FACES of RESISTANCE

GALLERY 8
ALLIANT ACTION

PART 1 | PART 2 | PART 3 | PART 4


1. Kathleen Ruona, Barb Pratt, Rita MacDonald, CSJ, and Susan Walker picket Alliant Techsystems' annual shareholders meeting - August 4, 1998. Spun off from the Honeywell corporation in 1991, Alliant Techsystems is a 1.2 billion-dollar a year military producer with corporate headquarters located in Hopkins, Minnesota. It ranks as the 23rd largest supplier to the Department of Defense. The company reported record profits in 1998, while laying off five hundred workers. It operates in twenty-three different congressional districts across the United States and has international sales offices in 33 countries - including Israel, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Malaysia, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, India, Pakistan, Greece and Turkey. At one time, the corporation was the largest manufacturer of antipersonnel landmines in the United States.

2. Dee Logan and John Harmon - August 4, 1998. As co-coordinators of the Minnesota Campaign to Ban Landmines, John and Dee share a piece of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize awarded jointly to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and its coordinator, Jody Williams. In December 1997, John and Dee traveled to Ottawa for the historic signing of the Mine Ban Treaty - one that the United States has yet to sign. Says Dee: "Imagine if there were landmines in Minneapolis. There would be an outcry. For people in other countries, landmines are a reality. People are being hurt and killed. There is something we can do about it. It's a winnable issue." Although Alliant Techsystems currently has no contract with the Department of Defense to make landmines, the company has refused to denounce any future production of the weapon.

3-4. Local students participate in the weekly Wednesday morning vigil across the street from Alliant Techsystems' corporate headquarters.

Off-site Link: Alliant Action.



5. A pointed question is directed to Alliant's management.

6. Marv Davidov with David Dellinger - May 7, 1997. Marv, a justice and peace activist from the time of the Mississippi Freedom Rides, was a co-founder of the Honeywell Project in 1968 - a movement which for twenty years ensured the gathering of thousands at Honeywell's corporate headquarters in Minneapolis to protest the company's manufacture of weapons ranging from cluster bombs to guidance systems for Cruise and Pershing nuclear missiles.

Ed Felien, editor of the alternative newspaper Pulse recalls that "each demonstration was unique and important. Sometimes we would share bread in a secular communion. Sometimes we would camp out in the hallways overnight to block entryways. When Honeywell built fences, we climbed over them. Erica Bouza trespassed and was arrested by her husband, Tony Bouza, then Minneapolis Chief of Police . . . There was always music and national speakers like Noam Chomsky or Dave Dellinger the night before."

Since Honeywell sold off its defense contracts to Alliant Techsystems, Marv and others have kept the tradition of Honeywell protests alive. This photograph was taken at a rally and civil disobedience action at Alliant Techsystems' corporate headquarters in May 1997. Dave Dellinger was the featured speaker at the event.



7. Jermaine Toney - University of St. Thomas student and justice & peace activist - September 1999.

8. Jane McDonald - Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet and longtime peace and justice activist - July 1997. "The drum beat is a symbol of the heartbeat of the earth and the pulse of the people," says Jane. "It calls us to conscience; calls us to honor the earth, its resources, and its people. Working to stop military madness is part of this honoring."

9. Mary J. Ramaekers and Jane Regan at a Wednesday morning Alliant vigil. "Peace Conversion with No Loss of Jobs" is a fundamental demand of those who gather every Wednesday morning across the street from Alliant Techsystems' corporate headquarters. Making peace is our responsibility," says Mary Ramaekers, a Franciscan nun from LaCrosse, Wisconsin. "It entails conversion of heart, of mind; and conversion of violent products to peaceful products."



10-11. Theresa O'Brien, CSJ, and Bill Barnett protest Alliant's making of the OICW - the military's replacement for the M-16.



12. Cecilia Loome of Stillwater, Minnesota, kneels at the doors of Alliant Techsystems - June 14, 2000. Cecilia had joined Tom Bottolene of St. Paul, Tom Hooley of Forest Lake, Jane McDonald, CSJ, of Minneapolis, Betty McKenzie, CSJ, of St. Paul, Kathleen Ruona of Minneapolis, and Mary Vaughan of White Bear Lake, to nonviolently and symbolically protest Alliant's production of weapons.

As some of the activists lay on the concrete in front of the company's doors, others traced their outlines with red paint - symbolic of the blood shed due to the weapons produced by Alliant Techsystems. Supporters of the seven activists gathered across the street holding a sign which asked, "On Whose Hands?"

