The site for the Pratt & Whitney (P&W, a division of Raytheon Technologies) plant being planned for Asheville is now being cleared of trees so that construction on the 1.2 million sq. ft. plant can begin soon. It looks like mountaintop removal, a not unfamiliar occurrence here in the Appalachian Mountains.  It breaks my heart to see it.

P&W builds engines for commercial and military jets, most notoriously for the state-of-the-art F-35 Lightning Fighter Jet. Raytheon is the 2nd largest arms manufacturer in the world, a major war profiteer.

Our local coalition of resistance to this project, called Reject Raytheon, is now just over 2 months old. We started out as members of 3 organizations – Veterans for Peace (VFP), Sunrise, and Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) – who showed up at the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners to object to the $27 million incentive agreement being offered for P&W to locate here.

Since then, we’ve gotten organized and are active on social media with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and are working on a website. See links below. We also have done a few public actions, trying to raise public awareness about this project – which was only made public in October 2020, after some 15 months of secret negotiations among state & county officials, local business execs and foundations, and the corporation itself.

We did a die-in at Vance Monument in the center of Asheville.

We did a rally as part of the international day of action to celebrate the Entry into Force of the UN Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons – Raytheon has over a billion dollars of contracts in the nuclear weapons industry.


We did a roadside vigil as part of the international day of action to Say No to the War in Yemen – Raytheon is a major weapons profiteer in that genocidal conflict.

We are just getting started. Our immediate objective is to get the county to rescind its incentive agreement, thereby causing Raytheon to go away. If that doesn’t happen, we are in this for the long haul and will use this new presence from the military-industrial complex in our community as a focal point for organizing against war, climate change, and environmental destruction. And for peace, green jobs, and a sustainable future.