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Police Agree to Investigate Raytheon's Role in War Crimes

category derry | anti-war / imperialism | news report author Tuesday January 13, 2009 00:32author by George Row Report this post to the editors

Nine Women obstruct doors inside Raytheon Plant Derry

Nine women obstructed doors inside Raytheon plant in Derry by chaining themselves together and to the doors. They were protesting against the use of Raytheon's weapons by Israel in the commission of war crimes in Gaza. They also called upon the local police to investigate Raytheon's participation in such crimes.
Protestors gather in solidarity outside Raytheon, while nine women (centre of picture) sit inside chained to an internal door.
Protestors gather in solidarity outside Raytheon, while nine women (centre of picture) sit inside chained to an internal door.

On Monday 12th Jan. 09 nine Derry women entered the building that houses Raytheon and chained themselves to each other and to the internal doors leading to Rayhtheon's part of the building.

After some time inside they started negotiating with Chief Inspector Chris Yates, of the PSNI.

The women made it clear that they were there to highlight Raytheon's participation in war crimes and that they would come out if the police agreed to investigate the extent to which Raytheon was implicated in the war crimes being carried out in Gaza using weapons created and supported by Raytheon.

At 5:45 pm the women emerged to be greeted by loud cheering and chanting from the anti-war campaigners outside.

Goretti Horgan of Derry Antiwar Coalition spoke briefly to the crowd, saying that as long as Raytheon's weapons continued to be used to kill innocent people they can be assured that Derry people will continue to protest about their presence here.

DAWC issued the following statements:
Statement issued by the women as they entered the Raytheon premises:

DERRY ANTI WAR COALITION

FROM NINE WOMEN WHO HAVE CHAINED THEMSELVES INSIDE THE RAYTHEON BUILDING AT SPRINGTOWN TODAY (JANUARY 12th) AT 2.30PM

We have taken this action in an effort to prevent or delay war crimes being committed by the Israeli Defence Forces in Gaza with the use of Raytheon weapons and to try to force a criminal investigation into the activities of the Raytheon company in Derry and elsewhere which, we believe, amount to complicity in war crimes.

Like millions of others, we have watched television pictures of innocent people being slaughtered since the Israeli assault on Gaza began on December 27th, and have wanted it to stop. But nobody with the power to make it stop seems willing to intervene to do so.

Lawyers and international human rights organisations have declared that the Israeli bombing and shelling of Gaza involves war crimes. The bombing of a UN-sponsored school on January 6th, killing at least 40 civilians, including children, has merely been the worst of these war crimes.

Raytheon is one of Israel’s main suppliers of the weapons being used in the attacks on Gaza. The company is either aware or doesn’t care that its weapons are being used to commit war crimes.

Raytheon is aiding and abetting Israel in committing these war crimes against the people of Gaza. We are trying to stop them.

We hope that we encourage others to take similar action against other Raytheon plants and against arms companies generally.

We call for a criminal investigation into the activities of the Raytheon company in Ireland, Britain and elsewhere with a view to the prosecution of Raytheon executives for complicity in war crimes.

We call on all political parties, community groups, trades unions, churches and others in the Derry area to say clearly that we do not want a company involved in war crimes in our town and to declare that Raytheon should get out.

STATEMENT ISSUED BY THE WOMEN IMMEDIATELY AFTER LEAVING THE BUILDING AT SIX PM.

A deputation from the Derry Anti-War Coalition is to meet with senior PSNI officers this week to present evidence which, they say, warrants a criminal investigation into the Raytheon company.

The coalition says that an agreement by the PSNI to formally consider the evidence was one of the reasons for ending the protest at Raytheon in which nine women chained themselves together inside the building.

A spokeswoman for the nine said: "While inside the building, we had a series of discussions with the Foyle commander of the PSNI, Chris Yates. As a result of these discussions between ourselves and Chief Inspector Yates, it was agreed that he would accept delivery of our dossier of evidence and arrange that it be studied to determine whether a basis exists for criminal charges against Raytheon.

We thank all those who gathered outside Raytheon to support our action. The Derry Anti War Coalition again calls on the local political parties to join us in demanding that Raytheon get out of Derry

ends

Related Link: http://veryderry.com/raytheon-nine-women/

Nine Derry women chained to each other and to internal doors block access to Raytheon's Derry plant.
Nine Derry women chained to each other and to internal doors block access to Raytheon's Derry plant.

Outside the Raytheon plant in Derry Eamonn McCann talks to the media while nine women remain chained to internal doors blocking access to Raytheon's offices.
Outside the Raytheon plant in Derry Eamonn McCann talks to the media while nine women remain chained to internal doors blocking access to Raytheon's offices.

