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“Plan Colombia” Under Fire!: Blockade at Connecticut Attack-helicopter Factory

By Zeno Wood

This is a photo of protesters at the Sikorsky Helicopter plant.

Stratford, CT – Shortly before dawn, Feb. 12, 100 protesters came together here at the gates of the Sikorsky Aircraft factory to protest the manufacture and sale of Blackhawk helicopters to Colombia. 25 demonstrators risked arrest and blocked the gate, trying to prevent employees from entering or exiting the plant, thus slowing down or halting production. No arrests took place.

The high tech attack helicopters are an important part of “Plan Colombia”, the $1.3 billion military aid package signed into law by former president Clinton.

Under the guise of fighting drug trafficking, “Plan Colombia” is in fact aimed at blocking the advance the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (F.A.R.C.) and other guerrilla movements. These movements are fighting to break the hold of Colombia's elite and its Washington D.C. backers.

Colombia Action Connecticut, the CT Global Action Network, Atlantic Life Community, and the Cesar Jerez Catholic Workers organized the protest.

The action followed a day long teach-in on U.S. intervention in Colombia. Speakers drew attention to the failure of the domestic and international “War on Drugs”, the harmful effects of the fumigation on crops in southern Colombia, the truth about U.S. funding of the Colombian military and its death squad allies, and how U.S. military intervention is a way to bolster U.S. economic domination through the Free Trade Agreement for the Americas (F.T.A.A.).

Teach-in speakers included grassroots activists, community anti-drug-war activists, people who recently had visited Colombia, a chaplain, and a former U.S. Naval Intelligence Officer who called for an end to U.S. intervention.

Organizers called the action a success. “Thousands of people learned about Sikorsky's involvement in the slaughter of the Colombian people, and we're going to continue carrying out actions against the U.S. war machine,” said a blockade organizer.

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