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Derry City Council Rejects Arms Trade Investment

category derry | anti-war / imperialism | feature author Thursday January 08, 2004 17:57author by Peter Doran - Green Partyauthor email pfdoran at hotmail dot comauthor phone 028 90 87 42 56 Report this post to the editors

Council moves to adopt socially responsible inward investment policy


40604_2.JPGA special meeting of Derry City Council has adopted an unprecedented New Year resolution to introduce a 'policy of opposition to the city's economic participation in the international arms trade' and instead elaborate a policy of Socially Responsible Investment (SRI). The special meeting was convened at the request of the Foyle Ethical Investment Campaign (FEIC) to consider the role of the Raytheon corporation in the production and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The company -- one of the biggest defence companies in the world -- established a software development centre in Derry but claims that only civilian work is conducted there; a claim fiercely contested by members of FEIC at today's meeting. Production includes work on I-ORION, an information system that enables Raytheon to enhance its design, procurement and sales of armaments. A Green Party member of FEIC described the Special Council resolution as historic and a great source of pride and hope for arms trade activists in Derry and across the world. 'Derry can now retake its rightful place as a place of hope and solidarity, where peace and democracy are cherished for one and all.'

Reaction / Report from Foyle Ethical Investment Campaign

Background From Indymedia Archives
What are Raytheon hiding in Derry?
The Irish Arms Trade
Derry Walk against War and Weapons
Raytheon Derry: Significant Victory for Direct Action
Derry Direct Action Against Merchants of Death

Addendum
Irish Govt has ordered $12m worth of Anti-Tank Missiles from Raytheon/Lockheed Martin
FULL TEXT OF ARTICLE AS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON IMC NEWSWIRE

Derry City Council has received a delegation from the Foyle Ethical Investment Campaign, which has led a campaign to expose the reality behind Raytheon's Software Development Centre in Derry. FEIC activists have long held the view that Raytheon - one of the world biggest defence companies - has no place in Derry.

A special meeting of Derry City Council has adopted an unprecedented New Year resolution to introduce a 'policy of opposition to the city's economic participation in the international arms trade' and instead elaborate a policy of Socially Responsible Investment (SRI).

The special meeting was convened at the request of the Foyle Ethical Investment Campaign (FEIC) to consider role of the Raytheon corporation in the production and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The company - one of the biggest defence companies in the world- established a software development centre in Derry but claims that only civilian work is conducted there; a claim fiercely contested by members of FEIC at today's meeting. Production includes work on I-ORION, an information system that enables Raytheon to enhance its design, procurement and salesof armaments.

A Green Party member of FEIC described the Special Council resolution as historic and a great source of pride and hope for arms trade activists in Derry and across the world. 'Derry can now retake its rightful place as a place of hope and solidarity, where peace and democracy are cherished for one and all.'

In a poignant presentation, Richard Moore, founder of Children in Crossfire, described how he was blinded as a ten year old boy while making his way home from school in Creggan. He asked councillors to consider how the city would have responded if someone had proposed establishing a rubber bullet factory or a related plant in Derry during the 1970s. The meeting was also addressed by Green MEP, Patricia McKenna, a long-time supporter of FEIC.

Sinn Fein and SDLP councillors agreed a joint resolution in response to the FEIC presentation and campaign. The resolution includes the following commitments:

a. Derry City Council has a vision for a City in which all its citizens have pride, building on its proud traditions of civil rights, religious liberty, tolerance and nonviolence. Derry City Council believes this City ought to be known throughout the world as a centre of opposition to violence and human degradation....Our City should be set apart internationally by being marketed as abeacon for socially responsible investment.

b. Derry City Council opposes the arms trade, because it depends upon and promotes the continuation of war and instability and creates poverty and disaster, sucking in physical, human and intellectual resources into a vortex of violence.

c. Derry City Council resolves to elaborate and introduce a policy of opposition to the City's economic participation in the international arms trade. A copy of this resolution will be sent to the Chancellor of the University of Ulster and copied to the Provost of Magee University College.

d. Derry City Council resolves instead to elaborate and introduce a policy to create a climate that is conducive to socially responsible investment taking root.

e. Derry City Council further resolves to support and encourage initiatives which promote education about the effects of the international arms trade and greater understanding between people in the global north and the people of the global south, particularly amongst young people.

f. Derry City Council acknowledges that Raytheon's core business is the arms trade. Raytheon is an integral part of the international arms trade and Derry City Council wants no part of that trade here in this city. In particular we declare our opposition to the development or production of weapons or any software whose end use is a military application and if that is shown to be the case at Raytheon in Derry then Council will declare the firm to be unwelcome here.