The nine women emerge from Raytheon's Derry building, having obtained agreement that the police will investigate Raytheon's participation in war crimes in Lebanon and Gaza..
The nine women emerge from Raytheon's Derry building, having obtained agreement that the police will investigate Raytheon's participation in war crimes in Lebanon and Gaza..

Goretti Horgan, one of the nine Women, addressing the protestors outside Raytheon.
Goretti Horgan, one of the nine Women, addressing the protestors outside Raytheon.

author by Skepticalpublication date Tue Jan 13, 2009 11:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The PSNI agreed that they would investigate Raytheon?

Are you joking?

That's about as credible as the tall tale I told my daughter that her dead goldfish had swam away to live with little Nemo in the Carribean.

author by inchicore_saintpublication date Tue Jan 13, 2009 11:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Fair play to all involved in the protest.

author by Ciaronpublication date Tue Jan 13, 2009 12:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"The PSNI agreed that they would investigate Raytheon?
Are you joking?
That's about as credible as the tall tale I told my daughter that her dead goldfish had swam away to live with little Nemo in the Carribean."

Stranger things have happened. The investigating officer into the "British Aeropsace Ploughshares" action (a former Jesuit seminarian), where weapon systems set to export to
Indonesia and the north of Ireland were damaged inquired of a BAe bureaucrat whether BAe (as accused of in the action statement left at the scene) was indeed "involved in war crimes".

All the BAe bureacrat could muster was, "No comment!" rather than a denial to the investigating officer.

As has been pointed out by Derry activists, the presence of Raytheon is
in contravention of the Good Friday Agreement and much other legislation on the books. Maybe there is a cop who takes his job seriously up there, if so good luck to him. Hope he has better luck with his inquiries into Raytheon's crimes than the Serious Fraud Squad had with the recent Bae/Saudi bribe scandals...an investgation nuked by the Labor Government (one of the final acts of Blair before standing down). In that situation the serious fraud squad coppers had a more ethical position than the social democrats who we are expected to vote for every 4 years!

author by Mr.SelfDestructpublication date Tue Jan 13, 2009 13:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Some more news about the activities yesterday. A pregnant woman was allegedly slapped by an officer and the ombudsman will be looking into it. More news at the link.

Ombudsman called in after protest
A protester is put into a police vehicle
Five men were arrested during the protest on Monday

The Police Ombudsman is investigating a complaint about an officer's conduct during an anti-war protest in Londonderry on Monday.

The policeman appeared to strike a woman in the face during scuffles outside the premises of US defence firm Raytheon in Springtown.

Five men were arrested and are to appear in court in the city next month.

They face charges including criminal damage, burglary, assaulting police and impersonating a police officer.

Related Link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/foyle_and_west/7826354.stm
author by dunkpublication date Tue Jan 13, 2009 13:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

BBC:
Ombudsman called in after protest
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/foy...4.stm
Anti-war protesters are charged
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/foy...8.stm

RTE: nothing
Irish Times: nothing
Irish Independant: Nothing

author by Skepticalpublication date Tue Jan 13, 2009 14:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The whole investigation into the BAE scandal has been buried.
The strategic alliance between NATO and the Saudis and the economic relationship between the capitalist economy and cheap Middle East oil trumps the morality of illegal weapons deals.

Strategy of the NATO allies to protect their economic interests (their access to cheap oil) by supporting Israel.
A strong Israel armed with ultra modern military weaponry and nukes means that nobody screws with the West.
No Arab leader with designs on becoming Sultan of the Middle East can do what he wants.

More importantly China and Russia who try to buy Arab allegiance with economic and military assistance (modern Russian and Chinese weapons) so they can have cheap oil for their economies that are directly competing with NATO interests around the world know that any regime that they arm will be up against a regime armed by NATO.

For politicians and CEO's of weapons companies, if Israel flattens a few Palestinian apartment blocks and kills a few hundred women and child, its a small price to pay for global strategic economic and military advantage over China and Russia.

Any investigation into Raytheon will quietly run into the sand.

Mark my words.

author by RTÉpublication date Tue Jan 13, 2009 16:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Five held after Raytheon plant protest
Monday, 12 January 2009 20:56

Five anti-war protesters have been arrested outside the offices of the US defence firm Raytheon at the science and technology park in Derry.

The protest by the Derry Anti-War Coalition began at the Springtown plant around 2.30pm.

The five being held are being questioned in connection with a range of offences.

Nine women also chained themselves together on the top floor of the building, in protest at the Israeli offensive in Gaza.

They were later allowed to leave by police, and the protest has now ended.

Related Link: http://www.rte.ie/news/2009/0112/derry.html
author by Free Birdpublication date Tue Jan 13, 2009 16:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I think RTE should do some real journalism. Though that isn't too likely any time soon.

