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Weapons protesters turned away at Lockheed Martin facility

Weapons protesters turned away at Lockheed Martin facility

Apr. 11, 2003
By Ken McLaughlin
Mercury News
About 60 members of a Santa Cruz County “weapons inspection team” showed up at the Bonny Doon facility of defense contractor Lockheed Martin today to inspect it for weapons of mass destruction.
Company officials politely refused to let them through the Empire Road gate.
“We recognize your right to protest, but we also hope you respect our employees’ rights and our property,” Peter Olinger of emergency operations told the group after it arrived shortly after 2 p.m.
Many of the anti-war protesters dressed in white costumes with “inspector” stickers after pulling up in several vehicles, one of them a white van marked “Civilian Weapons Inspection Team.”
The team handed Olinger a letter asking if the facility produces and tests the ordnance for the Trident II D-5 nuclear missile.
A company spokesman said the facility builds “component subsystems and tests systems for the U.S. military,” but that “there are absolutely no weapon systems” at the site.
About a dozen members of the county sheriff’s office and California Highway Patrol were on hand to witness the protest. When one deputy spotted a retired Santa Cruz High School teacher, 86-year-old Mary Duffield, he offered to give her a lift so she didn’t have to walk up the hill to the gate.
She accepted. “I would have walked if I had to because all the children in the world belong to usand I have a great-grandson who is the answer to evolution,” she said.
Demonstrators posted a piece of white cardboard on the gate accusing Lockheed Martin of “failure to comply” and providing “insufficient information.”
They said they intended to pursue the issue. “At some point we really need to know what’s going on here,” protester Kim Dowling told Olinger.
Contact Ken McLaughlin at kmclaughlin@mercurynews. com or (831) 423-3115

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