The Honeywell Project

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The Honeywell Project began in 1968 as an attempt to pressure Honeywell, Inc., to quit manufacturing cluster bombs, and to educate the public about the inhumane nature of such weapons. The project was noted for its nonviolent nature and use of civil disobedience by large numbers of people. Thousands of Minnesotans participated and national media was attracted. The project continued for many years in varying degrees of intensity until Honeywell finally seperated and sold its weapons manufacturing businesses. The Honeywell Project and public opinion played a role in Honeywell's decision.
~Bill Berneking, Wayzata, MN


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History

A lifelong commitment to promoting peace

On October 7, 1998, fifty-three people were arrested outside Alliant TechSystems in Hopkins, Minnesota. The group was conducting the first of its protests against the company's production of land mines for the U.S. military.

One of the protesters arrested was Marv Davidov, Minneapolis's best-known practitioner of civil disobedience. Recently described as "the world's oldest protester--almost," Davidov launched the Honeywell Project in 1968, at the height of the Vietnam War. The Honeywell Project's goal was to convince the board and management of the Honeywell Corporation to convert their weapons manufacturing business to production of nonmilitary devices. At the time the state's largest military contractor, Honeywell made cluster bombs and guidance systems for nuclear weapons and for military aircraft.

In its early days, the Honeywell Project sponsored educational events that were coupled with large demonstrations outside Honeywell headquarters in south Minneapolis. In the 1980s, the group turned to large events of nonviolent civic disobedience, including a 1983 protest that made headlines when more than 500 people were arrested, including Erica Bouza, wife of Minneapolis police chief Tony Bouza.

In September of 1990, just as the Project was winding down, Honeywell formed a new company, Alliant TechSystems, to handle its military contracts. Though the company's management denied that the Honeywell Project's activities had any bearing on its decision, longtime activists disagreed. In 1996, Marv Davidov and activists from Women against Military Madness, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, and others protested for the first time at Alliant's headquarters. Their group, officially named AlliantACTION in 1998, scheduled regular protests for several years.

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