Voluntary Sector: Taking Action ... Count Me Out vs Lockheed Martin and ONS

Protesters: Count Me Out
Target: Lockheed Martin and the Office of National Statistics
Location: Lockheed Martin's UK offices and online
Date: 18-19 March

The lowdown

Count Me Out campaigned for two days against the involvement of global arms manufacturer Lockheed Martin in the Census. A small group of protesters demonstrated outside the company's offices in central London. After this, activists swamped Lockheed Martin with a 'Twitter storm' and emailed the company with messages that listed its daily activities. Further protests were planned across the country on Saturday.

Why the protests?

The campaigners are angry that the £150m contract to run the census was awarded to the US-based arms giant. Others say legal safeguards are not strong enough to prevent security breaches. Chris Browne from Count Me Out told The Guardian: 'The more people who find out about the involvement of the world's largest arms producer, the more civil dissent we will witness.'

How did the Office of National Statistics respond?

'The contract for census processing was awarded to Lockheed Martin UK - not Lockheed Martin US - in August 2008,' said the ONS. 'Lockheed Martin UK offered best value for money in an open procurement under European law.'

Media treatment

At the time of going to press, only The Guardian had reported on the protest.

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