You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Arms Companies’ tag.
In May John Eaton, a director of arms manufacturers EDO MBM, spoke on behalf of the company at an arms conference in Washington about work being done in Brighton to develop bomb release units with a footprint “the size of a dollar bill”. In his abstract for the talk Eaton contends that “flexible responses require new approaches to the delivery of small non traditional weapons from non traditional airframes involved in the kill chain.” Read the rest of this entry »
An article entitled ‘Predicting a Riot’, on the Eurosatory Land Defence and Security Exhibition website sheds light on the non-lethal weapons currently being developed to control dissent. The article alludes to the British Summer 2011 riots and the Toronto G20 protests as examples of a “new form of mass crime” that justifies the use of new technology by police forces:
“2011 was a year of global political upheaval, as politics and technology converged to change the face of protest, direct action and mass criminal behaviour. In stark contrast to the legitimate protest, which has driven democracy in states such as Egypt, or raised political questions in Western states, a new form of mass-crime has brought massive property damage, injury and death.
…the evolution of police weapons and tactics has become necessary and justified. To support responders, policy-makers must establish new systems to rapidly stop a peaceful gathering from becoming a criminal free-for-all, while protecting a vital right to free expression.” Read the rest of this entry »
Arms manufacturer ITT has split into three independent companies. Its arms manufacturing business will be renamed ITT Exelis, its Industrial Process and Flow Control division will keep the ITT name, while the Water and Waste division will become Xylem. The companies will be listed separately on the New York Stock Exchange. There has also been speculation that US arms giant Raytheon may buy ITT Exelis. Read the rest of this entry »
In the light of the recent death of Jawaher Abu Rahma through tear gas inhalation (see https://corporateoccupation.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/1080/ ) Ryan Olander takes a look at the history of systematic ‘non-lethal weapon’ usage by Israel against Palestinians.
Jamal Shukeirat, resident of East Jerusalem, was a young man on the 26th of September 1988; 23 years old. For most people his age, September is a month to return to university or begin thinking about harvest. However, his life was cut short this day. Jamal was shot directly in the head with a large and heavy tear gas round by the Israeli Military. 
It is illegal under international law to use propelled tear gas in this way. An addendum of the Chemical Weapons Convention (of which Israel is a signatory ) states: “And, as toxic chemicals, RCA [riot control agents] are subject to the requirement that their types and quantities must be consistent with their purpose. This implies that the munitions or devices used to deliver RCA must also be consistent with that purpose.”  The reason it is considered a “less-than-lethal” weapon is because its dispersal effects come as the CS gas they burn are inhaled. This causes nausea, loss of breath and impaired vision. Many times the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) use this weapon as projectile to strike nonviolent activists. Instead of firing these heavy metal canisters indirectly and in a gentle arc, the IOF fires them directly at Palestinians, Israelis and internationals. Read the rest of this entry »
Impertec/Supergum Industries – One of the companies in Ma’ale Efraim is Impertec ‘Supergum’.
Impertec is part of the ‘Supergum Group’. Impertec and Supergum are sister companies with the same owners. Impertec manufactures gas masks, riot gear and rubber extrusions. Supergum manufacture rubber, plastic and sealing products. Both product ranges have military applications Read the rest of this entry »
Caterpillar, the company which supplies the Israeli military with bulldozers, announced that it is delaying the supply of D9 bulldozers during the case brought by the family of Rachel Corrie. Read the rest of this entry »
Israel’s Elbit Systems, through its British subsidiary U-TacS, has been awarded a £44.5 million contract to provide Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) support capability for the UK Armed Forces operating in Afghanistan. Elbit, based in Haifa, owns the majority shares in U-TACs in Leicester along with French arms company, Thales. The contract includes continued supply of the Hermes drone system. Ministry of Defence purchases from Israel strengthen Israel’s arms industry and feed Israeli militarism. Israel’s armaments sector is fuelled by the testing ground which the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land and siege of Gaza provides. The Hermes drone, now being peddled on the international market, is the fruit of the, increasingly mechanised, siege of Gaza. Hermes pilotless planes have been in use in Gaza since 2005. The grassroots Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) calls for government sanctions on Israel, including the cessation of arms purchases. See http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2010/10/25/348884/uk-renews-hermes-450-contract-for-afghanistan.html
Israel has recently sealed a deal to purchase 20 F-35 Joint Striker Jets from Lockheed Martin. This contract, the largest purchase made by the state of Israel is covered by a US military aid package. The F-35 is expected to replace the F16 as Israel’s main attack weapon. Israeli F-16s were used in attacks on civilian target, including police stations, government buildings and hospitals, during Israel’s massacre in Gaza in January 2009. The deal had stalled over negotiations as to whether the jets could be fitted with Israeli made missiles and electronic warfare systems. Lockheed refused, saying that the package was a “closed deal”. This stipulation will ensure that the IAF is reliant on the global arms trade for weapons components over the coming years. However, as a sweetener, it has been pledged that some Israeli made weapons systems will be installed on future F-35 purchases. Other companies working on the project are Pratt and Whitney in Connecticut and General Electric in Ohio.