author by Irish Republicanpublication date Thu Jan 08, 2004 03:12Report this post to the editors

Well, well. So why don't they hand over the rest of the weapons they've got tucked away so that the Stormont parliament can be resumed??

author by Badmanpublication date Thu Jan 08, 2004 03:27Report this post to the editors

To hear an "Irish Republican" sounding like a member of the DUP. Or could we have the privilege to see one of Big Ian and wee jeffrey's boys visiting indymedia!!!

author by long memorypublication date Thu Jan 08, 2004 09:47Report this post to the editors

that the SP were accusing SF some time ago of having some sort of currupt relationship with this particular company. Perhaps an apology might be in order.

author by Jonahpublication date Thu Jan 08, 2004 11:11Report this post to the editors

The SP don't do apologies. Nor do they recognise any work done by any organisation bigger than they are.

author by pcpublication date Thu Jan 08, 2004 13:20Report this post to the editors

surprised to hear that derry are taking on this resolution how did that come about?

and are thye going to stick to it, can derry councillors actually prevent their governemt from putting an arms plant in their town

author by Reggiepublication date Thu Jan 08, 2004 14:51Report this post to the editors

Has anybody got any idea what will happen if the council say raytheon are unwelcome in the city? Will they leave, do they have to leave or can they remain even though theyre not wanted?

author by feicer - poysonal capacitypublication date Thu Jan 08, 2004 19:14Report this post to the editors

I'm glad Peter Doran of the Green Party posted this but i don't like the GP spin.
It's bad enough the SDLP, SF & the SWP bagging their carpets with FEIC motifs, are the Green Party at it now too ?

pc: This came about thanks to years dogged hard work, research, collective anti-authoritarian decisionmaking, imaginative and creative direct action aimed at mobilising popular support and playing political parties and the media off against each other. How else?

author by Mr D - SApublication date Thu Jan 08, 2004 23:05Report this post to the editors

Does anyone know anything about chris horne, his links with harney/state boards, his links with baltimore ? missile guidance systems??

ID really really really like to know

also where did you get the poster?

author by FEICer - FEICpublication date Fri Jan 09, 2004 11:41Report this post to the editors

...not a poster. It's a graphic made by one of the FEICers who posts here on Indymedia. If you speak nice to him he might let you have another one...

I agree about the Green party political broadcast, which we didn't need. PD should have just posted the glad tidings as a FEIC result and left it at that. Pesky politicos...this was a victory for NON-PARTY political activity.

author by Jolly Green Giantpublication date Fri Jan 09, 2004 11:44Report this post to the editors

Probably have shares in Raytheon. Wouldnt surprise me after the Cuffe affair. Have all you Green Party Politicos checked your Share Portifolios lately?

author by Poonpublication date Fri Jan 09, 2004 16:14Report this post to the editors

Nice one fella's. I hope this will be the first of many such votes in local governments around the world. Congratulations to Derry for leading the way :-)

I'll certainly be trying to use this to gain support for the idea of trying something similar in my home town.

author by Tompublication date Fri Jan 09, 2004 17:07Report this post to the editors

Yes congratulations to moving us one step closer to the good old days of high level carpet bombing. Did you lot ever stop to think what will happen if the likes of Bush and other warmongers didn't have tomahawks and other precision weapons? Do you honestly believe it would stop them? Of course not, they'd just do what they did in Nam and bomb the hell out of everything and put all the civilian deaths down to collateral damage. We need to look beyond the Raytheons of this world and at toppling the likes of Bush and Blair - the people that actually start the wars. Look at the bigger picture people.

author by R Isiblepublication date Fri Jan 09, 2004 17:47Report this post to the editors

Are you talking about the laser-guided missiles which killed 408 men, women and children in a bunker in the first Assault on Iraq? http://www.commondreams.org/headlines02/1022-01.htm

Or are you talking about the precision state-of-the-art cruise missiles which blew up a pharmaceuticals factory in Sudan and probably caused the deaths of a large number of civilians unable to obtain drugs as a result? http://www.nowarcollective.com/sudan.htm

Or are you talking about the wonderful little JDAM weapons which were sprinkled around Afghanistan? "In order to be safe from a 2,000 lb bomb, a person need be close to one half kilometer away. Notwithstanding the GPS 'brain', these precision-guided bombs frequently struck off target. For example, a 2,000 lb JDAM bomb dropped from a B-52 should hit within 13 meters of its target, but on Tuesday, December 4th, it fell within 100 meters of U.S forces, killing three Americans, six anti-Taliban fighters, and wounding another 40. By mid-December after nine weeks of the air war, U.S forces had used up about one-half of their 10,000 JDAM bomb inventory and was ordering more." http://www.cursor.org/stories/civpertons.htm

Further you should note that although fewer civilians were killed per bomb dropped in Iraq than in Vietnam, Serbia or Afghanistan this can't be taken as a simple demonstration of the point because of differences in distribution of civilians, geography, presence of discrete fixed high-value targets etc. and it is hard to obtain reliable data from Iraq.

