Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Raytheon 9—not guilty

Mabrouk and congratualtions to the anti-war activists, known as the Raytheon 9, for their stunning court victory in Northern Ireland.

I met some of the nine in Beirut during a tour to collect evidence for their defence, and a fine bunch they are.

According to Socialist Worker:
The defendants from Derry Anti War Coalition walked free after the judge dismissed the case for lack of evidence from the prosecution.

The nine anti-war protesters, including campaigning journalist Eamonn McCann, occupied and shut down the Derry offices of Raytheon, the fifth biggest arms manufacturer in the world, on Wednesday 9 August 2006.

The action was part of a wider protest at Raytheon’s complicity in the Israeli bombardment of Lebanon and the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Throughout the trial the Nine maintained that their actions were legitimate as an attempt to prevent war crimes.

The judge was forced to concede this when he stated that the defendants had acted to prevent destruction in Lebanon.

This is a major victory and vindication of the action of the Derry Anti War Coalition and the Raytheon Nine.

For more news and background.

McCann's speech at the Time to Go Demo 23 September 2006.

For background, this is footage of the Irish uprising against British rule in the late 1960s early 70s. McCann explains why the youth of town of Derry are throwing stones at police and soldiers.

And some context to the "troubles" in Northern Ireland.

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