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Solidarity with the Raytheon Nine
Raytheon Company, based in Waltham, Massachusetts, is a leading U.S. military contractor. With annual revenues of over $20 billion, 90 percent from defense contracts, Raytheon is the worlds third largest missile manufacturer.
In 1999 Raytheon opened an office in Derry City, Northern Ireland. Ironically, Raytheon was brought to Derry during the Northern Ireland peace process by Nationalist and Unionist politicians and was paraded as an example of what the peace dividend would gain for a population with some of the highest unemployment rates in Europe. Eventually, Raytheon created only around 40 jobs. Nevertheless, local politicians despite Raytheons complicity in Bush and Blairs war crimeshave balked at forcing the company out for fear that U.S. investors would be sent the wrong message.
In August 2006, disgusted by Israels U.S.-backed invasion of Lebanon, antiwar activists in Derry protested, occupied, and decommissioned the Raytheon facility there. Now, nine members of the Derry Anti-war Coalition (DAWC) who participated in the occupation face jail sentences.
Eamonn McCann, one of the Raytheon 9, is a founder of the 1960s civil rights movement in Northern Ireland, author of several books, including War and an Irish Town, columnist for numerous publications in Ireland, chair of the Bloody Sunday Trust, member of the Socialist Workers Party, and former candidate for the Socialist Environmental Alliance in Northern Irelands recent National Assembly elections. McCann explains why Raytheon was targeted: Every day brought reports of Israeli attacks, allegedly on Hizbollah positions, but, as was clear from the news footage, bringing death and agony to terrified civilians. McCann says a DAWC meeting voted to picket the Raytheon plant on August 9 and, if possible, to occupy and to decommission the premises.... In the event, nine of us managed to gain entry. Computers and papers were hurled from the windows. The mainframe was disabled.
Recently, evidence surfaced that Raytheon products had indeed been used in the Qana, Lebanon killings. The evidence also shows a close-up of the fuselage of a bomb retrieved from the Qana carnage. The markings identify a Raytheon MK-84 guided bomb unit BSU-37/B. Mc Cann remarks: If the Raytheon 9 are branded criminals then we are being asked to accept that it is a crime to occupy the office of an arms company, but not a crime to occupy a country; that it is a crime to drop computers from an office window, but not a crime to drop missiles on innocent people. The Raytheon 9 will face the court as the accusers of Raytheon, not the accused, and will use the trial to highlight the war crimes of the U.S. and UK governments.
Colm Bryce, also of the Raytheon 9 and the Derry Antiwar Coalition, says: Weve been protesting Raytheon since it came here in 1999. They said they werent doing any military work. However, former employees have told us they were doing military work. At the height of the Lebanese war we found out that U.S. cargo planes were rushing bombs to Israel. We felt this sort of thing is happening all the time. Just like the U.S. military uses Shannon airport here in Ireland to transport troops to Iraq. It felt unbearable. This is not about us. This is about whats going on in Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan day in and day out. We want to put Raytheon and the war on trial.
Larry Kirwan, a leader of Black 47an Irish rock band from New York Citysays that his group has spoken out against the War in Iraq since it was a mere gleam in the eyes of Messrs. Bush and Cheney. Many of our fans in the service are now suffering the consequences of this ill-advised invasion. The Raytheon 9 are not criminal, they are merely focusing attention on this current Administrations failed Middle Eastern policies. Had the millions of us in the U.S. who saw through Bush/ Cheneys lies engaged in similar non-violent activities, we would not be in dire position we find ourselves in Iraq today.
The Raytheon 9 have received support from throughout Ireland and across the world. Among those who have signed the statement of support are Noam Chomsky, Mark Thomas, Christy Moore, George Galloway MP, Salma Yaqoob (Stop the War Coalition UK) Ibrahim Mousawi (Lebanon), Caoimhe Butterly, Richard Boyd Barrett (Irish Anti-War Movement), and many others.
Sandy Boyer co-hosts WBAIs Radio Free Eireann and has led campaigns to free Irish political prisoners. He has contributed articles on the Irish struggle to publications in Ireland and the U.S. including New Politics and The Blanket. Shaun Harkin is a regular contributor to the Socialist Worker and the International Socialist Review.
Z Magazine Archive
CUBAN 5 - From May 30 to June 5, supporters of the Cuban 5 will gather in Washington DC to raise awareness about the case and to demand a humanitarian solution that will allow the return of these men to their homeland.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com.
BIKES - Bikes Not Bombs is holding its 24th annual Bike- A-Thon and Green Roots Festival in Boston, MA on June 3, with several bike rides, music, exhibitors, and more.
Contact: Bikes Not Bombs, 284 Amory St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130; 617-522-0222; mailbikesnotbombs.org; www.bikesnotbombs.org.
LEFT FORUM - The 2013 Left Forum will be held June 7-9, at Pace University in NYC.
Contact: 365 Fifth Avenue, CUNY Graduate Center, Sociology Dept., New York, NY 10016; http://www.leftforum.org/.
VEGAN FEST - Mad City Vegan Fest will be held in Madison, WI, June 8. The annual event features food, speakers, and exhibitors.
Contact: 122 State Street, Suite 405 B, Madison, WI 53701; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://veganfest.org/.
ADC CONFERENCE - The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) holds its annual conference June 13-16 in Washington, DC, with panel discussions and workshops.
Contact: 1990 M Street, Suite 610, Washington, DC, 20036; 202-244-2990; convention @adc. org http://convention.adc.org/.
CUBA/SOCIALISM - A Cuban-North American Dialog on Socialist Renewal and Global Capitalist Crisis will be held in Havana, Cuba, June 16-30. There will be a 5-day Seminar at the University of Havana, plus visits to a co-op and educational and medical institutions.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.globaljustice center.org/.
NETROOTS - The 8th Annual Netroots Nation conference will take place June 20-23 in San Jose, CA. The event features panels, trainings, networking, screenings, and keynotes.
Contact: 164 Robles Way, #276, Vallejo, CA 94591; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.netrootsnation.org/.
MEDIA - The 15th annual Allied Media Conference will be held June 20-23, in Detroit.
Contact: 4126 Third Street, Detroit, MI 48201; http://alliedmedia.org/.
GRASSROOTS - The United We Stand Festival will be hosted by Free & Equal, June 22 in Little Rock, Arkansas. The festival aims to reform the electoral process in the U.S.
LITERACY - The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) will hold its conference July 12-13 in Los Angeles.
Contact: 10 Laurel Hill Drive, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003; http://namle.net/conference/.
IWW - The North American Work People’s College will take place July 12-16 at Mesaba Co-op Park in northern Minnesota. The event will bring together Wobblies from across the continent to learn skills and build one big union.
PEACESTOCK - On July 13, the 11th Annual Peacestock will take place at Windbeam Farm in Hager City, WI. The event is a mixture of music, speakers, and community for peace. Sponsored by Veterans for Peace.
Contact: Bill Habedank, 1913 Grandview Ave., Red Wing, MN 55066; 651-388-7733; email@example.com; http://www. peacestockvfp.org.
LA RAZA - The annual National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Conference is scheduled for July 18-19 in New Orleans, with workshops, presentations, and panel discussions.
Contact: NCLR Headquarters Office, Raul Yzaguirre Building, 1126 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036; 202-785-1670; www.nclr.org.
ACTIVIST CAMP - Youth Empowered Action (YEA) Camp will have sessions in July and August in Ben Lomond, CA; Portland, OR; Charlton, MA. YEA Camp is designed for activists 12-17 years old who want to make a difference.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://yeacamp.org/.