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Belfast anti-war group exposes the bloody truth of Thales Air Defence war profits

category antrim | anti-war | feature author Friday April 28, 2006 12:11author by Mark Chapman - Justice Not Terror Coalitionauthor email jntcx at bonbon dot netauthor phone +44 773 781 9569 Report this post to the editors

featured image
Drawing attention to Thales' murder business

This morning, Thursday 27 April peace activists from the Belfast-based Justice Not Terror Coalition staged a ‘die-in’ and blockade at the main gate of Thales Air Defence, Alanbrooke Road, Castlereagh.

This symbolic and totally non-violent action effectively blockaded and closed down the main entrance to the Thales war profiteers site in Belfast for a period of time. We re-enacted an everyday scene from the streets of Baghdad, Samarra, Fallujah and other Iraqi towns and cities under US and UK military occupation’, said JNTC member Ann Patterson.

War profiteers Thales in Belfast specialise in short-range missiles for the British government’s war efforts. Arms traders such as Thales concentrate on strategies to make a killing from armed conflicts. We are calling on the decision makers in Thales to start using the expertise and skills of their workers in socially useful ways rather than manufacturing weapons of death and destruction’, said Mark Chapman. Mairead McKeown and Lelia Newman delivered a letter to Thales explaining the reasons for the peaceful protest and requesting a meeting to discuss these issues of concern for the group.

We’re taking this action today as part of the Global Call to Resist the occupation of Iraq and to oppose those who are benefiting from the continuing military occupation there. With over 100,000 Iraqi dead, over 2,300 US dead and over 100 UK troops dead, this military occupation clearly needs to end now. The US and UK administrations need to be held to account for precipitating civil war in Iraq and for increasing the likelihood of further terrorist attacks worldwide’, said Peace People Chairman, Kevin Cassidy.

Justice Not Terror Coalition is co-ordinating non-violent resistance actions to the occupation of Iraq throughout 2006 in support of the Global Call to Action (http://www.globalcalliraq.org). These are planned for July 7 (London bombings), August 9 (Nagasaki Day), September 11 (9/11), December 10 (Human Rights Day).

Justice Not Terror Coalition

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author by Kevin Cassidy - Peace Peoplepublication date Thu Apr 27, 2006 14:48Report this post to the editors

This morning's blocade of Thales missile factory in Belfast by the Justice Not terror Coalition group sends a clear message to all the war profiteers- stop making instrumentsof war and transform your skills into creating a more humane, healthy, and just world.
We will never make poverty history as long as the arms trade flourishes.
The amount of money and resources that goes into this trade would help resolve so much of the world's poverty and disease.

author by mairead mckeown - JNTCpublication date Sat Apr 29, 2006 02:24Report this post to the editors

Armed only with the letter explaining the concerns which had brought JNTC members to the Thales site, Lelia and I entered the reception area and in minutes found ourselves talking to the PR officer Diane Clarke. She seemed genuinely shocked to hear that we believed that missiles were used to kill people and reassured us that Thales missiles were designed to save us and the rest of the world from the threat of international terrorism.

Minutes later we stood outside listening to Kevin reading out a long list of the names of people killed by missiles in Iraq. Some of the Thales workforce were making noisy comments in the background but these were drowned out by the loudspeaker.

Hopefully, Diane and other senior management were close enough to the entrance to hear Kevin loud and clear and to listen to the questions posed by Mark before the action ended. The cleaners, who were really close to the action, could hardly contain their anxiety to remove the offending "bloodshed" from Thales doorstep and almost flushed out one of the demonstrators with it!

author by Justin Morahan - Peace Peoplepublication date Sat Apr 29, 2006 11:45Report this post to the editors

"The cleaners, who were really close to the action, could hardly contain their anxiety to remove the offending "bloodshed" from Thales doorstep"

Joyce's phrase and translation come to mind "Agenbite of inwit" - remorse of conscience.

Well done to have stirred up thoughts among the work force.

This action might be the first time any of them ever conceived the idea that there was a hint of guilt associated with their place of work.

The fact that they were hostile also may mean that their happy delusion may have been shattered.

