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On Thursday, September 27, students protested the partnership between the Lockheed Martin company and the University of Connecticut due to a Lockheed Martin bomb that killed 40 children in Yemen in August, according to CNN.
UConn students had the opportunity on that Thursday, known as Lockheed Martin University Day on the UConn events calendar, to learn about Lockheed Martin (LM) through technological interactive activities, like helicopter simulations, and talks from company leaders and employers.
There was also a S76 helicopter and a Black Hawk helicopter on display on the Student Union Mall and a helicopter flight over the Storrs campus for pre-selected students, UConn staff and LM employees.
Only a few feet away, between McHugh Hall and the Student Union, students stood with various posters and signs to protest the event. According to their flyer distributed via social media, “Let them know this campus won’t support war profiteers.”
The flyer states the LM corporation “profits off of atrocities,” referring to the fatal attack on the children in Yemen.
Matt Hew, a senior history major, protested with an explicit sign toward the corporation. Hew says the university is trying to “impress” students, but “intelligent” students are aware of LM weapons being supplied to Saudi Arabia by the US government for the war in Yemen.
After the protest, Hew sat outside of the John W. Rowe Center still holding his sign. He says, “I think it’s important to make this statement because I don’t want them to come to my university without them hearing how I feel about them.”
Hew says he hopes people will research the involvement LM has with the US government and its relationship to the war in Yemen.
“I hope UConn immediately cuts all their relationships with LM but I know that’s not going to happen,” Hew says.
When asked how the university responds to the protest, university spokesperson Stephanie Reitz says, “UConn supports students’ rights to make themselves heard on any subject and in any manner as long as it’s done peacefully, as this protest was.”
According to the company website, LM works on global security and aerospace technology research and manufacturing.
CNN reports that the war in Yemen has resulted in the “world’s worst humanitarian crisis.”
This story was updated on October 4 at 9:00 p.m with an audio version of the story.