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Search words: Raytheon 9
Response of Raytheon 9 to their acquittal
anti-war / imperialism |
Thursday June 12, 2008 02:09 by Goretti Horgan - Derry Anti War Coalition resistderry at aol dot com
Statement issued by the DAWC, calling for Raytheon to be prosecuted
The six anti-war activists who occupied arms manufacturer Raytheon's offices in Derry and destroyed its computers have been acquitted by a jury in Belfast.
Derry Anti War Coalition calls on the office of the Attorney General and the Crown Prosecution Service, in light of the jury's verdict of 'not guilty' to criminal damage charges, to institute an investigation into the activities of Raytheon at its various plants across the UK, with a view to determining whether Raytheon is a criminal enterprise.
www.raytheon9.org | Indy.ie coverage | Raytheon 9 Pamphlet
After their acquittal on three charges of criminal damage to the computer equipment and office of Raytheon, the world's largest supplier of Guided Bomb Units, Colm Bryce and Eamonn McCann spoke to supporters and press outside the court. Colm Bryce began:
The Raytheon 9 have been aquitted today in Belfast for their action in decommissioning the Raytheon offices in Derry in August 2006. The prosecution could produce not a shred of evidence to counter our case that we had acted to prevent the commission of war crimes during the Lebanon war by the Israeli armed forces using weapons supplied by Raytheon.
We remain proud of the action we took and only wish that we could have done more to disrupt the ‘kill chain’ that Raytheon controls.
This victory is welcome, for ourselves and our families, but we wish to dedicate it to the Shaloub and Hasheem families of Qana in Lebanon, who lost 28 of their closest relatives on the 30 July 2006 due to a Raytheon ‘bunker buster’ bomb.
Their unimaginable loss was foremost in our minds when we took the action we did on 9 August, and the injustice that they and the many thousands of victims of war crimes in Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan have suffered, will spur us on to continue to campaign against war and the arms trade that profits from it.
We said from the beginning that we came to this court not as the accused but as the accusers of Raytheon. This court case proved that Raytheon in Derry is an integral part of the global Raytheon company and its military production. This is no longer a secret or in doubt. Raytheon have treated the truth, peaceful protest, local democracy and this court with complete contempt. The most senior executive who appeared said that the charge that Raytheon had ‘aided and abetted’ the commission of crimes against humanity was “not an issue” for him. Raytheon should have that contempt repaid in full and be driven out of Derry and every other place they have settled. They are war criminals, plain and simple. They have no place in our society and shame on all those in positions of power or influence who would hand them public funds, turn a blind eye to their crimes, cover their tracks or make excuses for them.
These crimes continue daily and hourly in the Middle East. It is up to those of us who oppose those wars of domination and occupation to build a movement that matches the enormity of what is being done by Western governments. We hope that this victory gives courage and heart to all those involved in that movement and the many more who need to be for us to achieve our aim of stopping these wars. Until then, the very least we can do, to show solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the Middle East is to dissociate ourselves from the corrupt governments of the US and Britain. That means opposing the visit to Belfast of the world’s biggest war criminal, George W Bush on 16 June.
We feel totally vindicated by this decision and wish to extend our heartfelt thanks to all of those who gave us support, especially to our families and friends, to the members of the Derry Anti War Coalition and the Irish Anti-War Movement , to our excellent legal teams. Of course, we particularly want to thank the jury who listened intently through three weeks of evidence before ensuring that justice was done today.
Eamonn McCann then addressed supporters and press saying:
The outcome of this case has profound implications.
The jury has accepted that we were reasonable in our belief that: the Israel Defence Forces were guilty of war crimes in Lebanon in the summer of 2006; that the Raytheon company, including its facility in Derry, was aiding and abetting the commission of these crimes; and that the action we took was intended to have, and did have, the effect of hampering or delaying the commission of war crimes.
We have been vindicated.
We reject entirely and with contempt the statement by Raytheon this evening suggesting that the result of the trial gives them concern about the safety of their employees. This is an abject attempt to divert attention from the significance of the outcome. Not a shed of evidence was produced that we presented the slightest danger to Raytheon workers. The charge of affray was thrown out by the court without waiting to hear defence evidence.
Our target has always been Raytheon as a corporate entity and its shareholders and directors who profit from misery and death.
There is now no hiding place for those who have said that they support the presence of Raytheon in Derry on the basis that the company is not involved in Derry in arms-related production. We have established that not only is the Derry plant involved in arms-related production, it is also, through its integration into Raytheon as a whole, involved in war crimes.
We call on all elected representatives in Derry, and on the citizens of Derry, to say now in unequivocal terms that the war criminal Raytheon is not welcome in our city.
