Christian Peacemaker Teams
August 9, 2005
AlliantTech Found Guilty of Manufacturing WMD's
Alliant Techsystems (ATK) was put on trial for the production of depleted uranium (DU) weapons when members of the Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) staged a mock hearing at the entrance to ATK's corporate offices in Edina MN. The August 8 witness coincided with the 60th anniversary of the dropping of the first atomic bombs.
"As we mark the 60th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we have a right and a duty as responsible citizens to hold ATK accountable for the continued development and production of weapons of mass destruction" said Michele Naar-Obed of Duluth MN.
CPTers joined scores of local activists who have maintained a campaign to close ATK since the mid 1990's. An indictment charging ATK with war crimes was read and testimony by 3 CPTers who have recently returned from Iraq was presented. A local activist challenged ATK executives to go to a nearby VA hospital to see the affects of these weapons on US soldiers. When no one came forward to testify on behalf of ATK, the crowd declared ATK guilty.
Interspersed throughout the trial, 13 CPTers were cited and released for trespassing when they attempted to bring an indictment, subpeona, warrant and sentencing order to ATK executives inside the building. Those cited include; Angela Davis, MS; Cassandra Dixon, WI; Jenifer Elliott, MO; Claire Evans, IL; Sarah MacDonald, IA; Denis Murphy, IL; Michele Naar-Obed, MN; Jessica Phillips, IL; Beth Pyles, WV; Michael Smith, RI; Carol Ann Tyx, IA; Cal Williams-Carpenter, IL and Maia Williams-Carpenter, IL. Court dates are pending.
ATK has produced 15 million 30mm shells for the US Air Force and over one million 129mm rounds for the US Army. During the Iraq wars, the US dropped 300 tons of DU. Exposure to DU particles is linked with cancer, congenital malformations, miscarriages, still birth, infant mortality, hair loss, fatigue and bowel disruptions. A study of the children of Gulf War veterans found a 30% birth defect rate.
Christian Peacemaker Teams is a faith-based organization that supports violence reduction efforts around the world. CPT has roots in the Mennonite Church, the Church of the Brethren, and the Religious Society of Friends.
Michele Naar-Obed, for CPT