Child Disney Star Among Three Protesters Arrested for Vandalizing Israeli Defense Company
The anti-Israeli group behind the efforts is also pushing a ‘target list’ to shut down other Elbit Systems locations throughout the country.
A child Disney star is among three anti-Israel protesters arrested Tuesday morning for vandalizing a New Hampshire office of an Israeli defense contractor, Elbit Systems.
Footage of the incident on Monday shows protesters targeting and vandalizing the building, pouring red paint over it and holding flares above the roof.
The incident is “still being investigated with the help of the FBI,” the deputy chief of the Merrimack Police Department, Matthew Tarleton, tells the Sun. The three arrested protesters will be arraigned Tuesday afternoon at the Hillsborough Superior Court, he says.
The protesters — identified as Sophie Marika Ross, Calla Mairead Walsh, and Bridget Irene Shergalis — are being held on charges including riot, sabotage, and criminal trespass.
Ms. Shergalis, who was not available for comment as she is still being held, is an actress known for her role in Disney’s “So Random!” sitcom television series, which is a spin-off of “Sonny with a Chance.”
Another arrested protester, Ms. Walsh, has called for direct action against Israeli defense companies repeatedly in the past, and her X account shows videos of her being tear-gassed in an anti-police protest at Atlanta and arrested during another anti-Israel protest at Cambridge.
“Our tactics must directly confront and materially impede imperialism, as the Palestinian resistance has called us to do,” she wrote. “We are not politely asking the U.S. ruling class to stop sending weapons to the Zionist occupation with which all their material interests align; rather, we are saying, WE WILL stop these weapons from being produced and sent to Israel, and we dare the powers that be to stop us.”
The incident was organized by Palestine Action U.S., which describes itself as “direct action network dismantling Elbit Systems and the Zionist war machine.”
“We’re a direct action network targeting Elbit Systems, their U.S. chapters specifically,” one protester at the event, Fergie Chambers, told a local ABC affiliate. “They are Israel’s largest weapons supplier — 85 percent of the drones being used in Gaza right now are produced by this company. This location here in Merrimack, New Hampshire, produces display systems for fighter jets.”
Palestine Action U.S. says the three arrested protesters were victims of “political targeting.”
“As of now, our 3 comrades have been handed a slew of trumped-up charges, & are being held on preventative detention without bail or a hearing,” the group wrote on X. “Even with the phony charges, there is no precedent for thai in the ‘Free State of New Hampshire.’”
“As millions in Gaza stand to spend the week under tarps w out food, water, medical care, 3 Actionists are accused of taking practical steps to remediate their suffering,” the group also wrote. “They should not be locked up for this; they should be celebrated.”
The group has also been calling for “direct action” to shut down Elbit systems and subsidiaries across the country, publishing a “target list,” which includes locations at Cambridge, Philadelphia, Manhattan, Washington, D.C., and others.
Elbit Systems did not immediately respond to a request by the Sun for comment.
The vandalism has stirred criticism from both Republicans and Democrats, with Governor Sununu saying that New Hampshire stands with “Israel and with Elbit Systems of America” and will not tolerate antisemitism and hate.
A representative of the office of New Hampshire’s Attorney General did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A representative of Disney did not immediately respond to request for comment on Ms. Shergalis’s role in the incident.