We call on the office of the Attorney General and the Crown Prosecution Service, in light of this verdict, to institute an investigation into the activities of Raytheon at its various plants across the UK, with a view to determining whether Raytheon is, as we say it is, a criminal enterprise.
We believe that one day the world will look back on the arms trade as we look back today on the slave trade, and wonder how it came about that such evil could abound in respectable society. If we have advanced by a mere moment the day when the arms trade is put beyond the law, what we have done will have been worthwhile.
We took the action we did in the immediate aftermath of the slaughter of innocents in Qana on July 30th 2006. The people of Qana are our neighbours. Their children are the children of our neighbours. We trashed Raytheon to help protect our neighbours. The court has found that that was not a crime. This what the Raytheon case has been about.
We have not denied or apologised for what we did at the Raytheon plant in the summer of 2006. All of us believe that it was the best thing we ever did in our lives.
images from 27th May 2008 outside Laganside solidarity protest and (c) Paula Geraghty
Resistance and victory especially is beautiful
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What a great day for the people who have resisted this war from the outset! I was at the trial on a couple of occasions and can say that the jury had little choice but to find the 9 men not guilty. The prosecution didn't even attempt to counter the argument about war crimes. The point Eamonn made about the slave trade is well made. For generations, companies in Ireland involved in the slave trade made fortunes on the back of the human misery caused by that nefarious trade and Raytheon are in the same boat. (Excuse the pun.)
It's interesting to note that this is the third time the defence of damaging property has been used successfully, in three different jurisdictions. First there was the Fairford people in Bristol, then there were the Ploughshares people in Shannon and now the Raytheon 9 in Derry. Surely there is some sort of a sea change happening here.
I'm no fan of judges ordinarily, but Burgess in Belfast played a stormer on this one and it was pretty obvious what way it was going to go, especially when he started quoting precedents that the defence barristers had given hin to the prosecution.
I hope the lads had a great night in Sandinos in Derry tonight and I hope to be with them when they next picket Raytheon in the not too distant future.
In fact, it would be great if there could be a massive picket on their office as a celebration of this enormous victory and as a way to put more pressure on the City Council. How will they get out of this one?
Lots of questions for SF and the SDLP to answer now!
Well done the raytheon 9!
Has Mulheron written the song yet?
This is an act of pure beauty, poetry if you will when objects designed to kill and maim and have done, are destroyed, it is heartening to be alive.
This is where the hope lies for the future.
The basic right in court to face your accusor, defend yourself, to bring evidence to support this defense, and be tried by a jury of your peers, is the thin veil of civility we posess, seperating us from barbarianism.
The message is clear from both sides of the border now. The people have spoken and have renounced the killing of innocent civilians despite the politicans will to engage in genocide.
The plowshares trial in the South and unanimous aquittal, and now the Raytheon Trial and acquittal sends a message which is clear.
When given the evidence people are sickened by what our governments are un-apologetically and wilfully doing in the face of all the lies they still reiterate.
With the deepest respect I wish you all well and hope there is more from Raytheon in the way of their departure from Derry.
Can anyone confirm the legal position of those 3 members of the R9 currently held in Portlaoise. Just wondering has the entire R9 now been cleared including those stated above?
Does Eamonn feel a book coming on yet? Maybe a movie? Who does he think will play his part?
Regards to all as it was news great!!
Congrats to the Raytheon 9! Fair play to ya. A well deserved result.
Congratualations to all the Raytheon 9 for your inspiring defense of human rights and justice. Meanwhile at Shannon airport, up to 1,000 US troops pass through each day, on their way to unlawful wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Several CIA planes associated with torture rendition are refuelled at Shannon each week. Well done to all concerned, but much remains to be done.
Lets hope for another victory later today in the Lisbon Treaty Referendum
Very glad you were vindicated in your conscientious NVDA. great news!! :~)
I hear that when it was put to Eamonn McCann that he was engaged in wanton destruction of property, he said
"if that was what I was about, I would not have opened the window before throwing the computer out through it."
Is this true? Heh...if so, good reply Eamonn!!. that'l one will go down in the folklore!!
Heartfull congratulations to comrades. It is empowering and motivating to say the least. So, which company and what action are next?
Well done to the 9 and to all of their helpers and supporters. Maybe more people around the world will now have the guts and the conviction to shut down evil death-for-profit organisations like Raytheon and the Israeli military. Make sure you give it to Bush when he arrives. He should be arrested and tried for the war criminal and mass murderer that he is.
