Members of a pro-Palestinian group targeted the Foreign Office and a British arms company in central London this morning, spray-painting messages calling for an end to the conflict with Israel in red paint, as police arrested a man on suspicion of criminal damage .
Video footage shared by Palestine Action, a group that describes itself as “the direct action network ending British complicity with Israeli apartheid,” claims responsibility and shows a protester with a warning sign throwing red paint at the aerospace company’s headquarters Leonardo sprays.
A man was heard shouting: “Stop the arms trade, stop the fighting, free, free Palestine.”
The building’s doors were smeared with red paint, as was much of the ground in front of it. “Free Palestine” and “terrorists,” among other things, were scrawled on the building’s facade.
The activists targeted the company, which is one of the largest suppliers of defense and security equipment to the Defense Ministry, claiming it had supplied Israel’s fighter jets.
Two police officers arrest a pro-Palestine protester in front of the Leonardo headquarters on Thursday
Security forces monitor the entrance to Leonardo after protesters sprayed it with red paint
After being arrested by police officers, a second activist remained on the roof of Leonardo headquarters
The writing on the building’s walls accused the company of being “baby killers.”
Activists also targeted the Foreign Office by daubing the building’s entrance with red paint and writing “blood” on it.
A Met Police spokesman said: “A man is in police custody after he was arrested by officers on suspicion of criminal damage following a protest in Eagle Place, Piccadilly.”
“Messages about the conflict between Israel and Hamas were painted in red paint on the building and also thrown at the front of the compound.”
“Another person is currently on the canopy above the entrance to the building.
“Officers are dealing with this man and, once he is safely down, will attempt to arrest him for any criminal offenses.”
A photo shared by police showed a person with his face covered at the top of the building’s entrance. Behind them was the slogan “Free Gaza.”
In a post on social media, Palestine Action said: “Palestine Action is occupying and spray-painting the London headquarters of the weapons company Leonardo, which supplies weapons for Israel’s warplanes.”
“106 years ago today Britain signed the land of Palestine. It is now up to the people to end the ongoing complicity in the genocide!’
This is a breaking news story and will be updated.