Raytheon 2 found ‘Not Guilty’

Raytheon
Blood on the walls of Raytheon

Raytheon goes to Water on Wilful Damage Charges

by Jim Dowling

An hour after a Wynnum magistrate found Lisa Bridle and I not guilty of “disobeying a police direction”, police rang my home to let me know that Raytheon did not wish to proceed with willful damages charges resulting form another (our third) exorcism at their Brisbane offices.

Although the two charges are not related and under different acts, it appears Raytheon once again is more afraid of further embarrassment , than it is concerned with prosecuting people who “damage” their property.

The court case yesterday got underway with Raytheon Project Manager Russell Daniels giving evidence — Russell started out making the ridiculous claim that he heard us shouting “verbal obscenities”. When pressed to elaborate by Lisa under cross examination, Russell said that he found us talking about Raytheon killing children obscene. Despite prosecution objections, Lisa was allowed to answer her next question which was:

“Did you find it obscene that Raytheon weapons kill and mutilate so many children”?

Photo Missing
Russell proceeded to deny (rather unconvincingly, I thought), any knowledge of Raytheon bombs.

During my cross examination, I asked Russell:

“Are Cruise Missiles, Harm Missiles, Paveway missiles, any other Raytheon missiles, or any of the 4 types of Raytheon cluster bombs made at your offices (in Murrarie).”

He denied it, and when asked if he knew about these weapons being made by Raytheon, he once again denied nay knowledge of it. (He had been working for Raytheon for 5 years).

Russell was also shown the 3 A3 posters that we had put on their office walls, depicting Raytheon weapons and children mutilated by Raytheon weapons (Photos from a market place bombing in Baghdad and the infamous Qana bombing). He read out the words “War Crimes by Raytheon”, but said he had not looked at these posters closely before despite them being left on his office walls on 3 separate occasions. Hear no evil. See no Evil. Speak no evil.

Later a young Raytheon secretary claimed no knowledge of Raytheon making weapons at all.

Most interestingly however, Russell did admit knowing about the Raytheon 9 action in Ireland! So these brave Irish resisters can take heart that their message has reached the furtherest outposts of the Raytheon Corporate empire.

Lisa gave evidence that while she as a mother observing the suffering of mothers in Lebanon or Baghdad, and how powerless they must feel, as Raytheon weapons destroyed their lives. She could see how much easier it was for her as middle class Australian to act. So act she did.

I was allowed to read details of Robert Fisk’s description of a cluster bomb attack which ripped apart at

least 9 children in Hillah, Iraq.

I then referred to the Raytheon website where they proudly describe their cluster bombs and that at least 400 had been used in Iraq by the US forces. That is up to 800,000 bomblets with 160 million razor sharp pieces shredding ‘ “soft” area targets’.

This last phrase is from Raytheon’s own website.

I then explained how I believed only the demonic could account for ordinary people being involved in the construction of such evil devices. This then led to our attempt at exorcism of the Raytheon corporation.

In summing up Lisa pointed out that she had “a reasonable excuse” for doing what we did, but also pointed out that the charge the police had used was unlawful because under that act they could only move us on if it was a public place or a shop. The prosecutor tried to argue that it (Raytheon’s premises) was a public place, but after much deliberation the magistrate was forced to agree with Lisa, and we were found not guilty.

When I arrived home (the next morning as it turned out, after breaking a fan belt), Anne directed me to the message from the Morningside police who had charged me with willful damage for our third exorcism. The voice on the answering machine informed me that I did not have to appear in court next Monday as:

“The complaint had been withdrawn” — unknown Qld police officer.

Hope this will inspire others. From little things, big things grow……

For our part Raytheon can expect to see us again …. soon.

(Above is a photo kindly given to us as part of police evidence)

Jim Dowling

26th July 2008

****************

Arms Dealer, Raytheon, presses charges against protestors in Brisbane

… After Third ‘Exorcism’

” On 7th July we (Christians Against All Terrorism) returned to court again and finally got a date for our trial (25th July). Immediately after, we again returned to the Raytheon office (at Murarrie in Brisbane’e South East) and performed the deliverance rite, a virtual repeat of that on 29th May.

image

This time however there were over 20 people present, seven of us taking part in the deliverance rite and the others standing outside with a large banner reading “Raytheon – Merchant of Death”.

Previously a spokesperson for the group, Anne Rampa, had explained:

“We realize that, as St. Paul said, our battle is against principalities and powers, not flesh and blood.

We are all in the grip of a belief system that legitimizes the use of horrific violence in order to maintain the current world disorder.

We believe that we will never get the world we all yearn for if we don’t exorcise these spirits of violence, greed, indifference, fear, and deceit from our midst, and the midst of the money-makers, who make a fortune from our obsession with the violent solution.”

image
Jim Dowling arrested by Qld Police at request of Arms Dealer, Raytheon

Coming inside were Brisbane Catholic Workers, folks from Peace Tree Community in Perth, a Christian Anarchist from NZ, a Nimbin anarchist, and an ‘embedded’ journalist and photographer from the local Quest newspaper.

The outside group included two Buddhist friends who had travelled all the way from Maleny for the action, and a local resident who saw our banner and stopped by to support the action.”

About Raytheon

Raytheon Light of the Devil
Raytheon Light of the Devil

Since officially setting up offices in Australia in 1998, the Raytheon Corporation has expanded dramatically and now has offices in four states. Raytheon is proud supplier of electronic war fighting equipment, missiles and other “labour saving” devices to all branches of the Australian military.

Raytheon is also the largest civilian employer at Pine Gap, being the sole contractor for the daily maintenance of the facility. Pine Gap is Australia’s most important contribution to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, providing satellite intelligence information used in targeting for much of the bombing. Much of the equipment used at Pine Gap is also made by Raytheon. Raytheon is essentially a war fighting machine, making massive profits from almost every angle. Raytheon workers at Pine Gap tell the US military where to drop Raytheon bombs (cruise missiles, cluster bombs and much more), from planes fitted with Raytheon electronic equipment.

Whilst being only the fifth largest arms dealer in the world, Raytheon is the largest manufacturer of guided missiles, the infamous cruise missiles being their most famous babies. Starting at $600,000 each, more than thirty of these were fired in the first hours of the Iraq war.

But Raytheon have many other toys for killing children.

On 30th July 2006 in Qana Lebanon, Israeli planes killed 63 Lebanese refugees, including 42 children from the same village. While fleeing the fighting, these innocent people were slaughtered with K-84 Laser Guided Bombs made by Raytheon. Each of these missiles weighs nearly a ton.

On March 28th 2003, 60 innocent people were massacred in the AL Shuala (Baghdad) market place by a single missile. Renowned war correspondent, Robert Fisk, retrieved a bomb fragment with a serial number from the scene. It was identified as either a HARM or PAVEWAY missile – both made by Raytheon. My friend Donna Mulhearn walked through that Market place soon after the bombing and still has blood on the boots she wore on that day.

Of course these were just two of many massacres. Two which by shear luck could be traced directly to Raytheon. Use your imagination to guess how many of the thousands have died from Raytheon weapons in the last few years.

Raytheon premises in Murarrie
Jim Dowling paints his blood in protest against Raytheon in Murarrie

Raytheon also make cluster bombs. Most people are familiar by now with these particularly evil devices.

A Response

With all this in mind, a group of people , Christians Against ALL Terrorism, began a series of Deliverance prayers, or exorcisms, at the Raytheon office in Murrarie, Brisbane. Convinced that only the demonic could account for a company which exists to make profit from such death and destruction, we were determined to do our best to rid the Raytheon company of those forces.

On 25th April, 5 of us entered the Brisbane front office, lit candles, prayed and sprinkled holy water. We also pasted the walls with

photos of Rayth

eon massacres, including those massacres mentioned above. We then placed human blood in the shape of a cross in three places on their white walls and glass doors. At last Raytheon could show its true nature to visitors!

Inside Raytheon 7th July 20081
Protest inside Raytheon 7th July 2008

On that occasion Raytheon executives declined to press charges. Police then charged two of us (Lisa Bridle and myself) for refusing to leave when asked by police.

On the 29th May, immediately after our first court appearance, Lisa, myself and six others returned to the Raytheon offices and repeated the Deliverance rite. (It is handy that Raytheon is not far from the court house). This time, in front of the glass doors leading to the reception area, we put up the same photos and poured blood. After 20 minutes of reciting the deliverance prayers, we went downstairs and stood with others on the footpath. Three car loads of police arrived, but once again Raytheon declined to press charges, and no-one from the police even bothered to talk to us.