Of her participation in the action, Cecilia would later write: "As we sat on the pavement waiting for the police to come, I was so struck by the whole action. I was incredibly touched by the faith and support of all those gathered there, especially that of Tom, Steve and Alison, my friends and classmates who had come for the very first time [to the Alliant vigil] . . . As we sat next to the bodies encircled in the 'blood of the victims,' I felt so much love towards everyone there. What if they were really dead? How can anyone have the right to do this to another human being? My heart goes out to the families and friends of the victims of Alliant's weapons. To sit beside the bodies of 'the victims' at the action was an opportunity for me to step inside the shoes of the victims and their families . . . I couldn't stop looking at the red paint on my hands and thinking, 'What if it really were blood? What if it were my blood?' I thought of how it would feel to never walk again because of a landmine or another weapon, and so when the officer came to arrest me, I told him that I wouldn't walk because some children my age can never walk again because of the weapons [made by Alliant]. He carried me away and the gravity of the situation was so real, so present right then. For just one moment, I knew what it felt like to be helpless, to be unable to walk . . ."



13. Tom Bottolene at the doors of Alliant Techsystems' corporate headquarters in Hopkins. Speaking on behalf of those who organized and participated in the action, Tom noted that "today, June 14th, as the U.S. army celebrates its 225th anniversary, which represents 225 years of solving conflicts with violence, we gather as community members to communicate nonviolently our concern. Every product that this corporation produces results in a victim. At this time in history we recognize that weapons are hi-tech and that conflicts are global in scope. But individuals are still at the center, at the heartbeat. Individuals make the decisions to use violence as a solution, and individuals are the ones who suffer and die as a result of those decisions . . . We as a community are demonstrating here today in front of this weapons merchant [and reminding them] that there are victims - even though the results are very far away."



14. Brigid McDonald, CSJ, was one of many who gathered at Alliant Techsystems in April 2000 for a mock trial of the corporation, and in particular, the company's use of Uranium 238. Illegal under international law, Uranium 238 (or "depleted uranium") is used by Alliant in many of the corporation's weapons.

Holding a sign with an image of Alliant's CEO David Miller, Brigid says: "I hold this sign to expose the truth about who are the real wrongdoers. The wrongdoers are those breaking international law. We who protest and at times trespass, are not the wrongdoers. Those who are making the weapons are the wrongdoers. We're here to expose the law breakers - the international law breakers."

15. Rita McDonald, CSJ - April 2000.

16. Derek Burrows - April 2000. "Depleted uranium munitions produced by Alliant have been used by the United States in both Yugoslavia and Iraq and have been linked to increases in childhood leukemia, stillbirths, and birth defects in southern Iraq," says Derek. "There is also reason to believe that exposure to depleted uranium is a cause of the Gulf War Syndrome that plagues tens of thousands of American and ally troops that served in the 1991 war. Alliant does not deny that it will produce depleted uranium munitions in the future . . . Alliant's production of these weapons is morally wrong, and as other testimony has asserted, illegal under international law."

In August of 1999, Derek traveled to Iraq as part of a humanitarian mission. "Besides experiencing an enormous amount of suffering due to the UN economic sanctions, the Iraqi population is also experiencing higher rates of certain illnesses," notes Derek. "When I was in Iraq I saw children dying of leukemia. These are cases that have been linked to depleted uranium, which is produced by a company in our backyard. I cannot and will not sit still when innocent children are dying for Alliant Techsystem's profit margin."

17. Mary Vaughn - April 2000. "Depleted uranium is a delayed response weapon which burns its way through tank armor and oxidizes , throwing radioactive particles as far away as twenty-five miles," said Mary. "I took part in civil disobedience [at Alliant Techsystem] in hope that the public may become aware of what is going on in our own backyard."



18-19. On November 1, 2000, students from Cretin-Derham Catholic High School (including Dan Battis, left) joined with approximately 100 other justice and peace advocates for an action entitled "Day of the Dead."

The action involved a solemn procession through downtown Hopkins to the headquarters of the Alliant Techsystems corporation. Here prayers were said "in remembrance of the dead left in the wake of weapons made by Alliant" while ashes were sprinkled on the sidewalk.

Minneapolis resident, Carol Masters, also participated in the action and noted that "the march was intended to bring the people of Hopkins' attention to what is going on in their community--particularly the disparity between the military budget and money to fund human needs." Carol also planted irises in front of the corporation's headquarters "in memory of people, particularly children, killed by Alliant's weapons.


PART 2



CONTENTS AND LINKS


INTRODUCTION
GALLERY 1 - FACES OF RESISTANCE
GALLERY 2 - CONFRONTING CORPORATE GLOBALIZATION
GALLERY 3 - A16
GALLERY 4 - MAY DAY 2000
GALLERY 5 - RESPONDING TO THE CRISIS IN IRAQ
GALLERY 6 - CLOSING THE SCHOOL OF THE AMERICAS
GALLERY 7 - HIGHWAY 55
GALLERY 8 - ALLIANT ACTION
GALLERY 9 - RESPONDING TO 9.11 AND THE "WAR ON TERROR"