What possessed Eamonn McCann and 8 others to launch
their distinguished action to decommission Raytheon
will perplex those who are eager to condemn them.
All right wing thinking people will be appalled
that McCann stooped to such a height. All those
possessed of some warped logic who think his action
is in some way more repulsive than the infanticide
bombers of Israel will demand a tough prison sentence.
manufactures software for Guided Bomb Units (GBU)
which according to the protestors are used by the
IDF in its ethnic cleansing of the Lebanon. A statement
from the Derry Anti-War Coalition of which McCann
and his eight colleagues are members said:
protest was prompted by the current barbaric Israeli
assault on Lebanon and Gaza, which has claimed over
a thousand lives in just a few weeks. Many of the
innocent lives lost have resulted from the use of
GBUs produced by Raytheon. It is tragic that the
Raytheon factory was held up at the time of its
opening as an example of the 'peace dividend' for
the North, when its function is exporting death
and destruction to innocent people in Lebanon. The
Irish people have a witnessed first hand the brutality
and conflict brought by colonialism and empire.
We should be playing no part in inflicting that
suffering on others. Given the carnage we are now
witnessing in Lebanon and Gaza there is simply no
excuse for such weapons of death being produced.
the law can outlaw McCann but legalise the murderous
assault on the civilian populations of Gaza and
Lebanon should tell us that there is much more wrong
with the law than there is with McCann.
the years there have been snide remarks that Eamonn
McCann never went to prison during the republican
struggle. But why should he have? He was never a
republican. He always defended republicans against
the attacks of the state but never at any time embraced
the republican political perspective. When it came
to what he believed in McCann was quite prepared
to risk jail in defence of his beliefs. He and his
colleagues are now staring at heavy prison sentences
for their occupation of the Raytheon offices. McCann
is in his sixties. That someone at that stage of
life with no prison experience, a well established
career in journalism, and who would otherwise be
looking forward to the fruits of his retirement
should face down the authorities is a measure of
both the man and his conviction. McCann had no need
to piss but he stayed on the pot. Speaking from
inside the occupied building the long term political
activist explained his motives: 'the people of Derry
cannot go on feeling shock and horror as they watch
TV screens and do nothing. People felt they had
no option but to take this form of direct action.'
or not with McCann's Raytheon action, or his brand
of politics, he is a man of immense integrity, a
battler. No one was injured in McCann's actions.
Unlike those who seek to inflict damage by placing
bombs in buildings the Derry protestors were hands
on from the moment they entered the Raytheon premises,
able to monitor and control the impact of the damage,
ensuring that no one's safety was put at risk. Damage
was done, lots of it, but not anywhere near as much
as has been sustained in any one of the bombed Lebanese
homes. Raytheon has been left standing. If the company
is immoral enough to remain in Derry it can easily
replace its office equipment.
British government is holding McCann. The so called
violence which a senior PSNI officer accused McCann
and his colleagues of carrying out pales into insignificance
compared against the violence inflicted on the city
from which McCann hails by the same government.
McCann has stood on many platforms demanding that
some unfortunate or other be freed from prison.
Now the demand should go out loud and clear to defend
McCann and his colleagues and ensure they do not
face prison as a result of their action. It is an
affront that the murderous government of Yo Blair
should prosecute McCann. Remanded in custody the
nine are political prisoners, jailed as a result
of their opposition to Yo Blair's support for the
murderous wrath of Israel. As a result of the Derry
protestors' actions more people now know about the
sordid role of Raytheon. The Derry activists have
made it front page news.
and his eight co-accused deserve a punishment that
fits the 'crime'; a punishment that is both financial
and physical. The judge should impose a fine of
ten pound on each of them which court officials
would then place in a fund for Lebanese children
orphaned by Israel's murder campaign; and all nine
should be compelled to appear at a banquet in their
honour in Derry's Guildhall where they must consume
vast quantities of food and drink. That should show
them what the community thinks of them. Derry people
know first hand what state massacres are like. They
are unlikely to judge 9 of their own harshly for
trying to prevent them. Let justice be done.