See http://www.israel-palestinenews.org/2010/10/israel-seals-unprecedented-weapons.html and http://www.dsca.osd.mil/PressReleases/36-b/2008/Israel_08-83.pdf and http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/israel-plans-to-buy-over-100-f35s-02381/
On January 17th 2009 six people broke into EDO MBM/ITT in Brighton and caused £189 000 worth of damage to computers, servers, lathes and other equipment. The activists, calling themselves the ‘decommissioners’, took their action in response to the Israeli assault on Gaza which had claimed 1400 lives by the 17th. EDO MBM/ITT manufactures the arming unit for the Israeli F16 bombrack. The six were arrested, along with three people alleged to have supported the action. All nine were charged with conspiracy to cause criminal damage. At a month long trial at Hove Crown Court seven of the activists argued that they had a lawful excuse to damage EDO’s property as the company was complicit in war crimes. All seven were acquitted on July 2nd 2010 after the jury gave five unanimous not guilty verdicts and the judge directed that the final two should be acquitted. One activist had been found with no case to answer earlier in the trial due to lack of evidence. Read the rest of this entry »
Capernaum Vista Olive farm – www.oleaessence.net: Producers of olive oil and olive oil based skin products. Seem to market themselves primarily over the internet and to wholefood stores. Their contact address is in California.
Nistec – www.nistec.com: Nistec is a high-tech/arms company who opened a new plant in Katzerin in 2009. Nistec also has offices in Petach Tikhvah annd Maalot.
Sealy – http://www.sealy.com: Sealy advertise themselves as ‘America’s best selling mattress company’. They are a multinational company and the factory in Katzerin is run by an Israeli licensee They have a UK base in Cumbria (http://www.sealy.co.uk/contactus.php)
Bnei Yehuda settlement was established in 1972 after Israel’s occupation of the Golan heights, it was reportedly set up by workers from Israeli Aircraft Industries (www.iai.co.il). It is on the site of the Syrian area of Scopia which was depopulated when the Israeli military forced most of the Syrian residents of the Golan Heights out of their homes. It now has 1036 residents.
Bnei Yehuda boasts a Carmel Agrexco packing house. Agrexco are the largest exporter of fresh produce from the settlements to Europe and elsewhere.
On the road leading to Bnei Yehuda a factory bearing the Elbit logo can be seen. The factory appears to be manufacturing aircraft. Elbit operate in the UK and are involved in testing unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) at ParcAberporth in Wales (see http://www.corporatewatch.org/?lid=3470).
Near the entrance to Bnei Yehuda industrial area is a sign offering free land to people who want to settle, on the expropriated Syrian land, in Bnei Yehuda.
Israeli companies profiting from the occupation of Palestine are increasingly subject to blacklisting and divestment due to the growing pressure exerted boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. The movement of Palestinian organisations and solidarity activists pushes for divestment from Israeli companies involved in and profiting from the occupation and in recent months has seen millions of dollars withdrawn from Israeli companies, in particular Israeli military contractor Elbit Systems, a company involved in the construction of the apartheid wall and connected to the manufacture of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) , or drones. Read the rest of this entry »
Israel is planning to build a new security fence around the Red Sea city of Eilat, close to the border with Egypt. Companies set to tender for stakes in the $270 million project include Motorola Israel, which manufactures the Wide Area Surveilance System (WASS) sensors for settlements in the West Bank; Ortek, a subsidiary of Israeli arms manufacturer Elbit; Magal Security Systems, an Israeli company that had built parts of the West Bank and Gaza walls; D-Fence and El-Far. Israel has already built fences and walls along its borders with Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and inside the West Bank and Gaza. The construction of many of these barriers has resulted in land grabs and everyday suffering for Palestinians trying to cross through the countless checkpoints.
