems, Currawong Engineering were among the targets on A15, alongside universities such as Deakin and the University of Melbourne, which collaborate with weapons companies.


Outside Deakin University. Photo: Tim Gooden

Sue Bull from Free Palestine Geelong, who MCed the protest outside Deakin University, said universities' research and development resources should not be turned over to weapons companies, like BAE, to then be used in a genocide against Palestinians.

In Boorloo/Perth, protesters held a die-in outside the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) which partners with the Israeli ZIM shipping. The MSC closed its offices for the day.


Protest outside MSC office in Boorloo/Perth
Protest outside MSC office in Boorloo/Perth. Photo: supplied

At least 23 people were arrested around the country, according to an A15 media release. “Several protesters from different actions testified that they had witnessed police using excessive force,” it said.

Victorian Greens leader Samantha Ratnam told a Naarm/Melbourne action outside Elbit Systems that politicians’ and protesters’ actions today will be “judged by history”.

“What we do, how we respond matters,” she said. “This movement for peace is important, thank you for being part of it.”


Ferra arms genocide
Ferra arms genocide. Photo: Alex Bainbridge

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