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BELGIUM: Activists Occupy Lockheed Martin Office

FOR Mother Earth
February 22nd, 2005

22nd February - This morning a group of 13 anti-nuclear activists
occupied the European headquarters of US arms manufacturer Lockheed Martin,
in Brussels, in protest against the company’s close links with the Bush government,
and specifically its production of nuclear weapons and weapons used in the war
against Iraq. The activists, who all wore masks with the face of George Bush,
disrupted the working of the office for 35 minutes. The action was timed to
coincide with the visit of US President George W. Bush to Brussels.

At around 9am, activists entered the office building on Chaussée de la Hulpe,
where Lockheed Martin has its main European sales office. A large international
samba band, all wearing Bush masks, played loud music in the main lobby of the
building while other activists entered the offices of Lockheed Martin and
interviewed employees about the links between the company and the Bush regime.
The action was organised by For Mother Earth, a member of the Friends of the
Earth International network, with the support of JNM (Jeugdbond voor Natuur en

Lockheed Martin is the world’s largest defence contractor, and is responsible for
the production of Trident nuclear missiles deployed by both the United States and
Britain. Each of these missiles can carry nuclear weapons with a destructive power
equivalent to 60 Hiroshima bombs. In 1996, the International Court of Justice in
The Hague declared that the threat or use of nuclear weapons would generally be
illegal under the principles of international humanitarian law.

The company also supplied weapons used in the war against Iraq, including the F-
117 Stealth fighters used in the “Shock and Awe” bombardment of Baghdad which
caused many civilian deaths. The company has close links with the US
government. It has played a leading role in lobbying for increased defence
spending after the terrorist attacks on September 11th 2001. It has donated over $1
million to members of the US government committees responsible for awarding
defence contracts, and in return has been rewarded with orders from the US
federal government that are worth $65 million per day. As well as clear financial
links, there is also a “revolving door” between the company and the Bush
administration, with personnel working for Lockheed Martin moving to the
Pentagon, and vice-versa.

The company sells weapons to oppressive regimes such as Israel and Saudi Arabia,
and the company has a long history of using corruption and bribery to achieve
lucrative deals. It has also been active in lobbying for increased defence spending
within the European Union.

Stephan Price, a campaigner with For Mother Earth said “When President Bush
comes to Europe to encourage NATO and European Union governments to
increase their arms spending by joining the so-called war on terror, it is clear that
Lockheed Martin will be one of the big winners. The company is openly pushing
for greater spending on arms in the US and Europe, and acting in a highly immoral
way by supplying these deadly weapons. It is also acting illegally. As a nuclear
weapon producer, Lockheed Martin is involved in the preparations for war crimes
and crimes against humanity. We have visited the European headquarters of
Lockheed Martin this morning to give a clear signal that they cannot continue this
work unhindered.”

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