PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (WPRI) — A group of demonstrators were seen blocking the entrance to Raytheon’s facility in Portsmouth early Thursday morning.
Members of the “The FANG Collective” said they were protesting Raytheon’s weapon sales to Saudi Arabia and Israel, as well as their involvement in enforcing the U.S.-Mexican border.
The protest began around 6 a.m. and several people were apparently chained to cars to block the front gate, while others held banners and chanted slogans.
“We respect the right to lawful and peaceful protest,” a Raytheon spokesperson said in response.
Portsmouth police responded and said after attempting to negotiate with two men who had attached themselves to concrete blocks within and underneath the cars, they had to call in the fire department to assist in freeing them.
Those men, identified as Frank Fortino, 26, of Providence, and Nicholas Katkevich, 36, of Bristol, were arrested and charged with trespassing, disorderly conduct, obstructing police, and conspiracy.
Raytheon is the second-largest weapons contractor in the world and the largest global producer of guided missiles.