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"Peace at home, support for war abroad"

In Northern Ireland, Derry's political parties must find the backbone to publicly state their position on the development of an arms industry in the city, according to Patricia McKenna, Ireland's leading Green MEP. “I believe that the vast majority of people in Derry will oppose the arms trade once they are clear about what is going on in this city,” she added.

McKenna was speaking at a “teach-in” on the arms trade and the militarisation of Ireland, organised as part of a weekend of events in Derry to highlight the contradictions posed for the Irish peace process by local cross-party support for the Ministry of Defence contractor, Raytheon.

The world's third biggest arms manufacturing giant has been invited to establish a software centre at Derry Science and Technology Park, to work on the British Ministry of Defence's military Airborne Standoff Radar (ASTOR) system. The software will help British and NATO air forces target enemy vehicles and infrastructure with impunity, using high altitude bombing raids.

The “teach-in” formed part of the “Passion for Raytheon” events in Derry organised by the Foyle Ethical Investment Campaign. On Friday, Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Maguire and Kevin Mullan from the Campaign Against Arms Trade led a procession from the Raytheon plant at the Science and Technology Park to the Guildhall. On the way, the procession stopped to commemorate victims of Raytheon and the arms trade. Flowers and crosses were left at each point, and the outline of a victim's body drawn on the ground outside each location.