Thursday, April 26, 2007

Pertaining to Peace

The article that follows my writing in this post was from a local newspaper in Edina, MN. Edina is the home of ATK, or, Alliant Technologies. A large producer of depleted uranium weapons. Depleted uranium keeps killing long after the bomb has been dropped, causing illness and disease for decades.

Mrs. Spadoman used to protest regualarly at ATK every Wednesday morning. Since we moved 200 miles away, she doesn't go as often to the protests. But when she is in the Minneapolis area and it is a Wednesday morning, you'll find her there. She has been arrested twice and both times the charges were dismissed.

Now, the parent company wants to buy land and build their own building in a suburb not far from where they are now leasing space for their headquarters. the article will fill you in.

In the meantime, these people who protest at places like these, that make the weapons that kill, weapons of mass destruction, are heroes. Fighting for peace comes in many ways. Trying to stop making bombs is one way.

Lastly, I really like the "stance" of the city where the new office might be built. That they don't care what the company does, they want the new building and the new taxes I guess. They don't judge the morality of the "operators" of the business. Kind of like the Germans that ran the ovens, don't you think?

ATK considering move from Edina to Eden Prairie
Wednesday, April 18, 2007

An Edina company that is the frequent target of peace protesters is putting out feelers for a possible move to Eden Prairie, according to Eden Prairie City Manager Scott Neal.

Neal said Monday that a proposal for Alliant Techsystems Inc. (ATK) to build a new four-story, 100,000-square-foot building in Eden Prairie's Golden Triangle area is "still in the proposal stage."

City officials have known for "a couple of months" about the possibility that ATK - which has 50 facilities in 21 states, but does only administrative work in Edina - was considering a move to Eden Prairie.

A proposal from TOLD Development Co. has been with city staff for about two weeks. It typically takes at least 90 days, from the time of presentation to the city staff, before any development proposal to come before the Eden Prairie Planning Commission, Neal noted.

The company employs 15,000 people worldwide, but about 275 jobs would be impacted by the potential move of the headquarters.

Company representative Brian Grace said ATK had no comment on the possible move, saying nothing had been signed at this time.
Edina City Manager Gordon Hughes said he, too, had heard "through the grapevine" that the administrative offices for the munitions maker could be moving. In addition to ammunition, ATK produces rocket technology, some of which is used by NASA.

Neal put the word out about ATK in an April 13 entry on his weblog at

He said in his blog, and re-emphasized in a conversation with the Sun-Current, that the city has no plans to offer any kind of incentives, such as tax-increment financing, to attract ATK.

"The city is conservative about the use of incentives, especially for businesses considering relocation from nearby cities," Neal said.
ATK is in the news frequently as the target of peace protesters, who claim that the company, by manufacturing systems used for weapons, encourages violence and war - a claim that company officials deny.
An organization called AlliantAction holds a weekly vigil Wednesday mornings near the headquarters at 5050 Lincoln Drive, Edina. Twice a year, the group also organizes "large action" protests that attract hundreds, and typically result in dozens of citations for trespassing. The most recent such action was in October. Edina Police issued 78 citations at that event.
In 2005, the city of Edina passed an ordinance to make trespassing a petty misdemeanor, similar to a speeding ticket - which meant that only bench trials would be held when the citations were challenged. Previously, those who were cited were charged with a misdemeanor under state statutes, resulting in the city expending time to prosecute the alleged violators, and for them to contest the charges in front of a jury.
Hughes said, at the time, that it would be fair to say that the ordinance was written with the ATK protesters in mind.

"It has certainly worked well in this instance," Hughes said. "I wouldn't say that Edina is the city that invented this process. Other cities have certainly categorized trespassing as a petty misdemeanor. I think it has definitely helped streamline the criminal proceedings in the wake of demonstrations."

Hughes said the city attorney does have the authority to prosecute an egregious trespassing incident as a misdemeanor, allowing for harsher penalties in those sorts of situations.
The ordinance was challenged soon after it was passed, Hughes said. A state appellate court handed down a decision in favor of Edina's right to create the ordinance.
ATK is a tenant in its Edina building. A relocation to its own building would give the company an opportunity to fortify its property with such protests in mind.

The proposed Eden Prairie location for the new headquarters is at the intersection of Valley View Road and Flying Cloud Drive, in the Golden Triangle, where the primary land uses now are office and light industrial. The proposed size, according to Neal, would be slightly larger than the approximately 90,000 square feet that ATK now occupies in Edina.

The land is currently guided for office use, Neal said.

However, much of the Golden Triangle - though not necessarily the area where the ATK headquarters is proposed - is envisioned to combine residential and business, with the idea that a light-rail system might someday serve the area.

In considering any proposed development, Neal said, the kind of business that proposes to locate in the city is not the primary concern of city staff members.
"From our standpoint on regulation, we don't judge the morality of the operators," he said. "We only look at whether the operations are within our code. And there's no question that they can do what they want to do here."
ere's the article:


Peacechick Mary said...

This news was so upsetting that I jumped up and took the dogs for a walk just to sort out my thoughts. I sincerely hope this change is prevented. And we thought we had problems trying to keep a super Walmart from building here. Tough job ahead for everyone. Keep up the good fight - you are admired.

Mariamariacuchita said...

You've got your work cut out for you, don't you??

fjb said...

Amazing, isn't it. I live in a small town in the lovely, peaceful Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, Canada. Forty-five minutes down the road is one of the major manufacturers of the chipsets for smart bombs. They went from a four person workforce six years ago to now having over fifty employees. None of us are immune. There's a manufacturer of modern body armer not far down the road who is also making a tidy profit these days, too. This is public knowledge, but every person I have spoken with about it has no idea and could care even less.

The last time I checked, Ontario, Canada supplied more small munitions and the technology to operate the larger stuff to the U.S. war effort than anyone else. Glorified arms dealers, nothing more nothing less, that's what we are and our economy is booming.

We Canadians for the majority, sit back and smuggly pride ourselves on being "peacemakers". Apparently, though, we're really good at creating the technology to destroy civilizations, and we don't have the slightest problem selling it to the highest bidder. Most regime's are pretty obvious to outsiders looking in. We, on the other hand are far more insidious and as far as I'm concerned, much more dangerous. Don't take a nation that has gained through hypocrisy for granted, folks. We're the one's who are profiteering from your's and the Iraqi's and many other's suffering.

It infuriates me that the majority of the citizens of my "peace loving" nation, as long as we're not the one's actually pulling the triggers or pressing the buttons, couldn't give a shit. Aren't we grand!?!?

If we all keep up the good fight to end this madness, there's a chance we'll leave behind a better world when we're dead and gone. I'll hang on to that dream to my last breath, and I hope you and Mrs.S. do too.


betmo said...

i find it ironic that the moral center of america- the american heartland- the one place in america that has cornered the market on all things wholesome and good and moral- doesn't care what folks do as long as it's up to code. hey- you want to build dirty bombs that kill people- that's fine- as long as you aren't an adult bookstore or gentleman's club- that would go against our moral fiber. fucking hypocrites.

bluegrrrrl said...

I can't think of anything to say except, keep on fighting the machine.

We have our own fight going on in my back yard.

Blackwater is trying to turn east San Diego county into a mercenary training facility, and they very well might succeed. Lots of revenue there. They will be building their killer-training camp quite literally in the back yards of some of my friends.

At the last county board of supervisors' hearing, a huge number of protesters showed up, as did heavily armed police. I thought that was quite ironic. The protesters were armed with only with peace signs.

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