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Protesters gather over alleged Woodward weapons in Gaza

Protesters+spread+over+a+crosswalk+to+draw+more+attention+to+their+cause+at+the+Die-In+at+Woodward+protest.
Collegian | Cait Mckinzie
Protesters spread over a crosswalk to draw more attention to their cause at the protest at the Woodward headquarters in Fort Collins Nov. 10. They chanted, “Let Gaza live.”

Protesters gathered outside of Woodward headquarters Friday afternoon to speak up about the controversy surrounding the company being involved with the manufacturing of missiles used in the Israel-Hamas war. 

Woodward has been accused of manufacturing missiles used in the Israel-Hamas war after photos circulated online of Woodward’s brand being on an alleged missile that bombed Gaza.

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Protesters gathered on South Lemay Avenue on the sidewalk, just outside of Woodward’s headquarters. Police and security personnel lined the fence. At one point, police did become involved with protesters, telling them to stay off private property and that they had to stay on public property.

Media spokesperson for the protesters Robyn Mourning explained the goals of the protesters and spoke about why the group was there.

“We are here primarily in solidarity with Palestinians located in Palestine and exiled all around the world — to show solidarity and support,” Mourning said. “Saying no to the current genocide and apartheid that they’re experiencing and have been experiencing since the mid-1900s.”

“We can get up, but Gazans cannot.” -Attending protester

Mourning directly quoted Woodward’s website: Woodward produces CAS (Control Acuation Systems) systems for the world’s most advanced guided tactical weapons, including JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition), SDB (Small Diameter Bomb) and the advanced AIM-9X Sidewinder.” Woodward also engages in next-generation systems and flight testing guided artillery rounds, guided rockets and hypervelocity systems.

Woodward’s weapons production is just one of the reasons protesters gathered outside of their headquarters.   

“We have reason to believe that they are connected to the current genocide happening in Gaza in Palestine, and we want to say, ‘No more,’” Mourning said.

A protester read a statement from Woodward at the protest: “A small portion of our business involves indirectly supplying the U.S. government with subsystems that go into military equipment. While we are not involved in policy decisions regarding the use of defense equipment containing our products, we remain committed to serving all of our customers.” The statement was met with a negative reaction from the crowd.

As the crowd grew, chants broke out on the sidewalk directly next to the busy street. Some protesters pressed the pedestrian walk button to stop traffic and get drivers to listen.

The crowd chanted phrases such as, “Woodward, Woodward you can’t hide; we charge you with genocide,” “Gaza, Gaza, don’t you cry; Palestine will never die,” and “Resistance is justified when people are occupied.”

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Many protesters wore masks to protect their identity as cars passed on the busy street, some drivers honking in response.

Signs were held up and passed out by protesters, including images of war and missiles and strong written messages. Some signs also depicted watermelons, a symbol of Palestinian resistance. 

The protesters then began their die-in. Ten minutes were dedicated to this portion of protest, during which protesters lay down and remained silent, each minute representing 1,000 lives lost in Gaza. Protesters lay down to symbolize those who have died during the bombings, acting as dead bodies in front of the company. 

After 10 minutes, they rose to their feet again and continued their demonstrations. One anonymous protester gave a speech to the crowd.

“We can get up, but Gazans cannot,” the protester said.

The protester said the group was not with antisemitic goals or against Jewish people but rather in support of the Palestinians. The protester advocated for the liberation of all people. The protester also explained that they were there to protest Woodward and wanted to see the company immediately stop its investment, distribution and research of weapons.

Reach Tyler Weatherwax at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @twwax7272.

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About the Contributor
Tyler Weatherwax
Tyler Weatherwax, News Editor
Tyler Weatherwax is a second-year attending Colorado State University. He has lived in the state of Colorado for his entire life and grew up just outside of Rocky Mountain National Park. He is currently majoring in journalism and media communication and is a news editor for The Collegian and assistant news director for KCSU. Weatherwax hopes to share some of the world with people through his reporting and experiences. His goal as a journalist is to bring information to others in the hopes that it inspires and educates them in their lives. He also tries to push himself into the unknown to cause some discomfort in his life and reporting. Weatherwax has been a DJ for 90.5 FM KCSU as well as 88.3 FM KFFR. Some things Weatherwax enjoys doing are playing bass guitar, reading, collecting records, going outside and spending time with his friends and family. Weatherwax hopes to become a journalist after he graduates and to see more of the world.

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