International Day of Protest

Report from: Tucson

By Felice and Jack Cohen-Joppa


150 RALLY FOR PEACE AT RAYTHEON'S STAR WARS AND TOMAHAWK CRUISE MISSILE FACTORY

About 150 people attended a demonstration at Raytheon Missile Systems plant in Tucson today, calling for an end to war and opposing plans for the weaponization of space.  The demonstration was one of over 110 held worldwide over the past two days in response to a call issued many months ago by the Global Network Against Nuclear Power and Weapons in Space.

Beginning at noon, a long picket of signs and banners stretched along Nogales Highway south of Tucson, outside the factory where all of the recently launched Tomahawk cruise missiles were made, and where 1 in 12 (over 800 people) are employed in the experimental development of the EKV (exoatmospheric kill vehicle) missile defense interceptor, a Star Wars boondoggle that is already pound-for-pound the most expensive weapon ever made.

The rally program began 45 minutes later as a bus arrived with representatives from the National Lawyers Guild, in Tucson for their annual convention.  Free vegetarian food was provided on site by Tucson Food Not Bombs.

The rally began with a minute of silence to honor the dead and grieving in the wake of the September 11 attacks.  Music came from Tucson folk musician Bruce Phillips, and Carolyn Trowbridge read the prophetic words of Rev. Martin Luther King, from his anti-war "Beyond Vietnam" speech delivered at New York City's Riverside Church on August 4, 1967.

Andrew Lichterman, Program Director of the Western States Legal Foundation, spoke of the need to treat the attacks of September 11 as crimes against humanity and pursue their just resolution through international bodies, rather than by a declaration of general war.

Sally Light, a member of the board of the Global Network, introduced the crowd to Vision 2020, a U.S. Air Force planning document that presents in shameless detail the comprehensive - and expensive - plan to militarily dominate earth and space.

Jack Cohen-Joppa, a member of Raytheon Peacemakers, the Tucson group that organized the local demonstration, explained that the group does not oppose the Raytheon workers,  but opposes the militarism that exploits Tucson's need for good paying jobs, developing our own community only at the expense of damaging others around the world.

Raytheon Peacemakers will return to Raytheon for their regular second-Monday monthly vigil for peace on November 12, from 6:30-7:30 a.m.

For more information, contact Raytheon Peacemakers at 520-323-8697,
520-908-9269 or email peacemakers@mindspring.com.



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