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Michigan: End U.S. drone wars, stop political repression

By Tom Burke |
May 8, 2013
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Joe Iosbaker speaking in Grand Rapids, MI
Joe Iosbaker speaking in Grand Rapids, MI (Fight Back! News/Staff)
Kait McIntyre of Students for a Democratic Society speaks against Boeing's new "
Kait McIntyre of Students for a Democratic Society speaks against Boeing's new "Phantom" drone.

Grand Rapids, MI - 20 people met at the Yankee Clipper Library here to hear two leading “No Drones” activists from Chicago. On May 4, Kait McIntyre and Joe Iosbaker of the Anti-war Committee of Chicago spoke about the deadly use of drones by the U.S. military in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. They showed a short film detailing how the U.S. government has killed 4700 people, including 178 children in Pakistan and Yemen, and 849 Pakistanis.

Kait McIntyre said, “The U.S. government is murdering thousands of poor rural people on the other side of the world using drones. So we are targeting one manufacturer, the Boeing Company, and their new killer drone called “the Phantom”, with our No Drones campaign.”

McIntyre continued, “People are hearing our No Drones and anti-war message because we link it their concerns. People in the U.S. want jobs, education and healthcare, not tax breaks for Boeing to profit from making more drones and killing innocents.”

Joe Iosbaker, one of the leaders of the 15,000 person anti-NATO march last May in Chicago, said, “We oppose all U.S. wars. There are no ‘good’ ones. Using drones does not make U.S. wars any more ‘just.’ We want to invite activists from around the Midwest to a No Drones conference in July, so we can plan for a big mass action against Boeing.”

Members of the audience asked question for over an hour. Mike Kowalski of Grand Rapids commented, “While Michigan schools and cities scramble for funding, the ten-year Pentagon budget for drones is $250 billion. We need to end the dominance of the big military corporations over our country.”

Joe Iosbaker updated the audience on the FBI raids and U.S. government political repression of 23 anti-war and international solidarity activists, including in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The Institute for Global Education (IGE), the Grand Rapids Left Forum and the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom sponsored the event.