Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Statement of Support for Rasmea Odeh

The AntiWar Committee-Chicago extends our unconditional support to community icon Rasmea Odeh. On October 22nd, 2013, 65 year-old Rasmea Odeh was arrested in her home and charged with immigration fraud. The Department of Homeland Security alleges Rasmea did not disclose her arrest by an Israeli military court, which happened over 45 years ago, on her application for US citizenship. She could face up to ten years in prison and the revocation of her citizenship. We recognize that these charges are a political assault against her as well as the Palestinian community.

For over 40 years Rasmea has dedicated herself to serving and empowering the people, a fact not lost on the communities of Chicago when she was named the Chicago Cultural Alliance’s “Outstanding Community Leader” for 2013, nor has this been lost on the international community which promptly rallied to her cause, quickly disseminating the news of the struggle being waged far and wide amidst numerous calls for solidarity and demands charges be dropped.

This has demonstrated firstly that no legal assault can erase the revolutionizing effects of years of sacrifice and dedication for one’s community, and secondly that the heroes of the people never have to struggle alone; the Chicago Anti-War Committee calls for solidarity with Rasmea Odeh!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Midwest Action Against Drones (MAAD) Conference: Workshop Updates

Conference: Building the Movement Against Drones
Sunday, September 29, 2013
9:45 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Kent College of Law, 525 W. Adams in Chicago

Conference Schedule:

9:45 – 10:15 : Registration/coffee

10:15 :  Opening Plenary

         Call to order
         Boeing Campaign (Kait McIntyre - Anti-War Committee of Chicago)
         The situation we are up against (Joe Iosbaker)              
         What must the movement against drones do to succeed? (Medea Benjamin)
         Recognition of Groups involved in the movement against drones.

Workshop Slot #1 -- 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

A.      Protesting drone bases/command centers

        Peter Lems, American Friends Service Committee
        Joy First, WI: Camp Williams/Volk Field
        Larry Fisk, MN: Brainard Area Coalition for Peace, Camp Ripley

B.      Successful movement building

        Sarah Simmons, Parents 4 Teachers, Anti-War Committee - Chicago
        Pepperwolf, Lucia Wilkes Smith,WAMM’s Ground  All  Drones, MN.  Organizing “Drones 101”. 

C.      Local regulation of drones

        Matthew Kellegrew, Bill of Rights Defense Committee (via Skype)
        Marcia Bernsten, North Shore Coalition for Peace, Justice, and the Environment

Workshop Slot #2 - 12:45 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.

A.      Protesting drone manufacturers/contractors

        Tom Bottolene, SueAnn Martinson, Pepperwolf, WAMM Ground  All  Drones, MN
        Kait McIntyre, Anti-War Committee – Chicago.  Boeing

B.      Economics: What drones are costing our communities

        Molly McQueen, American Friends Service Committee

C.      Countering the “boots on the ground” argument

        Jacob Flom, Milwaukee IVAN
        Vince Emanuele, Indiana IVAN             

2:00:  Closing Plenary

Registration: No one will be turned away for inability to pay.

For registration only, send an email to antiwarcommitteechicago@gmail.com and your spot will be reserved.

Register and pay for the conference here.

Make a donation to MAAD here.

Check out the website for updated information.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Syria Debate on Fox32 in Chicago: Should the U.S. Intervene?

On the Fox32 newscast of September 10, there was an interesting debate on whether the U.S. should launch a strike into Syria. On the side of no intervention is Joe Iosbaker of the AntiWar Committee Chicago and calling for U.S. intervention is Kenan Rahmani of the Syrian-American Council.

Monday, September 2, 2013


March and Rally

Noon, Saturday, September 7th

Federal Plaza, 50 W. Adams St., Chicago

Join the Anti-War Committee - Chicago; Syrian American Forum; ANSWER - Chicago; U.S. Palestinian Community Network - Chicago; American Friends Service Committee; Iraq Veterans Against the War – Chicago Chapter;  American Party of Labor; March 19th Anti-War Coalition; Northwest Indiana Veterans for Peace; Palestine Solidarity Group – Chicago; Gay Liberation Network; Albany Park, North Park, Mayfair Neighbors for Peace and Justice; 8th Day Center for Justice; and others

To endorse, email joeiosbaker@gmail.com 

To join the Facebook event, click here.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Statement on Syria, August 28 2013


U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday August 26th called Syria’s use of chemical weapons “undeniable,” setting the stage for a military intervention.  With this, more U.S. warships are threatening to attack Syria with cruise missiles.

What are the real motives of the U.S. government? It should be obvious that they don’t care about the humanitarian crisis facing the people of Syria.  According to studies by John Hopkins School of Public Health, and the Lancet, a highly respected, British medical journal, the U.S. military, by 2006 had caused the deaths of an estimated 650,000 Iraqis.  The U.S. occupation continued for another five years, leading to 100s of thousands more deaths.  When combined with the tens of thousands killed in Afghanistan and Libya, perhaps 1,000,000 Arabsand Muslims have died because of U.S. wars in the past decade.