Tiocfaidh ar la
Congrats to the 9, not only on your acquittal but on your courage to act as you did, right through the very long process from campaigning to planning to action, and now in front of the courts. A great victory for peace and justice, and we are all heartened by it!
Not all these struggles end up in a victorious aquittal such as this, but enjoy them when you get them!
A very worthwhile action - congratulations to the Raytheon 9 - you made people sit up and listen.
What a wonderful result. Well deserved.
It's (almost) enough to make me want to live in Ireland. (Maybe after global warming).
Nonviolent Direct Action against war is growing around the world.
A fantastic result for the 9, and for the entire anti-war movement north and south!
How ironic that, on the day the Raytheon 9 are aquitted of criminal damage related to an anti-war action, the DUP 9 were throwing their support behind the prime minister's ability to lock people up for six weeks without charge.
The DUP stated that they hadn't made up their mind about the issue before the PM desperately started courting their votes. Of course they hadn't- northern politics has never been about carefully weighed arguments or consideration of facts.
DUP headquarters next, then. Should be easy; no heavy computer equipment to throw out the windows- just a chalkboard, a rotary phone, and an abacus.
Well done to all of ye. Thanks for your courage, commitment and inspiration.
Warmest congratulations to the nine and also all those who have worked with them. The campaign against the St Athan Military Academy made links with the Raytheon 9 some time back and were proud to have Davy McAuley make an excellent speech at our recent demo in Cardiff. For those who don't know, Raytheon are part of the Metrix Consortium which is being handed £11bn of public money to build a PFI tri-service training camp in South Wales. The project is already on the rocks, and now that Raytheon have been successfully identified as war criminals, I believe a concerted international campaign can finish it off. Support groups in other towns and cities would help enormously in this. Loads of articles available at http://www.cardiffpr.org along with links to other campaign sites.
Fantastic news. Your courage, your determination, your steadfastness facing adversity is an example to us all.
Now if we can win this Referendum today it would have been a fantastic week for the progressive forces in this country.
Will see you all on Monday in the streets of Belfast
Congratulations to all the wonderful nine and above all to the ordinary men and women of the jury. They were given the opportunity to be extraordinary and they took it. The war mongers, the pragmatists, the cynics, the turn coats and renegades that populate our public institutions are all out of touch with the decency that is in the people.
The people have spoken and they have rejected the obscenity of this so-called "War on Terror". They have reached out to the suffering of Lebanon and stood with them in solidarity. In so doing they have crossed cultural, linguistic, religious and ethnic divides and affirmed that there is only one race and that is the human race.
Truly this is a day for humanity to be proud; a day when people stood up and did not betray the promise that humanity could somehow some day be something decent.
That is another great achievement and does show that nonviolence is the way!
greetings from the Netherlands"
Krista van Velzen, The Hague, The Netherlands
member of the Dutch parliament who participated in Raytheon 9
solidarity vigil at GPO while in town during recent Cluster Bomb conference
Paul Magno, Washington DC, USA
of the Pershing Plowshares Community
"Wow ... fantastic news! Thanks for the updates,"
Catholic Worker Awaiting trial for exorcism of Raytheon offices in Brisbane, Australia
"Brilliant! Well done to all of them"
"yeeha!!!!! What a result!
Well done everyone"
Luv Zelda Jeffers
London Catholic Worker
Congratulations to the Raytheon 9 for a wonderful nonviolent direct action against the high crimes of Raytheon, the U.S. & Israeli militaries.
It was a privilege to spend 3 days around the trial last week with such steadfast and humble defendants. I was deeply touched by their sojourn to Lebanon to meet the victims of Raytheon and their consistent focus on the victims of the war and the placing of their own discomfort and threat of possible further loss of liberty in the broader context of the suffering of those under Raytheon bombs
Also congrats to the jury that displayed the hope that conscience is still alive in an economic and social environment where profits and positioning are pushed form the top as the only way to be in Ireland north and south and in the world.
Also many thanx to all those who did the bulk of the solidarity work around these defendants and this witness against over the last two years.
I was drawn to be in Ireland at this time largely by this trial and muster whatever limited resources, time and energy I could to stand in solidarity with this action. We are too often self censoring thinking we can't do much, so we do nothing at all. This little effort of vigilence at the Dublin GPO throughout the trial required a few hastily scrawled placards, banners left over from the Pitstop trials and a rounding up of old friends.On Monday we had a dozen folks who had met during our trials in Dublin gather in solidarity with the Raytheon 9 action and to name and expose Raytheon.
