Delivering names of the dead to the arms dealers

For the second time in two weeks, members of Bristol’s public were invited to meet in an outdoor space and write names of the dead in Gaza onto long banners. On the 18th February, at College Green, more than 4,000 names of children had been written onto banners stretching to over 100m. A week later, on the 24th February, another crowd assembled at Castle Park to add the names of adults killed to the list. 

About 50 people then walked the banners up to Elbit Systems, an Israeli arms company based in Filton. Along the 5 mile walk, they distributed leaflets explaining the role Elbit is playing in the current slaughter. The leaflet listed the bombs made by Elbit, the drones used for targeting and surveillance, and other parts which are manufactured at the Bristol site, also known to be being used by the Israeli military. 

The walkers were met by a crowd at Elbit Systems, including small children writing message such as ‘Don’t I deserve a life’ and ‘I just want to grow up’ in chalk on the ground.  Nick Bilborough, from the Hands Up Project, which works with children in Gaza, read out a poem written by a child in Gaza who was killed with her whole family, early on in the war. This is her poem: 

Eyes are for looking

And seeing sun

Tongues are for greeting

And saying fun

Legs are for walking slowly

And also run

Hands are for shaking with friends

Not for shooting gun

Fatema Saidam, 9 years old

The group tried to deliver a bag of letters containing names of the dead to the CEO of Elbit Systems, Martin Fausset, to remind him that the weapons made by his company had resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands. But the security guards refused to accept the delivery. In the end, protesters tipped the letters onto the ground, and threw them or posted them individually through the factory gates. 

The event was organised by Naming the Dead, a Bristol based organisation, and BPA (Bristol Palestine Alliance).  Elsie, from Naming the Dead, said that 

We will go on recording the names of those murdered in Gaza as a mark of respect for the tens of thousands of individuals whose lives have been cut short. We want to remind those responsible for the massacre that these are human beings, not numbers. 

Elbit Systems is one of the main providers of weapons to the Israeli military. We find it astonishing and deeply shaming that 2 of its 10 UK sites are based in Bristol, and that the British government has not deemed it necessary to halt all export licences from this company to Israel. We never thought we would live through a genocide armed by companies on our doorstep”. 

More photos are available at

Notes for editors: 

1.    The next Naming the Dead event will be on Saturday 2nd March, when a mass rally will assemble at Elbit Systems. See BPA site for details:

2.    Naming the Dead is a newly formed Bristol based organisation which aims to honour the individuals killed in Israel’s slaughter of Palestinians. The organisation’s website is currently being set up, but will be available at

3.    The Hands Up Project is a charity trust which connects children around the world with young people in Palestine  

4.    Elbit Systems is Israel’s largest weapons company. The Israeli military is using Elbit’s MPR range of bombs to attack Gaza, its drones for targeting and surveillance, and other Elbit technologies are integrated into the army’s fighter aircraft, tanks and warships. Elbit advertises its equipment as having been “battle-tested” in Gaza and the West Bank 

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