News and views from north Bristol's urban village

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Banksy Christmas Special (3)

A few notes on the stories behind this image.

Phan Thi Kim Phuc, the nine-year old Vietnamese girl whose image is at the centre of this Banksy, was caught in a bombing raid of North Vietnamese positions near the village of Trang Bang in June 1972. Now a Canadian citizen and a committed Christian, the adult Phan Thi Kim Phuc has written her story - The Girl in the Picture. You can read more about her here.

The company that produced the napalm that was dropped by American forces in the Vietnam War (napalm was a weapon that caused huge gas-based fireballs to explode at ground level) is called Raytheon, the fifth largest defence contractor in the world. Today, Raytheon produce a range of high tech weapons, especially cruise missiles such as the Patriot and Tomahawk and the
GBU-28 "bunker buster", a 5,000-pound bomb used in the Tora Bora campaign in Afghanistan.

Raytheon have an office in Bristol, at 510 Bristol Business Park, Coldharbour Lane (near the UWE Campus in Frenchay) where, since December 9th, a small but sometimes noisy group of protestors have been occupying the roof of the Raytheon building in protest at the company's activities and presence in Bristol. You can read more about the rooftop protest and see photos here.

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