PORTSMOUTH, R.I. — A group of activists blocked the entrance to a Raytheon Technologies plant in Rhode Island on Thursday morning to protest what they allege is the company’s role in the “killing of civilians” and “other human rights abuses.”
Some members of the Fang Collective chained themselves to a car next to the guard shack at the entrance to the Portsmouth plant.
Law enforcement, firefighters and tow trucks responded to the scene.
The group in an emailed statement said it was protesting the Waltham, Massachusetts-based defense contractor’s “weapon sales to Saudi Arabia and Israel, and their involvement in enforcing the U.S.-Mexican border.”
“Raytheon profits from the killing of civilians, families and children in Palestine, Yemen and elsewhere,” the group said.
The company is ranked as the second largest defense contractor in the world on Defense News’ Top 100 list. The firm brought in $42 billion in defense-related revenue during fiscal 2020. Raytheon Company (ranked 5th last year) and United Technologies Corporation (ranked 10th last year) merged in April 2020 to form Raytheon Technologies.
Raytheon’s Integrated Defense Systems plant in Portsmouth focuses on what it calls sea power capability — sensors, combat management systems, radar and sonar. About 1,000 people work at the facility.
“We respect the right to lawful and peaceful protest,” the company said in a brief emailed statement.