Chicago, IL - 15 activists gathered outside the Boeing annual shareholders meeting here, April 27, to protest Boeing’s weapons sales to Israel, particularly the $83 million contract with the Israel Air Force to provide 3000 Joint Direct Attack Munitions. Boeing secured this contract in November, just months after Israel’s Operation Protective Edge led to the deaths of thousands of Palestinians, including over 500 children. These war crimes led to protests across the globe and made Boeing a target of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
Anti-War Committee-Chicago member Kait McIntyre, who ran for a spot on Boeing’s board of directors last year and was arrested while occupying Boeing’s corporate headquarters during Israel’s latest assault on Gaza, addressed the crowd, stating, “You are making sure that Boeing can’t hide the fact that their billions in profits are soaked in blood, the blood of thousands of Palestinians.”
McIntyre, along with Joe Iosbaker and Newland Smith, is a Boeing stockholder. All three tried to enter the board meeting but Iosbaker was denied entry because of an alleged computer error. However, Smith and McIntyre were both able to address the board directly. Smith described the atrocities Israel has committed against the Palestinians while McIntyre illustrated the dangers of doing business with a country that violates international law and whose policies have sparked international outrage.
Coming out of the meeting, both Smith and McIntyre agreed that the protesters outside strengthened the impact of their speeches inside. While they were at the meeting, the protesters rallied at Lakeshore Drive and received a predominantly favorable response from passing cars and passersby.
Other groups that participated in the protest outside the shareholders meeting included Veterans for Peace, the 8th Day Center for Justice, National Alliance for Filipino Concerns and Evanston Neighbors for Peace.