RI Company, Textron, Makes Cluster Bombs

By Layne Frechette

Photo by Chris Mongeau (chrismongeauphoto.com)

The following is a copy of a speech that I gave on November 19, 2011, on the steps of Textron’s headquarters in downtown Providence in protest of Textron’s manufacturing and distribution of certain weapons and of its practice of outsourcing. We are here today to protest the actions of the Textron Corporation. Originally, Textron was a yarn-making company; now, however, it is in the business of making deadly and inhumane weapons that are sold to both the U.S. military and to oppressive governments around the world. Textron is a maker of cluster bombs, weapons which kill innocent civilians; in particular, children who pick them up accidentally long after the fighting ends. Cluster bombs are banned in many other countries: in fact, Textron is under sanction by countries including Bel- gium, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, and Norway for its dealings in cluster bombs. Textron claims that its new “sensor-fuzed weapon,” which is designed to do wide-area damage, is not a cluster bomb; however, the U.S. military refers to it as CBU 97 or CBU 105– CBU stands for cluster bomb unit. In the past, Textron has sold its attack helicopters to oppressive regimes, such as Turkey in its war against the Kurdish minority and to Central American dictatorships in the 1970s. Textron’s only justification for these actions was profit. Moreover, again in the name of profit, Textron has shipped many of its American jobs overseas to countries like China. Despite all this, Textron has been allowed to back its own charter school in town, the Textron/Chamber of Commerce High School, which is named in Textron’s honor. How is such a tyrannical war-profiteer being honored by our community? We want jobs, not war!

Photo by Chloe C

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