human rights news & views

War crimes resisters acquitted

Raytheon's Londonderry officesAll but one of the 'Raytheon 9' war resisters were acquitted by a Belfast jury yesterday of all charges.

In August 2006 Colm Bryce, Gary Donnelly, Kieran Gallagher, Michael Gallagher, Sean Heaton, Jimmy Kelly, Eamonn McCann, Paddy McDaid and Eamonn O'Donnell broke into the Derry offices of US arms manufacturer Raytheon (pictured right) and defenestrated computers and files, causing an estimated £20,000 damage.

Eamonn McCannOne of the group, 65 year-old journalist Eamonn McCann (pictured left), was found guilty of theft for taking some of the company's computer discs.  He received a 12-month suspended sentence.

Their professed intention and legal defence was to prevent war crimes then occurring in the war between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

What the prosecution described as an "orgy of wanton destruction," the jury accepted as justified, deeming reasonable the belief that "Raytheon was aiding and abetting the commission of war crimes, having seen how Raytheon's lethal technology was being used to destroy the homes and lives of innocents in Lebanon."

Said acquitted activist Colm Bryce following the court victory :

"These crimes continue daily and hourly in the Middle East. It is up to those of us who oppose those wars of domination and occupation to build a movement that matches the enormity of what is being done by Western governments. We hope that this victory gives courage and heart to all those involved in that movement . . ."


  1. 24 July 2008 | 9:42 pm

    Raytheon Brisbane Press Charges After Third Exorcism.

    by Jim Dowling
    Peter Maurin Catholic Worker Farm
    Queensland, Australia

    About Raytheon

    Since officially setting up offices in Australia in 1998, the Raytheon Corporation has expanded dramatically and now has offices in four states. Raytheon is proud supplier of electronic war fighting equipment, missiles and other “labour saving” devices to all branches of the Australian military.

    Raytheon is also the largest civilian employer at Pine Gap, being the sole contractor for the daily maintenance of the facility. Pine Gap is Australia’s most important contribution to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, providing satellite intelligence information used in targeting for much of the bombing. Much of the equipment used at Pine Gap is also made by Raytheon. Raytheon is essentially a war fighting machine, making massive profits from almost every angle. Raytheon workers at Pine Gap tell the US military where to drop Raytheon bombs (cruise missiles, cluster bombs and much more), from planes fitted with Raytheon electronic equipment.

    Whilst being only the fifth largest arms dealer in the world, Raytheon is the largest manufacturer of guided missiles, the infamous cruise missiles being their most famous babies. Starting at $600,000 each, more than thirty of these were fired in the first hours of the Iraq war.

    But Raytheon have many other toys for killing children.

    On 30th July 2006 in Qana Lebanon, Israeli planes killed 63 Lebanese refugees, including 42 children from the same village. While fleeing the fighting, these innocent people were slaughtered with K-84 Laser Guided Bombs made by Raytheon. Each of these missiles weighs nearly a ton.

    On March 28th 2003, 60 innocent people were massacred in the AL Shuala (Baghdad) market place by a single missile. Renowned war correspondent, Robert Fisk, retrieved a bomb fragment with a serial number from the scene. It was identified as either a HARM or PAVEWAY missile – both made by Raytheon. My friend Donna Mulhearn walked through that Market place soon after the bombing and still has blood on the boots she wore on that day.

    Of course these were just two of many massacres. Two which by shear luck could be traced directly to Raytheon. Use your imagination to guess how many of the thousands have died from Raytheon weapons in the last few years.

    Raytheon also make cluster bombs. Most people are familiar by now with these particularly evil devices.

    A Response

    With all this in mind, a group of people , Christians Against ALL Terrorism, began a series of Deliverance prayers, or exorcisms, at the Raytheon office in Murrarie, Brisbane. Convinced that only the demonic could account for a company which exists to make profit from such death and destruction, we were determined to do our best to rid the Raytheon company of those forces.

    On 25 April, 5 of us entered the Brisbane front office, lit candles, prayed and sprinkled holy water. We also pasted the walls with photos of Raytheon massacres, including those massacres mentioned above. We then placed human blood in the shape of a cross in three places on their white walls and glass doors. At last Raytheon could show its true nature to visitors!

    On that occasion Raytheon executives declined to press charges. Police then charged two of us (Lisa Bridle and myself) for refusing to leave when asked by police.

    On 29 May, immediately after our first court appearance, Lisa, myself and six others returned to the Raytheon offices and repeated the Deliverance rite. (It is handy that Raytheon is not far from the court house). This time, in front of the glass doors leading to the reception area, we put up the same photos and poured blood. After 20 minutes of reciting the deliverance prayers, we went downstairs and stood with others on the footpath. Three car loads of police arrived, but once again Raytheon declined to press charges, and no-one from the police even bothered to talk to us.

    On 7 July we returned to court again and finally got a date for our trial (25th July). Immediately after, we again returned to the Raytheon office and performed the deliverance rite, a virtual repeat of that on 29th May. This time however there were over 20 people present, seven of us taking part in the deliverance rite and the others standing outside with a large banner reading “Raytheon – Merchant of Death”. Coming inside were Brisbane Catholic Workers, folks from Peace Tree Community in Perth, a Christian Anarchist from NZ, a Nimbin anarchist, and an ‘embedded’ journalist and photographer from the local Quest newspaper. The outside group included two Buddhist friends who had travelled all the way from Maleny for the action, and a local resident who saw our banner and stopped by to support the action.

    Perhaps finally sensing we were not going to give up easily, this time Raytheon executives did ask police to press charges, and being the one who poured the blood on the doors, I was charged with “willful damage”. Everyone else was allowed to leave. I was taken to the police station and once again released on bail.

    We are encouraged by the recent win in court in Ireland of the Raytheon 9. A jury found all 9 not guilty of damaging Raytheon property when they entered their Derry office and threw papers and computers out the window. The 9th person was given a suspended sentence.

    In turn, others in Brisbane have been encouraged by our actions and there is talk of a day of action by different groups at all the Brisbane offices of major war profiteers. These include Halliburton, Boeing, General Electric, Honeywell and others.

    The theme of World Youth Day, about to take place in Sydney, is about being empowered by the Spirit. This is our prayer also, that Christians and others will be emboldened to embrace the non-violent message of Jesus.

    Jim Dowling

    *Lisa Bridle and Jim Dowling go to trial for the first deliverance rite on 25 July. If you would like to support in any way, you can write to Jim Dowling, 2705 Mt Mee Rd, Ocean View, QLD 4521, or e-mail penangke@octa4.net.au or phone (07) 34253003. All are welcome to come to court.

Leave a reply

Subscribe to website updates by email