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derry anti war occupy arms factory

category national | anti-war / imperialism | other press author Wednesday August 09, 2006 13:43author by anti war Report this post to the editors

War protesters storm Raytheon
Up to 50 police involved in stand-off
By Brendan McDaid

from belfast telegraph

War protesters storm Raytheon
Up to 50 police involved in stand-off
By Brendan McDaid

09 August 2006
Anti-war protesters today stormed American arms manufacturer Raytheon's Londonderry base, with nine people barricading themselves into the building and wrecking equipment.

The protesters were soon locked in a tense stand-off with upwards of 50 police officers, after some of them inflicted considerable damage, especially to computers.

According to the protesters, the computer system was "completely disabled".

Amid chaotic scenes at the Buncrana Road site, thousands of documents and dozens of computers were burned and thrown from windows by members of a group that entered the building at 8am today.

Among those who entered the premises to protest against the world's largest missiles manufacturer was veteran civil rights campaigner Eamonn McCann.

An American flag was also set alight and a glass door smashed as debris rained down from a second floor window and littered the area outside.

A banner was unfurled from inside the building, reading "Raytheon has been decommissioned".

A dozen more people protesting over the deaths of Lebanese civilians remained outside, with placards bearing anti-war and anti-Raytheon slogans.

Speaking from inside the complex, as dozens of uniformed police gathered, Mr McCann said: "The people of Derry cannot go on feeling shock and horror as they watch TV screens and do nothing,

"I certainly would not welcome an arrest and prosecution, who would? But judgment has to be made, people felt they had no option but to take this form of direct action."

Fellow anti-war protester and member of Socialist Environmental Alliance Goretti Horgan, who was one of those protesting outside the building at the Ulster Science and Technology Park on Buncrana Road, said: "There is a bit of property damage but that is as nothing compared to the thousands of people dying.

"We had to do the damage in order to get a chance to put Raytheon in the dock. We want to try and stop or slow down Raytheon production even for a short while because any kind of delay to getting bombs to Israel to drop on innocent Lebanese and Palestinian people has to be welcomed."

Around 50 police were on the premises both inside and out as the protest developed.

There were minor scuffles as police tried to prevent people leaving the scene without being searched and a police cordon was erected around the building, with the protesters pushed back and informed that the area was a crime scene.

A spokeman for Raytheon said this morning that the company is not making any comment "on this particular occasion".

The protest was the latest in a line of actions taken against the arms giant by anti-war protesters in Derry.

In March 2003, 12 people invaded the premises and conducted a short sit-in.

Raytheon is the world's fourth largest arms manufacturer and the largest missile manufacturer. It developed Tomahawk Cruise, Hellfire and Patriot missiles and related software currently being used in the war on Iraq.

The company was brought to Derry as part of Northern Ireland's "peace dividend" following the ceasefires after a lobby by politicians.

However Raytheon's presence in the city has led to numerous protests and it warned jobs would be lost if the protests - which included a "grave digging" ceremony in November 2004 - continued.

author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Wed Aug 09, 2006 14:54Report this post to the editors

Well done comrades. We are with you all the way.

Support and solidarity

Michael

author by Anti-War Irelanderpublication date Wed Aug 09, 2006 15:00Report this post to the editors

Well done! Keep it up. We need more of this. Marches have their uses - though they seem a jaded tactic for the antiwar movement at this stage. The IAWM seems to be a one-trick pony when it comes to tactics. Limited imagination. Other tactics are also very useful. Look at the Ploughshares in Shannon and Prestwick. NVDA.

author by Eastman20publication date Wed Aug 09, 2006 15:03Report this post to the editors

Fantastic. The guys have fucked the office computers out the windows. That place deserves to be smashed up. Well done comrades!

author by anonymouspublication date Wed Aug 09, 2006 15:05Report this post to the editors

This is excellent! But what's up with Eamonn McCann??? Doesn't he know what the SWP - his party - have being saying about direct action for the past few years? They've slammed it and worked to undermine those promoting the tactic. Fair fcuks to him.

Well done all!

author by Davy Carlinpublication date Wed Aug 09, 2006 15:22Report this post to the editors

The Derry Anti war Coalition have occupied the US defence company Raytheon.

BBC –

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/477...1.stm

The Anti war Movement in the North has a history of embracing many tactics over the last few years.

Link – Part 2 - http://lark.phoblacht.net/movingto.html

Indeed as I had stated in Part two of the History of the local Anti War Movement –

‘In reality in Belfast thousands of trade Unionists, student, community, peace and anti-war activists and others have engaged in five days of non violent civil disobedience some small others large scale - more than that of many other such movements and organisations that actually called for it - as we gave the state no warning and the sheer numbers at times of the movement in spontaneous action was what some knew may well happen. {Lock downs, occupations, walkouts, roadblocks, sit downs, various direct actions and much more}

Of course one needs to be highly organised in such a period and to have accountable and democratic structures giving a strategic lead albeit with tactical changes as and when it necessitates. It was though the spontaneous action from the movement from below rather than a call from above on this occasion that gave both the element of surprise and provided heightened consciousness of the strength held in such a movement through that collective action from below' -.

- - - All such needed to be and was utilised over this time, this, in comparison to other Movements who called march after march , and although marching is essential, one just has to look at the Vietnam protests and many various actions involved while seeking to build mass mobilisations.

Indeed,

As I state in the forthcoming article in WCR

‘For the wider Anti War Movement, it needs to acknowledge that there are many tactics that needs to be employed to highlight, dismantle, and to attempt to bring an end to the wars, the war machine, and the continual slaughter. May it be in the mobilisation of as many people on the streets as possible through to various forms of direct action, all is an integral part of the Anti War movement.

‘Anti War activists in Ireland need to continue to attempt to end the Governments collaboration with those who are responsible for this slaughter and to direct our attentions at the facilities provided for such slaughter. We have a responsibility to not only speak out against this, but to actively organise, mobilise and direct our collective power and actions against such’.

{In the few months ahead I am to write Part 3 of the local Anti War Movement - ‘Re –vitalised through Momentum created.}

The Derry Anti War Coalition, from that march from Derry {which I also had the privilege to partake in} through to now the ongoing occupation had shown, as with Belfast, that while activist swork to build for mass mobilisation, many many other tactics are and need to be used, as has been our recent Movement and Coalition histories in teh North..
.
.

Solidarity to the Derry Anti War Coalition, and fair play to them for again putting themselves on the line to highlight the ongoing slaughter,

-it has only begun one thinks..

author by Lebanese Solidaritypublication date Wed Aug 09, 2006 15:32Report this post to the editors

I believe we should go back to the symbolism stance - the "Grave Digging" was an inspirational piece of symbolism, portraying what the Raytheon software team's deliver......

I believe the stance of naming and shaming staff members of Raytheon was dropped by the powers that be, but how else can these people be made to see the horrors that unfold around the world are contributed to their actions....

author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Wed Aug 09, 2006 15:34Report this post to the editors

IRISH ANTI-WAR MOVEMENT
Urgent Press Release – August 9th

PSNI SURROUND RAYTHEON WEAPONS FACTORY IN DERRY AS ANTI-WAR PROTESTERS OCCUPY IN PROTEST AT WEAPONS BEING USED BY ISRAEL.

In a statement, The Irish Anti-War Movement (IAWM) paid tribute to the action of members of the Derry Anti-War Coalition who have occupied the Raytheon weapons factory in Derry this morning.

Members of the Derry Anti-War Coalition, who are affiliated to the IAWM, began an occupation of the factory this morning in protest at the production of missile components there, currently being used in the Israeli assault on Lebanon. The Raytheon factory produces components for Guided Missile Units (GBU) such as Patriots, Mavericks, Sidewinders and Sparrows, all of which are used by Israel and paid for with US taxpayer’s money.

GBUs were the weapons responsible for the recent atrocity carried out by Israel at Qana.

The Derry protesters are now surrounded by a large number of members of the PSNI. Two PSNI negotiators, flown by helicopter from Belfast, have been sent into and are talking with the protesters.

The protesters are saying they will only end their protest when Raytheon issue a statement committing themselves to closing their operations in Derry.

The decision to occupy the factory was taken at a meeting of the Derry Anti-War Coalition on Monday. The protest was prompted by the current barbaric Israeli assault on Lebanon and Gaza, which has claimed over thousand lives in just a few weeks. Many of the innocent lives lost have resulted from the use of GBU’s produced by Raytheon.

Everybody who is disgusted at the barbaric slaughter of innocent civilians being carried out by Israel in Lebanon and Gaza should pay tribute to the action of the Derry protesters.

It is outrageous that weapons being used by a rogue state like Israel engaged in a criminal military attack and flouting international law, are being produced here in Ireland.

It is tragic that the Raytheon factory was held up at the time of its opening as an example of the “peace-dividend” for the north, when its function is exporting death and destruction to innocent people in Lebanon, Israel and beyond.

The Derry anti-War protesters are absolutely right to demand that Raytheon pull out of their city and out of this country. The Irish people have a witnessed first hand the brutality and conflict brought by colonialism and empire. We should be playing no part in inflicting that suffering on others. Given the carnage we are now witnessing in Lebanon and Gaza there is simply no excuse for such weapons of death being produced in this country.

The IAWM is also worried that the PSNI may attempt to use heavy-handed tactics to evict the Derry anti-war protesters. We appeal to the media to monitor the current situation at the factory to ensure there is no excessive use of force by the PSNI.”

For more info/confirmation contact Richard Boyd Barrett 087-6329511

For comment from protesters inside the Raytheon factory contact Eamonn Mc Cann 0044 7977924321

author by Johnpublication date Wed Aug 09, 2006 15:49Report this post to the editors

The big mistake Raytheon made was to build their factory in Derry/Londonderry, long a stronghold of republicanism, marxism, socialism, anarchism and whatever other 'ism' happens to be in fashion. True, it was John Hume who persuaded them to go there so they might have thought the majority of the population would welcome them. If Raytheon have any sense, they'll move their factory immediately to Coleraine. They can still keep the same workforce, which by all accounts is excellent, as its only a half-hour drive but in Coleraine they'll receive only a fraction of the hassle that they receive in Derry/Londonderry.

author by shinnerspublication date Wed Aug 09, 2006 15:57Report this post to the editors

Shure arent the shinners complaining of no jobs for da poor people of da north

They get some and shure enough they wreck the joint and demand the company moves out

but then again....

the shinners know all about being decommisioned..
they should be able to give the company a wee bit of advice on that one

author by Sheepstealerpublication date Wed Aug 09, 2006 15:59Report this post to the editors

"The company was brought to Derry as part of Northern Ireland's "peace dividend" following the ceasefires after a lobby by politicians."

Well, isn't it ironic don't you think? Politicians claiming to have an interest in peace lobbied to attract a large foreign US arms and military aircraft missiles' manufacturer to Derry (who were the lúdramánaí who lobbied for this?), while calling on others native to the island to decommission their weapons (who unbelievably did) - bizarre in the extreme.

Politicians should be more shrewd and concentrate their efforts solely in attracting more wholesome Irish businesses to the Derry area in future, and actually give more thought to the implications of attracting foreign companies who profit from on-going imperialist wars such as, Raytheon.

I don't agree with the burning of the American flag though, this could be interpreted as anti-American - surely, ye could have burned the Raytheon logo instead. I would never burn a country's flag, as it symbolises all the people of that country and nobody can be against everybody in a country, no matter how hateful their government regime.

Well done for causing the disruption to Raytheon, hopefully, they will see the error of their ways and decommission their weaponry and fly back to the US as they are not wanted on this island of ours.

Sláinte chugaibh.

author by anonymouspublication date Wed Aug 09, 2006 16:27Report this post to the editors

Of course the IAWM/SWP has put out a statement supporting this. Wasn't Eamonn McCann of the SWP involved? This one is OK cos it's auld Eamonn and you can't offend him.

Hypocrites. Let's see Boyd Barrett down at Shannon doing something that he might get arrested for instead of hushing people back onto buses in case there's a bit of trouble.

This statement of support from the IAWM just shows up your level of hypocrisy. Would you have tripped over yourselves to support an action by anarchists or other consistent advocates of direct action?

author by Naimhypublication date Wed Aug 09, 2006 16:28Report this post to the editors

They would not have had to go as far as Coleraine John. If only they had opened their factory in the Waterside then they would have been all right. Plus closer to the hospital in case one of their missiles goes or some dangerous chemicals get spilled. Nice to see McCann getting off his fat arse and actually doing something for a change. Beats inflating all those hot air balloons which is all you are usually good for Eammon.

author by thepublication date Wed Aug 09, 2006 17:00Report this post to the editors

A project for the supply of civil aviation radar system at Beirut International Airport recently has been awarded to Raytheon. A Lebanese/ German joint venture group for the development and rehabilitation of Beirut International Airport. The Beirut port directorate invited forty prequalified companies to bid for the first phase of four-phase project for the rehabilitation and development of Beirut harbor. The European investment bank will provide USD 55 million of financing for part of Beirut harbor rehabilitation project. The total cost of the project is estimated to reach USD 126 million. Rehabilitation of Beirut costal highways and the highway from Beirut to the Syrian border have also been awarded.

