Press release from Reject Raytheon AVL and Party for Socialism and Liberation:
Local groups Reject Raytheon AVL and Party for Socialism and Liberation are sponsoring a demonstration near the site of the Pratt & Whitney plant in Buncombe County. The demonstration will take place at the Bent Creek River Park at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 17.
The sponsoring groups issued the following statement:
We are witnessing a holocaust in real time. Israel is in the midst of a killing rampage that has killed at least 11,500, including at least 4,710 children and has injured at least 29,800, with 70% of them children and women.
Israel has unleashed the explosive power of 2 nuclear weapons of the size dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on a population of 2.3 million people densely packed into an area the size of Manhattan.
Hospitals have been deliberately targeted and destroyed. All food, water, fuel, and electricity have been cut off. Civilians are cut down as they attempt to flee.
This is a textbook case of genocide. Israeli leaders have openly declared their intent to ethnically cleanse the land. It is an ongoing and horrifying crime against humanity.
The United States continues to support Israel with weapons, intelligence, advisors, money, diplomatic cover, and its own military presence in the region. It is complicit in this crime.
War profiteering corporations like Raytheon (RTX) are making fortunes as they manufacture and sell the weapons being used by Israel. RTX division Pratt & Whitney builds the engines for the F-16s and F-35s that are being used to drop the bombs in Gaza.
We say Shut it Down! Shut down the merchants of death like Raytheon and Pratt & Whitney. Shut down the US military-industrial complex. Shut down imperialism and colonialism.
We demand that Buncombe County Commissioners:
1. Revoke the county tax credits to Pratt & Whitney.
2. Reject the proposed rezoning of the Biltmore Farms land adjacent to Pratt & Whitney. No war machine industrial park in Buncombe County.
3. Pass a resolution demanding immediate, unconditional ceasefire and immediate shutoff of all aid to Israel until it stops the killing and grants equal human rights for Palestinians. We call for the Asheville City Council to do the same.
To Pratt & Whitney, we say “Make Windmills, Not War Machines.
We call on all justice loving people to stand with Palestinians in their struggle for freedom, dignity, and human rights.
Ken Jones, a Reject Raytheon AVL organizer for the demonstration said, “The genocide happening in Gaza is horrifying and we must all rise up to demand a ceasefire, an end to US complicity in these war crimes, and equal human rights for Palestinians. We know that Pratt & Whitney makes profits from Israel’s war crimes and that our local county commissioners, chamber of commerce, and Biltmore Farms are strong supporters of Pratt & Whitney. We are here to say no, not in our name. We want Pratt & Whitney to convert its plant to the production of windmills not war machines, and we want no more war industry here in western North Carolina. There are better ways to provide jobs than by contributing to genocide.”
Claire Clark, a PSL organizer for the demonstration said, “”The genocidal Apartheid state of Israel is entirely a creature of the United States. It serves the interests of U.S. imperialism, and dances to the tune that Washington calls. If our leaders cannot find the moral clarity to force an immediate, unconditional ceasefire, stop the genocide in Gaza, and end all U.S. aid to Israel, then we, the people, will shut it down ourselves. There will be no business as usual while a genocide is occurring in the broad light of day before the horrified eyes of the entire world.”
Editor’s note: Pratt & Whitney did not return a request for comment.