3 April 2003 Edition

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Anti-war demonstrators protest at Raytheon

The PSNI was called to evict up to 15 anti-war protesters who staged a protest in the Raytheon weapons plant on the Buncrana Road in Derry on Thursday 27 March.

The group, who describe themselves as "the coalition of the unwilling", said they were focusing on the plant because the company was responsible for manufacturing many of the missiles that are currently being used by the United States and Britain in attacks on the Iraqi people.

One of the protesters, dressed in a chemical suit, said he was a weapons inspector mandated by the people of Derry and wished to check the plant for weapons of mass destruction.

Spokesperson for the group, Dr Robbie McVeigh, said they do not want Derry's name associated with the arms trade and that Raytheon will become the focus for an increasing number of anti-war protests in Ireland.

"We will now see Raytheon forced to come out of the murky shadows of arms production and defend the indefensible," he said. "The response of Raytheon in Derry to this protest has been to say that they have been told not to comment on this matter by the British Ministry of Defence. This is hardly the action of a company that is 'only making software'."

McVeigh said that Raytheon "does not represent the peace dividend in Ireland; they are only warmongers and I trust that political representatives will tell Raytheon their evil trade is not welcome in Derry".

Speaking outside Raytheon after the protest, McVeigh said they had informed the PSNI they were preparing to leave the building but members of the PSNI insisted in forcing them off the grounds.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1