On a final point, you assume that military planners will use "humane" "precision guided" weapons whereas their duty and motivation in a war is to win, no matter what the cost in human lives and health. This point is born out by the use of cluster bomblets in both Afghanistan and Iraq II. http://www.rferl.org/nca/features/2003/12/15122003174940.asp and by the decision of US military planners to use the _cheaper_ GPS-guided JDAMs (which are only defined as "accurate" or "near precision" in Afghanistan instead of the laser-guided bombs used in Iraq (such as the one that blew up all those kiddies in the bunker) http://www.comw.org/pda/0201oef.html

author by R Isiblepublication date Fri Jan 09, 2004 17:53Report this post to the editors

One other thing Tom. Although I agree that Blair, Bush are the immediate cause the study of deaths-per-bomb that I cite above says that the Afghan/Serbian statistics are similar to the Vietnamese ones. so "they'd just do what they did in Nam and bomb the hell out of everything and put all the civilian deaths down to collateral damage" is sadly exactly what they're still up to and will continue to be up to as long as the capitalist state needs to use war.

author by IRSP Member - Irish Republican Socialist Partypublication date Fri Jan 09, 2004 21:33author email derryirsp at hotmail dot comauthor address PO Box 1981, Derry, IrelandReport this post to the editors

The statement issued by Derry City Council in relation to the Raytheon debate was a fudge according to DUP member Willie Hay.

That, ironically, is also the view of the IRSP in Derry who were part of the protest group at the Guildhall this week and were also involved earlier this year with FEIC in the direct action protest against the Raytheon plant when some of our members were forcibly removed from Raytheon by the RUC/PSNI.

While some of the sentiments raised in the Derry City Council statement are welcome they did refuse to outrightly comdemn Raytheon and they refused to call for Raytheon to leave this city.

The IRSP are of the belief that Raytheon should immediately close it’s operation in Derry and should be banned from operating in Ireland.

Our people should not be told to take these jobs because that is all that can be offered. There are better alternatives, alternatives that do not involve making tracking and guidance systems for use in Tomahawk and JDAM missles that are at present DELIBERATELY killing thousands of INNOCENT civilians every year.

Member of the IRSP, Derry

Related Link: http://www.angelfire.com/space/derryirsp
author by Question to IRSPpublication date Sat Jan 10, 2004 18:36Report this post to the editors

The IRSP call for the banning of Raytheon from Ireland. THis is a good position and is much better than the position taken by SF/SDLP/DUP/UUP. But what is the IRSP's position on the worlwide arms trade. It is not just a prblem in Ireland. It is an international problem and needs an international solution. What are their proposals for the international arms trade?

author by IRSP memberpublication date Sat Jan 10, 2004 22:03Report this post to the editors

The IRSP oppose Raytheon and others who are making arms and munitions for an imperialist war on innocent people. But the IRSP also support the rights of oppressed people to bear arms and to fight back against these imperialist oppressors. I think all socialists and peace loving people have this quandry.

But is it a quandry?

We oppose Raytheon because Raytheon is part of the oppression of the people of Afghanistan and Iraq and countless other countries. We support the Resistance fighters in Iraq and elsewhere who are fighting against an illegal occupation.

We would view Raytheon as being part of the US globalisation policy and that is given added weight by their production of WMDs for the US administration.

Getting rid of Raytheon would be a tiny victory in the fight against globalisation.

Don't know if this answers your question???

author by Stewiepublication date Mon Jan 12, 2004 18:04Report this post to the editors

IRSP Member. Do you know if the Raytheon facility in Derry actually makes guidance systems for tomahawk missiles? To date the general consesnus in the business community is that they produce commercial air traffic control software. Has anyone found out if they actually produce weapons in Derry and if so which ones. I doubt that the Irish Government would be too keen on banning raytheon from Ireland as they have just bought the raytheon produced javalin weapons system.

author by Aunty Plagiarismpublication date Mon Jan 12, 2004 19:24Report this post to the editors

Raytheon has never ruled out doing arms-trade work in Derry. In fact, they have said exactly the reverse.

Raytheon boss in Derry Henry Winkler said (despite assurances given to DCC at the time..)

"We are not trying to hide anything. We are a defence company and if required the Derry plant would work on defence-related matters."