Outside Raytheon 7th July2008
Outside Raytheon 7th July 2008

On 7th July we returned to court again and finally got a date for our trial (25th July). Immediately after, we again returned to the Raytheon office and performed the deliverance rite, a virtual repeat of that on 29th May. This time however there were over 20 people present, seven of us taking part in the deliverance rite and the others standing outside with a large banner reading “Raytheon – Merchant of Death”. Coming inside were Brisbane Catholic Workers, folks from Peace Tree Community in Perth, a Christian Anarchist from NZ, a Nimbin anarchist, and an ‘embedded’ journalist and photographer from the local Quest newspaper. The outside group included two Buddhist friends who had travelled all the way from Maleny for the action, and a local resident who saw our banner and stopped by to support the action.

Charged after Third ‘Exorcism’

Perhaps finally sensing we were not going to give up easily, this time Raytheon executives did ask police to press charges, and being the one who poured the blood on the doors, I was charged with “willful damage”. Everyone else was allowed to leave. I was taken to the police station and once again released on bail.

We are encouraged by the recent win in court in Ireland of the Raytheon 9. A jury found 8 of the 9 not guilty of damaging Raytheon property when they entered their Dublin office and threw papers and computers out the window. The 9th person was given a suspended sentence.

In turn, others in Brisbane have been encouraged by our actions and there is talk of a day of action by different groups at all the Brisbane offices of major war profiteers. These include Halliburton, Boeing, General Electric, Honeywell, and others.

The Theme of World Youth Day about to take place in Sydney, is about being empowered by the Spirit.

This is our prayer also, that Christians and others will be emboldened to embrace the non-violent message of Jesus.

Jim Dowling

*Lisa Bridle and Jim Dowling go to trial for the first deliverance rite on 25th July. If you would like to support in any way you can write to Jim Dowling, 2705 Mt Mee Rd, Ocean View, Q 4521, or mmemail;penangke@octa4.net.au or phone (07) 34253003. All are welcome to come to court.

*********************

IMG_2547
Jim Dowling paints blood on Raytheon's Door

“Exorcists” return to Arms Dealer immediately after court.

A group of nine people opposing the presence in Brisbane of one of the world’s biggest arms dealers, the Raytheon Corporation, today returned to continue a Rite of Deliverance, (exorcism) at the company’s Murarrie offices.

The group claims that Raytheon, the worlds’ third largest dealer and manufacturer of armaments, has made a literal killing since September 11, 2001. The price of their shares went up 40% in the following month, in anticipation of

retaliatory attacks, before any war had been declared.

Two of the “Chrisitians Against ALL Terrorism” group had just been to court at Wynnum to face a charge arising from their first action against Raytheon on the 24th April. On that occasion office staff allowed them to enter the front office where they lit candles, sprinkled holy water, and recited deliverance prayers. They then posted the walls with pictures of victims of Raytheon missiles, and poured human blood on them in the shape of a cross.

On that occasion Raytheon declined to press charges. Instead police charged them with refusing to obey a police direction.

Today, at 10:30 am, members of the group repeated the rite, this time in the foyer in front of the Raytheon main entrance door. Once again they poured blood on the glass door of the company, and pasted photos of children killed and maimed by Raytheon bombs.

Spokesperson, Anne Rampa said,

“We realize that, as St. Paul said, our battle is against principalities and powers, not flesh and blood.

We are all in the grip of a belief system that legitimizes the use of horrific violence in order to maintain the current world disorder.

We believe that we will never get the world we all yearn for if we don’t exorcise these sprits of violence, greed, indifference, fear, and deceit from our midst, and the midst of the money-makers, who make a fortune from our obsession with the violent solution.”

The group left the foyer after 20 minutes of praying, and then stood on the footpath with banners. Once again Raytheon executives declined to press any charges when police arrived.

“Obviously, Raytheon are too embarrassed by their war crimes to press charges,” Ms. Rampa said.

Editors Note: The photo (shown) of the protest action makes sense when you know that the definition of Raytheon [from the Greek means] “light from the Gods”. Look at the poster on the door in the action photo. Thanks Ciaron.

Contact

Anne (07) 3425 3003

Sean 0423-749-946

**********

EXORCISING RAYTHEON —

[Editor’s Note: Raytheon actually has offices one of Brisbane’e oldest suburbs at Murrarie!]

The Raytheon Corporation is the world’s larger producer of guided missiles including the infamous cruise missile, which was used heavily in the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. Raytheon profits have risen dramatically from both these wars.

Its missiles also killed large numbers of civilians in the 2006 Israeli invasion of Lebanon.

Raytheon picture

On 24 April three members of Christians Against All Terrorism (CAAT), Jim Dowling, Lisa Bridle and Sean O’Reilly entered Raytheon’s Brisbane office. They were welcomed through the glass security door by a staff member thinking they had arrived for a meeting. (Later we reflected on how some of the group were similarly able to miraculously enter Pine Gap two years earlier)

Instead of joining the meeting, the three commenced a Prayer of Deliverance, naming the essence of Raytheon for what it really is, “a spirit of greed, of violence, of deliberate indifference to injustice and human suffering” (see deliverance prayer attached). They posted the walls with photographs of civilians maimed or killed by Raytheon missiles, and spread human blood in the shape of a cross to symbolise the blood shed by these weapons. A candle was then lit and held up to the walls, symbolising bringing the light of Christ to these dark deeds. Holy water was also sprinkled around the office.

During the Deliverance, a large number of people did arrive for the Raytheon meeting and were confronted with the real nature of the Raytheon Corporation.

Staff attempted to force the three to leave the premises.

Jim, Lisa and Sean continued to recite the deliverance prayer, pray and speak of the suffering caused by the Raytheon’s weapons systems, before police arrived at 10.45am.

In a somewhat surreal backdrop, two screens in the office foyer continually played promotional material espousing the work of Raytheon and the ‘challenges’ of modern warfare.

Jenny Nash, Kaye Mc Padden and Rebecca Dowling maintained a vigil outside with banners and placards. Raytheon had only moved into these offices last month. Some staff protested that they had nothing to do with the production of these weapons and were clearly angry at this intrusion into their ‘business as usual’ routine. This witness was probably the first time they have been confronted with the horror of Raytheon’s role in warmaking.

Police arrived and had a lengthy conversation with Raytheon staff in another room. On emerging they revealed that Raytheon did not want to peruse damages charges. They then asked the three to leave. Sean agreed do so whilst Jim and Lisa refused, saying they wished to continue the deliverance.

Jim and Lisa were taken away by police at 11.25am, charged with disobeying a lawful direction and later released.

They appear in court on 29th May (2008 ) for a hearing date to be set.

Further charges would have required Raytheon staff to present evidence in court and it is clear that is one thing they wish avoid.

To do so would expose Raytheon staff to questioning about their activities and this is one company that in many respects would prefer to stay in the shadows and avoid further scrutiny.

CAAT will continue to witness against the role of Raytheon in warmaking.

On 19 May members of the Raytheon 9 will go to trial in Belfast, Northern Ireland, for their action at Raytheon’s facility in Derry in August 2006.

For more information and to send messages of support see www.raytheon9.org

Sean O’Reilly

Anzac Day, 25th April 2008

Photo: Sean, Lisa, Jim and Sr Kaye before the action.

50 thoughts on “Raytheon 2 found ‘Not Guilty’

  1. Brent,

    I presume you mean the extensive use of Cruise missiles in the Nato bombing?

    No doubt Raytheon will be heavily involved in all US wars for a long time to come, unless things change dramatically.

    I am not aware of anyone highlighting Raytheon’s role this time.

    But I would be happy for them to be exposed anytime!

    Jim

  2. Brent Kane says:

    Has there been any recent action concerning Raytheon’s involvement in the recent shameful acts in Libya?

  3. Dear Dorn,

    CAAT (Campaign Against the Arms Trade) is also a fairly moderate anti-arms trade group.

    British Aerospace (BAe) ran 6 agents/infiltrators in their organisation and one in the Liverpool Catholic Worker.

    At the same time BAe were running a £billion slush fund for a Saudi prince.

    Last week BAe were exposed running a £100million bribe fund for members of the ANC South African government.

    You’ve really got to ask wether you’re being run as a Raytheon/BAe stooge college funded and all.

