Students Protest Raytheon’s Presence at College Job Fair; Raytheon Employee Clueless of War in Yemen

While Raytheon quietly held a career fair at Northeastern University to recruit students to work for them, they were also met with some pushback.

In an attempt to reach out to students who might be tempted to work at Raytheon, individuals from the Coalition to Stop Genocide in Yemen and Massachusetts Peace Action, lined up in front of the school building where the job fair was being held, calling attention to the US Saudi War in Yemen, particularly Raytheon’s involvement – with their bombs repeatedly being used to target civilians.

"Did you go to school to starve and bomb babies?" read Susan McLucas’s sign.

"Raytheon right here, they have an agenda to make money and to kill people and they know what they do," said Lauren, one of the protesters.

"I’m a proud Northeastern student but this is really making me question a lot of things," said Shaun, a law student at Northeastern University.

"If Raytheon has the nerve to show their face anywhere, students should rise up and say we’re not gonna take it," yelled another protester. "When these universities open up their arms, accept Raytheon, name amphitheatre’s after them, invest their endowment and their stock, it shows that they don’t care about education, they care about one thing, and that’s cold hard cash, but what kind of cash is this? This is cash that’s paid for with the blood of the people of the world."

Every ten minutes a child dies in Yemen. Since the war started in 2015, 85,000 Yemeni children have died from malnutrition. According to Oxfam International, a civilian is killed every three hours.

"The US had to certify in order to continue to sells arms to Saudi Arabia that the Saudis weren’t intentionally targeting civilians; that seems kinda strange because school busses full of children are being bombed, because hospitals and water treatment plants are being bombed, because after people get killed and their family members are dead and they go to a funeral, the funerals are getting bombed," yelled Ryan, one of the lead organizers from the Coalition to Stop Genocide in Yemen.

At least 40 Yemeni children were killed after a Saudi Arabian expeditionary aircraft bombed a civilian school bus in Dahyan. The missiles used were 227kg laser-guided bombs manufactured by both Raytheon and Lockheed Martin. As a way of honoring the life and memory of the children of these attacks, Dan McLaughlin, one of the protesters, wore a blue UNICEF backpack with one of the deceased children’s name and age – "Yousef Hussein Hussein Tayeb, 15 years old," read his backpack.

"Many of the kids were wearing Unicef provided backpacks and they were found all over the site," said Dan. "I think it’s important that the kids who were killed are remembered for who they were – they had real names, what age they were."

"Little children in Yemen they pick up pieces of bombs that have the serial number of the bombs, they are reminded daily of how the United States literally hates them, said Lauren. "There’s a reason why these people get radicalized, it is because the United States enlist and contracts these defends contractors, I’m sorry not defense contractors, war profiteers! They contract these people to do their dirty work world wide…there are people out here that have a shred of conscious, a shred of morality, and say fuck Raytheon!"

The protesters also highlighted the United Arab Emirates involvement in the war, and the United States tight relationship with both the Saudis and the UAE.

"We live in the country that’s directly responsible for this," said Alice, a member of the Coalition to Stop Genocide in Yemen. "It wouldn’t happen without US support, US intelligence, US direction, US bombs, US mechanics fixing planes, US pilots training the UAE and the Saudi pilots, the US Green Berets that are on the Saudi Yemen border, I mean this thing is a US war, but if we look around in the US right now, we don’t see a whole lot of pushback to it, we gotta change that."

It’s a genocidal war where journalist, where people even just posting things about the war on Twitter are being routinely executed and killed," said Ryan.

Students also recognized Raytheon’s lobbying efforts in helping sustain collaboration with the US and the Saudi’s.

"The US often provides targeted information for these strikes; Assistant Secretary of State Charles Faulkner who approved it, he was the one who signed off on it…you know what he did before he worked in the government, he was a lobbyist for Raytheon," said Ryan. "The level of direct and open corruption and collaboration between war profiteers and US military and government, it’s sad to see."  

The Protesters were calling for Northeastern University to break their ties with Raytheon and for the US to stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia.