This morning in Melbourne a group of anti-war and pro Palestinian activists shut down two buildings of the global arms manufacturer Lockheed Martin.
The action is on going at the time of this release with the activists locking down Lockheed Martins access gates and dropping a banner off one of their buildings stating ‘Medicare Not Warfare. Scrap the F35 Deal’. Another banner is attached to their fence and can be seen from the Princess Highway, it reads ‘War Profiteers – Your Tax Dollars Making a Killing’
Kaz Cochrane, co-founder of Whistleblower, Activists & Citizens Alliance (WACA) stated:
“As Australia embarks on yet another violent military campaign in the Middle East we’re asked to accept the justification of moral imperative to rescue ‘desperate people’; the same people our political class dismissed through the cynical euphemism of ‘collateral damage’, when they were killed in the 100’s of thousands by our allied forces over the last 10,” she said, adding “given the Federal cabinet have committed us to this destructive and inept war campaign the Whistleblower, Activists & Citizens Alliance are determined to expose the real motivation to perpetual war – Perpetual Profit.”
So who is buying into Lockheed Martin; the world’s largest weapons manufacturer & beneficiary of war & ‘defense’ expenditure?
By far the largest recent investor in Australia is our Federal Government who have handed over $35 Billion of tax payer revenue to acquire a fleet of F35 aircraft from Lockheed widely reputed to be technological ‘lemons’ while attempting to convince the Australian community to sacrifice their ‘free at the point of service’ medical system which is a foundation stone of our community values and wellbeing.
WACA co-founder Sam Castro stated:
“We are paying a visit to this corporate titan of war to highlight the F35 ‘lemon’ aircraft is a complete waste of Australian tax payers money.”
“Further the Abbott Government’s destructive foreign policy propagates an insidious cycle of political donations; funding of influential political think tanks; resulting in profit making collusion with global financial institutions, which create an agenda of perpetual war sold to the political class in advanced economies, who are entirely dependent on the patronage of heavy weight corporate & banking entities”
Sam Castro added,
“We are also here today to highlight Lockheed Martin’s complicity in the death of the Palestinian people in repetitive military assaults by the Israeli Defense Force as Israel continues to enforce the illegal occupation of the Palestinian Territories. Lockheed Martin demonstrates their capacity to generate and exploit ‘war markets’ by extending their 20 year operation in Israel to assist the IDF in their aggressive military campaigns, with their local CEO Mr Land, stating they want to be part of Israel’s ‘ecosystem’, which we believe can only be characterized as ‘genocidal’ ”
A peep hole view into the incalculable wealth generated for the arms industry and the global financiers who invest in the war market reveals in the build up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq Lockheed Martin’s defense contracts increased from $17 billion to $21.9 billion.
In the first month since Obama’s recent announcement of airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, Lockheed Martin’s share price increased 7% delivering stunning profits to Australian financial institutions invested in the war contractor, including AMP US$33.5M; Westpac US$20M; Commonwealth Bank US$9M; Macquarie Bank US$51M.
Sam Castro stated,
“WACA calls on the Australian Government to scrap the F35 deal and use that money to fund universal healthcare, tertiary education and Indigenous programs. WACA calls for complete economic divestment by our financial institutions from Lockheed Martin and other arms manufacturers. We ask the Australian community to stand up and speak out against the state of perpetual war that serves only to make private corporations like Lockheed Martin wealthy and destroys Australian’s to make clear our intolerance for industries reliant on the perpetuation of human suffering.”