Marvell Technology

Why Vermonters Disrupted this Multinational Tech Firm’s Burlington Office

On Monday, a “disruption event” was carried out by a coalition of Vermont activists at the “Innovation Center” in Burlington, Vermont. The focus of this action was Marvell Technology, whose products are used in the frontline of the Israeli genocide of Palestinians. 

The protester’s goal: to break the economic chain of silicon-gold that flows from Burlington, Vermont to Tel Aviv.

Marvell Technology designs the advanced chips used by the Aerospace and Defense industries of the Israeli and US militaries. Those chips, ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuits), are designed by engineers at the “Innovation Center.” 

As Politico reported in November, the war on Palestinians had created “new demand for cutting-edge defense technology—often supplied directly by newer, smaller manufacturers, outside the traditional nation-to-nation negotiations for military supplies.”

The integrated chips are used in small, first-person view drones, including the Matrice 600 and LANIUS, equipped with explosives, machine guns, and AI technology. The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor has confirmed dozens of civilian deaths from Israel’s “small killer drones,” which are stuffed with integrated circuits made by American companies like Marvell Technology, and paid for by American taxpayers.

These chips are critical in the infrastructure of AI-assisted assassination programs like the Lavender system, used by Israel to mark and track suspected Hamas and PIJ operatives in Gaza. Israel’s automated program, “Where’s Daddy,” follows the targeted individuals, and carries out bombings when they return to family residences.

These reprehensible projects would not be possible without the eager genocide profiteering of design firms like Marvell Technology, who operate their second-largest R&D center and a direct sales office in Israel, including Marvell Software Solutions Israel, a subsidiary. In 2021, Marvell Technology received $74.9 million in Department of Defense contracts—this murder subsidy was redistributed from Americans pockets to the coffers and drawing-tables of military contractors.

The date of the protest was chosen intentionally: April 15, Tax Day. Every year, Israel receives $7.6 million of Vermonters’ tax dollars, equivalent to $12 per Vermonter. Instead of being reinvested in the state and used for human needs, the money is funneled to Tel Aviv and the IDF, to facilitate the purposeful elimination of the Palestinian people. As a whole, the United States government gives Israel $10.7 million dollars per day to carry out this AI-assisted automated murder.

Outside the “Innovation Center,” a banner reading “Genocide: Made in VT” was hung in the sidewalk facing the road, while the building manager, disturbed and angered by the gathering, pleaded with the assembly to remain off the premises and phoned the police. 

Meanwhile, five volunteers had penetrated the complex to glitter bomb the Marvell offices. As their mission was successful — sparkling chaff littered the office hallways, a psychic reminder that the engineers have found themselves on the wrong side of a world-wide struggle — the volunteers began to leave the building.

One of those five recalled what happened next: “We weren’t planning on sticking around. As we were leaving, I heard an employee on the phone to the Burlington Police Department, asking ‘should we pull the fire alarm?’” A beat later the fire alarm rang, and contractors fled their offices, shuffling into the street to megaphone cries of “Marvell Technology is complicit in Israeli genocide!”

For a mission to disrupt the activities of Marvell Technology, the frantic inner turmoil of an anxious employee had provided the event a perfect coup de grâce.

The glitter brigade was detained, seated together curbside in the rain, while police reviewed the security footage. When they discovered that the guilty party was a Marvell contractor, the volunteers were let go with a trespassing citation, carrying a maximum fine of $500 per person.

This bold activity follows a New England historical tradition of pacifism and civil resistance that includes the Transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau, who refused to pay his own taxes from 1841 to 1848 because of his moral outrage against the Spanish-American war and American institution of chattel slavery. Thoreau’s essay, On the Duty of Civil Disobedience, elaborates on his reasoning.

With apathetic naïveté possessing the hearts of our professional engineers, the innovations being made in Burlington are murder-innovations, ever more sophisticated and precise. These drones, unguided by human hands or restrained by human hesitation, would not be possible without the ASIC designers who refuse to see the moral weight of the link between their work and the systematic extermination of children, women and men.

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