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Resisting War Crimes Is Not A Crime – Defend the Raytheon 9!
national | anti-war / imperialism | news report Thursday May 08, 2008 22:00 by Goretti Horgan - Derry Anti War Coalition
The Derry Anti War Coalition is calling on everyone who can to take the morning off work on Monday 19th May and come to the protest outside the Court in Belfast.
It has been confirmed that the trial of Derry Anti War Coalition (DAWC) activists, the Raytheon 9, will start on Monday May19th, in the Laganside Courts in Belfast. The Raytheon 9 are charged with criminal damage and affray as a result of the non-violent direct action taken by DAWC on 9th August 2006 at the height of the Israeli assault on Lebanon.
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You say "There will be a mass protest outside the Court (opposite the Waterfront) from 9.30 to 10.30 on Monday 19th and every Monday morning as long as the trial continues." So how many Mondays do you expect the trial to continue?
seems to be what all the lawyers expect. So, you may have 3 or 4 Mondays on which to protest.
Raytheon 9 website www.raytheon9.org
The only palpable tension presently concerning Irish complicity and profiteering in the US/UK wars on the people of the Middle East is the upcoming trial of the Raytheon 9 in Belfast and the ongoing plane spotting at Shannon.
The only regular visible anti-war opposition in Ireland, that I know of, are the weekly Catholic Worker hosted vigils at the GPO Dublin (Mon 5.30pm-6.30pm), the monthly vigil at Shannon (30 folks there last weekend with overkill Garda presence), the monthly FEIC vigil at Raytheon in Derry, psychodelic efforts in Galway pedestrian mall on the weekends and the efforts of the Palestinian solidarity campaign.
As the war escalates in Iraq and Afghanistan and expands into northern Pakistan, Lebanon (the U.S.S. Cole, described with refreshing honesty in this morning's Irish Times as a "destroyer", pulled up offshore yesterday), Somalia etc.these are humble expressions of the massive passive opposition to U.S. wars that exists in Ireland. There is no popular support in Ireland, or globally, for these wars but presently there is little visible opposition in the west. It is a tough time for the Raytheon 9 to be going to trial when the broader movement is so deflated.
We are asked to stand in solidarity with the Raytheon 9 nonviolent direct action undertaken two years ago as Lebanon burned and Raytheon and other weapons were unleashed. An action that was taken in solidarity with the victims of Raytheon and those who today live in the sights of Raytheon weapons yet to be unleashed. We are not asked to hero worship the defendants, canonise them or accept the political programs of whatever political parties and traditions from which they spring. We are asked to celebrate the NVDA at Raytheon and accompany the defendants through the courts and possible prison system for an act that was nonviolent and human in the face of overwhelming power, wealth and prestige.
Let there be no doubt - Raytheon made a killing in Lebanon! Raytheon ("light form the Gods") claims to be omnipotent and untouchable. Raytheon was touched by this act of nonviolent disarmament in their Derry offices. All they want from you as they deal with these defendants is your silence and sedation (Your cynicism will be an extra bonus to them!). Raytheon has the reach to co-opt Nobel Peace Prize winners to open its Derry plant. Raytheon has geographic reach from the Australian outback where it maintains the secretive NSA Pine Gap base www.pinegap6.org to building an electric fence along the Saudi/Iraq border to home state Massachusettes corporate offices to manufacturing the cruise missile fired with such abandoned on the people of Iraq and Afghanistan to tendering for policing who exits and enters the U.K. A reach all the way to outer space!
The trial has been moved from the defendants community and site of the Raytheon plant in Derry to Belfast it is due to commence on Monday May 19th.
How can we show solidarity with the defendants on trial for this act of nonviolent resistance?
These are a few things I did yesterday....
-I spoke to three high school classes, showed them some Revolt Video anti-war footage and told them of the Raytheon 9. I suggested that when they go and see th box office hit "Ironman" they should think of Raytheon and those who resist its works.
-I stood for two hours outside the GPO with a sign
"Disable the War Machine.
Free the Raytheon 9 on Trial in Belfast! www.raytheon9.org "
-I scribbled down the Raytheon 9 website for people who stopped to chat.
-From the looks I was getting- most people have never heard of Raytheon and are unaware they have a base in Ireland.
-I bought 15 copies of
"Resistng War Crimes is Not a Crime - The Raytheon 9" by Eamonn McCann.
A great resource for NVDA, on the works of Raytheon and the war on Lebanon. I mailed some to friends in England, Australia (cops seemed to have opened that letter!) and the United States and sold three copies (for the reasonable 3 euro price!) to people who engaged me on the vigil and activists who were looking for a copy. After I sell this lot I'll buy another lot...it really is a good cheap read.
-I'm hoping to get up to Belfast for the first day of trial on Monday and whenever I can - otherwise I hope to sustain a daily solo vigil outside the GPO during the trial (predicted to last 4-6 weeks).
These are the limited ideas I've come up with so far that fit around my minimal resources and work commitments. I'm looking for other ideas if you've got some post them as comments here! I think it is important to get the Raytheon 9 website www.raytheon9.org out and about. It is a very good site and people need to know about it. So scrawl it on any surface that seems appropriate or if some can produce a sticker with it on that would be deadly.
They're on Trial For Us, We're on the Loose for Them!
Some of the assertions made in the opening statement are a bit dubious to say the least:
The war in Iraq has been greatly receding in scale over the past year or so with the Sadr ceasefire and the Sunni awakening movement. Only Al Qaeda is continuing to break the peace usually with car bombs in markets, funeral and the like. The war in Afghanistan has flatlined. A Destroyer is a common class of naval vessel – why single out the US for having some? Most sizable nations with navies have some destroyers. There in nothing immoral about them in themselves. Speaking of Lebanon the difficulties there now are being stoked up by Hezbollah, as in 2006, not that this rather salient fact gets any mention from your good self. As for the “antiwar” activists you purport to defend some of these at least would seem to have no difficulties with war, violence and terrorism given their associations with INLA. Perhaps its not that these people are anti war but anti certain wars only namely those which might be prosecuted by the US, UK, other western nations and Israel. They are quite pro war when it comes to actions by Hezbollah, Irish Republican terrorists, ETA, Al Qaeda etc. Incidentally there was a large measure of popular support for the attack on the Taliban in 2001 as well as international legitimacy from the UN and other bodies. This cannot be ignored.
Announced in court in Belfast this morning---Raytheon 9 trial postponed from Monday next, to Tuesday, 20th. Discussions under way re. planned Monday morning demo outside court. More info as it becomes available.