An Expression of Concern over the Collaboration between Boeing and the University of Sheffield

4 October 2002

Delivered by Yorkshire CND and Sheffield CND
on behalf of the demonstrators at the Vice-Chancellor's Office

For the attention of the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield

We wish to state our opposition to the collaboration between the University of Sheffield and the Boeing Corporation for a proposed Aerospace Research Centre near Sheffield Airport. A deal for £15 million has been completed between the two organisations, confirmed in a press statement by the University on February 12 of 2001.

In this statement, you stated that research links with Boeing should be seen as demonstrating how ‘the knowledge economy benefits the region.’ We beg to differ. What knowledge Boeing brings to the region is of an entirely non-beneficial nature. Boeing is one of the prime contractors for the United States Missile Defence program, whose aims and objectives are anything but benign.

Missile Defence, contrary to its name is an offensive military system, aimed at encouraging first strike usage of nuclear weapons. The very notion of missile defence makes nonsense of the claims made by the nuclear powers such as the United States and the United Kingdom, that such weapons were only there to serve as deterrents and not to be actually used. These are weapons of mass destruction and the thought that governments are seriously considering their use under ANY circumstances is truly horrifying. We cannot and will not condone this.

Equally unacceptable is the inevitable proliferation of nuclear weapons as a result of missile defence. One state builds a shield and those who perceive themselves as under threat by that state, will attempt to find ways to overcome this hindrance. This in turn will attempt to be countered by the original state, which built the shield, resulting in further proliferation as that perceived strategic advantage is countered. The chain is never ending. Missile Defence creates the potential for more rather than less weapons of mass destruction in this world, making the world a more dangerous place than it already is.

By completing a deal with one of the main contractors of Missile Defence, the University of Sheffield, has placed higher priority on commercial endeavours than on long-term global security and well being within the region and on a national level.

We, request that the University of Sheffield withdraw from the contract with Boeing, thereby acknowledging that the safety and well being of the people of Sheffield and the UK take precedence over the aggressive manoeuvres on the international military stage, that are epitomised by Missile Defence. Let the knowledge economy actively promoted by the University of Sheffield be that of knowledge for peace and human advancement not its potential destruction.

Any response to these genuine concerns would be gratefully received. Please send them to Yorkshire CND, 22 Edmund Street, Bradford, BD5 0BH or Sheffield CND, c/o 89 Rustlings Rd, Sheffield, S11 7AB (

See details of "From the Frontline" Conference ;
and Demonstration and Conference Report .

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