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Human Rights in Ireland >>
Solidarity with the 14 Raytheon accused (9 women + 5 men)
Show Your Support For The Raytheon Accused
The 14 Raytheon accused are 9 women and 5 men, based in Derry, in the north of Ireland, who are facing criminal charges after they used Non Violent Direct Action to access the Raytheon Software plant in Derry, in an attempt to disarm the mainframe computer.
Raytheon are the world's largest manufacturer of missiles and the world's fifth largest weapons manufacturer.
Until they left in February 2010 (thanks to all the action taken against them), Raytheon's Derry software plant developed the firmware for transponders, targeting software and other crucial guidance system-related work for weapons.
Their factories globally manufacture Tomahawk Cruise missiles, Sidewinder missiles, Hellfire missiles, the "Bunker Buster" bombs, the delivery systems for Cluster bombs, White Phosphate and Napalm.
They supply human rights abusing and militarist regimes such as Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Indonesia, Malaysia, Oman, Singapore, Greece, Taiwan and South Korea. Their senior staff enjoy a cosy relationship through revolving doors and lobby groups throughout the U.S. Military Industrial Complex, with all areas of state power, including the defense, foreign policy and state departments.
raytheon, whose premises in Derry has been the site of previous occupations and direct action protests, is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of weapons of mass destruction and a key supplier of Israeli weaponry, including the devices for deploying “white phosphorous”. In August 2006, 9 male protesters, known as the “ raytheon 9”, were charged with criminal damage after deliberately sabotaging the mainframe computer at raytheon’s Derry offices. The action was a direct response to the Israeli Defence Forces targeting of residential apartments in Qana, Lebanon, during which 28 civilians were killed with a raytheon “Bunker Buster” bomb. In June 2008 the “ raytheon 9” were acquited unanimously by a Belfast jury after it accepted that the action was being done in order to prevent further loss of life. In legal terms this is a legitimate defence against the charge of Criminal Damage. During the same trial, representatives from raytheon admitted that they had continued to supply weaponry to Israel in spite of evidence that it was being used to commit war crimes.
The action on Monday12 January 200 9, over which the 14 are now facing charges, had originally been planned by 9 women in direct response to the Israeli bombing of Gaza. The 9 women went in on the Monday morning after the Israeli bombardment continued unabated after it had dashed hopes for a cease-fire over the previous week-end.
“Our intention was to bring down the mainframe as the “ raytheon 9” had done.” said Goretti Horgan, one of the 9 women, “We knew from that trial that when the Derry mainframe went down, all of raytheon’s UK plants were knocked-out. I other words it was a really effective way of stopping the war machine, and we were determined to do the same.” But they didn’t reach the main-frame, and barricaded themselves in until the PSNI gave them an undertaking that they would investigate raytheon for complicity in war crimes.
The 9 women are now facing charges of Burglary, Criminal Damage and Assault. The last charge is perplexing to most as there were no circumstances during which this can be construed to have happened. During the “ raytheon 9” trial similar charges of Affray had been brought and later dropped amid speculation that a security guard had been pressured by police to make a statement that he later withdrew.
Also facing charges are 5 men who were arrested during action in support of the 9 women who got into the raytheon plant. All 5 men are charged with “Obstructing Police”, one is being charged with criminal damage, and one with “Personating a Police Officer”. Two of the men are also being charged with Assaulting a police officer after an incident, filmed and broadcast by the BBC, during which a pregnant woman was assaulted by a police officer.
The 14 accused are:
Helen Deery, Sharon Meenan, Betty Doherty, Diana King, Goretti Horgan, Róisín Barton, Julia Tor Rojo, Jackie McKenna, Róisín Kelly, James King, Ciaran Gallagher, Brian McFadden, Rory Mac Dermott and Eoin McMonagle. After the arraignment on Monday, it is anticipated the trial will begin in ernest in April or May.
At the time of the action, the PSNI undertook to investigate raytheon for complicity in war crimes. There is no evidence that this investigation is underway. At the raytheon 9 trial, evidence came to light which provides basis for legal action to be taken against Raytheon, say legal experts. “Like the raytheon 9 trial, we intend to turn the tables on Raytheon and put them on trial.” One of the accused Sharon Meenan said “We will doing it in court here, and later when we pursue the corporation legally. It is, of course, them who are the real criminals”
Related indymedia article from Jan 200 9:
Membership of this group means that you are expressing solidarity with the 14 and with all nonviolent direct action (NVDA) measures taken against militarism globally. It is also intended to be a forum for organising that solidarity.
Facebook: Solidarity with the 14 Raytheon accused (9 women + 5 men)