Today, at an Auckland protest against the invasion of Gaza and the contribution of the Rakon company to death and destruction around the globe, Christian peace activist Tyler Culpepper was arrested for an act of non-violent direct action.
Tyler climbed onto the roof of Rakon's manufacturing facility and revealed the true nature of the Rakon company, using red paint to adjust the building's signage to say 'Rakon Kills', an accurate and unfortunate reality. This action was taken during a protest of around 400 people opposing the ongoing israeli invasion of GAZA. In addition to Tylers action others threw water baloons of red paint at the front of the building. These paint bombs were to symbolise the blood shed of hundreds of palestineans by israel.
Components manufactured and sold by the Rakon company from right here in Aotearoa have undoubtedly helped guide the missiles that have killed and injured thousands of people in the Gaza Strip over the last three weeks and millions more in Iraq and Afghanistan over the course of the so-called War on Terror.
Tyler said, "We can't sit back and do nothing when there are people being slaughtered. Especially when companies in our own country are helping to facilitate that killing."
The following was written last night as Tyler was preparing for this action:
All the nations will beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks.
All wars will stop, and military training will come to an end.
Wars today are no longer fought using simple weapons like swords and spears. Instead, complex weapons, capable of much greater damage are used. These weapons require complex components from all over the world, even from here in Aotearoa.
If we are to participate in the fulfilment of this ancient prophesy – the beating of swords into ploughshares - we must know where to find these modern swords and spears, including the components essential to their operation.
The Rakon company supplies crystal oscillators to weapons companies. These oscillators are used in guidance systems for guided missiles and munitions systems - weapons of mass destruction. Rakon's components have undoubtedly been used in the invasion and on-going occupation of Iraq, as well as in the current invasion of the Gaza Strip. The invasion of Gaza over the last three weeks has cost the lives of over 1100 men, women and children, and injured thousands more, while Rakon made record profits last year.
Tomorrow I will take a can of red paint to the rooftop of the Rakon manufacturing facility and attempt to modify the signs on the front of the building. It is my intention to reveal the fact that Rakon is helping to manufacture weapons of war, for those that have forgotten and those who never knew. Then the process of beating these swords into ploughshares can begin.
The red paint symbolises the blood that Rakon helps to shed by selling components to the weapons companies. It stands in contrast to the sterile white walls of the Rakon factory which give the false impression of purity, so far removed from the death and destruction Rakon facilitates