BELGIUM: Activists Occupy Lockheed Martin Office

Publisher Name: 
FOR Mother Earth


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

Milieu).



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."

AMP Section Name:Lockheed Martin