Anti-militarist campaign Target Brimar has begun 22 days of protest to commemorate not only those killed in Gaza during the Israeli attacks last year, but also all those killed by UK and US forces in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere around the world. Brimar is a Manchester-based company whose targeting display systems are used by UK, US and Israeli forces.
ITT, the owner of EDO MBM in Brighton, has announced a new $39.3 million contract to produce the BRU-57/A bomb rack for the F-16 at Robins Air Force Base in the US. Apparently, “these will be installed on F-16 aircraft used by U.S. and allied nations.” Israel is a major recipient of F-16s.
Original article at http://www.corporatewatch.org/?lid=3503
In the lead up to the Counter Terror Expo in April 2010, Corporate Watch is taking a closer look at the companies helping to create, and profiting from, the terror/security culture (see the previous article). The trade fair, which is taking place at Kensington Olympia in London, is an opportunity to make huge profits for any company that can link its products to Western governments’ ‘wars on terror’. Amongst the 250 exhibitors are several companies developing security systems using biometric technologies and increasingly oppressive surveillance systems, bidding for lucrative contracts to create state-of-the-art security systems, for both state agencies and private clients. 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
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.
Original article at http://www.corporatewatch.org/?lid=3475
The culture of fear and distrust that has grown up around this century’s terror culture and its associated wars has created vast new markets for anything that can be branded with the words security or defence. In April 2010, London’s Kensington Olympia will play host to a Counter Terror Expo, put on by DSEi’s infamous events’ organiser, Clarion, and sponsored by French arms company, Thales. Officially supported by a plethora of military, police and private security associations, the expo will showcase over 250 security, surveillance and specialist logistics companies; state agencies including NATO and the MoD; and anyone else claiming to provide protection against terrorism for both the armed forces and civilian populations. Joining the fray are a number of corporations involved in creating identity verification technologies. The biometrics and database management companies whose invasive products, based on the recognition of physiological characteristics, are finding voice as futuristic ‘solutions’ in, what is deemed, an ‘increasingly dangerous world’.
The promotion of ID-for-all follows a peculiar logic whereby individual safety is equated with collective criminalisation. In the wake of 9/11, state agencies, aided by the corporate media, can single out individuals, named or otherwise, as posing a threat to all, not necessarily because of what they do or have done, but because of who they are. This has created a framework in which it seems perfectly reasonable, under the auspices of preventing a ‘terrorist attack’, to individually identify each member of the population, to establish whether they are ‘threatening’ or ‘safe’ by categorising them using a highly specific set of criteria. Identifying, marking and categorising a population is a continuous process and the attempt to identify those who pose a ‘threat’ in truth criminalises all members of the community by virtue of subsuming all in a system of suspicion, surveillance and identification. Aside from the stark possibilities for abuse that increasingly comprehensive cataloguing of a population creates, the advisability of, and motivations behind, the safety-in-databases concept remains relatively unchallenged in the mainstream. Despite the mandatory nature of proposed national identity schemes, as it stands biometric security systems do have to be sold to, or at least accepted as unavoidable by, whichever population they are applied to. The manufacturers of these systems employ a potent mix of nowhere-is-safe fearmongering with a sycophantic insistence that those who invest in its technologies are wisely ahead of the pack. They are providing unparalleled safety for their employees/students/personnel/establishment, whilst simultaneously buying a “bespoke” piece of the future, complete with suitably high-status branding and a form of corporate vanguardism that maintains, perhaps correctly, that it is perched on the brink of a new world.
Identification technologies are by no means a side issue in terror-profiteering; five of the 26 specialist areas laid out in the Counter Terror Expo’s Exhibitor Profile list fall under the bracket of identity verification technologies, in addition to those relating to various forms of surveillance. In coming months, Corporate Watch will be focussing on the projects of a number of companies involved in biometric technologies and that will be profiting under the Counter Terror banner at next year’s expo.