    Might be worth reflecting on the Saudi jihad fodder/ Pakistan intelligence trained/ CIA funded collaboration that gave birth to your latest enemy.

  4. “Democracy Now” (10 Mins Audio)

    Interviews Swedish Ploughshares Activists who Disarmed BAe Grenade Launchers for Export-Dec 9, 2008

    Sweden Ranks Second in the World in Per Capita Weapons Exports http://www.democracynow.org/2008/12/9/sweden_ranks_second_in_the_world

    Institutions like the Nobel Prize have helped link Sweden’s international reputation to peace and reconciliation, but few people know Sweden is also one of the world’s top exporters of weapons.

    Sweden is among the world’s top arms exporters in per capita terms. Its clients include the United States and Britain, with shipments more than doubling since 2000.
    We speak with two ploughshares activists in Sweden. Annika Spalde, Activist with the Avrusta (“disarm” in Swedish), which aims to stop Swedish arms, exports to countries violating human rights. And Cattis Laska, Activist with the Swedish Christian peace network, Ofog.

    More on the Swedish Ploughshares:
    http://www.jonahhouse.org/OfogPlowshares.htmv

  5. I think it’s great that your name is the same as my platoon’s name in the Marines. CAAT (Combined Anti-Armor Team) and we use Raytheon technology in our TOW missles. The VA will also be paying for my college and all my supplies. I plan on getting a degree in mechanical engineering and along with my experience as an infantry Marine, become a weapons designer. Just thought you’d like to know.

  6. Isn’t it good news that workers from the countries are excluded from employment with these arms dealers?

  7. The four big defence companies in Australia; Raytheon, Boeing, Thales, and BAE, are now allowed to hire, fire and re-deploy people based on where they were born.

    Under a recently signed defence trade agreement between Australia and the U.S. Australian based arms dealers are required to investigate the birthplace of their workers and anti-discrimination laws have been bent to allow this.

    Countries proscribed include: Afghanistan, Belarus, Burma, China, Cyprus, Cuba, Haiti, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, North Korea, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen and Zimbabwe.

    Employees effected just have to have been born in any of these countries (Australian citizenship is not considered) and the U.S. can add to or change this list anytime they like.

    Read more http://www.abc.net.au/rn/backgroundbriefing/stories/2008/2339793.htm#transcript

    Hamish Chitts
    http://www.stand-fast.webs.com

  8. Hello Jim,

    Please note the photos of Raytheon CEO signing deals with the CIA in Texas and the Defence Scientist in Canberra. Note also the backdrop of this last photo, all the missiles and weapons you mentioned are in the poster for all to see. How could any worker at Raytheon not know the killing that is done by these companies?

    At the same time, it is good to see the Magistrate’s court doing their job and limiting police powers to the street. I didn’t see the magistrate charging the cops with unlawful imprisonment after Raytheon management made a their complaint for the police to come and arrest you in the first place.

    Magistrates, their job is so hard, knocking back police prosecutions that try to argue that ‘it (Raytheon’s premises) was a public place’.

    I didn’t see the beak criticising Raytheon for wasting taxpayer funds by lodging complaints without backing them up.

    Go easy on the editor at BT — he is just doing his job. The editor is a bastard for grammar and punctuation and he did do a bit of cleaning up of your story which was informative and well written.

    Where do these Dowlings get their panache and ability to tell such a good yarn?

    Perhaps it is time to do another booklet — ‘Liberating Raytheon’ this time? And for the next action, bear in mind those cautionary words:

    “Don’t follow leaders, keep a eye out for plain clothes, you don’t need to be a weatherman to know which way the wind blows” — B. Dylan.

    Ian Curr
    ‘Chief Editor’
    Ph: 07 3398 5215
    Email: iancurr@optusnet.com.au
    Web: BushTelegraph

  9. “This war [in Afghanistan] is primarily about having easier access to the oilfields in Turkmenistan to the North of Afghanistan, including a possible pipeline from these oilfields through Western Afghanistan to lucrative markets in Pakistan and India. Soldiers are sacrificing their lives so that others can earn a profit from it,” he said.

    “To bury this war under the cloak of democracy and a war on terror is ridiculous. As veterans and ex-service personnel, we reject this attempt to say that anyone in Afghanistan has died in our name. We think Dr Nelson is looking after the interests of big business and dressing it up to look like the people of Afghanistan have the capability and desire to invade Sydney,” Chitts said.

    To find out more … contact Hamish on 0401 586 923
    or email standfast.au@gmail.com
    or http://www.stand-fast.webs.com

  10. Dear Editor,

    As a local resident [eastern suburbs of Brisbane], the front-page story in the South-East Advertiser of 9 July 2008 titled “Blood Feud — protestors perform bizarre ‘exorcism'” raises some important issues. [See http://paper.questnews.com.au/QST_SEA/sea001.pdf%5D

    Though difficult to discern from the article, it seems that Raytheon provides training and weapon systems support for the navy and for the air force at nearby Amberley F-111 base. Though not evident from the front-page [story], this multi-national weapons dealer was the subject of protest by a Christian group.

    This being the case, the ‘blood feud’ angle taken by your paper was itself strange for it hides what must concern many of your readers namely:

    1) Does Raytheon manufacture and supply weapons in Australia?
    2) How are those weapons used?
    3) Where are those weapons used and against whom?

    Might I suggest that your journalist not accept the ‘no comment’ from Raytheon reported on page 3 but take a more investigative approach to find out on behalf of the local community what an international arms dealer is doing in Murarrie.

    Regards,
    Ian Curr
    Camp Hill
    Ph: 07 3398 5215
    Email: iancurr@optusnet.com.au

  11. a view from the bottom of a pile f cops in belfast

    Playing the lowest rung in a game of “stacks on the mill, more room still….” with five PSNI officers on the Castleragh Rd. brought back a flood of memories. Not merely of collapsed Rugby League (yes Union was always a game for toffs) scrums in primary school, but of the visits of heads of state.

    I remember being ushered off, little flag in hand, to line the streets for the Queen’s visit during 1970 bicentenial celebrations of Captain Cook. I had yet to hear the more sensible claim that “Aborigines Discovered Cook!” Maybe the kids at Loughtview won’t let school get in the way of an education and look back at their day with different perspective in hindsight. I recall refusing, along with a bunch of fellow senior hgh school students with Irish names, to line the streets for the Queen’s silver jubilee in ’77 in my senior year. I remember big Br. Larkin being impressed with our gusto, as he administered our lunch time detention, if not with the declaration that we were on hunger strike for the hour – as lunch wasn’t on the agenda anyways. I recall the headmaster not being impressed with stumbling across my solo Irish solidarity demo in King George Square later that day in the presence of her majesty and thousands of her devotees. I also recall earlier tv footage of (“All the Way with) LBJ’s presidential visit to Australia during the Vietnam War and anti-war protestors in Sydney or Melbourne flinging themsleves in front of the Presidential limo.

    It seems a long way from the sparsely populated sidewalks of Castleragh Rd. that witnessed King George’s convoy scream pass on his way to the photo op at Loughtview school. They really don’t do the street lining thang for these characters so much anymore. I remember more recent times when our movement was so strong that King George had to call short the Presidential walk (up to Congress?) following his first inaugaration due to the amount of teargas fired at our movement disrupting proceedings – our people that way outnumbered his devotees. That day, that should live as dissident memory and nourishes us still, was over a million Iraqis and 4,000 U.S. dead ago.

    Ones perspective on power and imperial machinations has a lot to do with ones location. For those Irish Republicans who got into bed with Clinton and woke up with Bush there must be internal difficulty unless the seductions of celebrity privilege, mainstream status and state power have quelled all self doubt. How different is it from the Australian and British Labor leaders who once marched against Vietnam and today send the latest cannon fodder to kill and be killed in Iraq and Afghanistan I dunno? I do know that from the bottom of a pile of cops is a good place for a radical christian to view presidential power as it passes.

  12. As Unionist and Republican north of Ireland politicians welcomed U.S. President Bush to Stormont, a thousand gathered in protest at Belfast City Hall http://www.indymedia.ie/article/88005 ,in an act of nvda an Irish Republican crew raised the Iraq flag over the town hall, 100 gathered at the gates of Stormont for anti-war speeches and the local anarcho punks performed a traditional U.S. flag burning http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikey_wikey/2584454641/in/…ream/
    Later a christian anarchist crew attempted a nonviolent intervention on the Presidential convoy http://www.indymedia.ie/article/87990

    Eamonn McCann of the recently acquitted Raytheon 9 http://www.raytheon9.org addressed the crowd oustide Belfast Town Hall.

