This May, the State of Minnesota quietly announced that $1.3 million taxpayer dollars would be handed over to the weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin, incentivizing it to open a facility on Energy Park Drive. The facility, ForwardEdge ASIC, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin. The handout takes the form of a forgivable loan. If Lockheed Martin meets certain criteria, the loan becomes an outright grant. We want our money back.
Lockheed Martin reported $66 billion in sales in 2022. As Governor Walz must know, that was more than the budget of our entire state last year. The people of Minnesota demand investment in our needs, not corporate giveaways to weapons companies.
The state has boasted that Lockheed Martin “will connect with local universities… to recruit and train new employees.” This is nothing to celebrate. STEM students have tremendous, positive things to offer the world in fields like green energy, healthcare technology and public works. Funneling students into the weapons industry saps our state’s ability to serve its own people.
Taxpayer dollars funding militarism is not “good news for Minnesota,” as Walz wrote in his statement announcing these giveaways. Nor is it good news for millions of people across the world who suffer from armed conflicts fueled by the weapons manufactured by Lockheed Martin. Forty percent of weapons sold around the world each year are sold by the United States.
The Minnesota Peace Action Coalition is holding a protest outside the ForwardEdge ASIC facility at 2340 Energy Park Dr., Saint Paul, on Oct. 12th at 4:30pm. We will extend our unwelcome to the corporation and demand No Minnesota Money for Weapons!
Andrew Josefchak, St. Paul