Dear Tim van der Hagen (president of the executive board of the TU Delft),
On Tuesday the 20th of February, we were present at the Delftse Bedrijvendagen. We wished to voice our protest against the presence of large arms companies, Airbus and Thales. These companies profit from destabilizing the Middle East and North Africa, and from militarizing the borders of the European Union. They make our world less safe, and force the people fleeing the wars fuelled by the arms industry into ever more dangerous routes. These companies have no place in a university, recruiting students and developing arms technologies. Their future employees have a right to know about the nefarious practices their companies are involved in.
We were therefore disheartened to see the university management severely curtailed our right to bring this information to the students at the career fair. We wholeheartedly agree with the open letter send to you by the TU Delft Feminists on behalf of several students and PhD’s.
In the local news outlet ‘Delft op Zondag‘ TU Delft spokesperson Karen Colett said that you didn’t succeed in contacting us before the demonstration. However, when contacted by the university campus manager, we shared our plans with you by mail.
Colett also said that you’re not working together with ‘producers of offensive weapons’. This is a blatant misleading statement. Apart from the fact that there’s no such thing as a distinction between so-called ‘offensive’ and so-called ‘defensive’ weapons, both Airbus and Thales produce arms that are clearly meant for offensive warfare.
Airbus produces fighter jets and, through its joint venture MBDA, missiles, including those for the French nuclear arms force. Products of Thales include fire control systems, missiles and assault riffles. Thales is also involved in nuclear weapons production and maintenance.
We reiterate the fact that both companies profit shamelessly from the so-called ‘refugee crisis’. They fuel the reasons people are forced to flee by exporting arms to countries in conflict, human rights violators and repressive regimes. Then again, they sell the border security equipment to keep the resulting refugees out of Fortress Europe. Both Airbus and Thales play an important role in the industrial lobby that succesfully shapes the EU border policies, which have horrific consequences for refugees.
These companies thrive on death, destruction and misery. We urge you to cut all ties with Airbus, Thales and other military companies and end your cooperation in earning blood money. Use your resources to contribute to a more livable, more free and more humane world instead of strengthening the merchants of death.
Stop the War on Migrants