    An excellent 7 minute speech worth a listen here…….
    http://www.indymedia.ie/article/88032

    McCann, from Derry, was one of the civil rights organisers of the ’60’s. He would have helped organise the 1972 nonviolent civil rights march in Derry that was attacked by Britis paras leaving 13 unarmed protesters dead. That day is now known as “Bloody Sunday”. The violent state and death squad crushing of the civil rights movement led to 30 years of war in the north of Ireland. Scenes of that day are included in the following clip from the anarcho-punk Stiff Little Fingers along with their desire for an “Alternatve Ulster”.

    Check out the 4 minute clip
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfOQ9b4GiyM

    Derry is presently the home of a Raytheon plant (the 4th. largest arms company in the world). Raytheon was opened by Nobel Peace Prize winners Trimble and Hume. It was brought to Derry as part of the Northern Ireland Peace Process. Go figure? Bush was in Stormont promising both Republican and Unionist politicians further such U.S. investment.

  13. Damien,
    I have fixed up the hyperlinks in your message at #32 and the layout. [Spaces and line breaks play havoc with hyperlinks].

    Ciaron,
    I have placed the YouTube video shot outside the courthouse in Dublin into the main part of the article about the local action here in Brisbane. It explains more about what Raytheon is about.

    Sean,
    I am dubious that a magistrate could lawfully find any of the group here who went into the Murrarie offices of Raytheon guilty of any offence. I refer here to the excerpt in Sean’s article that reads:

    Police arrived and had a lengthy conversation with Raytheon staff in another room. On emerging they revealed that Raytheon did not want to peruse damages charges. They then asked the three to leave. Sean agreed do so whilst Jim and Lisa refused, saying they wished to continue the deliverance.
    Jim and Lisa were taken away by police at 11.25am, charged with disobeying a lawful direction and later released.

    Given that Raytheon staff are reluctant to give evidence, it is more likely that the police involved were acting unlawfully when they removed some of the protestors. A lawyer worth her salt would be arguing that police powers of giving lawful directions lie in the street not in private rented rooms of Raytheon in suburban Brisbane. But then, what do I know, I am only a Bush Lawyer

    Readers,
    People may wish to visit the BT pages relating to Iraqi solidarity at

    http://bushtelegraph.wordpress.com/middle-east/
    http://bushtelegraph.wordpress.com/2008/06/09/iraq-insurgency-now-a-popular-revolution/
    http://bushtelegraph.wordpress.com/2008/04/27/iraqs-political-machinations/

    These webpages are compiled (albeit hurriedly) by people with knowledge of the language, culture and political climate in the areas under siege from the USA and its allies.

    Ian Curr
    June 2008

  14. Meanwhile back in the real world Raytheon 9 Acquitted in Belfast!

    This is the sms message that broke the news to me and it seems the world outside of the Belfast courtroom: ‘Raytheon 9 in Belfast Acquitted on all charges – Eamonn McCann guilty of theft – got conditional discharge’.

    Here is Ciaron’s recent feature article on Indymedia which has updates on the proceedings:
    http://www.indymedia.ie/article/87799

    Below is a brief interview I did with Eamonn McCann, one of the Raytheon 9 (www.raytheon9. org) and veteran civil rights campaigner from Derry, Northern Ireland, speaking from Qana, Lebanon, (July 2007) on the 1st anniversary of the Israeli bombardment of Lebanon with Raytheon produced missiles.

    http://radio.indymedia.org/en/node/16892

    This is a link to my report from Lebanon last summer after spending time with members of the DAWC, Raytheon 9 visiting areas torn apart by he war.

    Irish Activists in Lebanon on 1st Anniversary of Israel’s War
    http://www.indymedia.ie/article/83681

    I’m sure a full report of the day’s court proceeding, interviews with the defendants, etc. will follow soon. Please keep an eye on Indymedia.ie and Raytheon9.org

    The Raytheon Nine can receive messages of support and can be contacted at resistderry@aol.com.
    Journalist and socialist Eammon McCann has written a pamphlet titled Resisting War Crimes Is Not a Crime: The Raytheon 9 which can be obtained for £2 / ¤3 from the Derry Anti War Coalition at the above address or from Anti War Ireland (antiwarireland@gmail.com). You can also buy it via Paypal on http://www.raytheon9.org

    Congratulations to the Raytheon 9 and their supporters who helped them over the past 2 years. This is an absolutely fantastic victory. Please spread the news wide and far.

    In solidarity,
    Damien Moran

  15. Ian,

    as for you secular socialists while I’m on a roll,

    There is indeed nothing wrong with ideas of socialism or the analysis of class and private property. I was referring more to the religion of leninist party building theory and such things as pickets and street marches – gathering in the streets as chooks gather to the clang of the feed tin. And of course the newspapers, I conCurr with your comments on the DA thread.

    It is indeed we practitioners who have failed. It is our collective lack of imagination, romanticisation of our histories and our delusional estimations of our own effectiveness that compells us and those who follow in our footsteps to replicate the historical failures in ever diminishing, almost monastic spheres of action..

    The glaringly obvious vacuum in Australian Marxist strategy is the Maoist dictum, power come through the barrel of a gun. If Marxist Leninists are serious about a leninist revolution they need to incorporate a military component as every other revolutionary Marxist movement around the globe has had to do.

    As long as vanguard party building revolves around petty political manifestations and ignores, for whatever reason, the full Lenninist program then it, like the christians claiming to be Ghandian without a strategy for a mass boycott of the colonial economy, is just play acting.

    For the sake of Barry Krosch and his mates who are probably reading this, I am not advocating violence. I am advocating a radical analysis of power and contemporary exploration as to how to intervene in real power and historical force. To attempt to bring about social change without such serious and open minded discussion, the sort Marx and his mates engaged in to apply to 19th and 20th century Europe. We must do the hard work of Marx today, not regurgitate his conclusions as a scientific law.

    If we do not we are just engaging in bourgeoise fantasy, Marxism as the opiate of the people.

  16. John,

    I cannot speak for the christians or their tactics of non-violent direct action because I have a different perspective.

    It is up to them to defend their actions.

    However, there is nothing wrong with the ideas of socialism, the analysis of class and private property.

    It is we, its practitioners, who have failed.

    Until we take responsibility for our failure, we will be unable to move forward and rid ourselves of exploitation.

    Ian Curr
    June, 2008

  17. Simon,

    What i want from these conversations is to challenge what I see as self indulgent illusions that play act the real process of social change.

    I cannot demand any answer from you that you dont want to give – obviously.

    I am sick of the lefties, from Ian Curr to Ciaron Oreilly (thats the full spectrum isn’t it?) bemoaning the lost opportunities of what could be, the left is dead, the peace movement has sold out, etc. In amidst such obvious and deafening dysfunction in our movement(s) we all still cling to our ideological or religious safety blanket/straight jackets and regurgitated modes of action that may well be what put us in such an isolated demoralised state in the first place.

    perhaps this NVDA, (or vanguard party), after 30 years of experiments is not what the rhetoric proclaimed it to be. Perhaps it is just a cyclical rehash of a template that has proven itself to fizzle out cycle after cycle after cycle, ever replenished by naive idealists discovering such magic for the first time.

    I repeat my challenge to explain how CAAT/Frisbee/Plowshares in any way benefits the victims of war and poverty?

    I have looked through your website and the questions still stand.

  18. John,

    I’ve answered all your questions, or the answers are available freely on the web (where I’ve written a bunch of things on what I think we achieved beyond our own selves – see our website, particularly under ‘strategy’), so I’ve chosen to devote my limited time and energy to other things (until we meet. But I’d like to ask finally what you need or want out of these conversations, because it’s not at all clear to me.

    grace and peace,
    Simon

  19. The jury has been sent out in the trial of the Raytheon 9 trial in Belfast today (Tues).

    After an initial 45 minutes of delberation the jury was unable to reach a unanimous decision on the five remaning criminal charges. The charge of affray was dropped after the prosecution case.

    The jury have been moved to a motel for the night. They will be brought back to court Wednesday morning to initially reach a unanimous verdict. After a few more hours they will be told by the judge that a 10-2 decision will be accepted.