On Tuesday Paddy, Colim and I were able to create enough of a scene and inform sympathisers of how the trial was developing. Colim is such a stalwart. I only learnt on Tuesday that he didn't start speaking english until he was 13 and had come 6th. in the Irish marathon in 1962! So there you go. Paddy was energetic as ever and a big hit with similar nose ringed yoof, if not the not the yes vote leafleting yuppies. Dave the multitasking pitstop gettaway driver did a youtube of our small effort here
The more solidarity we can muster, the more resistance to this war there will be!
Great news... brilliant to hear the jury's decision. Fair play and thanks to all involved!
Thank you to the Raytheon 9! :-)
There are so many success stories like this around the world today - below is another from last May in the US state of Maine.
How do we connect and link together these efforts and their stories so more can be inspired in the near future? I think this is the 'movement question' at the moment.
. .. ... .. .
Read more from the Bangor Daily News (from Maine)
also read the comments where one of the jurors writes about the trial experience
The Bangor Six (Maine USA)
Congratulations to the Raytheon 9 and all their supporters. I can't add any more than what has already been written. It is times like this it feels great to be part of a movement that stretches around the world.
I enjoy the idea of a decent humanity abounding as Gary said above and the idea of a movement spreading all around the world as Sean said. It is excellent to see the Raytheon 9 acquitted. I think they are right to ask the questions they are now asking. I wonder what sort of answers they'll be presented with.
How can courts rule this way for protection of the people by the people when a few stand up for it, but do not do so against the actions of international government's possessed with killing people as a means of economic control over land and oil? How many citizens or similar judgements would it take to find reasonable grounds to 'charge' the offending government in such a way as would begin international proceedings against them for their contribution? Are the decisions of recent judges paving the way for this kind of response? At what point do the police, based on the clear evidence that their normal business practice destroys life, need to begin to take action to ensure they can harm others no more? At what point do the police bar access to Raytheon employees on the grounds that to allow them to work would be to authorise them to kill? Or similar.... Sorry, just a tangent... :-)
These recent acquittals are excellent and perhaps because of them the movement will see more people willing to come to the party. It certainly is encouraging to know that standing up for what you believe is right, for everyones protection, might leave you out of jail and not persecuted for your trouble.
When companies refuse to press charges for fear they cannot state their position without exposing their own depravity is laudible.
Perhaps Raytheon would like to see a bigger action, one that justifies charges being laid (What would this be?) - blood on the steps of all parliaments who support them - I understand that the pouring of milk on the steps of the Australian Parliament was very upsetting to parliament at least once, so blood would have to get some sort of response - even if just for consistencies sake.
Enjoy the wins - keep the peace - and love to all.
Well done to all those involved,
for setting an example to us all of how we can stand up for our brothers & sisters on the receiving end of these horrific & illegal slaughters,
peace, love, unity & all that,
Bristol - Spain
p.s. Brings to mind a poem,
Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number -
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you -
Ye are many - they are few.
& a quote!
"When I despair, I remember that all though history the way of Truth & Love has always won.
There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it. Always"
Another aquittal for non-violent direct action! It certainly puts it in a position to be a more generally accepted form of protest,
Question to Damien or Ciaron, were they aquitted on the same grounds you were? ie. that criminal damage does not apply if you destroy property to save someone from harm or their property from harm.
Ignore the post above, the line about democracy in Iraq shows that it is a wind up.
Congratulations to all concerned, from all at Branch 8, NIPSA.
Just got back from abroad and heard this -
Absolutely fantastic news,everyone should be really proud.
Take the war to the ones propping it up.
Yes! Just what we've been needing.
If Mulhern doesn't write the song soon I'll write it myself! "The Wee White Flag of HMG" perhaps.
Early in the campaign we did demos on court days outside the Raytheon factory here in Glenrothes in Fife, but it was hard to sustain because the legal process was so strung out.
This brilliant result means we should be able to re-start some action.
Hopefully folk in Bristol will pick up on this as there's a Raytheon there too. There are loads of other ones as well.
I hope everyone's recovered from Thursday's celebrations in Sandinos. Che would be proud of you.
I got your message and wish to send my congratulations
to all of you. Enjoy life and keep up your good work
Love from Ulla.
Ulla Roder one of the three women acquitted of disabling Trident nuclear sub computers in Loch Goil, Scotland
Massive congrats from us here...
Congrats to the R9, you have everything to be proud of, people like you make me feel like there is some hope for humanity, you are the shining beacons against the dark evil of the global arms trade.
Im off to bed with a big smile on my face, go raibh mile maith agaibh.
"Heroes of the day: Raytheon Nine" - That's the English translation of the German headline in a left-wing daily newspaper called "junge Welt" (young world).
Please see the full article below, as sent to me by an appreciative anti-war activist in Leipzig.
