Picket for Palestine continues

Protesters outside of HTA in Campbellfield on Monday, April 8. (supplied)

Gerald Lynch

At the crack of dawn when most locals are asleep, pro-Palestinian protestors have been picketing and stopping work at the Heat Treatment Australia (HTA) facility in Campbellfield.

At 5am on Monday, April 8, Pro-Palestinian activists set up shop for a 13th day outside the HTA location.

According to a group calling itself Hume for Palestine, Heat Treatment Australia is part of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Global Supply Chain, undertaking metallurgical processing of components in partnership with Lockheed Martin.

The group claims that the community pickets, established by local organisers and maintained for 10 consecutive weeks, are part of an international solidarity movement of direct action targeting weapons manufacturers that are suspected of supplying weapons and intelligence to Israel as its conflict with Hamas in Gaza enters its seventh month.

In a press release, Hume for Palestine said “Targeted grassroots direct action against companies that are subcontracted to manufacture for the F-35 JSF Global Supply Chain cause significant economic disruption to these supply chains and sends a clear and direct message to the Australian Government that funding and bolstering these companies solidifies the government’s complicity in the ongoing genocide in Gaza”.

The group has committed to continue picketing until HTA publicly ends its contracts with Lockheed Martin and other weapons suppliers.

The group wants HTA’s manufacturing capabilities to be redirected for domestic purposes that are not aligned with defense.

Mohammad Helmy, a member of Hume for Palestine, said he is proud of the group’s action, but concedes there is still a way to go.

“For the tenth week in a row we picket in front of HTA with the aim of shutting down their weapons export. This is part of the national and global anti-genocide and anti-war movement seeking to see Palestinians free,” he said.

“This is a long battle but the tides are turning and politicians need to stand on the right side of history before they become legally complicit.”

Hume council said it already made clear its position in relation to the conflict in Gaza at the December 18 council meeting, in which the council joined in calls for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire and demanded the immediate and unconditional release of all innocent civilian hostages.

Council said it could not comment on HTA Global as it is a private company.

HTA refused to comment when contacted by Star Weekly.

The department of defence was contacted for comment.