    For more background on the Raytheon 9 action
    http://www.raytheon9.org

    for updates on the trial and where to leave a solidarity message
    see
    http://www.indymedia.ie/article/87799

  20. Closing arguments have begun in the tial of the Raytheon 9 in Belfast http://www.raytheon.org
    The trial is like to comclude this week.

    President Bush is due to arrive in Belfast next week, both nationalist parties are beating around the Bush for increased U.S. investment. There doesn’t appear to be any restrictionson U.S. waepons comapnies coming to invest in the north.

  21. Ciaron,

    I hope one day you will deal with the hate that you harbor in your heart and allow to dominate your words.

  22. “But the real struggle is at home.”

    some where between the kitchen the jacks and the computer in your case…get outta the house tribal adopted brother

    ….your a joke dude…a bad joke but a joke…you’d be about much use to the indigeneous commuity you have tried to graft yourself on as you were to the rad christian and anarchist scenes you once leached off…minimal give maximum take keep on keeping on Johnny..just give the cyber snipiing of activists before the courts a rest…and you’ll be safe in your play pen there

  23. Ciaron,
    Any traps you may fall in to are of your own making, do not project your irrational motivations to abuse onto me.

    There are poor in West End, though fewer than there used to be. Many of them are my family including my tribal adopted brother, the head man of Musgrave Park. What you arrogantly dismiss as sitting on my arse for 30 years is in reality a consistency and continuity that is very absent from your modus operandi. I have seen the organisations and campaigns come and go. But the “real world” is a matter of people and community and relationships. Until you can incorporate this real world into your agenda you are just ego tripping as well as global tripping.

    It is true I have not travelled to Jabiluka and caused the divisions and resentments between the peace/environment movement and Aboriginal Australia that you did. But I have been to Nurungar and Ben Lomond on protests. More recently I have been involved on Palm Island, Boulia and previosly Far Nth. Qld, in all instances providing logistical support to various struggles and campaigns – not imposing my own fantasies of personal rebellion onto someone elses situation as you do.

    But the real struggle is at home.

    No I have not engaged in any token support for the raytheon 9. The sort of sycophantic hero worship that you are engaging in has been specifically rejected by Raytheon 9 and DAWC. Your recent attempts to identify yourself with that movement and be the self appoitment solidarity co-ordinator looks silly in light of what they are saying about how to respond to the trial, and of their distancing themselves from Catholic worker/plowshares modes of action.

    I take some inspiration from their story but my focus is the struggle here.

    Have you sent any letter of support yet to Lex Wotton ? Are you co-ordinating European solidarity for his case? Or is he just another black authoritarian that you wouldn’t piss on if he was on fire?

  24. John,

    What you say or write means little as it does not lead to or nourish activity.

    Big deal you support the Raytheon 9 what does that mean in your comfort zone? Have you written to them, donated to them, traveled to court in Belfast, conducted a solidarity vigil with them in your hometown, visited Raytheon offices in your hometown? This is the real world in which I, and others you attack, operate. It is not your world of cyber pontification.

    So you want to get a prize for sitting on arse in West End for the last 30 years not traveling to Roxby, Jabiluka and sites where the poor are targeted from. You don’t get a prize so you snipe from cyberspace on behalf of the man at your former contempories Bryan before the courts, at Gary and the aboriginal woman recently in the QUT star chamber, at myself, at those who resisted OTS 07 etc etc

    Your problems aren’t intellectual they are emotional and psychological. No argument or real occurences of B 52’s that cannot fly, uranium equipment that can’t extract, NSA bases close down, military exercises disrupted, U.S. Navy resupply aircraft sent home will satisfy you.

    You are a waste of space on this thread and on this site.
    At best you are the poor man’s David Horowiitz.

    You get ego strokes and jollies from serious people taking you seriously enough to respond to you. And I keep falling into that trap.

  25. Ciaron,

    Where is this real world that you speak about? Does it exist in any of your many international action destinations? If so, why do you always leave?

    I have written nothing but praise for the Raytheon 9, suggesting them as a superior mode to that which you advocate, in particular their connection to the broader, ongoing indigenous struggle against colonisation. Your paranoia is perhaps again getting the better of you.

    Can you explain how your actions have/can in any way benefit the victims of war and poverty? It seems that Simon can’t, Bryan can’t and you can’t seem to get get beyond rabid growling.

    You seem to have a shallow movement indeed if it cannot explain itself beyond emotive condemnation of other perspectives or polite dismissive agreements to disagree. religious cultism!

  26. John you go do some action in the real world and then come back and we’ll compare notes.

    Your trolling is about inaction and attacks on activists before the courts – recently myself, Gary Mac, Bryan Law and now the Raytheon 9. Paid or unpaid, conscious, unconscious or semi-conscious you play the provacteur role on this site as an agent of the state.

    You are a waste of (cyber) space, a political irrelevancy as you are devoid of praxis besides trolling and churning out your half baked attacks (you are too lazy to fully bake an attack).

    You will do nothing about Raytheon, military exercises in your state etc because, you, like many, are a privileged white boy occupying a first world comfort zone. Well good for you, relax, kick back and enjoy the show. But don’t expect activists with limited time and resources to make the time to respond to your passive aggressive prvocations.

  27. Simon,

    While you are much more polite than Ciaron in your responses to my questions, like him and Bryan L. you have chosen not to answer them. You make personal assertions as to the effectiveness of such action but cannot describe or even hint at such effectiveness, relying on the ultimate cop-out of leaving room for the spirt, a response that can be applied to any human activity or inactivity.

    I ask again, especially in hindsight of the frisbee action and court cases, what did you achieve other than providing an agenda for your own selves and organisations? How, in any way, does your action have consequences (or potential future consequences) for the victims of war and poverty? – or anyone other than yourselves?

    If you cannot answer this, or face up to the truth that you have no answer, I fear the shared meal you propose may lack the necessary open heart and mind that would be essential to the spirit manifesting at our table. However if you can describe some real or potential consequence of your action, or if you are searching for a more meaningful mode of action, I am sure we will have much to share and explore – either around a meal or on this blog.

  28. Update from Belfast last Friday

    The appeal was heard today. We can’t say anything about it except that the trial will resume before the jury on Monday. Hopefully, next week will be the last! Hope to see some of you there – Laganside Court is a couple of hundred yards from the Central train station.
    Related Link: http://www.raytheon9.org

  29. John,

    Thanks for taking the time to elaborate. We may not agree on everything, but I appreciate and have great respect for the work you are doing – it looks like important, rewarding, grounded work. Good on you. I hope that one day our paths will cross and we can share a meal together and talk more.

  30. HI Simon,

    Thank you for a considered response to my questions.

    There is nothing disengenuous in my use of Mathew 6. We obviously disagree, but this makes a lot of sense to me. I think the principle is particularly relevent to the activities of radical christians in the first world.

    You say “blanket prohibitions on praying in public would render almost every Christian worship service in the world invalid”. While Jesus does not resort to blanket prohibitions, he articulates wisdom through paradox, as he did on the sermon on the mount. However I believe this wisdom, and the rest of the recorded teachings of Jesus, does indeed invalidate the existance of the “christian” church that the emporer Constantine invented – in all its contemporary forms including protestantism. The church today may well have some inherent saving graces but these are in areas of secular human discipline and ethics which have little to do with the philosophy of Jesus or the experience of the early church described in Acts. The jesus trip is more akin to transcendental meditation and tribal communism, both of which were extinguished by Rome and replaced with the new ideology of sin, prayer, church and even God. The roman fertility ritual became the christian Easter. The virgin birth was invented to dis-inherit Jesus of his traditional land, cuture and law by way of his birthright from his father Joseph (Mat 1). The Romans did not just invaded and colonise the holy land, they did the same to the holy spirituality.

    The roman notion of “litergy” has nothing to do with ceremony and religious ritual practiced by the Jesus movement. Litergy is a reductionist re-enactment of hebrew calender festivals which were big piss ups that could last for weeks. The central christian sacrament, the “eucharist” is just a bodgied up, minimalist re-hash of the hebrew passover festival which Jesus commanded the disciples to adhere to.

    Jesus’ critique of the institutional church of his time (which is the congregation, not just the priests) of becoming a hollow shell devoid of spirit and contrary to the essence of God’s old law is equally valid in critiquing “christianity”.

