Chicago, IL - At 5:00 p.m. on July 16, a group of activists from the Anti-War Committee – Chicago (AWC), the 8th Day Center for Justice, the American Friends Service Committee, the Episcopalian Peace Fellowship, and Jews for Justice in Palestine, entered the Boeing Company building and refused to leave. They went there to deliver a message: they oppose the Boeing Company providing weapons for the Israeli siege of Gaza. The action was initiated by Jewish Voices for Peace, as one of a number of actions happening around the country in response to the vicious assault by Israel.
AWC – Chicago issued the following statement about their participation the action. AWC has gone after Boeing for almost two years for their role as the second largest arms manufacturer. Kait McIntyre, one of the protesters, is a candidate for Boeing’s board of stock holders. Also among the AWC protesters are Joe Iosbaker, Newland Smith, and Bonnie Coyle.
Anti-War Committee - Chicago statement
In our campaign against Boeing we have routinely exposed their company as a key element of the U.S. war machine, which profits off the sale of weapons for U.S. wars and U.S. allies. Boeing reaps billions from the sale of weapons for use in the Israeli attacks on Gaza as part of its eight year old siege of Gaza. Boeing has provided the Israeli air force with several hundred F15 and F16 fighter planes and thousands of tail kits designed to make dumb bombs into “smart bombs,” improving accuracy. More recently Boeing designed a laser seeker to add to the nose of a bomb equipped with their tail kit, giving the ability to engage moving targets.
In addition Boeing has provided at least 60 of the Apache attack helicopters to Israel, as well as their payloads of “pinpoint accurate” Hellfire Missiles.
In observing the precision of Boeing’s products, we learn something about Israel’s bombing and missile strikes on Gaza. As these weapons are so precise, then the deaths of civilian men, women and children - the vast majority of the 186 killed by Israel - are premeditated. The Israeli pilots know who is in their gun sights. They launch their weapons with full knowledge.
This means that the Israeli pilots are no different than the criminal settlers who burned Mohammed Abu Khdeir alive. They are killing in cold blood. They are killing civilians – men, children, women, and old people. They bomb food stores, hospitals, and even a center for the disabled.
The men who killed Mohammed Abu Khdeir have the sounds of their victim in their minds, but Israeli pilots have killed hundreds since Israel’s operation “Protective Edge” began, and thousands more throughout the history of the occupation.
Finally, Chicago is home to one of the largest Palestinian communities in the U.S. Chicago is also home to the Boeing Company, whose stock price soars from the slaughter of countless Palestinians. This is a slap in the face we cannot abide.
End the siege of Gaza now! End U.S. aid to Israel! Free Palestine!
More information at the Anti-War Committee - Chicago website.