The U.S. escalation of this war to a bombing campaign shows their true objective, which is the same as in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya:  they want regime change to a government that will serve U.S. corporate control of the Middle East, especially oil and gas. The Chicago Anti War Committee is firmly opposed to US, NATO or other military intervention in Syria.


Use of chemical weapons in Syria as the U.S. pretext for war is a replay of the lie that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.  The truth is the U.S. is already at war in Syria, backing armies that attack civilians.  The same model of warfare was used in the past by the U.S. to justify war in Vietnam, El Salvador and Iraq under General Petraeus.  The Obama administration claims that they know how to pick ”the good rebels,” but arms have gone to al Qaeda fighters, Jabhat al Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and Shams (ISIS).

The chemical weapons incident appears to be a “false flag,” a covert military action made to seem it was done by forces other than the actual perpetrators.  This tactic has been used several times by the foreign led armies to blame the Syrian Arab Army, the military of the government of Syria. 

What’s different this time is that the foreign led armies are losing ground, losing hearts and minds of the Syrians. The foreign led armies’ entire project is falling apart all over the country.  Why would the Syrian government choose now to use chemical gas as a weapon, when they just welcomed the U.N. into the country to investigate suspected uses of gas that the west has used to escalate tensions in Syria and the region?


U.S. General Martin Dempsey warned the Senate recently that a no-fly zone over Syria could cost $1B a day.  The U.S. has already spent over a billion dollars on ‘non-lethal’ aid: armored vehicles, battlefield support equipment, body armor, communication gear, and night vision goggles for the foreign led armies, and a new command center in Amman, Jordan.  U.S. politicians Carl Levin and John McCain and President Obama are pushing the administration to spend even more tax dollars on weapons.

- After more than a decade of wars for a corporate empire, a Reuter’s poll taken August 19-23 on the alleged use of chemical weapons, shows steady opposition to U.S. military involvement from a wary American public.

- The Syrian government is willing to take part in UN backed negotiations.

- There is no circumstance in which violent force by the U.S. is desirable or acceptable.

We oppose war on Syria and we will do everything in our power to stop it.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Save the Date: Midwest Action Against Drones Sept 28 & 29

Join Medea Benjamin, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Veterans For Peace, US Palestinian Community Network, & Anti-War Committee – Chicago
for a
Midwest Action Against Drones
End Drone Warfare Abroad &
Drone Spying at Home

March on Boeing
Sat., Sept. 28
3:00 p.m.
Millennium Park 

Despite the growing controversy about the use of drones, the Obama administration has made it clear that the drone wars are not ending soon.  That’s why we’ve called this regional protest.

No Killer Drone for Boeing
No New Wars on Iran and Syria

Money for Jobs, Healthcare, and Education - NOT FOR WAR

Boeing Company is vying for a contract with the Navy for a new combat drone – a contract that they must win to stay competitive among arms manufacturers. It’s time to end the drone wars, not prepare to build another generation of deadly weapons.

Conference: Building the Movement Against Drones
Sun., Sept. 29
9:45 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Kent College of Law,
525 W. Adams in Chicago

For more information and a full list of endorsers, click here!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Protest Against US Intervention in Syria on June 25, July 2, & July 9

Protest Against US Intervention in Syria

Tuesday, June 25th, July 2nd & July 9th

5:00 pm to 6:30 pm
Federal Plaza
50 W. Adams
No U.S. Intervention
No U.S. Weapons
Stop Plans for a No Fly Zone
We Need Jobs, Education and Healthcare, Not Endless War!

Check out the Facebook page here!

Most people in the U.S. oppose intervention in Syria, but step by step, U.S. military involvement grows.  The No Fly Zone the Pentagon wants would cost $50 million a day.  Our government is investing in endless war, while Chicago is closing schools and can’t afford a trauma center for hundreds of thousands of people on the South Side. 

The Obama administration has announced they will supply arms directly to the Supreme Military Council of Syria, a group brought into existence by the U.S. last year.  The Pentagon has proposed following this up with the creation of a No Fly Zone. The Anti-War Committee of Chicago opposes these measures, which would only escalate the conflict in Syria, which has already resulted in 93,000 deaths, according to the UN. 

Our responsibility in the U.S., as members of the anti-war movement here, is to oppose and stop all current and new U.S. wars.

Obama says that arming the rebels is justified because the Syrian government used chemical weapons against them.  Like George W. Bush’s claim of “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq, this is a lie. The truth is that the U.S., with its NATO and Gulf States allies, is intervening in Syria to again violate the sovereignty of an independent Arab state that will not do its bidding. 
There is no such thing as "humanitarian intervention" from the U.S.  The U.S. government does not care about the Syrian people--neither those who support Assad nor any others.  U.S. intervention is meant to uphold and strengthen its empire.  We're not exporting healthcare and education; we're exporting weapons and more destruction.   We do not want another U.S. war against an Arab or Muslim country.  That's why we speak out.

We have to speak out. 