    In Australia at least, the closest thing to Jesus philosophy is Aboriginal culture and Law. God was in this country, like Israel, long before the first missionaries arrived. The people of this country have their stories of god and holy men and women and places , just as the bible does. Today, like first century Judea, Australia is a theatre of war. God’s land has been stolen from the people God gave it to, just like Jesus’ circumstance. God is on the side of the poor and the disposessed in this war. The Salvation Army theology is correct when it asserts that we find Jesus, and have a relationship with Jesus, when we find and relate to the poor. This has nothing to do with isolated public ritual – but it should be intensely political through organisation and action with the poor on their own (God’s) terms. (the Salvos, like the Catholic Worker, unfortunately don’t go there)

    Which brings me to your comment…. “My actions (and that of other members of the SH5) come in the context of engagement with the poor and oppressed of our own neighbourhoods, though personally not of Iraq or Afghanistan. Anyone connected with Catholic Worker circles would be similar I imagine. ”

    You are correct, this is a Catholic worker template. But the question must be asked, if your real connection is with the urban poor in Melbourne, why are you campaigning in the jungles of Queensland? How can you use the experience and perspective of those in your neighborhood to in any way understand or connect with Iraq, Afghanistan or whatever other wars were mentioned at the Talisman convergence? You objectify and exploit the oppression of both groups of people, using them simply as backdrops to your rituals or dot points in your propaganda.

    I say, we should open our eyes and realise the war is not an idea about something that happens somewhere else that we artificially connect to by way of solidarity and symbolism. The war is here, now. We either join the struggle or we commentate about it. Again, I refer you to the depth of the Raytheon 9 and DAWC whose campaign is as much about a Free Derry as it is about Lebanon, even though they have real relationships with Lebanon too.

    Which brings me to your comment……. ” but critiques are generally received better (and have more currency) when the critiquer is involved in some way, and therefore prepared to critique themselves too. And so here’s a question for you, John – how are you involved? What’s a better way of going about resistance, and are you engaged in that better way yourself”?”

    I thank you for this question and am surprised that I have not yet been asked it by others who have responded to my critiques.

    But firstly, what I say is self evaluation. I was a member of this movement between 1976 and 1989. I was part of the christian anarchist pacifist community in Brisbane that later mutated into the Brisbane Catholic worker, and before that part of the “House of Freedom” which some old farts might remember. I have prayed in the synagogues – calling for repentance during a Vietnam commemorative service. I have disbled the weapons of the Griffith university regiment, I have leafletted airshows and I have (tried to) occupy the nuclear bomb shelter under Qld Parliament. I have lived in christian community and hippy community, I have provided “hospitality” to hundreds of street people. I have been charged by horses and blinded by Mace spray at Nurrungar. I have swum and canoed in front of warships.

    I do not speak in ignorance of these matters.

    However I reject them as futile for the reasons I have described above and elsewhere. I ask myself the question I asked you. Did things get better in any way because of these decades of activism? The simple answer is no, nothing changed, in fact things got worse. But I did have a damn good time though. I regret nothing.

    But what am I doing? This is the key point.

    I have renounced my “Australianness” and understand myself as an Aborigine of Ireland and England living in the territories of the Gurrinindinami super nation of South East Queensland and Northern NSW. I have Joined this super-nation by way of treaty. This treaty obliges me, equal to the obligations of a traditional owner, to be a part of the struggle against colonisation and genocide as well as to maintain and build the sovereign structures of culture, family, land and political power.

    This movement that I have joined is very big and very old, it developed out of over a hundred years of guerilla warfare (in this part of the country) and was a central force behind the non-violent movements of the 20th century. Queenslanders, Brisbaners, such as Pastor Don Brady, Oodgeroo Noonuccal and Denis Walker – and their families – were a central pillar to the national landrights movement that emerged from the 72 Tent Embassy. The Treaty is Oodgeroos vision.

    So the “task” is not something that can be cooked up at a meeting by a small group of activists looking for something to do. The task is to join and be a responsible member of the ongoing resistance on a day to day, year to year, decade to decade, generaton to generation basis. All else is a self edifying illusion.

    What I believe I am doing is fighting the war at home which requires me to do all sorts of things at different times (including being a human shield against police attack on a few occcaisions). Looking back over 20 years of active engagement in the Aboriginal struggle I have been a driver, a sound technician, a researcher, child care and foster parent, legal representative, counsellor, manager, workshop facilitator, etc. – but never as a paid bureacrat, always to support independent initiatives. I have been a cog in the machine to establish Murriwatch in Brisbane and earlier The Incarcerated peoples Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation. I have been the personal assistant of one of the Chiefs of Cape York. I have engaged in civil disobedience but I find such things are best left unspoken of.

    More recently, the treaty process mentioned above has been my focus, but it is not a public thing. It is not adherence to a platitude but an active engagement in real life. Much of it, in as much as Aboriginal culture is concerned, is to various degrees “secret” and cannot be prayed aloud in the synagogues and streets, which I suspect is more in line with the Jesus trip and notion of prayer.

    Anyway, beyond treaty stuff, today I deal with family business, in particular this – http://paradigmoz.wordpress.com/2007/08/25/brisbane-family-challenges-queenslands-adult-guardianship-laws/

    But who knows what tomorrow will bring? . But it won’t be futile symbolism.

    And finally, I find your defence of the effectiveness of such actions to be most unconvincing. You say “…… I believe that in some small way we have derailed the power of the state and corporations to kill at will. In fact, I’d even say the amount of derailment is disproportionate to the amount of people involved and the effort to which we went.”

    I say that this, Like Bryan Law’s claim that PG CAAT shook the war machine, is a delusion that reinforces your mode of action rather than a serious analysis of the situation. Try and apply your logic to the struggle on the ground in Lebanon, Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, East Timor, etc. and see how vulnerable the machine really is to deraillment. It takes a lot more than sporadic symbolism to build a real resistance.

    You either get serious about the massive task of social change and all its complexities, or you simply play-act a hypothetical resistance based on slogan and platitude which effects nobody except the play-actors, especially the people objectified and characatured in the theatre as “victims of war” or “the local poor”.

    Unfortunately the radical christian movement, in particular the Catholic Worker movement have tended towards the theatrical representations of the struggle rather than engaging in the nuts and bolts of the war under their feet – just like the institutional church.

  31. John T, I think these are good questions.

    I think the using the “praying in public” text is a bit disingenuous in this case – Jesus conducted exorcisms in public, or at least not “in a room with the door closed”, precisely because they were political in nature and invited people to transformed vision of what society could be like. Besides, blanket prohibitions on praying in public would render almost every Christian worship service in the world invalid (undoubtedly some might be, but all??!), as would any kind of corporate prayer (which Jesus would have engaged in regularly as a Jewish person). The Brisbane Raytheon office is hardly analogous to the “street corners” Jesus talks about there. Jesus is talking in the Sermon on the Mount about not doing it for other people (“so they may be seen by others”), or to make yourself look good, but for God. I’m prepared to assume the best of CAAT in this regard, that they are praying to God and not people. Have you read the prayers they made? They’re certainly not ‘hypocritical’, with a recognition of their own complicity, along with repentance and calling the powers to the same.

    Unfortunatley you seem to make a lot of unsubstantiated (and unsubstantiable) claims about me/us (“there is little attempt to communicate to anyone else beyond sporadic media releases or isolated and minimalist theatrical stunts”) – how could you possibly know this? It might be more helpful to critique from what you know rather than making assumptions.

    You ask, “What effect (benefit) does this sort of action have on victims of war/Raytheon?”

    I can’t speak for CAAT here, but I would say that we always don’t entirely know or understand the effects, but that doesn’t mean there are none. There’s some room for the Spirit to act. Also, persistence is the key here. Often change takes time. Even Jesus needed two cracks at healing the blind man. 😉 And I don’t think that the only value of an act such as this is on the “victims”. Raytheon workers are also victims of a system which corrupts them.

    “Do these actions have any connection at all with “the poor and oppressed”?”

    My actions (and that of other members of the SH5) come in the context of engagement with the poor and oppressed of our own neighbourhoods, though personally not of Iraq or Afghanistan. Anyone connected with Catholic Worker circles would be similar I imagine. We weren’t all that (publicly) explicit about the connections I suppose, but that hardly means they didn’t exist. And perhaps it’s a simplistic assumption, but I assume actively opposing and disrupting the bombing of innocents (or the preparation thereof) helps those innocents at some level.

    “Do you believe that the power of the state and corporations to kill at will is in any way derailed by these actions?”

