Reject Raytheon stages a die-in to call attention to the deadly role of the P&W parent company in wars and climate change.
Who: Reject Raytheon, a local coalition
What: Demonstration against the Pratt & Whitney plan for Buncombe County
When: Wednesday, December 9, 2020, 3 pm
Where: Vance Monument
Speakers at the demonstration will address the following concerns:
- Yemen, according to the UN, is undergoing the largest humanitarian crisis on earth. The war there has resulted in over 100,000 dead, millions displaced, cholera and starvation affecting 80% of the population, and one of the very worst COVID death rates in the world. Raytheon profits from this war.
- Addressing the existential climate emergency on this planet requires a transition to a Green New Deal. The US military and the aerospace industry are two of the largest polluters in the world.
- More jobs are created by investing in clean energy, health, and education than are created by investing in the military-industrial complex. For the same amount of spending, clean energy and infrastructure create 40% more jobs than the military, healthcare creates 100% more, and education 120% more. Raytheon’s jobs are an opportunity lost for our local economy.
Reject Raytheon calls for:
- The Buncombe County Commission to rescind its vote to provide $27 million in tax incentives for Pratt & Whitney;
- An investment in local businesses, particularly in the areas of clean energy, health, and education;
- Specific expenditures allocated, as promised, for reparations to the Asheville African-American community;
- Transparency on this project, as well as on any further development plans for Biltmore Farms LLC;
Gerry Werhan, president of the Asheville Veterans for Peace said, “We know that huge defense contractors promote war because they make big profits on it. We also know that the aerospace industry is a major user of fossil fuels. We should be investing in a more sustainable future instead of dead-end companies like Raytheon.”
Jenny Andry, co-chair of the Asheville chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America said, “The US currently outspends the next 10 countries combined on defense, with no end to spending increases in sight. Instead of funding widespread beneficial social programs like a Green New Deal and Medicare for All, our tax dollars are going to the manufacture of weapons of war. Raytheon already gets our tax dollars, and now, thanks to the Commission’s backroom deal made with no public input, they have their sights set on our home, too.”
Victoria Estes, coordinator of the Sunrise Movement Asheville said, “The MIC is one of the world’s top polluters. Allowing them to have a base in Asheville through this Raytheon deal would be a direct reversal of Asheville Government’s promise to commit to combat climate change. Yes, we do need new good paying jobs in Asheville, but we don’t need them to come from a company that makes weapons of war, we need them to come from a commitment to a Green New Deal.”
This event is sponsored by Reject Raytheon, a local coalition of activists including the Sunrise Movement, Veterans for Peace, and Democratic Socialists of America.