PEACE campaigners are set to carry out a vigil at the Ferranti Technologies Ltd (FTL) site in Waterhead on Friday (October 9).

The Oldham Peace and Justice Group will gather outside the gates of the factory in Greenacres Road offices of the Israeli-owned company from 12noon.

The vigil is one of several which have taken place in the last 18 months. Protesters claim Ferranti is a major supplier of weapons and military systems used against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Leaders of the group have also written written to Oldham Council's Labour leader Sean Fielding to register their objection to Ferranti's continued presence in the town.

In press release for the media, Caroline Bedale and Jacqui Greenfield, from the group said: "One of the main purposes of setting up the Oldham Peace and Justice Group was to call for the end of the two-way arms trade in weapons and technology between the UK and Israel.

"As FTL plays a major part in this two-way arms trade, we object to its presence in Oldham, seek its closure or call for its production to move to environmental and renewable manufacturing instead of arms.

"The letter to Cllr Fielding provides detail about Israel’s human rights abuses against Palestinians, the weapons and military2 systems traded between Elbit Systems Ltd and the Israeli Defence Forces using FTL as a 'shopfront' for Elbit Systems Ltd. It is not just a case of exporting to Israel but also buying from Israel as long as it appears to be made in Oldham - current contracts which FTL supplies, the extent of export licences for FTL products to Israel."

"Oldham Peace and Justice Group believes that arms manufacturing by FTL should be closed down in Oldham and the workforce’s skills and the equipment and technology should be converted to producing environmentally and socially useful products, for example, to combat climate change."

The Oldham Times has contacted FLT for comment.

In July, 2019 protesters scaled the fire-storey high roof of the Ferranti factory.

They were activists from the Manchester Palestine Action Group, Oldham Peace and Justice, Manchester and District Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Manchester Jewish Action for Palestine and Manchester Campaign Against the Arms Trade returned to the site on Monday (August 5) for a follow-up demonstration.