Join us in protest.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

April 29 action at Boeing's annual stockholder's meeting in Chicago

Nancy Stone/Chicago Tribune

On April 29 the Antiwar Committee held a protest at Boeing's annual stockholder's meeting at the Field Museum in Chicago. The purpose was to shed light on Boeing's part of drone warfare and to let the stockholder's know that they were a part of this warfare.

We recieved some pretty good mentions from the mainstream media, including the Chicago Tribune and WLS Channel 7-TV.
Click here to read the Tribune's story.
Click here to see the story on WLS-TV

This even found it's way into Stars and Stripes! Check it out here.
Thanks to John at Firedog Lake for this great video on the action. To see it, click here.

And thanks to all who participated and supported this action.

AntiWar Committee contingent on May Day 2013

Join us on May 1, 2013 as we support our friends in the immigrants rights march on May 1. 
We'll gather starting at 2:00 behind the fence at the softball field near the corner of Washington and Ashland in Union Park.  Look for the "Peace Now" banner. The march steps off at 3:00 to go to Federal Plaza.

Our slogans will include No Drone Wars, No Drones on the Border.  

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Protest at Boeing Stockholders Meeting

Monday, April 29th, 9:30 am at the Field Museum, South Entrance

No Killer Drone for Boeing

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. 

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.  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.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Mourning the Loss of AFSC's Midwest Regional Director Michael McConnell

We are sadden to learn of the death of  AFSC's Midwest Regional Director Michael McConnell. Michael  was passionate, funny, sensitive, and creative. He was a giant among us, and it's hard to imagine that he's gone.

The visitation for Michael will be Thursday (4/11/13) from 4:00 PM till 9:00 PM at the John E. Maloney Funeral Home 1359 West Devon Avenue - Chicago, Illinois 60660, located between Clark and Ridge.

The Memorial service will be held at 4:00 PM Friday (4/12/13) Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ 615 W. Wellington Ave. - Chicago, Illinois 60657 followed by a reception.

In lieu of flowers the family has requested donations be sent to American Friends Service Committee or Wellington Ave. United Church of Christ.

For more information on this amazing man, click here. Our hearts go out to his family and AFSC. We mourn with them. He will be missed by all of us. 

April 6 Anti-Drone Action Against Boeing

The month of April has been chosen by anti-war activists nationally as a coordinated month of protests against drones and the threat of new wars. In Chicago, the marchers went to the headquarters of the Boeing Company. Boeing CEO James McNerney 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.”

Over 150 people joined the protest. Kait McIntyre of the Anti-War Committee of Chicago told the crowd, “We don’t want Chicago to be remembered as the birthplace of the next killer drone.”

2013 WLS-TV/DT

 2013 Fight Back! News/Vince Emanuelle

For media coverage, check out the following:
ABC Local News
CBS Local News
Fight Back! News
WGN Radio

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Program: 10 Years since Iraq; The Changing Face of War

Wednesday, March 20, 2013 at 7:00 pm
Grace Place, 637 S. Dearborn Chicago, IL 60605

This program to mark the tenth anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq War in 2003, will include a panel of speakers addressing the changing face of war. Abroad, the US' increased use of drones for "targeted killings" in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia, has resulted in the deaths of thousands of civilians. Here in the US, deadly cuts continue to be imposed on domestic programs in order to fund the Pentagon's excessive spending and line the pockets of wealthy corporations, such as Boeing. The fights for public education, housing, and healthcare are intricately tied to the fights against war and imperialism. 

Peter Lems is a leader in the American Friends Service Committee anti-drone effort.
Kait McIntyre of the Anti-War Committee will speak about the local campaign targeting Boeing.
Vince Emanuele, of the Iraq Veterans Against the War, served two tours in Iraq.

*More to come*

Sponsored by: Anti-War Committee, American Friends Service Committee, 8th Day Center for Justice, American Muslim Alliance - IL, American Muslim Task Force - IL

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Drone Wars & the Threat of New Wars in the Middle East

Lunchtime talk with free pizza!

Thursday, January 24 from 12pm to 1pm at the African American Cultural Center Gallery, 207 Adams Hall at UIC.

Featuring Vince Emanuel, Iraq Veterans Against the War and Kait McIntyre, AntiWar Committee Chicago

Vince is a veteran of the US Marine Corps and spent eight months in his tour of duty in Iraq starting in August 2004.  He came to oppose that war as “An illegal, immoral, unjustified and unneeded occupation of a sovereign country.”  Returning home, he became active in the anti-war movement as part of the Iraq Veterans Against the War.  Vince will speak about his opposition to the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, to the threat of war against Syria and Iran, and why he also opposes the Drone Wars being waged against Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and now Mali.

Kait is a student activist with the Anti-War Committee (AWC) of Chicago.  She was an organizer of the student contingent at the massive march against the NATO Summit in May 2012.  Kait will speak on the AWC's campaign against Chicago based Boeing, the second largest weapon manufacturer in the U.S. She is active in the fight for money for jobs, health care, and education, not for war.

Click here to sign the "No Drones Statement"