On Feb. 1 a dozen people will go on trial in Bath for protesting the continued waste of taxes on building weapons of mass destruction. The Zumwalt 12, 11 of whom are Mainers, disrupted traffic during the last launch of the $4 billion battleship at Bath Iron Works.

BIW is owned by General Dynamics, and the Chicago-based Crown family owns a large share of General Dynamics. President Barack Obama owes the Crown family for their support of his campaigns, and he has been good to all the weapons manufacturers by signing legislation authorizing the flow of funds each year; for 2015, the Pentagon and its contractors like BIW got 54 percent of the budget pie that Congress allocates and the presidents signs. Will any of this change under a new billionaire president? I doubt it.

The Zumwalt 12 protesters are Vietnam veterans, grandmothers, architects and lacrosse coaches. They are unified by their horror of what we have allowed our society to become: the largest exporter of weapons in the world, and the major supplier of the bombs that rain down on innocent people all over the world.

We are often told that the “war on terror” justifies all these enormous budgets for weapons. But how does one gigantic ship destined for the South China Sea address terrorism?

This and other questions will be raised at the Zumwalt 12’s trial in February. I am sure they will point out that building expensive weapon systems is not even a good job program, because many more jobs are created when factories build things we actually need like housing or commuter trains. I expect to hear more clear thinking from the defendants than I have heard from the corporate media in a long time.

Lisa Savage


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