Activists block entrance to Raytheon’s Portsmouth facilityTwo people attached themselves to automobiles to block the main entrance. Other activists stood nearby holding banners and signs, and chanting. The two people were detached from the vehicles after about four hours. One person was arrested still attached to a large concrete block.
Published on August 12, 2021
By Steve Ahlquist
Activists from the FANG Collective and RAM INC (Resist and Abolish the Military Industrial Complex) blocked the entrance to Raytheon‘s Portsmouth, Rhode Island Facility around 6am Thursday morning to protest the company’s weapon sales to Saudi Arabia and Israel, and their involvement in enforcing the United States / Mexico border.
UpriseRI arrived shortly after the protest began:
Two people attached themselves to automobiles to block the main entrance. Other activists stood nearby holding banners and signs, and chanting. The two people were detached from the vehicles after about four hours. One person was arrested still attached to a large concrete block.
In the video below you can watch as the person, secured to some sort of concrete block and secured in the truck of the car, is removed, then arrested block and all.
A second person was attached to a separate vehicle from underneath. It took the use of a forklift to extract him from the vehicle.
“Raytheon profits from the killing of civilians, families and children in Palestine, Yemen and elsewhere,” said one of the people who blockaded the entrance to the Raytheon facility. “We can’t sit idly by while Raytheon engineers new and more destructive ways of killing innocent people, Raytheon must be stopped and held accountable.”
The groups also used the protest to raise concerns about the influence that weapons contractors like Raytheon have over elected officials.
“Raytheon spends millions of dollars a year lobbying politicians to escalate global conflicts and inflate the Pentagon’s budget just so that their profits can grow,” said RAM INC in a statement. “Right here in Rhode Island Raytheon is the second highest donor to both Senator Jack Reed and Representative Jim Langevin. We can no longer allow rouge corporations like Raytheon to determine our foreign policy.”
In a press release, the groups write:
“Raytheon, which is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts, is second largest weapons contractor in the world and is the largest global producer of guided missiles. In recent years they have faced growing scrutiny for their involvement in Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen, and Israel’s occupation of Palestine.
“A 2018 report by CNN directly linked Raytheon produced missiles with several attacks that killed civilians in Yemen. This includes an air strike that targeted a wedding in which 21 civilians were killed and another 97 injured, many of whom were children. Raytheon also has close ties to the Israeli military and supplies them with missiles, bombs and other equipment, including the “Iron Dome” system. These weapons have been linked to dozens of attacks that have killed and injured civilians. This past spring, during an Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip, protests erupted around the world condemning the ongoing violence.
“In addition to its weapons divisions, Raytheon has received contracts from United States Customs and Border Protection and has supported border security programs around the globe.”
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