So begins, sometimes, the planting of a seed of doubt that later grows so much that those who once were unthinking collaborators in a bloody operation may become its most vociferous and powerful opponents.

Well done and sorry I could not make it.

author by corneiliuspublication date Sun Apr 30, 2006 04:29Report this post to the editors

Wonderful! These are great ways to communicate, full of creativity, colour, passion and fun to do and therefore to be encouraged.

There are so many juicy targets, and so many people who'd love to do something!

Could it be a form of eco-warrior-tourism .... travel somewhere exotic, protest with the locals .... buy the tee-shirt... he he he he I can see the dealines : "Oppose Nestle in 7 countries in 2 weeks!"

author by Deirdre Clancy - Pitstop Ploughshares/Antiwar Irelandpublication date Sun Apr 30, 2006 13:10Report this post to the editors

Well done. Great to see so much happening lately to keep the issue of Iraq live. The person who mentioned the arms trade in relation to third-world poverty is spot on. It intrigues me that the most high-profile drop-the-debt/end world hunger campaigners can divorce the two issues so readily (by just not mentioning the arms trade, basically, and by tacitly supporting militarism through silence and through rubbing shoulders with the Western war criminals in a terribly non-critical way). It intrigues me because it's such an obvious anomaly, and nobody seems that keen in the mainstream media on pointing it out.

What happened to the activists? Could we get an update?

author by Prisoner Solidaritypublication date Tue May 02, 2006 10:22Report this post to the editors

As the empires wars escalate & expand, as nonviolent resistance grows - our movement experiences imprisonment. Consider writing a solidarity letter or sending a postcard to an anti-war prisoner..............

Prison Addresses
St. Patricks Four Occupation of a Military Recruitment Centre, Ithaca, New York
http://www.stpatricksfour.org

*Teresa Grady 13183-052
FCI DANBURY
FEDERAL CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION
ROUTE 37
DANBURY, CT 06811
USA
The Bureau of Prisons has listed her release date as May 21, 2006

*Clare Grady 01264-052
FEDERAL DETENTION CENTER
P.O. BOX 562
PHILADELPHIA, PA 19106
USA

*Peter De Mott 10891-083
MDC Brooklyn
Metropolitan Detention Center
PO Box 329002
Brooklyn, NY 11232
USA

*Daniel Burns 13182-052
MDC Brooklyn
Metropolitan Detention Center
PO Box 329002
Brooklyn, NY 11232
USA

-------------------------------------------------------
TRESSPASS AT OFFCUT AIR FORCE BASE
OMAHA, NEBRASK
(6 months)
*Frank Cordaro
Jackson County Jail
210 US Highway 75
Holton, KS 66436
USA
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
School Of Americas Watch Prisoners
Trespass at SOA
http://www.soaw.org

*Buddy R. Bell #92561-020 (3 months)
FCI Oxford
Satellite Camp
PO Box 1085
Oxford, WI 53952
USA

*Fred Brancel (three months)
fredinjail(at)gmail.com (Correspondence will be forwarded.)

*Robert Call #92563-020
FCI Fort Dix
Satellite Camp
PO Box 1000
Fort Dix, NJ 08640
USA

*Stephen Douglas Clements #92565-020 (BOP has misspelled Clemens) (three months)
FPC Duluth
Federal Prison Camp
PO Box 1000
Duluth, MN 55814
USA

*Joanne Cowan #92566-020 (two months)
FCI Phoenix
Satellite Camp
37930 N. 45th Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85086
USA

*Kenneth Francis Crowley #90963-020
FCI Beaumont Low
Federal Correction Institution
PO Box 26020
Beaumont, TX 77720
USA

*Anika D. Cunningham #92567-020 (one month)
FMC Lexington
Satellite Camp
PO Box 14525
Lexington, KY 40512
USA

*Scott Dempsky #92568-020 (three months)
FCI Terre Haute
Satellite Camp
PO Box 33
Terre Haute, IN 47808
USA

*Joseph DeRaymond #92569-020 (three months)
FCI Schuylkill
Satellite Camp
PO Box 670
Minersville, PA 17954
USA

*Samuel Foster #91439-020 (two months)
FCI Beckley
Satellite Camp
PO Box 350
Beaver, WV 25813
USA