We begin here with Human Recognition Systems. Originally a Liverpool based company, Human Recognition Systems has expanded seismically into an international venture and claims to be the UK leader in biometric technologies and consultancy. Boasting that it is a key member of “global consortia” developing national ID schemes, HRS is working to significantly extend its operations to the Middle East and elsewhere. The company has invested in a multitude of security systems ventures. Partnered with a host of other biometrics and surveillance companies, HRS is a provider of iris, hand, finger, face and vein biometrics. The company also develops the behaviour recognition technologies being used at airports to identify potentially ‘threatening’ individuals by computer rather than by eye. Current high profile contracts include consultancy and ‘solutions’ for the Department of Health, the MoD, the Prison Service, the Home Office, Manchester Airport and the Latvian government. HRS has recently completed a project for the London 2012 Olympics, involving the cataloguing of the iris and hand specifications of 8,000 workers at the Olympic construction site in East London. The project is the first of its kind in the UK in that it combines iris and hand recognition in one system. HRS chief executive Neil Norman (formerly of corporate management consultancy, Accenture) stated rather oddly in the Liverpool Daily Post that the new system was accurate and effective “for the typical worker”, and both Olympic officials, ministers and the media have fallen over themselves to point out what a “stringent anti-terror” measure this constitutes.
Involvement in Universities
Human Recognition Systems’ business is extremely broad, particularly as it combines biometrics with surveillance through its behaviour recognition arm. However, of particular significance to the growth of a database society is the considerable investment that HRS has received over the past two years from the Capital Values Group. Indeed, the executive vice president of the Capital Values Group, Andrew Lee, is also chairman of HRS. Engaged in a similarly ruthless mission of international expansion, the Capital Values Group capitalises on the rebranding of real estate, turning it into high end student accommodation, kitted out with all the security specifications a client could wish for. The “discreet, proactive” security offered by the company includes 24 hour management by actual staff, as well as unmanned biometric entry systems. Aside from its contribution to an increasingly exclusive, corporately driven system of higher education, by working with HRS, the Capital Values Group is helping to push biometric technologies on a favourite guinea pig group: students. Existing as a reasonably closed community, essentially governed by their university management and often living in homogenised, maintained accommodation, student populations form a social microcosm that is ideal for the testing and application of biometric security systems. Last year, the UK government unveiled the first stage of its varyingly successful attempt to implement a national ID card scheme by requiring all non-EU foreign students to carry an ID card containing biometric data at all times.
Although the Capital Values Group’s major completed projects are in Australia, the company has an office in London and is planning to move into Asia, the Middle East and Europe, beginning with student accommodation developments in London. The corporate website plays heavily on parents’ fears for their children flying the nest for a new city as a justification for the high levels of security technology involved in its developments. The UK has already seen instances of racial and political profiling by universities of their students, with severe crackdowns on campus politics and tutors asked by the state to ‘keep tabs’ on foreign students and their work and to log their attendance. HRS is supplying all the products necessary to facilitate and heighten this discrimination, but also to feed into wider society generations of graduates, brought up under the looming ‘threat of terrorism’, for whom the constant logging of personal information and physiological data is normalised and almost unchallengeable. As universities across the UK move towards more business-based models for both education and facilities, high tech security systems can fit very neatly into the ethos and design of the glossy, branded utopias that campuses increasingly aspire to be.
Potential for unhindered growth
The identification technology sector has in its very nature the potential to be immensely profitable. Whether paid for by governments employing its technologies, the individuals subjected to them or the corporations adopting increasingly high tech, high status security systems, the products are designed for a universal market as their whole purpose requires the inclusion of every individual in a particular population, national or otherwise. The discourse of the terror-threat is not only politically and financially profitable, its strength also lies in its endless potential for expansion.‘Terror’ as a buzzword is now so strong that it can, and is, being applied to everything from warfare, weapons sales and immigration policy to surveillance expansion, political dissent and policing practices. Moreover, it is an inexhaustible resource: the ‘Wars on Terror’ are used to create more, not fewer, reasons to fear terrorism, whilst police anti-terror operations identify more and more people as ‘domestic extremists’. For every new ‘threat’, there is of course a new technology to ‘combat’ it. The apparently unstoppable growth of the omnipresent danger of ‘terror’ legitimises constant development in biometric technology, requiring users of these products to constantly update and replace existing systems, in line with new security requirements and neatly ensuring technological market remains dynamic and profitable.