The work Raytheon do in Derry is an integral part of their global business, through the I-ORION software development, which is a “high-speed network [which] ties Raytheon company design centers together.”
Raytheon ‘company design centres design weapons. The software being developed in Derry therefore helps Raytheon design weapons more efficiently. It is also an e-commerce system, which will help Raytheon to sell weapons more quickly and will permit, for example, the purchase of spare parts for weaponry over the internet. I-ORION also helps Raytheon ‘protect its intellectual property while unifying communications between its major businesses’. As Raytheon themselves say "I-ORION (International One Raytheon Integrated On-demand Network) [is] a multi-million dollar IT network system to meet the demands of Raytheon's global businesses". Raytheon's global business is war.

ASTOR is NOT a civillian air-traffic control project. It is an £800 Million British Ministry of Defence project, producing an airborne surveillance spy system.

author by Jade C. - Derrypublication date Mon Jan 12, 2004 19:46Report this post to the editors

So what happens now that the council say they will write their letter and ask Raytheon what is going on? Will some sort of independent body be allowed into the plant to inspect what is going on and report back to the council? How will we find out what is going on behind closed doors?

author by Realist - Planet Earthpublication date Tue Jan 13, 2004 13:52Report this post to the editors

The IRSP are quick to jump on the band wagon and use the liberation of countries like Afgnahistan and Iraq from tyranical regimes to highlight the capalist struggle against the poor oppressed people and bla bla bla. I didn't hear too much from you before then while millions were brutalised and murdered in these countries on a daily basis. Still, any chance to do a bit of Yank or Brit bashing and boost your little trendy leftie egos. At least now these countries will evolve and when the dust settles from Bush's latest crusade for oil they will find some semblance of peace and freedom. If it was left to the likes of you these people would still be dying in droves while your friends in the INLA were sucking up their buddy Saddam to see if they could drum up a few extra AK47s. If you are so keen to see weapons removed then maybe you could start by asking your terrorist wing to disarm. Hypocrite!

author by IRSP memberpublication date Tue Jan 13, 2004 16:02Report this post to the editors

The IRSP and INLA would view the use of violence as a tactic to be used in the struggle for peace and freedom when condtions prevail. I refer to this which was quoted from above:

"We oppose Raytheon because Raytheon is part of the oppression of the people of Afghanistan and Iraq and countless other countries. We support the Resistance fighters in Iraq and elsewhere who are fighting against an illegal occupation."

author by Realist - Planet Earthpublication date Tue Jan 13, 2004 16:33Report this post to the editors

You're starting to sound like a scratched record, IRSP member. You support the people in Iraq who are fighting for their freedom now? You didn't support them pre-invasion so do I take it you are a Saddam supporter and condone his regime?

author by IRSP memberpublication date Thu Jan 15, 2004 17:12Report this post to the editors

I support the right of the Iraqi people to fight against an oppressive regime, whether that regime be a US oil/imperialist regime or whether that regime is a dictatorship like Saddam's.

author by Michaelpublication date Thu Jan 15, 2004 22:49Report this post to the editors

The council can say what they want - they cannot force Raytheon to leave Derry. Isn't it funny that the SDLP and the council worked hard to bring Raytheon to Derry in the first place. Let's not pretend they didn't know what Raytheon were about before inviting them. Anyway, isn't it a bit stupid to say that we (Irish or otherwise) should leave our people defenceless in the face of the Hitlers of this world. Surely the FEIC and the Green Party don't think that writing slogans with chalk on the ground or protesting in the streets would have prevented Hitler from taking over the world. But then again, maybe the FEIC et al think they can persuade the mad men of the world too - that way no one has weapons and we can throw rocks at each other. FEIC and Greens - grow-up and live in the real world. From what I hear your biggest protest has been 30 people in a city with a population of over 130,000.

author by Michaelpublication date Thu Jan 15, 2004 22:55Report this post to the editors

Flowing on from your IOrion thought - Bill Gates is a supporter of Raytheon. Bill Gates owns Microsoft. Microsoft own Microsoft Word. Raytheon will most likely be using Microsoft Word to document their missile designs and e-commerce plans. Based on your logic (simple and stupid as it is), we must also protest against anyone and everyone who has any connection with the arms trade. This includes software manufactures, computer manfactures, cable manufactures, infact - even the guy who painted the white lines in the Raytheon car-park plays a part in assisting Raytheon.

Have a nice day.

author by Davidpublication date Thu Jan 15, 2004 22:57Report this post to the editors

There are enough weapons on earth already to destroy it many times over, we don't need to develop more to defend ourselves with. Nobody will be defended when we're living under the tyranny of whoever has the biggest army (no matter who they are)

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