*Christine Gaunt #91356-020 (6 months, out May 19))
FCI Pekin
Satellte Camp
P.O. Box 5000
Pekin, IL 61555
USA

*Michael Lee Gayman #92570-020 (two months)
FCI Terre Haute
Satellite Camp
PO Box 33
Terre Haute, IN 47808
USA

*Sarah C. Harper #92571-020 (three months)
FCI Dublin
Satellite Camp
5765 8th St. – Camp Parks
Dublin, CA 94568
USA

*Rita Hohenshell #90280-020 (two months)
FCI Pekin
Satellite Camp
PO Box 5000
Pekin, IL 61555
USA

*Jane Hosking #05331-090 (6 months)
FCI Pekin
Satellite Camp
PO Box 5000
Pekin, IL 61555
USA

*John LaForge #03213-090 (6 months)
FPC Duluth
Federal Prison Camp
PO Box 1000
Duluth, MN 55814
USA

*Sr. Mary Dennis Lentsch PBVM #30147-074 ( 6 months)
FMC Lexington
Satellite Camp
PO Box 14525
Lexington, KY 40512
USA

*Robin Lloyd #92572-020 (three months)
FCI Danbury
Federal Prison Camp
Route 37
Danbury, CT 06811
USA

*Linda Mashburn #91430-020 (3 months)
FPC Alderson
Federal Prison Camp
PO Box A
Alderson, WV 24910
USA

*Donald W. Nelson #92559-020 (three months out April 14))
FCI Memphis
Satellite Camp
P.O. Box 2000
Millington, TN 38083
USA

*Liam O'Reilly #91431-020 (three months)
USP Canaan
Satellite Camp
P.O. Box 200
Waymart, PA 18472
USA

*Dorothy Parker #91432-020 (two months)
FCI Dublin
Satellite Camp
5765 8th St. Camp Parks
Dublin, CA 94568
USA

*Gail S. Phares #91433-020 (three months)
FPC Alderson
Federal Prison Camp
PO Box A
Alderson, WV 24910 J
USA

*Jonathan Robert
Muscogee County Jail
700 E. 10th St.
Columbus, GA 31901-2899
USA

*Judith Ruland #91434-020 (two months)
FCI Danbury
Federal Prison Camp
Route 37
Danbury, CT 06811
USA

*Delmar Schwaller #91435-020 (two months)
FCI Oxford
Satellite Camp
PO Box1085
Oxford, WI 53952
USA

*Cheryl Sommers #91437-020 (three months)
FCI Dublin
Federal Satellite Camp
5765 8th St. – Camp Parks
Dublin, CA 94568
USA

*Donte Smith #91436-020 (three months)
FMC Fort Worth
Federal Medical Center
PO Box 15330
Fort Worth, TX 76119 K
USA

*Edward Naed Smith #46994-083 (6 months)
FCI Schuylkill
Satellite Camp
PO Box 670
Minersville, PA 17954
USA

*David A. Sylvester #91441-020 (three months)
FCI Lompoc
Satellite Camp
3705 West Farm Road
Lompoc, CA 93436
USA

Military Refusers
Refused deployment to Iraq
*Kevin Benderman
P.O. Box 339536,
Ft. Lewis, WA 98433-9536
USA

author by Edward Horgan - PANA Peace and Neutrality Alliancepublication date Tue May 02, 2006 15:33Report this post to the editors

Well done Belfast anti war group.
Smart weapons are now the leading edge of the stupid wars being waged by the minority West against the majority Rest of humanity.
Congratualations from Shannon airport, where 840,000 US Troops have passed through Shannon airport so far in 2006, and CIA torture planes are still refueling on their way to and from torture rendition missions.
Give peace a chance
Edward Horgan

author by Noelpublication date Tue May 02, 2006 15:49Report this post to the editors

We re-enacted an everyday scene from the streets of Baghdad, Samarra, Fallujah and other Iraqi towns and cities under US and UK military occupation’, said JNTC member Ann Patterson.

So let me get this straight.
Thales are either:
A. Supplying the murdering terrorist scumbags with suicide bombs
or
B. The coalition forces are firing missiles into civilian areas.

