As 100 governments met in Dublin, Ireland to finalize plans for a global ban on Cluster Bombs, members of AlliantACTION were putting the focus on Dan Murphy, the CEO of a major Cluster Bomb producer. While victims of landmines and cluster bombs are suffering the consequences of those indiscriminate weapons, Dan Murphy was celebrating his 60th birthday. Though perhaps not so much when he returned home to be greeted with a cluster of cardboard figures of all ages with limbs missing gathered in his yard. Their voices are silent, but not the voices of AlliantACTION who sang: “Doom and gloom everywhere, people dying in despair, but happy birthday”. After the birthday dirge we sang “Gonna lay down our cluster bombs, down by the riverside…”
A neighbor on Murphy’s cul-de-sac, Thornberry Curve, in her late 40s and driving a large SUV, observed our figures and stopped and asked us what we were doing. We explained and handed her our ‘Why Alliant Techsystems?’ flyer. She drove away quite amused. How many other residents saw the figures before the Murphy family took them down?
Hopefully the messages left are more than just a reminder to Dan Murphy about his role as CEO of Alliant Techsystems, at one time the largest producer of cluster bombs and landmines, but a call for conversion. A call to peace conversion, because in Ireland, an international convention banning cluster munitions was formally adopted by 111 countries on May 30, 2008. Supporters of this ban expect the treaty will stigmatize these lethal weapons as much as landmines.
A landmine ban, the Ottawa Treaty, has been in effect for 10 years. Thirty-seven states, including the People’s Republic of China, India, Russia and the United States, are not party to the Convention.
More about Alliant Techsystems, the largest Minnesota based military contractor and AlliantACTION online at www.alliantaction.org.