    Yes, I do. Perhaps not massively, perhaps not for any length of time, but I believe that in some small way we have derailed the power of the state and corporations to kill at will. In fact, I’d even say the amount of derailment is disproportionate to the amount of people involved and the effort to which we went. Which only encourages me to go back for more.

    But the converse question is also worth asking – what if we didn’t do it? What I sat back and said, like you, “Meh, it’s not enough. I’m going to wait until there’s a plan that allows me to singlehandedly stop all war with a single act,” or even, “until we get it absolutely perfectly right” (according to some particular person’s definition). Is the fact that there’s only one of me and thousands of them reason enough not to demonstrate my resistance? Is the likelihood of it not to derail the war machine in an enormous way (however you’d quantify that) render it unreasonable or useless? I’d say not, personally. Would we like more people to get involved so as to make it more effective, and to have more substantial impact? Of course! But should the fact that we don’t have more people stop us from doing it? Again, I’d say no. Have I asked one too many questions of myself which I’ve subsequently answered (ala Kevin Rudd)? Probably. I don’t think we’ve necessarily got it perfect. There’s only so many of us, with so many resources, and we each respond to our own call (and that of our own community). And that not in isolation – there’s a broad movement involved at different levels, and we form just one small part of that.

    By all means go on critiquing, but critiques are generally received better (and have more currency) when the critiquer is involved in some way, and therefore prepared to critique themselves too. And so here’s a question for you, John – how are you involved? What’s a better way of going about resistance, and are you engaged in that better way yourself”?

  32. Can’t Make it to Belfast? – Send a Solidarity Text to the Raytheon 9 Defendants!

    by Ciaron O’Reilly – Catholic Worker/Plowshares Belfast
    They’re on Trial For Us, We’re on the Loose for Them!

    The Raytheon 9 are an inspiration. I just got a phone call from my friend Les who’s trying to get a plane ticket to get to Belfast for the Raytheon 9 trial. Les hasn’t been to Northern Ireland since he did three tours with the British military. He says is it is so exciting that socialists and republicans are experimenting with nonviolent direct action and he wants to be there to support them at the trial. He says that this would be a great way for him to return to Northern Ireland – confront his past and celebrate a future with a community in resistance to war.

    Les was a Brtish soldier who has moved on to nonviolent direct action against the war machine – in the ’90’s he broke the sanctions on Iraq and in 03 was arrested blockading the HMS Ark Royal as it pulled out to Iraq and the start of this war. As he was being arrested at Aldermaston a few years ago, the arresting cop forcing him to the ground and cuffing him said “You were in my unit in Northern Ireland!” Les’s expression of regret for the previous activity they had undertaken together did not win him any favours.

    Meanwhile Bush has been invited to Belfast as man of peace with the hope of further U.S. investment with no mention of restrictions on weapons manufacturers such as Raytheon http://www.counterpunch.org/harkin05302008.html

    The north fast tracked from the fringe of empire to central comfort zone where hi tech weaponry can be constructed and where troubles are exported to Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Colombia et al and become someone else’s troubles.

    To spend the day around the Raytheon defendants in the Laganside Courthouse has been an inspiration. To be around people risking their liberty for peace and justice is always both a nourishing and challenging experience. It always poses the question what can I do in response to their gift and the wars that continue to claim so many victims.

    Inside the court – at the front there was the Judge, to the side the jury, in the middle I counted 20 legal (mostly bewigged) professionals, at the back there was 30 of us in support from Derry, Dublin and Belfast. We were parents, partners, SWP, Catholic Worker, Quakers, Pax Chrisit, Republican, punk, a long hair lad from Hollywood and other traditions.

    And then there were the defendants being frisked as they entered this weird kind of plexiglass, aquarium like pod in the middle of the courtroom. Boiled down these were unmistakably Derry lads who did the right thing at the right time as Lebanon burned and Raytheon raked in the profits. A barman, a biker, a journo among their number. They stood with their action to save lives and are here today, 2 1/2 years later, risking their liberty to speak some truth to power.

    Eamonn McCann took the stand. Born on the Derry’s bogside in 1942 his parents were of the working class – a labourer and a retired nurse. His testimony traced his life’s trajectory that brought him into Derry’s Raytheon’s offices – anti-Vietnam War, civil rights, labour organising, radical journalism and sustained activism.

    The events immediately preceding the occupation and decommissioning of Raytheon by the nine were described. There was a sense that this was a vey Derry action. We were in the company of people who walk the walk after they talk the talk. A large crowd had gathered at Sandinos Bar in early August 06 to hear visiting U.S. veteran of the Iraq War Joshua Casteel

    and an Iraqi exile describe their experiences of the war on Iraq.

    The discussion, that followed the presentations, quickly turned to the U.S./Raytheon equipped Israeli bombing of Lebanon ongoing that night. The realization that Raytheon with a plant in Derry was profiting and pivotal to the slaughter of these Lebanese civilians. The questions posed, what is our response, what can we do to intervene in this slaughter?

    The follow up meeting a few days later had all the hallmarks of human frailty that speaks of our movement that confronts corporate entities such as Raytheon (“light from the Gods”) that claim omnipotence and the power of life and death. The room booked at Badger’s Bar was double-booked and the fine tuning action meeting of 50 souls took place in the public bar much to the bemusement of fellow nonaligned drinkers. Then it was off to Raytheon on the morning of August 9th (the 61st. anniversary of the destruction of the city of Nagasaki by one bomb).

    The last team talk was given in a nearby carpark by Goretti Hogan who emphasised a commitment to nonviolence and an objective to disable Raytheon’s equipment in attempt to preserve life and social infrastructure in Lebanon. Down the hill and around the three police officers present and the door kindly open by a worker entering the building. Up the stairs and into the corporate officers where software to deliver destruction is produced. But what would life be without a domestic? Eamonn and Gorreti concluding that their 20 year old daughter with severe learning need a difficulties a parent at large. Gorreti left the building, the door was barricaded and the very human work of military disarmament got underway. Raytheon’s mainframe computer was decommissioned with the use of a handy fire extinguisher. Raytheon computers and paperwork were dispatched through an open window onto the car park pavement below. After 7 hours the barricade was broken with a chainsaw and the robocops inched forward around the nine card playing resisters. A scene reminiscent of the last roundup of Jake and Elwood Blues Brothers!

    Also recounted was the nine defendant’s post arrest sojourn to the heavly bombed Lebanese town of Cana where they experienced firsthand the victims and orphans of Raytheon.

    On cross examination the Prosecutor did his best to suggest that there was another agenda other than an attempt to preserve life in Lebanon that drove the nine. He suggested this was not a direct intervention but a publicity stunt. On recross the defendant explained he was a radio/television/newspaper journalist with little need of publicity stunts to express his views. The Prosecutor tried another tac – this was a revenge on Raytheon of wanton destruction following a frustrated political campaign. McCann pointed out if wanton destruction was the motivation the computers would not have gone out an open window but a closed one. Point taken!

    The trial continues tomorrow. From my experiences what is significant in these dark times is solidarity and resistance. There isn’t much resistance in the West these days because there is not much solidarity. The more solidarity the resister/defendant experiences the easier the task, the burden is lightened.

    I hope Les makes it to Belfast.

    If you can’t make it to Belfast check out their webiste http://www.raytheon9.org and spread the word.

    Send a text to me at the court. I’ll copy it down and pass it on to the defendants
    Inside UK 07950 290 857
    Outside the UK 0044 7950 290 857
    Not sure how you SMS/Text from U.S.?

    Suggested text – short message, name, city
    eg. Goodonya! Ciaron, Dublin

    http://www.raytheon9.org

  33. p.s. Ciaron,

    I do not think the sermon on the mount was delivered as an admonishment to the pharasees. According to the book the audience was the disciples and the crowds that had gathered to be healed.

    However, to the disciples and those in need of healing, It does say don’t be like the pharisees and public ritualists, not because it is naughty and in need of admonition (a peculiarly roman concept) but, according to the book, because it is fruitless. “They already have their reward”.

  34. Liberation theology arose in the 60s and 70s essentially by sections of the church in the third world who could no longer justify a detatched religious agenda when there were real struggles occuring such as the various guerilla movements, political parties and poiticicisation programs such as Paolo Friere’s. Liberation theology was about joining these movements, becoming a part of them and supporting them. Many first world christians were inspired by liberation theology and engaged in direct support of those movements in the third world.

