WILPF Brighton Branch members have been out campaigning and gathering signatures for a letter to the council in attempt to prevent the extension of the L3Harris arms factory. They have received very positive responses and support from members of the public, and you can find more information on how to support this campaign (Deadline Wednesday 17th January), and read the letter to Brighton Council below.
Statement from Jenny Engledow, Brighton Branch Lead:
“This factory has been the focus of attention on and off for many years as local residents have objected to its presence in our city and many demonstrations, with arrests and court cases having taken place.
Now with the huge rise in political activity due to the tragic events of deaths and destruction in Gaza, the local population of Brighton and Hove has become very active in opposing the continued bombing and a strong movement has emerged. The land the factory is buiilt on is owned by the council and the factory owners are sub-tenants. We have more ideas on further suggestions to the council such as changing their contracts for the leases of their, [our], land so that no weapons or parts can be produced on their land. There are going to be demonstrations at the site and the campaign is beginning to get known about quite widely in the city.
Many people have signed letters to go to the planning department, [see attached], they were queuing up to sign which was very heartening to see. The more people who sign the stronger our position because even if you are not a local resident you maybe someone who has visited or intends to.
The city is proud to be a city of sanctuary, this is meant to be a safe place for refugees but not a place where the means to create refugees begins.
The bomb parts made in the L3 Harris factory are bomb racks and bomb release mechanism and the bombing would not be able to take place without these. They were previously used on the Yemen as proved by the Guardian newspaper.”
Support This Campaign:
I object to the planning application submitted by L3 Harris. L3 Harris Brighton makes bomb racks and bomb release mechanisms for the F-16 and F-35 planes that the Israeli Air Force is using in its assault on Gaza. Without these components, the bombs can’t be dropped.
Israel’s military attack on Gaza violates the basic principles of International Humanitarian Law (IHL). IHL requires that attacks distinguish between military and civilian targets and are conducted with proportionality. Israel is deliberately targeting journalists, medical facilities, and other civilian objects. It is also engaging in indiscriminate bombing that doesn’t distinguish between Hamas and the wider Palestinian population. The official death toll stands at over 22,000; of these, 8000 are children. These figures don’t include the people still buried under rubble that cannot be counted. Most of the population has been displaced. The UN Secretary General has made clear that “Nowhere is safe in Gaza” because of Israeli military action.
The Israeli assault on Gaza couldn’t happen without the bomb parts made in Brighton. Brighton and Hove City Council’s Constitution says that all decisions “will be made in accordance with respect for human rights”. Our city is a City of Sanctuary, offering refuge and extending solidarity to those forced to leave their homelands. On these grounds, I object in the strongest possible terms to the planning application. I ask that the Planning Committee meet to discuss L3 Harris’ planning application and reject it; and that the Committee examine the legal implications of knowingly allowing the supply of weapons parts made on its land that are destined for use in Gaza against international law. Please do not let a decision of this importance be a delegated officer decision.
Email your objection to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Submit your objection via the Council Website (Deadline Jan 17th):
- Go to the Council Planning portal and click on “Comments”
- Log in or register. Fill in the required details (eg “Commenter” type – Member of the public; “Stance” – Object). You don’t have to tick any of the “Reason for comment” boxes.
- Fill in the “Comment” box using the template. The website shows the comments publicly (but doesn’t show your name), so do adapt the template to give it your own flavour.
- Press Submit.
- Ask 3 friends to object as well! The more objections we can register, the more likely we are to be able to get the Planning Committee to have to meet, and to increase the chances of getting the application rejected.
Read the Letter to Brighton Council:
‘Should Brighton and Hove City Council (BHCC) allow an arms company to profit from the murder of Palestinians? That’s what’s at stake with Planning Application BH2023/03236‘
L3 Harris is applying for retrospective planning permission to make permanent the temporary extension it built in 2018 at the Home Farm Business Centre. Who are L3 Harris and why should Brightonians care?
L3Harris Release and Integration Solution Ltd is one of the world’s largest arms companies. Its headquarters are in the USA. In 2022 it made US$12.6bn of revenue from selling weapons. It has factories across the USA, Canada, Australia and the UK – including in Brighton. It isn’t a small local Brighton company. It’s part of a major multinational conglomerate which produces arms.
L3 Harris Brighton makes bomb racks and bomb release mechanisms. These are being used by the Israeli Air Force in its assault on Gaza. They have also been used in previous violent attacks on Palestinians.
The bombs are dropped by F-16 and F-35 planes. The components made in Brighton are sold to both Israel and the USA. Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest arms company, puts them into the weapons they send on to Israel. Without these components, the bombs can’t be dropped.
The Israeli assault on Gaza violates the basic principles of International Humanitarian Law. This Law requires that attacks discriminate between military and civilian targets and are proportionate.
Israel is deliberately targeting journalists, medical facilities and other civilian spaces. Israel is also bombing indiscriminately, without distinguishing between Hamas and the wider Palestinian population. The official death toll stands at over 22,000. Of these, 8000 are children. This doesn’t include the people still buried under rubble who cannot be counted. Most of the population has been displaced.
The Israeli assault on Gaza couldn’t happen without the bomb parts made in Brighton. So we say No to the presence of L3 Harris in our city.
In their application for planning permission, L3 say there are economic, social and environmental benefits to what they do. We beg to differ. Economically, arms companies are heavily subsidised by the government. The government pays the bulk of their research and development costs, as well as guaranteeing to buy their products.
Latest employment figures indicate that L3 Harris Brighton employs 143 people. Are 143 jobs worth the lives of tens of thousands of Palestinians? Brighton residents should have the right to decent, meaningful work. We want to see this factory make something socially useful, not destructive.
Socially, the government says it wants to support strong, vibrant and healthy communities. Our community includes Palestinians, and we stand in solidarity with them. There have been repeated calls for an arms embargo on Israel because of its occupation and mistreatment of the Palestinians. Legal cases have been brought in several countries against the arming of Israel. South Africa has begun proceedings against Israel in the International Court of Justice for violations of the Genocide Convention.
BHCC’s Constitution says that all decisions “will be made in accordance with respect for human rights”. The Council is proud of the city’s status as a City of Sanctuary. Do they want to risk being on the wrong side of history?
L3 says that its planning application will result in improved environmental performance. It refers to the Council’s declaration of a climate emergency. This is disingenuous. Militaries and arms corporations are key players in the contamination and destruction of ecosystems around the world. They are a major contributor to the climate emergency. BHCC should not support them.
BHCC must not allow weapon components which are destined for use in Gaza against international law, to be made in Brighton.
We call on the BHCC Planning Committee to reject Planning Application BH2023/03236.
You can email your objection to: email@example.com