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10 Arrested at General Dynamics Protest in Vermont

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On May 1, activists locked themselves together in the lobby of weapons manufacturer General Dynamics in Burlington, Vermont. The activists were demanding “General Dynamics stop giving campaign contributions to the politicians responsible for regulating it, stop making Gatling guns, missiles and other weapons of mass destruction, and give back the $3.6 million in Vermont tax breaks General Dynamics received in 2007.” [includes rush transcript]

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This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: In Vermont, ten activists were arrested Thursday during a protest at a General Dynamics office in Burlington. Sam Mayfield produced this report.

    PROTESTERS: No justice, no peace!

    PROTESTER: There are nine of us here today inside General Dynamics, and we are locked together with lockboxes. So we’re not leaving until they take us out of here.

    PROTESTER: We are here protesting General Dynamics. We have three demands. First is that General Dynamics stop contributing to political campaigns. Second is that General Dynamics stop producing Gatling guns and rockets and weapons of mass destruction. And the third is that General Dynamics give back the $3.6 million in tax breaks.

    PROTESTER: It’s the fifth anniversary of when George Bush said “Mission accomplished,” which is not, in our eyes, a mission accomplished. There’s been 1.2 million Iraqis killed and over 4,000 American troops. A mission accomplished for us would be all US troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan and an end to this war and paying reparations to the Iraqi people. And we want General Dynamics out of this war and to stop producing weapons of mass destruction.

    PROTESTER: The US is now spending $720 million a day on this war. And right now in Vermont, there’s 65,000 uninsured Vermonters. and there’s more than that across the country. This money can be used for our education, for our healthcare. And right now we’re in economic crisis. We need that money here, not overseas killing other people.

    PROTESTER: We’re interested in an economy that supports working people who are working to make the state a better place, a more productive place, a place that’s better prepared to take care of its people and to support life, versus creating arms that perpetuate war and war profiteering.

    PROTESTERS: We are the people. Two, you can’t ignore us. Three, GD are accountable. One, we are the people. Two, you can’t ignore us. Three, GD are accountable.

    POLICE OFFICER: We’re preparing to come and reach a formal statement that says General Dynamics has indicated that you’re trespassing. They’ve asked us to have you leave. We don’t have a whole lot of choice but to ask you to leave. If you choose to do that, that’s great. If you don’t, you’re subject to arrest for trespassing.

    PROTESTER: We would happily leave if someone from General Dynamics would come to talk to us.

AMY GOODMAN: That report by Sam Mayfield. The ten activists were arrested when they refused to leave General Dynamics’s office.

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