Independent Media Centre Ireland


category international | anti-war / imperialism | news report author Tuesday June 24, 2003 12:19author by FEIC - see youse at the Grassroots Gatheringauthor email feicmail at yahoo dot ie

Raytheon refuses City Council invitation to account for their activities

Following the Foyle Ethical Investment Campaign's (FEIC's) success is getting Derry City Council to hold a special session at which FEIC and Raytheon would present their case, it has emerged that Raytheon have refused to come.

The Foyle Ethical Investment Campaign (FEIC) has discovered that Raytheon has refused the invitation from Derry City Council to attend a Special Council Meeting along with representatives of FEIC. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the exact nature of Raytheon’s work in Derry. The invitation reflected widespread public concern in Derry regarding the relationship between work in the Derry plant and the extensive use of Raytheon weaponry in the illegal war in Iraq. Derry City Council voted to oppose that war. As international concern increases at the absence of any evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq – these, of course, provided the pretext for the war – arms manufacturers who benefited from the war are reluctant to defend their activities in any democratic or public forum.

FEIC spokesperson Jim Keys said.

“No to war means no to Raytheon and we are not surprised that Raytheon has declined an invitation to come and discuss the nature of their work in Derry given that our city council opposed the war in Iraq. Let’s be in no doubt, this is the company that makes the Tomahawk Cruise Missiles that rained down death in market places, hospitals, and homes during that illegal war against the Iraqi people. It is the company that makes the thousands of cluster bombs that still litter Iraq awaiting new victims. It is the same company that set up in Derry as a result of winning an £800 million ASTOR contract for the British MOD and the same company who claimed they were unable to discuss what they do in Derry because the British Ministry of Defence told them not to. ”

Local human rights activist Angela Hegarty said:

“We don’t expect any better from Raytheon, but we can now expect more from our city council. If Raytheon wants to snub local democracy that is a matter for them. We look forward to putting our compelling case against their shadowy presence in our city at the Special Council Meeting. Our civic leaders must join with other Derry citizens like ourselves and ask the simple question, “What have Raytheon got to hide?”

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