Reject Raytheon AVL stages a vigil and march at Biltmore Park

Press release from Reject Raytheon AVL:

Event date/time: Friday, February 26, 5 – 6 pm
Location: Corner of Long Shoals & Schenck Parkway, Biltmore Park entrance
Contact: Jenny Andry, (828) 301-0053,

The local coalition Reject Raytheon will hold a vigil and march at Biltmore Park to call public attention to the role played by Biltmore Farms LLC in bringing Pratt & Whitney (P&W) to its property. P&W is a division of Raytheon Technologies, the 2nd largest arms corporation in the world.

On its website, Biltmore Farms states: “Wellness, educational enrichment, and a deep respect for sustainability and the beauty of our mountains—these values have been with our company from our start and remain at our core today.”

But the corporation recently donated 100 acres of its land to Pratt & Whitney to build a plant that will make engine parts for commercial and military jets. This land has just been deforested and is now being leveled for construction.

In a time of endless war, climate change, pandemic, and unprecedented wealth inequality, investing in the multinational aerospace and defense industry is the wrong priority. We should be investing in local business and sustainable development.

Jack Cecil, CEO of Biltmore Farms, has said he wants more industry to follow. There has been little to no transparency in this planning.

Reject Raytheon will deliver the following list of questions and demands to Mr. Cecil:

What are you & Biltmore Farms gaining from this donation to Pratt & Whitney?
How are you and Pratt & Whitney assuring that the environment is protected – the soil, the river, the air, the wetlands?
What are the plans for waste removal from the plant?
Given the recent failures of Pratt & Whitney engines, what are your safety concerns for workers at the plant being planned here?
What is in the works for expansion of this project? What other businesses are being invited onto the Biltmore Farms property?
How do your values about sustainability mesh with having an industry that is part of the war economy and a major user of fossil fuels on this land?

Our demands:

Stop the destruction of the forest and bridge building
Retract the gift of land to Pratt & Whitney
Support only businesses which are just, sustainable, and local
Commit to public transparency in all further economic development plans

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