It is certainly not the latter, therefore, well done to these well meaning buffoons of Belfast.
If you are planning any more protests against the terrorist scumbags let me know - I might join in.

author by Mark - Justice Not Terror Coalitionpublication date Tue May 02, 2006 17:09author email jntcx at bonbon dot netReport this post to the editors

The angle JNTC was taking for this action was to highlight the fact that arms traders such as Thales are profitting from armed conflict and their strategies are geared to do so. JNTC was calling for Thales to convert their production.

Text of letter delivered:

As you may be aware it is now over 3 years since the second US and UK led invasion of Iraq. Around the world 11 million members of the public protested against and continue to oppose this aggressive military action.

As members of the Justice Not Terror Coalition we are aware that the global arms trade fuels and feeds off armed conflicts. In particular we are concerned that companies such as Thales have profited from and continue to profit from the US and UK-led occupation of Iraq. We are calling on the decision makers in Thales in Belfast to start using the expertise and skills of their workers and staff in socially useful ways rather than manufacturing weapons of death and destruction. There is an urgent need for companies such as Thales in Belfast to implement a comprehensive conversion programme so that young engineers and other skilled workers can develop their expertise without feeling the need to leave their consciences at the door.

We would very much like to meet and discuss these issues with you at the earliest opportunity.

The Justice Not Terror Coalition in Belfast is co-ordinating nonviolent protest actions in Ireland to highlight and oppose the continuing occupation of Iraq. We are peacefully protesting at the Thales site in Belfast today as part of these actions

Part of speech given at the demo:

Further to our correspondence published in the Belfast Telegraph newspaper in January we would welcome the opportunity to meet with you and/or other representatives of Thales in Belfast. We feel that this is necessary as there has been no response from the company regarding the very real public concerns highlighted in our correspondence. Our letters were in response to an article titled ‘Programmed to kill’ by Mr Don Anderson.

The points primarily needing transparency are:

* Why is Thales Belfast relying on local uninformed press and journalists to promote recruitment in the company?

* Is Thales Belfast supportive of the spirit of the Belfast Agreement and if so are there any strategies within the company to move away from the manufacture of military hardware to socially useful goods?

* Given that Thales Belfast claims in its promotional material of having supplied missiles to some 60 armed forces around the world, why the reluctance to list those presumably contented customers?

* Why has the Starstreak missile, manufactured by Thales Belfast been supplied to South Africa as part of a £3bn arms deal? This represents a colossal diversion of resources from desperately-needed social investment in that country.

* Why was Thales Belfast awarded £900,000 in 2004 of EU Peace Funding for Northern Ireland for a missile system when peace and reconciliation projects in East Belfast and elsewhere were having their applications for funding turned down?

* How safe is the public in County Down when missiles are moved by road from the Thales factory in Castlereagh to their testing site outside Ballynahinch?

* Why was Thales Air Defence manufacturing and supplying the Hellfire missile in 2004 at a time when British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw was criticising Israel for using these missiles in targeted killings in Gaza?

Info on the action:

We'd aimed to close the entrance with a die-in for about half an hour and the local police seemed to go along with that and didn't seem too concerned about us using a loudhailer or pouring the artificial blood around the entrance gate.
There was some comments from workers but the name reading of Iraqi, UK & US war dead created a solemn atmosphere and was accepted in that way I think.

Here's one we found in the attic...
Here's one we found in the attic...

Keeping it real at Thales
Keeping it real at Thales

Thales missiles - point of delivery
Thales missiles - point of delivery

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author by corneiliuspublication date Wed May 03, 2006 22:09Report this post to the editors

"Noelpublication date Tue May 02, 2006 14:49 said this:

So let me get this straight.
Thales are either:
A. Supplying the murdering terrorist scumbags with suicide bombs
or
B. The coalition forces are firing missiles into civilian areas.

It is certainly not the latter, therefore, well done to these well meaning buffoons of Belfast.
If you are planning any more protests against the terrorist scumbags let me know - I might join in."

You iare mistaken, so lets help ya out! Here's a report of eyewitness accounts of US military firing missiles into civilian areas, and of shooting at innocent people.

http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0429-30.htm

Related Link: http://www.corneilius.net
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