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Veolia sponsors Wildlife Photographer of the Year

This year’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition is being sponsored by Veolia Environmental Services, which is accused by campaigners of profiting from the Israeli occupation of Palestine (see http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article10909.shtml). The international showcase for the “very best” nature photography is owned the Natural History Museum and the BBC Wildlife Magazine. The award is no stranger to controversial sponsorship deals; recent years saw fossil fuel giant, Shell, acting as sponsor.

Links: http://www.veoliaenvironmentalservices.co.uk/pages/wildlife.asp
http://www.corporatewatch.org.uk/?lid=3474

In a climate in which the call for a consumer boycott of Israeli goods is finally gaining strength, one area of Israel’s economy is, as yet, surprisingly under-researched. Most of Israel’s industrial zones in the West Bank are connected to illegal residential settlements and provide an indispensable economic backbone to the local settler economy. Mishor Adumim is the second largest industrial zone in the Occupied Territories and the one through which the Palestinians have the most to lose. Read the rest of this entry »

The western Welsh county of Ceredigion is home to Danger Area D201, a former RAF missile testing ground, now converted into a 22km x 1.5km restricted airspace for the testing of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The area is the embodiment of the tangled relationships existing between corporate, governmental and private commercial interests. A section of the old RAF land is now operated by arms giant QinetiQ; the runway is owned by the same private businessman who runs the local airport; and at the centre of this hub of UAV promotion is the ParcAberporth facility, made possible, and owned by, the Welsh Assembly. Read the rest of this entry »

For most consumers, the name GoreTex means water-proof jackets, hiking trousers or maybe skiing gloves. Since 1958, US-based W.L. Gore has pioneered research into fluoropolymer materials, marketing ‘high performance’ outdoor wear under the brand names GoreTex and WINDSTOPPER. However, in the shadows of its more reputable business, W.L. Gore is supplying American arms giant ITT with these specialist materials.

The material is used in ITT’s FRCS ‘umbilical’ release mechanisms, installed in fighter planes to allow the more ‘efficient’ deployment of weapons. The FRCS mechanism is manufactured at the ITT-owned EDO MBM factory in Brighton. The factory has been the focus of a five year long campaign of direct action, aiming to stop the company producing mechanisms such as the FRCS, and to highlight that even supposedly ‘minor’ weapons components play a massive part in the functioning of the military machine (see, for example, Corporate Watch’s http://www.corporatewatch.org/?lid=3199”> Campaign Spotlight on the Smash EDO campaign).

W.L. Gore’s involvement in the development of the FRCS is by no means an incidental one. Unlike some companies who (often falsely) claim innocence because they supply raw materials or services to arms companies as part of their general business, W.L. Gore has actively worked with ITT to produce the FRCS. In a 2008 press release regarding the FRCS, Paul Hills, managing director of EDO MBM in Brighton, spoke of how “closely” ITT has been working with W.L. Gore “for a number of years” and the degree to which this has “strengthened” ITT’s market position.

The FRCS release mechanism is currently in use in the F 16 plane. The F 16 is being used by the US army in its wars of aggression in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as being a staple of the Israeli Air Force in its attacks in Palestine and Lebanon.

ITT has recently signed a major contract with Lockheed Martin, to supply the FRCS as a component in the F 35 multirole fighter. The IAF has been in talks since 2006 to purchase $5billion worth of F 35s from the US, to gradually replace the ageing F 16. Twenty-five F 35s may be in the IAF’s possession by 2014, continuing W. L. Gore’s complicity in international war crimes.

Original article at http://www.corporatewatch.org/?lid=3472

As part of an international day of action against the Languedoc-Rousillon regional council in France, Palestine solidarity campaigners picketed the Maison Languedoc-Rousillon offices in London, Milan, Brussels and Montpelier on 21st November in protest at the council’s plans to build facilities for Carmel-Agrexco in the French harbour of Sete.

Link: www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2009/11/442075.html
or: www.protection-palestine.org/spip.php?article8021

Original Aricle at http://www.corporatewatch.org/?lid=3475

Brighton’s Smash EDO has launched a new campaign against Barclays, with a first picket at the bank’s Brighton branch on North Street on 28th November. Pickets also took place in Wrexham and Falmouth, while in Cambridge anonymous activists wrote “Barclays – £7bn invested in arms trade” in six foot letters above their local branch. The group is calling for autonomous actions against Barclays Bank to force it to cease providing ‘market maker’ services on the NYSE stock exchange for ITT Corporation, which owns Brighton-based arms manufacturer EDO MBM/ITT.

Link: www.smashedo.org.uk/target-barclays.html
Action report: www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2009/11/442430.html

Original article at http://www.corporatewatch.org/?lid=3475

Over the last year Corporate Watch has reported on the growing international campaign against Veolia and its attempts to extract itself from a controversial contract with the Israeli government. Read the rest of this entry »

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