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Resisting Lockheed Martin
By Robert M Smith
About 75 people gathered in Valley Forge, PA at Lockheed Martin on January 16 for a Martin Luther King Day of Nonviolent Resistance to the War & Lockheed Martin
Sixteen people - Matt Becker, Tom Mullian, Laurie Pollack, Tom Ennis, ofm, Patrick (James) Sieber, ofm, Alan Dawley, John Landreau, Peter Larson, June Eisley, Michael Berg, Mary Jo McArthur, Annie Geers, Vint Deming, Teresa Camerota, Bernadette Cronin-Geller, and Bob Smith - were arrested at the conclusion of the time of King Day memory, applying Dr. King's message today, and resistance to the war and the Iraq War #1 Profiteer, world's largest weapons corporation, the U.S. chief nuclear weapons and "Star War" contractor.
Throughout the demonstration, participants observed the spirit and discipline of nonviolence - "refraining from the violence of fist, tongue, and heart" (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)
The demonstration began with a vigil with banners and signs Broadcast of excerpts of speeches and sermons by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Michael Berg, whose son was brutally murdered in Iraq two years ago, spoke about the war, and Galen Tyler, director of Kensington Welfare Rights Union, spoke about the violence of poverty and unmet human need
There were readings from Dr. King's "A Time to Break Silence" Anti- War speech delivered on April 4, 1967 (one year to the day before Dr. King's assassination) as well as readings about the facts today of what Dr. King spoke to in April 14, 1967.
People then processed to the main driveway entrance to Lockheed Martin (behind the lead banner - "Remember King's Dream Make War No More")
We then heard again the voice of Dr. King delivering excerpts of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "A Time to Break Silence" Speech, Riverside Church, April 4, 1967 Anti-War Speech, which was followed by the Litany of the King Day Message (*from Dr. King's Nobel Peace Prize Speech)
Reader: The U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq has, according to the British Medical Journal, the Lancet, resulted in the deaths of at least 100,000 Iraqis most of whom were "women and children killed in violent deaths, primarily carried out by U.S. air strikes." Like the thousands and thousands of Iraqis killed each of the now 2215 U.S. deaths in Iraq and the more than 16, 420 wounded and maimed are not only victims of a particular policy built on lies but also the casualties of a far deeper disease - the ambition of empire and the greed of militarism.Today, we remember a martyred prophet, a "drum major for justice", a peacemaker, and nonviolent revolutionary. We stand before the Iraq War's #1 profiteer. Today, we stand before Lockheed Martin, the world largest weapons producing corporation, remembering all the victims of war and weapons building, remembering all the casualties of social and environmental neglect, remembering all that suffer and die on the altar of corporate greed, empire, and violence.
Response (all)* "...Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love...Violence ends up defeating itself. It creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers... I refuse to accept the view that humanity is to tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace can never become a reality..." (Dr. Martin King, Jr. 1964)
Reader: We can never forget that it was the United States that created and unleashed the very definition and reference for the terror of our age, the ultimate weapon of mass destruction: nuclear weapons. In 1967, Dr. King called the U.S. government "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today". One U.S. Trident submarine (there are 18) carrying 24 missiles, with eight nuclear warheads per missile, is capable of delivering 1,000 Hiroshimas. Lockheed Martin manages much of the U.S. nuclear bomb complex and is the manufacturer of Trident missiles. 99% of all high level radio active material in the U.S. has been generated by nuclear weapons production. Plutonium, which fuels nuclear bombs, has a toxic life of 240,000 years - 10,000 human generations. Nuclear weapons have poisoned our earth, our spirits, our imagination and claim on the future with the threat of unimaginable death and destruction
Response (all) *...I refuse to accept the cynical notion that nation after nation must spiral down a militaristic stairway into the hell of thermonuclear destruction. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality..." (*Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1964)
Reader: Today, the Federal Budget for war is more than a half a trillion dollars. The culture of militarism and war, and the economy of war which sustains it, is the very existence of Lockheed Martin. More weapons; more war: Aegis warships and cruise missiles, Trident missiles, Joint Strike Stealth Fighter (the Lockheed Martin warplane which at $200 billion is the largest military contract in human history) "Star Wars" and plans for the full militarization of space. Lockheed Martin is the chief profiteer of the continuing war in Iraq which is costing us $220 Million a day. Lockheed Martin reported that revenues for its last quarter rose by 41%, with $8.4 billion in profits.
