Fight Back! News

News and Views from the People's Struggle

Medea Benjamin will join Midwest protest to say, 'No killer drone for Boeing!”

By staff

Chicago, IL – Anti-war activists from six Midwest states are gathering in Chicago, Sept. 28 to oppose drone warfare. Their target: Boeing Company.

“Boeing is vying for a contract with the Navy for a new combat drone – a contract that they say they must win to stay competitive among arms manufacturers,” said Kait McIntyre of the Anti-War Committee – Chicago (AWC). “It’s time to end the drone wars, not prepare to build another generation of deadly weapons.”

AWC has been campaigning against Boeing’s new drone since 2012. The Navy is accepting bids for a carrier launched combat drone which will be the size of a fighter plane, able to travel much farther than the Reaper, the combat drone currently in use, and carry a larger number of missiles.

AWC has been joined by a number of anti-war groups in Chicago, including U.S. Palestinian Community Network, the Syrian American Forum, ANSWER Coalition and many others. They’ll also be joined by groups that have been protesting outside drone command centers, such as Camp Ripley in Minnesota and Camp Williams in Wisconsin.

Helping to lead the march and headlining a conference being held the following day will be Medea Benjamin, a national spokesperson for the anti-war and anti-drone movements. The world watched as Benjamin and her organization, Code Pink, disrupted both President Obama’s speech justifying drone warfare in May and Secretary of State John Kerry’s saber rattling remarks against Syria in early September.

AWC is against the drone wars being waged in Pakistan and Yemen. “Unbiased sources estimate 800 civilians, including almost 200 children, have been killed by U.S. drone strikes,” explained McIntyre.

According to member Joe Iosbaker, the AWC also opposes Boeing’s new drone for economic justice reasons. “The city of Chicago gave Boeing $63 million in taxpayers’ money to move to Chicago. That was supposed to create jobs, not to be used for building a deadlier killer drone.”

More local groups are starting to take a stand against drone warfare and other new wars, such as in Syria. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 2858, adopted a resolution this month against war on Syria. That statement read in part, “… the enormous financial costs of bombing and war could be better spent on public services such as healthcare, education, jobs, safety for our children or to feed the hungry…”

The Chicago protest will start at 3:00 p.m., on the northwest corner of Monroe Street and Columbus Drive.

#ChicagoIL #AntiwarMovement #drones #MidwestActionAgainstDrones #MedeaBenjamin