3 Responses to “20th December Solidarity With The Rooftop Protest”
we send our support and solidarity to you.
We are trying to stop them training mercenaries in Wales. We are the Campaign opposing the bizarre project to privatise military training and bring it to St Athan wales – in the biggest PFI/PPP ever, with arms dealers RAYTHOEN, Serco. John Pilger calls it “a British “School of the Americas” is to be built in Wales, where British soldiers will train killers from all corners of the American empire in the name of “global security”. Tony Benn “The thought of privatising the training for the Armed forces was morally abominable” http://www.antimetrix.org/
Approximately thirty supporters rallied near the Raytheon building, waving banners and chanting anti-war slogans. Many were also waving shoes in protest against the war in Iraq. They included anti-arms-trade campaigners from the local area, members of the Bristol Stop-The-War coalition, plus supporters from the Smash-EDO campaign in Brighton and from across the country.
Three vehicles, a dozen police officers, plus several private security guards tried to stop the protest getting near the building or passing up food, water, or supplies to the rooftop.
One protester said – “We’re delighted to see how the support for this protest is building. While so many other people are busy with shopping and consumerism, what’s more important than stopping war, obstructing the arms trade, and upholding international law against the likes of Raytheon?”
Another said – “The police were really jumpy at first. They threatened to arrest us if we passed up supplies to the people on the roof. They said it would be aiding and abetting criminal damage. We replied that by defending an arms manufacturer like Raytheon they were aiding and abetting death and destruction on a global scale!”
Another commented – “When we arrived the police swung open the back doors of their riot transit. They told us it was to throw us in when they arrested us all! They then tried to debate morality and international law with us. But gave up and backed off when they found we knew more about it all than they did!”
They went onto to say – ”The police were blatantly trying to intimidate supporters. But they’re wasting their time! People are going up to support the protesters everyday”
The Protesters climbed onto the roof of Raytheon’s office block near Bristol on the night of Tuesday 9th December. They have managed to erect tents on the rooftop and have tied tarpaulins to ventilation stacks to shelter themselves from the rain, gales, and sub-zero temperatures. They wave banners, paint slogans on the roof and windows, blow whistles, and shout slogans through a megaphone. The protesters feel that no attempt has been made to bring them down from the roof because of the legal dilemma this would cause for Raytheon since the Derry-9 protesters were acquitted earlier this year. See http://www.thisworldisnotforsale.com/
Supporters are welcome to visit anyday and anytime. Sometimes it is possible to send food, water, treats, and supplies up onto the roof on the end of a rope.
The protesters plan to stay indefinitely, including over the Christmas period and into the New Year to protest Bristol’s involvement in the arms trade. They are currently equipping themselves with Santa hats & coats plus a Christmas tree with tinsel and flashing lights. Supporters plan to rally again on Christmas day to support the rooftop protest.