I was disappointed [but not that surprised? – Ed] to see Eamonn McCann, regular Belfast Telegraph columnist and occasional election candidate, in the middle of this particular story. After a long running campaign repeatedly failed to achieve its aim of forcing prominent American company Raytheon to leave his beloved Maiden City – and take their software engineering jobs with them – today he and 8 others resorted to violence, stormed the offices, threw computer equipment and documents from a first storey window and were subsequently arrested. There’s a video report there too. The Belfast Telegraph has some quotes from earlier in the day. Update The 9 have been charged with aggravated burglary with intent to cause unlawful damage and unlawful assembly – BBC report – and remanded in custody until 7 September. More 8 of the 9 men are released on bailFrom the Belfast Telegraph.. it’s not clear whether the flag was already in the office, or if the self-appointed judges brought it with them.
An American flag was also set alight and a glass door smashed as debris rained down from a second floor window and littered the area outside.
A banner was unfurled from inside the building, reading: “Raytheon has been decommissioned”.
A dozen more people protesting over the deaths of Lebanese civilians remained outside, with placards bearing anti-war and anti-Raytheon slogans.
Speaking from inside, as dozens of uniformed police gathered, Mr McCann said: “The people of Derry cannot go on feeling shock and horror as they watch TV screens and do nothing,
“I certainly would not welcome an arrest and prosecution, who would? But judgment has to be made. People felt they had no option but to take this form of direct action.”
Eamonn may not welcome arrest, but that’s what he got… the prosecution, for trespass and criminal damage I’d guess, should now follow. It’s worth noting the attempt to frame this within the context of what’s happening in Lebanon now… despite fact that the same group was lobbying Derry City Council to force Raytheon out of the city three years ago