Sunday, April 21, 2013

April 29: Protest Boeing Drones at Annual Stockholder Meeting

Join the Anti-War Committee (AWC) of Chicago to oppose Boeing CEO James McNerney’s plan to make the next combat drone for the US military.

Protest at Boeing Stockholders Meeting
No Killer Drone for Boeing
Monday, April 29th, 9:30 am
Field Museum, South Entrance

Boeing is competing with the other top arms manufacturers for the growing budget for unmanned aircraft for the military. This year, the Navy is asking for designs for a new combat drone. Boeing is expected to propose its “Phantom Ray.”

Boeing’s stockholders meeting will take place at the Field Museum on Monday, April 29th. Members of the AWC, including Sarah Simmons and Newland Smith, have purchased Boeing stock and will hold a press conference at the Field Museum to condemn the plans for the new killer drone.

After years of denial by the Obama administration, Senator Lindsey Graham of the Armed Services Committee recently admitted the number of casualties from killer drones. “We've killed 4700,” he told a pro-drone crowd. This is the estimated number of casualties in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen, but including drone strikes in Afghanistan and Iraq would result in a much higher number.

There is growing controversy around the US drone wars. Earlier this month, McClatchy News Service released a top secret paper from the White House which proves that the administration statements about who is targeted by the drones are lies. Most of the drone strikes are not Al Qaeda leaders. In Pakistan, as many as 881 deaths in the past decade were civilians, including 176 children. Almost all the rest are “alleged combatants.”

AWC has taken a number of measures to oppose the drone wars, including submitting a statement to Senator Richard Durbin’s hearing this week on the topic. Our main campaign is to target Boeing, headquartered in Chicago, for their role. (See April 6 Chicago protest against Boeing.) Boeing, the number two arms manufacturer, wants to keep the profits they make from producing arms. While the budget for manned aircraft will decline in the Pentagon strategy, the budget for drone warfare is only going to increase. The key element in Boeing’s plans for capturing war spending is to build the Phantom Ray.

Money for Schools, Not for War

In addition to the deaths caused by their products, Boeing received over $60 million in tax breaks to move to Chicago. It’s not acceptable that our public schools and city streets are crumbling, while tax breaks are given to a company which has $25 billion in defense contracts.

We also recognize that drone pilots are victims of drone warfare, as they experience a rate of PTSD and suicide higher than combat veterans.

Join us to say: It’s time to end the drone wars, not prepare to build another generation of more deadly weapons.

Join the Facebook event for the Boeing Stockholder's Meeting Protest and invite friends!

Sign the petition on the Anti-War Committee Chicago website.

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