SHAME THAT THEY ALSO BUILT LEBANONS HIGHWAYS AND CIVIL AVIATION RADAR SYSTEM AND PORTS EHHH.....
WELL I SUPPOSE THEY CAN RETENDER NOW

author by Oh and by the waypublication date Wed Aug 09, 2006 17:15Report this post to the editors

The Raytheon facility in Derry is an OFFICE not a factory. They don't build missiles or missile parts as one mis-informed soul has told us. Nor do they use explosives or dangerous chemicals as someone else suggests.
Its a software facility and lets face it if they were doing the type of high-brow weapons software that is used in crusie missiles and the like they would be in a high-security building and it would take more than a handful of people smashing through the doors to get in to the place. I'm told there wasn't even a security guard at the door.
Now call me old fashioned, but this doesn't sound like the satanic summer cottage of satan that some people are making it out to be.

author by Ellepublication date Wed Aug 09, 2006 18:02Report this post to the editors

It doesnt have to be a weapons factory for it to be indirectly involved in what's going on in Lebanon, Iraq, etc. Raytheon is the largest missiles producer in the world, and more than 90% of its revenue comes from weaponry.

Thus how can people question the relevance of software development (which is what they're doing in Derry) to missile production?? Everyone working under the banner of Raytheon is culpable, as the organisation needs a whole range of so-called "civilian" services to continue producing weapons.

Oh, and there was a security guard there this morning, as well as several police before we even arrived.

I agree we should keep protests peaceful, and this means not resorting to physical threats or violence. But this does not mean protests have to respect unjust laws or value property above human lives.

author by Mark Hewitt - Belfast Anti War Movementpublication date Wed Aug 09, 2006 20:00Report this post to the editors

BELFAST ANTI-WAR MOVEMENT

Urgent Press Release – August 9th

SUPPORT THE DERRY PROTESTERS

The Belfast Anti-War Movement (BAWM) fully supports the action of members of the Derry Anti-War Coalition who have occupied the Raytheon weapons factory in Derry this morning.

Members of the Derry Anti-War Coalition, began an occupation of the factory this morning in protest at the production of missile components there, currently being used in the Israeli assault on Lebanon.

The Raytheon factory produces components for Guided Missile Units (GBU) such as Patriots, Mavericks, Sidewinders and Sparrows, all of which are used by Israel and paid for with US taxpayer’s money.

GBU’s, for example were the weapons responsible for the recent atrocity carried out by Israel at Qana.

The Derry protesters are now surrounded by a large number of members of the PSNI. Two PSNI negotiators, flown from Belfast, have been sent into and talked with the protesters.

The protesters are saying they will only end their protest when Raytheon issue a statement committing themselves to closing their operations in Derry.

The decision to occupy the factory was taken at a meeting of the Derry Anti-War Coalition on Monday. The protest was prompted by the current barbaric Israeli assault on Lebanon and Gaza, which has claimed over thousand lives in just a few weeks. Many of the innocent lives lost have resulted from the use of GBU’s produced by Raytheon.

Seán Mitchell, spokesperson for the Belfast Anti-War Movement said:

“Anybody who has followed the recent onslaught carried out by the Israeli state in Lebanon, and is outraged at its slaughter of innocent people, should support the actions of the Derry Anti War Coalition.

It is outrageous that weapons being used by a rogue state like Israel engaged in a criminal war in lebanon, are being produced here in Ireland.

The Derry anti-War protesters are absolutely right to demand that Raytheon pull out of their city. Those supplying Israel with weapons to kill civilians, deserve to be exposed"

The BAWM is calling on people to show solidarity with the Derry protestors and will be highlighting the issue at saturdays Anti- war protest in Belfast

For more info/confirmation contact Seán Mitchell 07717123462

For comment from protesters inside the Raytheon factory contact Eamonn Mc Cann 0044 7977924321

Stop US- Israeli War crimes
March and rally
11.45am
assemble writers square (donegal street)
Rally 12.30 belfast city hall

Called by Stop the War Coalition
supported by BAWM, IPSC, ICTU, ARN

McCann might be speaking...
McCann might be speaking...

author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Wed Aug 09, 2006 20:27Report this post to the editors