The police did not just "allow" the women to leave. The conditions were that if they left the PSNI would accept evidence that Raytheon were implicated in aiding and abbeting war crimes. This is a huge victory for DAWC. Also the five people who were arrested were arrested on flimsy grounds and the charges were absolutely ridiculous.

The most important thing here is the nine women who chained themselves inside the door and prevent war crimes happening in Gaza.

They blocked the door and prevented operations happening inside the Raytheon premises. This is by far the most important thing.

author by GTipublication date Tue Jan 13, 2009 16:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This is incredible! No not the protest or the outcome but that the SWP are publicising as a positive thing that the PSNI are going to investigate this company for war crimes.

Would you get real nothing of the sort will occur. I am flabbergasted by this, to even think that the PSNI has the ability to investigate a multinational arms company for war crimes is childish beyond belief. To think that a capitalist police force should even be asked to carry out such an investigation reveals a deficient understanding of the role of the capitalist state and its police force.
This is a new political low for the SWP.

author by Frank - nonepublication date Tue Jan 13, 2009 17:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What makes GTi think the action was by the SWP? Because Goretti Horgan was one of the women involved in the lock-up? Because Eamonn McCann was protesting outside? GTi has effectively written eight women and the other protesters out of the equation. And he (I'm presuming it's a man) talks about a low point!

author by Naivety Scenepublication date Tue Jan 13, 2009 18:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

.....war crimes? Northern Irish police?....don't you know their history? Apart from that.....isn't it a bit naive to think this investigation will be carried out, let alone accept the word of a policeman in a matter as grave as this? I doubt if the named Chief Inspector even has the authority to give such a committment.

Was there any guarentees given by the protesters in lieu of this 'police investigation?

author by Chrissiepublication date Wed Jan 14, 2009 13:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Too much scepticism kills hope, and gives us an excuse to do nothing in the face of gross injustice and corruption. It was said about the abolition of slavery in these Isles that it could not be done, given the powerful vested interests; now it's 200 years accomplished. Well done all at Derry Anti-War. Your courage is a light in the darkness of British and Irish complicity in immoral wars and state killing.

author by Gearóidpublication date Wed Jan 14, 2009 17:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

While I have some sympathy with the scepticism surrounding the PSNI's willingness/ability to investigate Raytheon' war crimes, this is vastly overshadowed by my contempt for people whose main political exertions consist of deriding the actions of committed activists such as those in the DAWC.

At least the comrades in Derry are engaged in positive anti-Israeli war crime direct action. The armchair critics seem more vexed about details of the comrades actions than the ongoing slaughter in Gaza.

author by juliapublication date Wed Jan 14, 2009 21:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dear all,

I'm one of the women involved in the occupation of the Raytheon premises last Monday, thanks for all the comments and support. This was a collective action, and both the ones inside and the ones outside made the news by exposing once again Raytheon's involvement in war crimes.

I myself, have no confidence whatsoever in the PSNI pushing any serious investigation as we all know who the security forces protect. We just have to look at the brutality they used against the people outside protesting... Nonetheless we have to bear in mind that we are determined to close down Raytheon's plant in Derry and that the City Council is playing deaf ears to these demands. This is in part just another way to get the council to fulfill their agreement with the DAWC that if evidence of the use of Raytheon's technology systems in war crimes was revealed (which it has, following the outcome of the Raytheon 9 trail) they would call for the closure of the plant.

It's not a pie in the sky it has a reason behind it.

By the way any publicity we can make on the issue to continue creating debate within the people of Derry and beyond will hopefully help to gather more people together and that's when little steps can reach far, at the end of the day raising consciousness and getting passive people into motivated ones it's a huge victory against the system itself.

author by Mary Kellypublication date Wed Jan 14, 2009 23:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

to all the women involved and all those supporting ye at home. It takes some guts to do an action like this in mid winter. Its an important statement against Raytheon arms factory and a very tangible act of solidarity with the brave people trying to protect their families and homes in Gaza.

author by linkpublication date Sun Jan 18, 2009 02:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Members of the Derry Anti War Coalition yesterday presented Derry's Police Chief, Chief Inspector Chris Yates, with a dossier of evidence demanding that Raytheon be investigated and charged with being complicit in alleged war crimes committed by Israel in Lebanon and Gaza.
The formal meeting yesterday at Strand Road PSNI station was the result of negotiations during the occupation of Raytheon's Springtown offices on Monday past by nine women members of the DAWC. Inspector Yates agreed to allow the women to walk free from the building, after they had chained themselves inside for three hours, and to hold a formal meeting at which a statement of complaint would be received and considered for referral to the Public Prosecution Service.
http://www.derryjournal.com/journal/PSNI-asked-to-inves...89.jp

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