Lockout Lockheed: Melbourne students take direct action against university contract with Lockheed

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Student activists blockade a door at the University of Melbourne

Andrew Metheven, War Resisters' International 

On 11th July students at the University of Melbourne took direct action to protest the universities collaboration with Lockheed Martin, the world's biggest arms company. The University has recently partnered with Lockheed on the STELaR laboratory.

In protest at the collaboration, students from the DisarmUnis and Lockout Lockheed groups locked-on to concrete barrels surrounding the universities administrative building. When staff attempted to make use of another building, students blockaded that one too. The campaign is demanding the university ends all ties with Lockheed Martin, and to reveal all of it's agreements with the company. Following the action, representatives from the university agreed to meet with the students to discuss their concerns.

A spokesperson said “We have locked down the administration building today because we refuse to pay for education that is funding war and climate change. The military industry is responsible for a huge percentage of carbon emissions and we now have secret laboratories operating just off campus, with zero transparency.  As students we cannot ignore the corporatisation and corruption of our universities into the military industrial complex and as a result, we are calling for students across the country to take direct action and #DisarmUnis.”

STELaR is a $13 million research laboratory employing 20 members of staff, and the largest Lockheed research facility outside the US. The STELaR lab will be used to develop new defence technology, including hypersonics, robotics, communications, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. Lockheed Martin is the world's biggest arms company, employing 126,000 people worldwide. Lockheed Martin is the lead contractor on the F-35 war plane, the worlds most expensive weapons programme. The company also profits from nuclear weapons, supplying the US and UK militaries with the Trident D5 II missile. A full profile on the company can be found here: https://www.wri-irg.org/en/story/2018/war-profiteer-month-lockheed-martin

The Lockout Lockheed campaign has also held theatrical actions around the university campus, carrying a “bomb” through campus before holding a die-in and symbolically dismantling the weapon.

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