Helden des Tages: Raytheon-Nine
Welch wunderbare Menschen auf der irischen Insel leben, erfuhr die Welt mal wieder am Freitag. Nordirland steht der Republik nicht nach, wie jetzt bekannt wurde. In Belfast sprach ein Gericht in der vergangenen Woche neun Angeklagte frei, worüber die staatstragenden deutschen Medien ebensowenig berichteten wie über die Motive des Nein zum Lissabon-Vertrag der EU. Schließlich ist die Entscheidung der Jury in Belfast ein Sieg über die Rüstungsindustrie und zugleich eine deutliche Verurteilung der israelischen Kriegsverbrechen im Libanon. Aber der Reihe nach.
Im August 2006 hatten in der nordirischen Stadt Derry neun Aktivisten der lokalen Antikriegsbewegung die Büros einer Filiale des US-amerikanischen Rüstungskonzern Raytheon besetzt und dort die Computer zerstört. Dadurch wurde die Auslieferung von Präzisionswaffen an die israelische Luftwaffe verhindert, die zu dieser Zeit im zweiten völkerrechtswidrigen Angriffskrieg Libanon bombardierte. In der Gerichtsverhandlung in Belfast beriefen sich die Aktivisten auf die Pflicht eines jeden britischen Bürgers, Kriegsverbrechen zu verhindern. Schließlich habe die israelische Luftwaffe auch systematisch Wohngebiete in Libanon angriffen und dabei über 1000 unschuldige Zivilisten getötete. Die Jury beschied jetzt auf »unschuldig«.
In einer ersten schriftlichen Stellungnahme der »Derry Anti-War Coalition« heißt es: »Die Jury hat akzeptiert, daß wir berechtigt waren zu glauben, daß die israelischen Streitkräfte im Sommer 2006 in Libanon Kriegsverbrechen begingen; daß die Firma Raytheon Beihilfe zu diesen Verbrechen leistete und daß die von uns unternommenen Maßnahmen die Verübung dieser Kriegsverbrechen behindern sollten und dies auch taten.« Zugleich werden die nordirischen Justizbehörden in der Erklärung aufgefordert, zu untersuchen, ob Raytheon eine »kriminelle Organisation« ist. Bravo Derry! (rwr)
Reports in Danish left-wing media:
From the independent left-wing internet portal, modkraft:
Fredsaktivister frikendt for groft hærværk
En gruppe irske fredsaktivister er frikendt for groft hærværk mod en våbenfabrik, fordi de ville »forhindre forbrydelser mod menneskeheden«.
Peace activists acquitted for flagrant vandalism
A group of Irish peace activists has been acquitted for flagrant vandalism against an arms factory because they wanted to "prevent crimes against humanity".
And from a paper that calls itself Denmark's red daily:
I sommeren 2006 ødelagde de kontorudstyr hos våbenproducenten Raytheon for 200.000 kroner.
Nordirske fredsaktivister blev i onsdags frikendt for anklager om under en aktion i sommeren 2006 at have ødelagt værdier hos våbenproducenten Raytheon. Ikke fordi de seks aktivister ikke havde smidt computere og andet ud af firmaets vinduer, men fordi hensigten med ødelæggelserne var at forhindre Raytheon i at bidrage til krigsforbrydelser mod civile i Libanon.
Peace activists acquitted
In summer 2006 they destroyed office equipment at the premises of arms producer Raytheon to the value of DKK200,000. Not because the six activists hadn't thrown computers and other things out the company's windows, but because the purpose of the destruction was to prevent Raytheon contributing to war crimes against civilians in Lebanon.
The aquittal is fantastic news and a wonderful precedent for our own Raytheon 2 in Brisbane.
Great to hear that George Monbiot made a citizens arrest of John Bolton in Hay on Wye (I think).
The net is closing on the war mongers.
Mark, Brisbane, Australia
This is stunning news
Congrats for a long brave and resilient effort and deserved victory! We've been following the trial here in Australia and share in your joy!
Absolutely brilliant news - well done to all of you. And what a powerful and moving statement.
Best wishes, Monica Jones
B 52 Disarmament Action U.S.A.F. Fairford, England 03
Congratulations Eamonn and the Raytheon 9. You are a bunch of hero's in ours and many others eyes. You took them on and proved them to be the murdering lying corporate bastards that put profits ahead of humanity. This I hope will be a strong precedent and encouragement for further activists. Its also a wake up call for the industries soaked in blood, we are coming to get you, one by one you will all lose. In regards to the venetian blinds, this I can imagine is a real problem for them and I can send them some old curtains if they really need them. These I imagine would be essential in keeping the publics eyes off their dirty little secrets.