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Lockheed Martin's Neighbors Demand the Weapons-Maker Stop Making Cluster Bombs

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Lockheed Martin’s neighbors aren't happy this holiday season. Event organizer Larry Callahan explains, "Lockheed Martin continues to manufacture weapons they know are defective and primarily harm civilians. While the world's largest weapons manufacturer enjoys record profits, local residents are calling for Lockheed Martin to stop making cluster bombs, compensate victims or leave Montgomery County. Montgomery county residents want Bethesda and Montgomery County to be known as a community of health, hope and peace, not home to the world’s leading merchant of death."


Callahan adds, "Cluster munitions manufactured by Lockheed Martin contain several hundred explosive, grenade-like bomblets. A high number of the submunitions do not explode on impact and become de facto land mines threatening innocents for years to come. Most nations refrain from the production, use and sale of cluster munitions, but the U.S. leads the world in all three categories."


He explains, "Lockheed Martin is one of the world's largest producers of cluster bombs. These weapons, initially developed and used by the Nazis, kill and maim thousands of civilians every year. Children are particularly vulnerable as many of the bomblets look like toys. Cluster bombs, or cluster munitions, produced by Lockheed Martin have been extensively used in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq and most recently Lebanon. In Vietnam, nearly 40 years after their use, they are still killing and maiming civilians. Lockheed Martin’s cluster munitions were defective in Vietnam and were still defective in Lebanon."



Callahan notes, "It is tragically ironic, that Israel, who has developed cluster munitions which are much safer for use in civilian areas, apparently decided to use Lockheed Martin’s defective products in Lebanon because they were provided at very little cost. The Governments of Norway, Sweden, the Vatican, the International Red Cross, the United Nations, and several hundred national and international organizations have called for the cessation of the manufacture and use of these horrendous weapons."


Peace Action Montgomery asserts: "We, Lockheed Martin’s neighbors do not believe Lockheed Martin is working for us. Montgomery County residents have formed the Lockheed Martin Accountability Project that will hold Lockheed Martin executives and board members responsible for the products they produce. If Lockheed Martin will not change we do not want them as neighbors."


Background: Lockheed Martin employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development and manufacture of the world's most lethal weaponry. The corporation reported 2005 sales of $37.2 billion and pretax profits of nearly $3 billion. Robert J. Stevens, Lockheed Martins’s CEO, received nearly $16 million in compensation in 2006.

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