Alliant Tech Systems Protesters Celebrate Gandhi’s 142nd Birthday

Members of Alliant Action met in front of Alliant Tech Systems (ATK) headquarters in Eden Prairie on Oct. 2 for the 15th annual commemoration of Mohandas K. Gandhi’s birthday. Gandhi, better known by his honorific Mahatma which means Great Soul in Sanskrit. Gandhi was born Oct. 2, 1869 in India, 142 years ago.

In October,1996 a coalition including members of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, MIST, Veterans for Peace, Woman Against Military Madness, Sisters of St. Joseph and other groups and individuals held the first demonstration at Alliant’s corporate headquarters, at the time located in Hopkins, Minnesota. ATK is Minnesota’s largest military contractor with annual sales of close to $5 billion. Alliant Action objects to ATK’s manufacture of anti-personnel devices such as cluster bombs, land mines and the extensive use of depleted Uranium.

Since Oct. 1996, 721 arrests have been made for nonviolent acts of civil resistance at ATK’s corporate headquarters. First in Hopkins (295), then Edina (404) and now Eden Prairie (22 to date). ATK is moving its corporate headquarters to Arlington, Va., to be closer to the Pentagon. The 798th consecutive and final weekly vigil of Alliant Action was at the Eden Prairie headquarters, Oct. 5, 2011.

Bill Sorem

Bill Sorem is a longtime advertising professional who started with Campbell Mithun and ended up with his own agency. After a tour as a sailing fleet manager in the Virgin Islands he turned to database programming as an independent consultant. He has written sailing guides for the British Virgin Islands and Belize, and written for a number of blogs. In 2010, he volunteered as a citizen journalist with The UpTake and has stayed on as a video reporter.

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