Pro-Palestine Activists Attempt to Block Workers from Entering Arms Manufacturer in Charlotte

Charlotte, NC — Charlotte activists joined a global movement on April 15 to create an economic blockade in support of Palestine at “major chokepoints,” modeled off recent blockades in Oakland, California and Melbourne, Australia.

Early Monday morning, activists put paint and screws in the driveway to the Northrop Grumman parking lot in South Charlotte and attached bike locks to the gate to prevent personnel from entering the property.

Paint and screws were placed on the driveway of the entrance to weapons manufacturer Northrup Grumman in Charlotte, North Carolina as part of the global A15 Action in support of Palestine. Image contributed by Kylie Marsh.

Northrop Grumman is the fourth-largest defense contractor in the world. Synoptics, a subsidiary, is located at the South Charlotte facility. It manufactures laser materials and components. Investigate, a website from the American Friends Service Committee, reports that Northrop Grumman manufactures weapons used by the Israeli military against Palestinians.

A decentralized collective, self-named A15 Action, made the call for an international economic blockade in opposition to the Israeli genocide of Palestinians.

“There is a need to shift from symbolic actions to those that cause pain to the economy,” its website states. Similar actions are taking place throughout the day in cities in Australia, South Africa, Canada, Taiwan, Vietnam, Colombia, Greece, Spain, South Korea, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Minneapolis and many others.

Around 8 a.m., activists gathered outside of Northrup Grumman to protest the facility, holding a large banner reading “Northrop Grumman has blood on their hands,” and other pro-Palestine slogans. The local collective Charlotte Uprising posted video and photos on their Instagram page.

“The importance of this action is to disrupt business as usual while raising the political consciousness of working-class people in Charlotte,” one anonymous activist reported. “We are complicit in the genocide if we don’t take action from wherever we can.”

The protesters reported that the workers at this facility are mostly temporary workers, so “their jobs aren’t guaranteed.”

“I can understand how our protests can be perceived as anti-worker, but these are people that are making the conscious choice of going to work at this factory to develop weapons for Israel. I can make the same argument that being a cop is a choice of employment,” another activist said. 

Related: Amazon Blocked, Wells Fargo Windows Smashed on Day of Action for Palestine in Minnesota

Northrup Grumman has faced protests across the country since the war on Gaza. An early February action at a Northrup Grumman facility in a Twin Cities suburb featured a hard blockade of the driveway to the facility.

A participant locked down to barrels and later arrested said there were taking action “because the weapons that are being manufactured at this facility are being sold to empires around the world, including Israel, for genocide and violence. And knowing that these weapons are being produced right here in our communities in the heart of empire, we have a responsibility to stand up and take action.”

Northrup Grumman has not been alone in facing pro-Palestine protests. Activists in Philadelphia blocked weapons manufacturer Day & Zimmermann on March 28, where 120mm tank rounds for Merkava tanks employed by Israel’s occupation forces in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as 155mm artillery rounds are manufactured. They also protested near the Philadelphia headquarters office in a morning march on April 15.

As of April 14, at least 33,729 Palestinians have been reported killed by Israel with anywhere from 8,000 to 13,000 missing in the Gaza Strip since October 2023. The U.S.-backed war on Gaza has been widely called a genocide on the Palestinian people and has come in response to a Hamas-led attack on Israel on Oct. 7.

Read Unicorn Riot’s latest with media from Gaza, Ongoing War Crimes: Israel Targets Journalists, Aid Workers, Civilians in Gaza.

Cover image of protest on April 15 at Northrup Grumman contributed by Kylie Marsh.

For more from Palestine and pro-Palestine protests click on link below.

Follow us on X (aka Twitter), Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, Mastodon, Threads, BlueSky and Patreon.

Please consider a tax-deductible donation to help sustain our horizontally-organized, non-profit media organization: supportourworknew