By Emily Brosious
Chicago- Sept. 24, 2013
Activists from across the region will converge on Millennium Park to march on Boeing’s Chicago headquarters this Saturday, September 28, for the Midwest Action Against Drones.
This action against drone warfare and surveillance, organized by Antiwar Committee Chicago, will represent the voices of drone opposition activists from communities across the Midwest.
The group is targeting Boeing because it is a Chicago based company with deep ties to U.S. drone warfare and surveillance programs. This action aims to increase awareness about the company’s role in drone manufacturing.
Joe Iosbaker, a founding member of Antiwar Committee Chicago, explained in an interview, “Boeing is competing along with three other major arms manufacturers to build the Pentagon’s next combat drone…. We are determined to ruin that plan.”
A representative from Boeing declined to comment on the matter.
Antiwar Committee Chicago and anti-drone activists across the region began protesting Boeing’s bid for the $1.9 billion Pentagon contract earlier this year.
Iosbaker said the idea to have a regional action came after a successful run of protests at Boeing’s Chicago headquarters in the spring.
With President Obama’s push for drone strikes against Syria’s Assad regime looming large, he believes the Midwest Action Against Drones could not come at a more pressing time.
Iosbaker says that anti-drone sentiment is stronger than ever right now. The international protests taking place against U.S. drone strikes, particularly in Pakistan, and the growing opposition to Syrian military intervention have galvanized the movement against drone warfare, he said. Saturday’s action plans to build on that momentum, he said.
“We are bringing support from around the Midwest, basically every city or town where there has been an anti drone campaign,” Iosbaker said. “We’re going to focus attention for this weekend on Boeing’s new killer drones. We are hoping that with the addition of some public pressure that we can help be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, that prevents Boeing from getting that contract.”