A campaign is forming against the Counter Terror Expo, for more information see http://www.dsei.org
Original Article at http://www.corporatewatch.org.uk/?lid=3453
A new anti-militarist campaign is brewing in Manchester against Brimar, a company involved in the manufacture of display units for military aircraft and vehicles that are being used by the US and Israeli military. Local activists have set up the Target Brimar campaign, aimed at forcing the company to end production of military components. In September, Target Brimar published a dossier entitled The Case Against Brimar’, which profiles the company and lists the campaign’s demands. Read the rest of this entry »
The mass mobilisation against September’s G20 Summit in Pittsburgh was met with a characteristically brutal response from US Homeland ‘Security’. In many ways, police repression of UK protests pales in comparison to American political policing, with activists being routinely arrested under various terrorism-related charges and local and federal law enforcement agencies rolling out military style operations, complete with temporary detention facilities and costing hundreds of thousands of dollars each. The Pittsburgh police, however, may well have distinguished themselves as hitting a new low in the erosion of US civil liberty. Alongside US police staples such as rubber bullets, tear gas and ‘flash bang’ stun grenades, the Pittsburgh authorities unleashed an acoustic weapon, one of a new generation of ‘non-lethal’ military devices, used not only to disperse and intimidate protesters, but to gain control over their behaviour. Read the rest of this entry »
Corporate Watch and Disarm DSEi have produced a map showing the locations of all 924 exhibitors at the Defence Systems and Equipment International (DSEi) arms fair. The map is intended to show that the arms trade is present in every community in the UK. The map also represents the first stage in Corporate Watch’s ‘Mapping the Arms Trade’ project aimed at creating a comprehensive interactive map showing locations of arms dealers across the UK. The map can be viewed at www.dsei.org. Read the rest of this entry »
Corporate Watch’s new project, ‘mapping the arms trade’, will map the physical locations of arms companies across the UK and examine the UK arms industry. It will also be necessary to unravel the web of contradictory government statements and figures about the arms trade through which the state gives an impression of control on arms exports. In this first article, Corporate Watch focuses on UK arms sales to Israel. Read the rest of this entry »
On the second big Gaza solidarity march in London on 10th January, angry protesters smashed the front of a Starbucks store on Kensington High St, near the Israeli embassy, while other activists occupied the Ahava beauty shop in central London.
Other actions in protest at the Israeli massacre in Gaza that month included occupying the offices of the British Israel Communications and Research Centre (BICOM) in central London, ‘decommissioning’ the ITT/EDO arms factory in Brighton and university occupations across the country calling for divestment. So, who are these companies and why are they being targeted by protesters and campaigners?
Corporate Watch takes a detailed look.
Corporate Watch has learned that the Director of ITT Defence International has applied to the UK government for the right not to file his details with Companies House. Bruce K. Scott, an American citizen, made the application 10 months ago, when ITT took over EDO MBM in Brighton. EDO MBM has been the subject of a concerted direct action campaign over the last four and a half years due to their manufacture and supply of weapons used by the US and UK military in Iraq and Afghanistan and by the Israeli army in Palestine (see here, for example). Read the rest of this entry »
Over 400 people took part in a mass demonstration in Brighton on 14th October with the aim of closing the EDO MBM/ITT arms manufacturing factory. Despite a huge police operation, protesters managed to block a main road, while others managed to get to the factory through the woods to decorate it with red paint. EDO MBM/ITT was forced to close for the day. Read the rest of this entry »
An occupation of the roof of the Raytheon oces in Bristol has reached its second week despite sub-zero temperatures. The direct action began in protest at Raytheon’s supply of weapons used in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine. Anti-militarist activists have been targeting Raytheon since October and have formed the Smash Raytheon campaign. Read the rest of this entry »
On October 15th, another mass demonstration against the arms trade will be held in Brighton. The Smash EDO campaign is calling for groups from around the country to come to the ‘Smash EDO, Shut ITT’ demonstration, aimed at closing down the Brighton arms manufacturers. Read the rest of this entry »