Anti-Israel protesters shut down the road leading from Daniel Webster Highway to Elbit Systems of America for nearly five hours Friday morning, resulting in eight arrests and frustration for employees trying to get to work.

Friday’s protest marked the latest disruption targeting Elbit Systems, an Israeli-based defense contractor, by anti-Israel protesters.

Merrimack Police arrived on the scene just after 6 a.m. and reported finding two protesters chained to a car blocking the entrance with one person chained inside the vehicle. Four more chained themselves to cement and metal-filled tires.

An anti-Israel protester at Elbit Systems in Merrimack, N.H., on March 22, 2024
(CREDIT: Jeffrey Hastings)

Merrimack Police Chief Brian Levesque said protestors blocking the entrance prevented employees and emergency personnel from entering the property.

Two people attached to the car had cut holes in the doors of the vehicle, placed their arms through the holes, and chained themselves. One person in the car had what was described as multiple restraints and chains preventing her from being removed.

Authorities reportedly needed chainsaws to cut the restraints. Levesque said more than 70 first responders, including a state police bomb squad, reported to the scene.

Levesque added that the identities of the arrested protesters and the charges they are facing will be released when they are processed.

The pro-Palestine group posted video footage of the protest on social media. Demonstrators could be seen chained to tires in addition to a car parked at the company’s security checkpoint.

“Why are the police here defending the capitalists?” one protester could be heard shouting at law enforcement called to the scene. “Why aren’t the police defending the people? Is it because the police are paid by the capitalists?”

Another protester claimed police removed the shoe of one demonstrator in an apparent effort to free her from her restraints.

“I have your assault on camera,” claimed another protester, who complained about police “using their cars to block” the sightline of the blockade.

Anti-Israel protesters at Elbit Systems in Merrimack, N.H., on March 22, 2024
(CREDIT: Jeffrey Hastings)

An employee was later observed on camera “trying to get into their genocidal workplace,” in the words of one protester.

“How does it feel building arms for genocide?” another protester asked.

The eight suspects are all from out of state: Bruce Gagnon, 71, Brunswick ME; Yusef Ebrahim, 27, Portland ME; Mark Roman, 76, Solon, ME; Yennifer Fish, 35, Westbrook, ME; Janet Mathison, 32, Crestline CA; Yunzhu Pan, 23, Somerville MA; Paige Thomas, 30, Biddeford ME; and Paige Milligan, 34, Portland ME.

In a statement Friday, Elbit Systems thanked local law enforcement for their actions.

“More than 650 employees work at Elbit America’s Merrimack site providing a variety of defense, commercial aviation, and medical instrumentation solutions in large part to American customers from the U.S. government to local health providers,” the statement read. “While we support the rights of protesters to peacefully express their views, we also take the safety and well-being of our employees extremely seriously and we greatly appreciate the work today of local public officials to ensure safety for all.”

Elbit Systems’ Merrimack facility was first targeted by far-left pro-Palestine activists in November. The protest occurred just a month after Hamas terrorists swarmed into Israel and committed the deadliest attack on Jews since the Holocaust.

The Nov. 20 incident at Elbit Systems resulted in the arrests of three pro-Palestinian activists who now face charges for vandalizing the building. A Merrimack Police Department statement said officers “discovered the front of the building had been spray painted with red paint, windows had been smashed, and at least one of the main lobby doors had been locked shut via a bicycle anti-theft device.”

Massachusetts residents Calla Walsh, 19, Bridget Shergalis, 27, and Sophie Ross, 22, were charged with criminal trespass, riot, and sabotage. The three were found on the roof of the building armed with spray paint and incendiary devices in the November protest.

Walsh and Ross were issued $20,000 cash bail due to previous arrests. Shergalis was given $5,000 bail.

A fourth was charged in connection with the vandalism in January.

That incident occurred after another Elbit Systems location was targeted in Cambridge, Mass., just a week after Hamas’ deadly Oct. 7 invasion.

“The antisemitism, hate, and significant damage protesters brought to Elbit America’s campus this morning has no place in our state and will not be tolerated,” Gov. Chris Sununu said in the aftermath of the Nov. 20 attack.

The previous protests were organized by the antisemitic organization Palestine Action. But Lisa Savage, a spokesperson for the protesters who gathered at Elbit on Friday, said they were not affiliated with that group, the Union Leader reported.

The social media account that posted footage of Friday’s protest claimed the felony charges filed in connection with the Nov. 20 incident “did not scare others from taking action against the genocide profiteer.”

BDS of Boston posted on social media that “Elbit and New Hampshire’s racist politicians thought they’d scare people with the trumped up charges they brought against the 3 activists that targeted Elbit in NH last November.

“They were dead wrong. Our people will never stop shutting this genocidal company down.”

BDS stands for “Boycott, Divest, and Sanction.” The Anti-Defamation League has issued a statement declaring that “many of the founding goals of the BDS movement, which effectively reject or ignore the Jewish people’s right of self-determination, or that if implemented, would result in the eradication of the world’s only Jewish state, are antisemitic.”

In a Substack post, Savage claims protesters suffered “broken bones and dislocated shoulders” at the hands of police and first responders. And, she posted, there’s another protest planned for the Elbit facility in Cambridge, Mass. on Tuesday.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article has been updated to include the names of the suspects and the total number arrested.