Support Derry Anti War Protesters (The Raytheon 9)
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Nine activists who took part in an occupation of the American arms corporation Raytheon's offices in Derry have been charged with aggravated burglary and unlawful assembly. The bail terms imposed on them effectively remove their right to take part in political activity.
Raytheon is the fifth biggest arms manufacturer in the world. It manufactured the 100 GBU-28 bunker buster bombs urgently flown by the United States to Israel at the height of the destruction of Lebanon by the Israel Defence Force. Among the many services Raytheon has performed for Israel is supplying electronic equipment for the apartheid wall being built on Palestinian land. The National Lawyers Guild of the US has accused Raytheon of being 'implicated in the commission of war crime'.
On the September 14th court appearance of the Raytheon 9, the trial date was finally been set for 12th November 2007. However, it is generally thought that this date will not see the actual start of the trial. This is because the prosecution have asked for the trial to be moved out of Derry. It wants the judge to rule that a fair trial would not be possible in Derry because i) there have been protestors outside the court every time they appeared and ii) the local press has reported about the protest action. DAWC lawyers argued that i) we are part of a far broader movement and therefore there will be protests anywhere they appear and ii) our action has also been reported in the regional press. The judge heard arguments from both sides and reserved judgement. There are also likely to be further court cases about Raytheon’s refusal to provide the documents requested by the defence team as part of the ‘discovery’ process.
The charges of criminal damage to the building to the amount of £22,000 and to Raytheon computer equipment and office furniture (no amount stated) have been restored, as expected, and it was confirmed that no more than nine of the protesters are being charged.