The Derry Anti-War Coalition action is getting more and more support around the country. More power to the AWI comrades, from Belfast, Cork and Dublin for supporting the action.....and the BAWM statement as well as Davy's remarks speak for themselves.
One small request to the anon/anonymista brigade....lay off the IAWM....you're doing yourself -whoever you may be - and your cause - whatever that is - no service at all. Serious anti-war activists, those prepared to work hard in the streets and the communities to mobilise support, are learning to work together - despite political differences and past wounds. Many non-aligned people and those in the IPSC, the AWI, Cosantoiri and the IAWM! The Galway Alliance and the Cork anti-war activists, as well as activists in Limerick and the Midlands are joining hands.
This is what we need if we're going to force both Governments to cease supporting the Empire....attacking components of the movement under the supposed umbrella of those "who advocated direct action consistently" is plain infantile. In the last year or two, the only apparent thing that has come from "consistent direct action advocates" are the hilarious shananigans in Baldonnel....and lots of attacks on the IAWM and - by inference - on the SWP. Time to stop don't you think?
The victory of the Ploughshares has been a tipping point for us all - and now Derry.....next Saturday is Dundalk....and keep showing practically our solidarity to the comrades of the Derry Anti-War Coalition.

author by Pete Brickettepublication date Wed Aug 09, 2006 20:46Report this post to the editors

I wonder will Sinn Fein be throwing their weight behind the protest as they would have in the days before they became 'acceptable' in the Whitehouse or will they keep their heads down in case the DUP raps their knuckles?

author by anonpublication date Wed Aug 09, 2006 20:56Report this post to the editors

.

Now that have peace where will we put the arms factories
Now that have peace where will we put the arms factories

Over here in Derry their desperate enough don't you think?
Over here in Derry their desperate enough don't you think?

author by Disgusted ex provopublication date Wed Aug 09, 2006 22:00Report this post to the editors

$inn Feign seems to be keeping a low profile when it comes to condemning anything about the Bush Government and it's allies.

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

MichaelY: 'In the last year or two, the only apparent thing that has come from "consistent direct action advocates" are the hilarious shananigans in Baldonnel'

Eh? Bit snide there, Michael.

author by Auntie Warpublication date Wed Aug 09, 2006 23:01Report this post to the editors

It's not only Sinn Fein who are keeping quiet on this issue but all the Main Political parties seem to have lost the ability to criticize the American Government and it's factories of war.

author by Pete Brickettepublication date Thu Aug 10, 2006 00:21Report this post to the editors

It's a good job there was no Nukes in there or Eamonn and his friends would have become the fastest Glowing Party in Ireland.

author by anonpublication date Thu Aug 10, 2006 02:40Report this post to the editors

So that's two groups you've insulted and derided in the past week MichaelY I thought you were above that sort of thing, you say you are in every boring script you write. (SP and young anarchist).

author by wants to knowpublication date Thu Aug 10, 2006 09:48Report this post to the editors

time for someone to publish that email that went out on the antiwar lists after the Ploughshare Trial from SWP Wingfield that said Direct Action was 'too expensive' for the movement.

author by thrifty type iosafpublication date Thu Aug 10, 2006 10:09Report this post to the editors

They have played an important role in public opinion based campaigns. In the last month the concern of pacifists and anti-anglosaxon globalists has undoubtedly been the new front of aggression which is the latest Lebanon war. I doubt many activists of the underlying global peace movement or the Palestinian friendship & solidarity networks expects millions of ordinary US or EU citizens walking the street as they did before the war on Iraq. Yet the leadership of the USA and UK justify their complicity in the Israeli occupation and destruction of its neighbour by drawing paralels to the Iraqi crises they themselves caused. because of an eleven ("11").

The people who had the moral courage, commitment, and tactical insight to organise and execute the protest reported in the article above merit not only attention and publicity but also all our solidarity support - regardless of party or non party political bickering on the Irish left. Not only have they added to the recent campaigns in Shannon, Ireland and UK arms transit airports - they are further articulating the right to civil disobedience and pacifist motivated direct action. We all need to know what assistance they need in northern Irish legal defense against these two charges - "unlawful assembly" & "aggravated burglary".

author by radical jonnypublication date Thu Aug 10, 2006 23:27Report this post to the editors

Well done to all involved! I get so sick of the argument about the loss of jobs. We, the people of the wee North, should know more than most about what weapons do to societies. And now that our war cools off, we export war to others?

Some jobs aren't worth having

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