A week of global action targeting nuclear weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin was held at the end of April.
Protests took place across the USA, as well as in Canada, South Korea, Japan, Italy, Australia, New Zealand and Colombia.
Activities began on April 21st with a demonstration and a petition handed in at the company’s AGM in Bethesda, Maryland. The petition called on Lockheed to begin work on conversion to non-deadly industries.
Protestors paraded half a mile to an overpass and displayed colourful banners over the highway with messages including “Lockheed Martin weapons terrorize the world.” Participating were members of World BEYOND War, RootsAction.org, CODEPINK, MD Peace Action, MilitaryPoisons.org, and Veterans For Peace Baltimore Phil Berrigan Memorial Chapter.
Lockheed Martin is by far the largest weapons producer in the world. From Ukraine to Yemen, Palestine to Colombia, Somalia to Syria and Afghanistan to West Papua, no one profits more from war and bloodshed than Lockheed Martin.
The arms company supplies some of the most repressive regimes in the world. Weapons often come with “lifetime service agreements” in which only Lockheed can service the equipment.
Lockheed Martin’s revenue from arms deals in 2020 was $65 billion. It has frequently been accused of misconduct.
Lockheed Martin is involved in US and UK nuclear weapons. It spreads its operations across 42 different US states, the better to assure Congress members’ support.
In the 2020 US election cycle, according to Open Secrets, Lockheed Martin’s affiliates spent almost $7 million on candidates, political parties and Political Action Committees, and almost $13 million on lobbying, including almost a half a million each on Donald Trump and Joe Biden.
Of Lockheed Martin’s 70 US lobbyists, 49 previously held government jobs. Lockheed Martin lobbies the US government primarily for an enormous military spending bill, which in 2021 amounted to $778 billion, of which $75 billion went straight to Lockheed Martin.
Congress members also profit directly from Lockheed Martin, whose stocks soar whenever there’s a war. One Congresswoman bought Lockheed Martin stock on February 22nd 2022, and the next day tweeted “War and rumors of war is incredibly profitable…”
In the UK, anti-Lockheed protestors took action several weeks earlier, blocking vehicle access to its Ampthill plant in early March.
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