Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release


Medea Benjamin, 415-235-6517
Nancy Mancias, 415-342-6409

Press Release

CODEPINK Cofounder Medea Benjamin Disrupts General Dynamics Shareholders Meeting

General Dynamics under fire for weapon sales to Saudi Arabia.

General Dynamics (GD) held its annual general meeting in Reston, Virginia. CODEPINK cofounder Medea Benjamin confronted the CEO and the board with questions about the company’s weapon sales to Saudi Arabia and other repressive regimes, such as the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt. While video recording was not allowed at the meeting, an audio of the discussion is available here

“I asked CEO Phebe Novakovic how she feels about personally making $21 million a year through a business model that thrives on conflict, death and destruction,” said Benjamin. “I mentioned a 2000-pound General Dynamics bomb that hit a Yemeni marketplace, killing 97 civilians—including 25 children. I asked what is the moral justification for flooding the Middle East with more weapons when the region is desperate to end the conflicts that General Dynamics profits from.”

Benjamin brought up the unethical revolving door between the company and the government and pointed to General James Mattis as the perfect example. Mattis, who was at the meeting, was on the board before becoming Trump’s Secretary of Defense, and at the May 5 shareholder meeting he was voted back on the board.

Benjamin also brought up the company’s involvement in Trump’s detention of children at the U.S.-Mexico border, accusing the company of profiting from children locked in cages. CEO Novakovic said that was not true and suggested a meeting between herself and Benjamin to clarify the company’s positions and actions on this and other issues. Benjamin has followed up with a meeting request.

General Dynamics is one of the world’s largest arms manufacturers, with a long-lasting contract with Saudi Arabia estimated at $1.3 billion dollars-providing weapons to a country waging war on Yemen that has already killed an estimated thousands of innocent civilians. The company’s arms sales to despotic regimes in the Middle East only contribute to the ongoing conflict and humanitarian crisis in the region, which creates strong resentment towards our country and contributes to the rise of violent extremism.


CODEPINK is a women-led grassroots organization working to end U.S. wars and militarism, support peace and human rights initiatives, and redirect our tax dollars into healthcare, education, green jobs and other life-affirming programs.

'Political Malpractice': House Democrats' Bill Wouldn't Add Dental to Medicare Until 2028

"I don't want to see it drawn out to as far as the House has proposed," Sen. Bernie Sanders said during a recent press call.

Jake Johnson ·

'How Many More Deaths Must It Take?' Barbados Leader Rips Rich Nations in Fierce UN Speech

"How many more variants of Covid-19 must arrive, how many more, before a worldwide plan for vaccinations will be implemented?"

Jake Johnson ·

To Avert Debt Ceiling Calamity, Democrats Urged to Finally Kill the Filibuster

"The solution is to blow up the filibuster at least for debt limit votes, just as Mitch blew it up to pack the Supreme Court for his big donors."

Jake Johnson ·

Biden Decries 'Outrageous' Treatment of Haitians at Border—But Keeps Deporting Them

"I'm glad to see President Biden speak out about the mistreatment of Haitian asylum-seekers. But his administration's use of Title 42 to deny them the right to make an asylum claim is a much bigger issue."

Jessica Corbett ·

Global Peace Activists Warn of Dangers of US-Led Anti-China Pacts

"No to military alliances and preparation for catastrophic wars," anti-war campaigners from over a dozen nations write in a letter decrying the new AUKUS agreement. "Yes to peace, disarmament, justice, and the climate."

Brett Wilkins ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.

Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo