Build a just, sustainable, and local economy. Be a Force for Change

We live in a time of endless war and climate emergency. Investing in the military industrial complex is the wrong priority. We don't need multi-national companies like Raytheon's Pratt & Whitney in WNC. Instead, we need to work toward a just, local, and life-sustaining future.

Earth Day Celebration!

What a Success!

It was a beautiful, sunny spring day for our Earth Day Celebration and Action. We pulled off a three-part demonstration for the protection of the earth and its inhabitants and against the US military-industrial complex. We rallied, we paraded, and we performed a direct action. We called for the conversion from an economy based on war to one based on meeting needs of our communities and our imperiled planet.

The rally was held in Bent Creek River Park, on the banks of the French Broad River and, both in sight of the new bridge being built for the 1.2 million square foot Pratt and Whitney plant and the shadow of the Blue Ridge Parkway bridge over the river. Across the river from the park is Old River Road, a dirt road being used by many trucks coming and going from the Pratt & Whitney construction site every day. On this morning, it was busy.

In the park, over 50 of people gathered around the theme: Windmills Not War Machines. We had a number of speakers describe the dangers of war corporations like Pratt & Whitney and help us imagine what a better economic development plan for the Asheville area could look like. Our rally not only emphasized the war machine production of Pratt and Whitney, but also called attention to its effect on the climate emergency. What we don’t need in this urgent time is more fossil fuel intensive jet engines, even if they are for commercial use, and even if they are supposedly more efficient.

Speakers included Matthew Hoh, Iraq war veteran and a Green Party candidate for the US Senate, Bill Branyon, a historian and candidate for the Buncombe County Commission, and Adam Hall and Eliana Franklin, local leaders of the Sunrise Movement, Claire Clarke of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, Sara Wilcox, pastor of the Land of the Sky UCC, and Steve Norris, local climate activist.  Local musician Saro Lynch lead us in song.  The rally was followed by a festive Earth Day parade with signs, banners, and music provided by the Brass Your Heart Band. 

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Reject Raytheon AVL founding member of WIRN, the War Industries Resisters Network

In the fall of 2021 a new international coalition, WIRN, the War Industry Resisters Network, was formed by local and national peace organizations to draw attention to the power of war industries in our communities, our nation and the world. Veterans for Peace National and CODE Pink are among the national groups. Reject Raytheon AVL is joined by other local groups including Massachusetts Peace Action, Maine Peace Action, Nuclear Resister in Tucson, AZ, Wage Peace (Australia) among many others.

The network launched a webinar series in January that continues into the spring. The webinar series leads up to a week of action in April. Four webinars have been planned thus far.

  • The next one, the fifth in the series, is scheduled for Monday, May 2nd, at 8:00 ET.  You still have time to register!! Register here 

This 5th webinar in the series will focus on how war corporations profit from the surveillance of all borders, but especially the US-Mexican border, and the criminalization of migrants. It will feature Todd Miller, author of 4 books about borderlands, Joanne Coutts with Ajo Samaritans, and Nellie Jo David of the Tohono O’Odham tribe and co-founder of O’Odham Anti-border Collective.

The 4th in the series was held on April 13th.

It focused on how the tightly linked MIC and extractive industries affect native communities across the US. It featured four indigenous leaders: Tara Houska, a tribal attorney and member of the Couchiching First Nation in Minnesota, who is active in protesting the Enbridge Line 3 and Dakota Access Pipelines; Leona Morgan (Diné, she/her), an activist and community organizer who has been fighting nuclear colonialism in New Mexico since 2007. She collaborates locally, regionally, and nationally on radioactive waste issues across the nuclear fuel chain; and Keoni DeFranco and Mikey Inouye, Water Protectors, working in Hawai’i to shut down the US Navy’s leaking Red Hill fuel tanks which present an existential threat to all life on the island of O’ahu. You can watch it here

Did you also miss the first three webinars? No Worries! You can watch videos of all of them:

It focused on how war and militarism is promoted and normalized throughout our culture. The webinar featured presenters David Swanson, Executive Director of Beyond War, Marcy Winograd, coordinator of CODEPINK CONGRESS, and Chris Velazquez, Digital Organizer for Veterans For Peace and lead organizer for the Gamers For Peace initiative. Watch it here.

  • The third webinar, held on Thursday, March 10th focused on how we could convert our current war economy to a peace economy.

Presenters  included Taylor Barnes, investigative journalist who focuses on the defense industry; Miriam Pembertonfounder of the Peace Economy Transitions Project; and David Story, President of the Machinists & Aerospace Workers Union Local 44 in Decatur, AL. You don’t have to miss it. You can see the video here

Week of Action

The week of action being planned by WIRN groups will take place April 17-23, the week that includes Tax Day and Earth Day.  Stay tuned for information about Reject Raytheon AVL’s local action. It will take place on Earth Day, April 22nd.


Read or Watch and Learn

“Honk for Humane Jobs” – by Taylor Barnes

“On a warm Saturday morning in May, a group of demonstrators gathered in a public square in Asheville, North Carolina, for the kind of protest lawmakers don’t usually foresee when they haggle for a share of the United States’ massive military budget to be spent in their home districts. The environmentalists, anti-war veterans, and economic justice advocates go by the name Reject Raytheon AVL, a reference to Massachusetts-based Raytheon Technologies, the world’s second-largest weapons maker. A division of the company, Pratt & Whitney, is building a new engine parts plant in their city, and the protesters oppose the millions of dollars in subsidies their county and state governments have committed to Raytheon, arguing the money should instead support green jobs.  . . .”

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Who We Are

Reject Raytheon AVL is a local movement of activists and peacemakers who have come together to oppose the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners’ and state legislature’s support for the building of the Pratt & Whitney plant in Asheville.

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The P & W Story

Who is Pratt and Whitney? How and when did they land a deal with the county and state?

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What’s New?

The building of the plant and Reject Raytheon AVL’s opposition has been in the news since the plant’s announcement. The movement also has regular actions and events.

Follow the News Here

Actions

Since December 2020 Reject Raytheon AVL has continuously held actions that include calls to action. Learn about past and upcoming actions and events.

Find Out

Research

One of Reject Raytheon AVL’s goals is to educate ourselves and the community about the issues surrounding the building of the Pratt & Whitney plant and its parent company, Raytheon Technologies.

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Join Us

Want to get e-mails about upcoming actions? Volunteer? Or sign our petition to the Buncombe County Commissioners?

Sign Up Here

“It is morally indefensible to profit from perpetual war.

We have the right to protect our communities from the ravages and weapons of war.”

– Poor People’s Campaign