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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
HUMAN RIGHTS - The U.S. Human Rights Network will celebrate its 10th anniversary with the Advancing Human Rights 2013 Conference, December 6-8, in Atlanta, GA.
Contact: 250 Georgia Avenue SE, Suite 330, Atlanta, GA 30312; firstname.lastname@example.org; http:// www.ushrnetwork.org/.
AFRICAN/SOCIALIST - The Sixth Congress of the African People’s Socialist Party USA will be held December 7-11, in St. Petersburg, FL.
Contact: 1245 18th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33705; 727- 821-6620; info@aps puhuru.org; http://asiuhuru.org/.
SCHOOLS - The Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC) will host a workshop on the DSC “Model Code on Education and Dignity: Presenting A Human Rights Framework for Schools” at the Mid-Hudson Region NY State Leadership Summit on School Justice Partnerships, December 11 in White Plains, NY.
Contact: http://www.dignityin schools.org/.
ANARCHIST/BOOKFAIR - The Humboldt Anarchist Book Fair will be held December 14, in Eureka, CA.
Contact: humboldtgrassroots @riseup.net; http://humbold tanarchist bookfair.wordpress. com/.
CLIMATE - The World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities is hosting a follow-up event to the 2012 Rio de Janeiro symposium. The gathering will be held in Qatar on January 28-30, 2014.
Contact: http://environment.tufts. edu/.
LABOR - The United Association for Labor Education (UALE) will host Organizing for Power: A New Labor Movement for the New Working Class in Los Angeles, March 26-29. Proposals are due December 15.
Contact: LAWCHA, 226 Carr Building (East Campus), Box 90719, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0719;lawcha @duke. edu; http://lawcha.org/.
MEDIA FELLOWSHIP - The Media Mobilizing Project is seeking applicants for the first annual Movement Media Fellowship Program. The Fellow will work with MMP to produce the spring season of Media Mobilizing Project TV. MMPTV is a news and talk show that tells the stories of local communities organizing to win human rights and build a movement to end poverty.
Contact: 4233 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104; 215-821- 9632; milena@media mobilizing.org; http://www.media mobilizing.org/.
RACE - The 7th Facing Race: A National Conference will be held in Dallas, TX November 13-15, 2014. Organizers, educators, artists, funders and everyone interested in racial equity is invited to exchange best practices and learn about innovative models and successful organizing initiatives. Proposals must be submitted by January 24, 2014.
Contact: Race Forward, 32 Broadway, Suite 1801, New York, NY 10004; 212-513-7925; media @raceforward.org; http://race forward.org/.
VETERANS - They Were Soldiers: How the Wounded Return from America’s Wars - The Untold Story, by Ann Jones, is about the journey of veterans from the moment of being wounded in rural Afghanistan to their return home.
Contact: Haymarket Books, PO Box 180165, Chicago, IL 60618; 773-583-7884; http://www.haymarketbooks.org/.
LIBYA - Destroying Libya and World Order: The Three-Decade U.S. Campaign to Terminate the Qaddafi Revolution, by Francis A. Boyle, is a history and critique of American foreign policy from Reagan to Obama.
Contact: Clarity Press, Inc., Ste. 469, 3277 Roswell Rd. NE, Atlanta, GE 30305; 404-647-6501; email@example.com; http://www. claritypress.com/.
CHILDREN - Fannie and Freddie by Becky Z. Dernbach is about two bumbling villains who gamble away the savings of the people of Homeville.
Contact: fannieandfreddiebook @gmail.com; http://fannieand freddie.org/.
PROTEST/COMIC - Fight the Power!: A Visual History of Protest Among English Speaking Peoples, by Sean Michael Wilson and Benjamin Dickson is a graphic narrative that explains how people have fought against oppression.
Contact: Seven Stories Press, 140 Watts Street, New York, NY 10013; 212-226-8760; info@ sevenstories.com; http://www. sevenstories.com.
CHILDREN - Brave Girl by Michelle Markel and illustrated by Melissa Sweet is the true story of Clara Lemlich, a young Ukrainian immigrant who led the largest strike of women workers in U.S. history.
Contact: http://www.harpercollins childrens.com/Kids/.
FESTIVAL - The 2014 Queer Women of Color Film Festival will be held June 13-15 in San Francisco. The festival is currently accepting submissions until December 31.
Contact: QWOCMAP, 59 Cook Street, San Francisco, CA 94118-3310; 415-752-0868; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.qwocmap.org/.
IRAQ/REFUGEES - Ten years after the U.S.-led war in Iraq, thousands of displaced Iraqi refugees are still facing a crisis in the United States. The Lost Dream follows Nazar and Salam who had to flee Iraq in order to avoid threats by Al- Qaeda-affiliated groups and Iraqi insurgents that consider them “traitors” for supporting U.S. forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Contact: Typecast Films, 888- 591-3456; info@type castfilms. com; http://type castfilms.com/.
HUMAN RIGHTS - Lyrical Revolt! III will be held December 4 in Syracuse, NY. The event will feature hip-hop musician Anhel whose album Young, Gifted, and Brown was just released. The event is sponsored by ANSWER Syracuse, Liberation News, and SyracuseHip Hop.com. Performers and artists are encouraged to send submissions.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.answercoalition.org/syracuse/.
FOLK - Musician Painless Parker has released his album Music for miscreants, malcontents and misanthropes featuring “Fuck Yeah, the Working Class.”
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://painlessparkermusic.com/.
COMEDY - Political comedian Lee Camp’s new album Pepper Spray the Tears Away has been released.