    Many, including members of the Catonsville 9 engaged in this third world support. Some abandoned it prefering to challenge the first world agendas instead. Others like Dan Berrigan withdrew under Bishops orders for being too effective.

    In 30-40 years hindsight I say that the strategic decision of many individuals and organisations to withdraw from the third world struggle to challenge the beast at home has been a failure, a distraction from the real point of struggle and potential change.

    There has been 2 radical christian modes of tackling the beast at home, one is symbolic confrontation such as CAAT. The other has been engaging in the mainstream political process, e.g. Jim Wallaces emersion in the U.S. Democratic party or more locally John Woodley going into the senate or Noel Preston’s various engagemants with the Qld. government bureacracy on questions of ethics.

    Both modes have failed to achieve anything and distracted first world society from the issues and agendas articulated by the third world struggles. Instead they have focused on political and moral nuance within first world society and culture itself and failed to re-arrange anything of the structures of oppression from the supposedly priveleged capacity of operating close to the heart of the beast.

    What distinguishes the radical resistance christians from those that have entered the political structures is the resisters have failed to connect their own action to the broader movements and organisations for change. I am not talking about connecting to non-religious minority groups such as the Talisman convergences or even the big marches or “the left”- manifestations of first world culture, they have failed in any way to connect in real terms to those whose lives are supposedly being defended in the public rituals.

    The symbolic resistance mode, the isolated and ritualistic agenda is just like the detatched religiosity of the global churches in the 1950s which was rejected by by the Liberation theology movement who found that joining the struggles of the oppressed was not only biblically acceptable but a spiritual imperative. Praying for the oppressed was just not enough for the liberation theologians.

    The Raytheon 9, as I mentioned earlier, have made real connections with Lebanon. But more importantly they are not just fighting an overseas struggle but also for indigenous rights and sovereignty at home. The connections between the Raytheon 9 and its connections with indigenous sovereignty movements and alleged links to the Real IRA clearly locate this action as part of the war at home, the war for indigenous rights.

    Just like Derry, war and imperialist domination is in our back yard too. The third world is here in Australia. Christian sideline commentary of the evils of the status-quo, however dramatic, is no connection at all to the nuts and bolts and sweat that is needed to bring about real change – from the perspective of the third world here.

    I say the radical christian resistance movement has betrayed and largely undermined the advances of liberation theology.

  35. Reluctant as I am to play bible bingo with lapsed protestants such as Tracey and uneducated ones like pissed off who can’t distinguish between Jesus admonishment of people with privileged status going through the motions and faithbased resisters confronting the death dealing principalities. Pissed off and Tracey try to generalise an admonishment to the pharisees into an argument for quietism in the face of Raytheon’s death profiteering.Not even a nice try – hardly worth dignifying with a response (and you know when you feed a troll with whatever dish they will be back to hijack this thread). Maybe Tracey and pissed off they will take their own advice and namesake and piss off into Essene like seclusoin rather than trolling for the man on htis site

    Meanwhile back in the real world, 9 folks risk their liberty this coming week in Belfast after nonviolently confronting Raytheon in their hometown of Derry while Raytheon was making a killing in Lebanon two years ago

    I’m heading to Belfast this coming week (Mon-Wed) to attend what looks like being the final week of the Raytheon 9 trial. For a background on the nvda taken at the Raytheon plant in Derry during the 06 Israeli bombing of Lebanon (using Raytheon equipment) and a recent excellent youtube clip of scenes form outside the Belfast trial check out http://www.raytheon9.org

    Monday will see defendant Eamonn McCann taking the stand for the defence. Eamonn is a longtime civil rights and socialist activist from Derry. This recent interview on the Counterpunch website is worth a read
    http://www.counterpunch.org/harkin05302008.html

    If you would like a copy of the booklet “Resistng War Crimes is Not a Crime – The Raytheon 9” by Eamonn McCann. – a great resource for nvda, info on Raytheon and analysis of the wars in the Middle East (this booklet will not date until Raytheon is run by workers councilsand transforms its work to producing some uselful!) Harrry Browne’s review of the booklet http://www.indymedia.ie/article/87408

    *send the equivalent of 3 euros plus postage in your currency (disguise your cash from postal theft) to me and I’ll post you one

  36. Ian,

    regarding Mathew 6: 5-9. It is part of the Beatitudes/Sermon on the mount and needs to be understood in that context. The story begins at the beginning of Mathew 5.

    Hope that helps.

  37. Simon,

    I have made some crticisms of CAAT style action on other threads and I invite healthy and necessary debate on those issues. To date I believe my critique has only been met by personal abuse or polite dismissiveness – more akin to cult defensiveness than healthy and necessary debate.

    My key questions are

    1/ What effect (benefit) does this sort of action have on victims of war/Raytheon? Do these actions have any connection at all with “the poor and oppressed” as the Derry Raytheon 9 have made a huge effort to do in Lebanon? As far as I can see this sort of action (CAAT) serves the agendas and personal needs of the activists in isolation from any substantial political struggle, e.g. material support or organisational assistance, to the structures of the resistance in Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Afghanistan or ABoriginal Australia etc?

    Do you believe that the power of the state and corporations to kill at will is in any way derailed by these actions?

    and 2/ The theological issues of praying in public as the hypocrites do. raised by the second pissed off comment above and I have raised it on another thread. This mode of piety is a particularly roman misrepresentation of the teachings of Jesus about both prayer and action, it is essentially for the edification of the activists and no-one else. This goes for the frisbee stuff too, while it did not share the same orthodox religiosity as seems to be important to Brisbane CAAT, it was still a construction of the symbols of the activist group used in a politically meaningless stunt but one of great personal value and consequence to the activists themselves (and nobody else, especially the victims of war).

    This self edification also is the nature of communication as part of and in the follow up of these actions. Propaganda or information is essentially fodder for the in-house gossip circles. Communiques buzz around groups within the network (such as this site) about these significant events, but there is little attempt to communicate to anyone else beyond sporadic media releases or isolated and minimalist theatrical stunts that may or may not involve handing out leaflets.

    As far as the public debate or any communication beyond in-house gossip goes, both in terms of analysing the problems and exploring and creating solutions, the only offerings your movement seems to have is a crass moralism and a few slogans and platitudes.

    Am I wrong?

  38. dear pissed off,

    perhaps if you have some genuine, well-thought out objections to this group’s actions you could share them. as it is, you’ve given no one in their right mind any reason (or evidence) to suggest they’re not right. in fact, yours sounded like a much more insane rant than anything said here by CAAT.

    I’m interested if you have something intelligent to say, because debate is healthy and necessary. but venting your raging spleen is as alienating as it is unhelpful.

    Thanks.

  39. Also pissed-off says:

    You self-righteous morons. You need to read your New Testament somewhat less electively in future. Especially Matthew 6 5:9

    “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.””

    Fortuantely, most of society sees you for exactly what you are: self-righteous hypocrites on the corner, and babbling pagans. I hope you enjoyed your 15 minutes.

    [Editor’s Note: I deleted the previous comment under the title ‘Pissed Off‘ because it appeared to be some kind of spam.

    I have left this comment ‘Also pissed-off‘ even though it may relate either to:

    a war games website called ‘warchild69’.
    a porno website of the same name, or
    a motorcycle enthusiast who may or may not be a Vietnam war vet.

    It seems wars throw up resistance but equally they throw up general craziness.

    Also, since Simon has referred to it below, I have left it here.

    I find the scripture reference [Matthew 6 5:9] unintelligible]

  40. PRIVATISED SPOOKS

    Did you hear Radio National Background Briefing show this Sunday morning about Frank Carlucci’s Carlyle Group – humungous ($81 + billion) global private equity Corporation ?

    Private spooks
    The use of private military companies is now widespread, but now there are also private intelligence organisations working closely with government. Business is booming and the worlds biggest private equity company, Carlyle, has just bought part of the big intelligence company, Booz Allen Hamilton. They’re active in Australia, too. Reporter Stan Correy.

    http://www.abc.net.au/rn/backgroundbriefing/

    guess what Raytheon Oz makes $ from the US in their own words:
    http://www.raytheon.com.au/Default.aspx?x=461

    NOTE see Greg Combet the former ACTU “militant” Leader during the MUA dispute 10 years ago, since parachuted into the Newcastle electorate for the ALP machine last year, and ‘bumped into Parliament’ in the November Federal Election.
    http://www.raytheon.com.au/Default.aspx?x=485

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