By World BEYOND War, April 29, 2022
From April 21st to 28th, crowds and small groups of people in locations around the world have brought petitions, banners, and protests to the offices of the world’s largest weapons dealer, Lockheed Martin. Details, including photos and videos, of the Global Mobilization to #StopLockheedMartin are still being collected and posted at https://act.worldbeyondwar.org/stoplockheedmartin
The petition delivered to Lockheed Martin’s headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland, and to various other offices, asks the company to begin working on conversion to peaceful industries. In addition to a rally and the displaying of giant banners over a highway in Bethesda, actions have included:
- two demonstrations in Komaki City, Japan including at the main gate of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Nagoya Aerospace Systems Works (Nagoya koukuu uchuu shisutemu seisakusho), where Lockheed Martin’s F-35As and other aircraft are assembled;
- a protest in Montréal, Canada;
- haunting street theater in Seoul, Korea;
- a tax-day march and sing-along at Lockheed Martin’s facility in Palo Alto, California;
- a protest in the street on Jeju Island, Korea;
- a protest at Lockheed’s military-targeting satelite dishes in Sicily;
- the creation of and presentation of a quilt commemorating some of Lockheed Martin’s victims in Nova Scotia, Canada;
- the pasting up of a billboard “correcting” a misleading Lockheed Martin advertisement on the building housing the office of Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister in Toronto, Canada;
By far the world’s biggest weapons dealer, Lockheed Martin brags about arming over 50 countries. These include many of the most oppressive governments and dictatorships, and countries on opposite sides of wars. Some of the governments armed by Lockheed Martin are Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Poland, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, and Vietnam.
Weapons often come with “lifetime service agreements” in which only Lockheed can service the equipment.
Lockheed Martin weapons have been used against the people of Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Pakistan, Somalia, Libya, and many other countries. Apart from the crimes its products are manufactured for, Lockheed Martin is frequently found guilty of fraud and other misconduct.
Lockheed Martin is involved in U.S. and UK nuclear weapons, as well as being the producer of the horrific and disastrous F-35, and the THAAD missile systems used to escalate tensions around the globe and manufactured in 42 U.S. states the better to assure Congress members’ support.
In the United States in the 2020 election cycle, according to Open Secrets, Lockheed Martin’s affiliates spent almost $7 million on candidates, political parties, and PACs, and almost $13 million on lobbying including almost a half a million each on Donald Trump and Joe Biden, $197 thousand on Kay Granger, $138 thousand on Bernie Sanders, and $114 thousand on Chuck Schumer.
Of Lockheed Martin’s 70 U.S. lobbyists, 49 previously held government jobs.
Lockheed Martin lobbies the U.S. government primarily for an enormous military spending bill, which in 2021 amounted to $778 billion, of which $75 billion went straight to Lockheed Martin.
The U.S. State Department is effectively a marketing arm of Lockheed Martin, promoting its weapons to governments.
Congress members also own stock in and profit from Lockheed Martin’s profiting, including from the latest weapons shipments to Ukraine. Lockheed Martin’s stocks soar whenever there’s a new big war. Lockheed Martin brags that war is good for business. One Congresswoman bought Lockheed Martin stock on February 22, 2022, and the next day tweeted “War and rumors of war is incredibly profitable…”
Core organizers of the past week’s events included:
- Auckland Peace Action (New Zealand)
- Disrupt Wars (Australia)
- RootsAction.org (U.S.)
- Tadamun Antimili (Colombia)
- Wage Peace (Australia)
- War Resisters’ International (Global)
- World BEYOND War (Global)
- World Without War (South Korea)