3 arrested in New Hampshire for allegedly trespassing at Israel-based defense contractor

Two Massachusetts residents and a Connecticut resident were arrested Monday in New Hampshire for allegedly trespassing on and causing damage to the roof of an Israel-based defense company, police said as the incident drew condemnation from Gov. Chris Sununu.

Merrimack, New Hampshire police arrested Calla Walsh, 19, of Cambridge; Sophie Ross, 22, of Housatonic, and Bridget Shergalis, 27, of Dayville, Connecticut on the roof of a building used by Elbit Systems, which describes itself as a “high technology company” engaged in defense and homeland security. The company is headquartered in Haifa, Israel, according to its website.

Police said they received calls just before 8 a.m. from employees at Elbit Systems reporting protestors blocking the driveway and “multiple people believed to be on the roof.” The local fire department responded alongside police “due to a report of smoke coming from the roof.”

Protestors eventually left the driveway after they voiced “support for Palestine,” according to police.

“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,” police said in a statement. “Officers also confirmed that at least three people accessed the roof.”

Walsh, Ross, and Shergalis were all charged with riot, sabotage, criminal mischief, criminal trespass, and disorderly conduct. They were scheduled for arraignment Tuesday at 1 p.m., police said.

Sununu said he is “confident law enforcement will work to bring those responsible for this vile act of hate to swift justice.”

“The antisemitism, hate, and significant damage brought to Elbit America’s campus yesterday has no place in NH and will not be tolerated,” the New Hampshire Republican said on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

Walsh was also arrested late last month in Cambridge along with eight others outside another Elbit Systems building in Cambridge during a 200-person protest.

Walsh was largely credited in a May 2021 New York Times article with leading the so-called “Markeyverse,” a group of Generation-Z advocates who helped Markey defeat U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III in a 2020 Senate primary challenge.

New Hampshire state Rep. Maureen Mooney, a Republican from Merrimack, said police “acted swiftly” to stop the trio from “committing felonies” at Elbit Systems.

“These individuals published video recordings of their crimes in Merrimack on a pro-Palestine handle on X,” Mooney wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

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