In June we, Stop the War on Migrants, sent a letter to multiple associations and cultural institutions to ask them to drop their sponsor relationship with Thales. Thales is one of the biggest arms companies of Europe that produces a broad range of military and security products. With these products, Thales contributes to wars, repression and violence against refugees.
Originally published by Indymedia NL.
Note: Enough is Enough is not organizing any of these events, we are publishing this text for people across the US and Europe to be able to see what is going on and for documentation only.
Most of the addressed didn’t respond, but we got some answers, both negative and hopeful. We ask you to also contact the associations and institutions concerned (see list below) to let them know they should sever all ties with Thales.
These are the reactions we received from the organizations we contacted:
– Two of the addressed let us know that Thales doesn’t sponsor them (anymore)
– Two mailed us that they won’t end relations with Thales:
Study association Thalia (Nijmegen) said it knows what Thales does, but it wants to remain neutral and present all kinds of companies to its members, leaving political choices aside. It’s up to members to decide what company they want to visit/work for. Thalia asked not to be contacted anymore regarding its relations with Thales.
The Damen Raceroei Regatta said it just wants to organise a nice race for the participants and spectators. It hopes we understand this and thus will refrain from publishing about its sponsor relations with Thales.
Isn’t it nice? While Thales’ arms are responsible for death and destruction all over the world, these two claim to be ‘neutral’ (read: don’t care about it) or to just want to continue their rowing without considering the wider consequences. We think that no association or institution should give Thales the possibility to polish its image and give a good impression about its support to the community.
The theatre (‘Schouwburg’) in Hengelo, where the main production plant of Thales in the Netherlands is located, gave a more serious answer. They mailed us that their current contract with Thales runs until July 2019 and, while they will honor this contract, they will reconsider if they want to have a new sponsor contract, taking our letter in consideration.
For us the sponsor contract with the theatre is one of the most important. Thales is a major partner, even having a foyer named after it, which it can use for meetings. We are glad the theatre will reconsider its relation with Thales, but we also think there should be only one possible outcome: cut all ties with this arms producer. To give this an extra push we will go the theatre, just before a concert of Guus Meeuwis (who was just appointed ambassador for UNICEF) with banners and hand out leaflets to visitors. We do this action in cooperation with local initiative VEDAN (Vredes- En DuurzaamheidsActiviteiten Netwerkstad (VEDAN)).
If you want to join: Sunday 30 september, 7pm, Beursstraat 44, Hengelo, Netherlands.
Do you know other organisations sponsored by Thales? Let us know: firstname.lastname@example.org
List of sponsored associations etc
SV Huizen – email@example.com
KVV Losser – firstname.lastname@example.org
Wiskunde Studievereniging DESDA (Nijmegen) – email@example.com
Stichting Huizer Botters – firstname.lastname@example.org
Damen Raceroei Regatta – email@example.com
E.T.S.V. Scintilla (Twente) – firstname.lastname@example.org
Schouwburg Hengelo – email@example.com
Badmintonvereniging ELO United – firstname.lastname@example.org
Wolfskamerloop – email@example.com
Solar Team Twente – firstname.lastname@example.org
UT Challenge – email@example.com
Koninklijk Hengelo’s Mannenkoor – firstname.lastname@example.org
Science4Kids – email@example.com
SamenLoop voor Hoop – firstname.lastname@example.org
Stichting Huizerdag – email@example.com
Studievereniging Thalia (Nijmegen) – firstname.lastname@example.org
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