17 August 2006 Edition

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Call for release of Raytheon protestors

Sinn Féin has called for the release of nine people arrested following protests at the Raytheon plant in Derry.

The protestors were charged following an occupation of the offices of the US arms manufacturer on Wednesday, 9 August. The PSNI claims that £350,000 damage was done to computer equipment during the protest.

Raytheon is one of the largest arms manufacturers in the world, supplying guidance systems for many of the missiles used by US and Israeli forces in the Middle East.

Sinn Féin Councillor Maeve McLaughlin said: "There is a justifiable anger across Ireland at the ongoing Israeli aggression in Southern Lebanon and the slaughter of hundreds of innocent civilians. This anger has manifested itself on peaceful protests in every major town and city on this island."

While McLaughlin said she supported the motivation behind the protest at Raytheon, she felt the decision to destroy equipment took the focus away from the purpose of the protest.

"I do not believe that holding those arrested in custody serves any useful purpose. I call for their release. I would also appeal for people to maintain pressure on the Israelis and their allies through peaceful and dignified protest."

An Phoblacht
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