The need for emergency shelter is growing in cities across the country. An estimated 3.5 million people in the U.S. are likely to experience homelessness this winter. The New York Times reports that more than 34 million people in the U.S. live in poverty. Almost one in five children under the age of five in the U.S. are poor. Gandhi called poverty "the greatest form of violence." Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. often referred to "the evil triplets of American society: racism, materialism, and militarism. Every weapon produced by Lockheed Martin means billions of dollars transferred from the public treasury to private wealth, from human need to corporate greed. Every weapon produced by Lockheed Martin means another bombing run, another cruise missile attack, another war.
Response (all)* "...I believe that even amid today's mortar bursts and whining bullets, there is still hope for a brighter tomorrow. I believe that wounded justice, lying prostrate on the blood-flowing streets of our nation, can be lifted from this dust of shame to reign supreme among all..." (*Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1964)
Reader: If there be such a thing as real human security, then it must rest on something more than what we can do for ourselves with muscle or weapons, something that has to do relationship with others and the earth, with fairness, with honoring the commonweal and the common wealth, with being the neighbor not the overlord. And, that means justice, and democracy, and truth. Dr. King would say: "If you want peace, work for justice." Bombs may win wars and bring the false peace of victory, but justice will never be achieved with bombs and cruise missiles, nor with Star Wars or talk of an "endless war on terrorism". No, if you want peace - not empire, or wealth, or oil markets and arms contracts - then work for justice.
Response (all)* "...I refuse to accept the idea that the "isness" of our present nature makes us morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal "oughtness" that forever confronts us. I refuse to accept the idea that we are mere flotsam and jetsam in a river of life, unable to influence the unfolding events which surround us..." (*Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1964)
Reader: Today, we bring to Lockheed Martin the names and faces of the Iraq war dead and hold the war's chief profiteer accountable for all the Seths and Sherwoods, Nicks and Julies, Kareems and Fazeels, killed in Iraq. For all victims of war, and all the casualties of the economy of war - the homeless and hungry, who die the slow death of poverty, racism ,sexism , and just being forgotten to death, we choose to walk in the memory and steps of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. With ashes of mourning and in active resistance to war, we honor Dr. King's philosophy of nonviolent direct action and his opposition to injustice and war. Today we continue to nonviolently resist the injustice that is war, and the making of war that is Lockheed Martin.
Response (all)* "...I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality, and freedom for their spirits. I believe that what self-centered people have torn down other-centered can build up and that one day humanity will bow before the altars of God and be crowned triumphant over war and bloodshed, and nonviolent redemptive good will be proclaimed the rule of the land...and I still believe that We Shall Overcome..." (*Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 1964)
"Iraq War Dead - The Price & Cost of Lockheed Martin War Profits" Nonviolent Civil Disobedience! At the conclusion of the litany, sixteen people walked onto Lockheed Martin, and while pouring ashes of mourning for all war dead and casualties of the war economy attempted to deliver lists of the War Dead (Iraqi and U.S.) and the social costs of the war and Lockheed Martin's war profits. Rather than even acknowledge the dead and costs of the war from which Lockheed Martin has profited, people were arrested while a bell tolled and supporters chanted: "It's About Peace...It's About Justice" "For peace, Stop Lockheed Martin For justice, Make War No More". Those arrested were taken to the Upper Merion Police Station and release on "disorderly conduct" citations.
Brandywine Peace Community's Monthly Potluck Supper*/Program, 2nd Sunday of the month, 4:30PM, University Lutheran Church, 3637 Chestnut St., Phila., PA (*bring main dish, salad, or dessert)
February 12 - "Iraq & Beyond: Stopping the Merchants of Death" Rev. Simon Harak, SJ, National War Resisters League, author of numerous books including Nonviolence for the Third Millennium: Its Legacy and its Future. As co-founder of Voices in the Wilderness, Rev. Harak traveled to Iraq three times before the war and organized a number of national peace tours. Rev. Harak is on the national staff of the War Resisters League, the oldest secular pacifist organization in the U.S., serving as the Anti-Militarism coordinator and national organizer of the Stop the Merchants of Death campaign
Check the Brandywine Peace Community website www.brandywinepeace.com
Upcoming Nonviolent Resistance to the War and Lockheed Martin *March 18 - 20: Area and Global Protests & Nonviolent Resistance Against the Iraq War Marking the Start of its 4th Year *Good Friday, April 14: Stations of Justice & Peace, Lockheed Martin, Valley Forge, PA.
*April 2 - 4: To End Poverty, To Stop the War, A Time to Break the Silence: Coming Together for Justice & Peace, Observing the Anniversary of the Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (April 4, 1968) and the anniversary of the "A Time to Break the Silence" Anti-War Speech, Riverside Church, April 4, 1967, one year before his murder in Memphis, Tenn.) .
National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance NOTICES moderated listserve See our website www.iraqpledge.org for updates, documents, fliers