Sunday, March 23, 2014

Stop Boeing's Killer Drone

The Anti-War Committee is organizing to oppose the Boeing Company’s plan to win the Pentagon contract for the next generation combat drone.

Sign our new petition here.

We will be protesting at the Boeing Stockholders Meeting on April 28th at the Field Museum.

Stay tuned for more information.

We are supporting Kait McIntyre’s campaign to get elected to the Boeing board on an anti-war platform.

Here is Kait's platform:

1.       Her platform calls on Boeing Company to disinvest in drone research, stop seeking drone contracts in general and end its pursuit of the Navy UCLASS combat drone contract. Boeing should close the Phantom Ray drone project, end production of the Scan Eagle program, and stop any current or future bidding on drones for warfare and surveillance without proper warrants. The US’s use of drone warfare – targeted killing, and attacks in countries where we have not declared war - violates international law. We need to end wars, not build a new generation of deadly weapons.

2.       Her platform calls on Boeing Company to end military production. The projected cuts to the Pentagon budget are greatly needed, but are only the beginning of retooling of our economy away from war production, in the interests of humanity and the U.S. economy.  In line with the needed cuts to the Pentagon, Boeing should shift its business strategy to phase out all military production. The United States has spent trillions of dollars in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan alone, as well as in Libya and Syria. This money could have been contributed toward schools, jobs, health-care, and other social service programs that benefit people. Pentagon contracts and weapons manufacturing mean death and destruction. From the depleted uranium bombs that have poisoned the soil and people of Gaza, to the B52 bombers that killed so many Vietnamese, we deeply regret that Boeing products have harmed so many and linked the Boeing name with bloodshed, death, and destruction.

3.       Her platform calls on Boeing Company to end their history of corporate welfare and class warfare, and give back to the communities where they operate. Boeing uses loopholes to dodge paying taxes, but tax payments on their enormous profits could stop the slashing of government funded social programs. In addition,Boeing should repatriate profits from overseas operations.

Current Boeing CEO James McNerney has said that educators and families with children in school in Chicago may have to “do some things at the local level that the local level doesn’t want to do in order to ensure some quality.” His meaning is clear: he backs Mayor Emanuel’s attacks on the teachers and children of Chicago Public Schools. Boeing should put a stop to these attacks and speak out against Emanuel closing schools and turning schools into military academies.

Boeing should sign onto labor peace agreements. We believe that the key to building a company is keeping well-paid jobs with benefits like pension plans, and treating workers fairly. We oppose cutting jobs for thousands just so a handful can buy multi-million dollar homes in Miami.

Finally, Boeing should commit their vast wealth to research and development for green air travel, and lead the industry towards sustainability. This is urgently needed as climate change accelerates.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Update on Anti-Boycott Bill in IL State Legislature


We are delighted to report that State Senate Bill 3017 was not called for debate or a vote during the Judiciary Committee hearing on Wed., March 19th. It now appears, although there is no certainty on this, that the bill will not be moved forward during this legislative session. If the March 28th deadline for moving a bill is not met, it means this unconstitutional assault on academic freedom and free speech will have effectively been defeated.

We have come this far because people and organizations throughout Illinois took action. Our hundreds of phone calls and email messages, the petitions, and the direct discussions with members of the State Legislature all had an impact and made a difference! We had a sense we were on strong footing when we saw that 95 organizations and individuals had submitted to the Judiciary Committee "witness slips" through Wednesday indicating that they opposed this legislation, even though they could not appear at the committee hearing in person. Only 3 people submitted witness slips in support of the bill.

The issue is not quite settled though. A State Senate resolution introduced by the same Senator Silverstein, SJR 59, is still pending.  It has much the same  purpose of undermining academic boycotts of Israel, minus the punitive measure of defunding public universities.  The Resolution has still not been assigned to a Senate Committee, so we will keep you updated on its status, and on what you can do to oppose it.

Thank you for making your voice heard!  Look out for our continued updates  on any related developments.

The Illinois Coalition to Protect Academic Freedom and Free Speech was formed in response to anti-boycott legislation introduced in the Illinois State Senate.  The Coalition includes the Center for Constitutional Rights, CAIR-Chicago, Jewish Voice for Peace-Chicago, Palestine Solidarity Legal Support, American Studies Association, Committee for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine, Palestine Solidarity Group-Chicago, Arab-Jewish Partnership for Peace and Justice in the Middle East, Committee Against Political Repression, Friends of Sabeel: North America, United States Palestinian Community Network,  American Friends Service Committee- Chicago, Just Foreign Policy, Defending Dissent Foundation, American Muslims for Palestine, UIC Graduate Employees Organization, IFT-AFT Local 6297,and other individuals.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Winning Justice for Palestine: The Middle East Peace Process and the BDS Movement

Join us for a panel addressing the Middle East Peace Process and the BDS Movement, followed by a dinner for Rasmea Odeh

Winning Justice for Palestine: The Middle East Peace Process and the BDS Movement

Saturday, March 8th
4:00 to 6:00 pm
Trinity Episcopal Church
125 E. 26th Street, Chicago

Panel on the Middle East Peace Process and the Growth of the BDS Movement

The panel will include analyses of the current peace talks from two of the more prominent national Palestinian organizations in the U.S., plus a discussion of the role of the BDS movement in Chicago and around the world.

- Rama Kased – National Coordinating Committee Member U.S. Palestinian Community Network - San Fran
- Tarek Khalil - American Muslims for Palestine

Followed by

International Women's Day Dinner Honoring Rasmea Yousef Odeh

6:00 - 8:00 pm 
Dinner donation requested – $20.  $5 for students and the unemployed
No one turned away for lack of funds
Food from Haifa Cafe

Rasmea, Associate Director of the Arab American Action Network (AAAN), has made it her life's work to serve and help empower Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim families. She was arrested in October, 2013 by agents from the Department of Homeland Security and indicted in federal court that same morning, and charged with Unlawful Procurement of Naturalization, an allegation based on answers she gave on a 20-year-old immigration application. She is the victim of another politically-motivated witch-hunt by our federal law enforcement agencies in their campaign of intimidation of the Palestinian community and solidarity activists.

Sponsored by (list in formation):

American Friends Service Committee
American Muslims for Palestine
Anti-War Committee
Coalition to Protect People's Rights
Committee to Stop FBI Repression
Committee Against Political Repression
Palestine Solidarity Group – Chicago
Students for Justice in Palestine - UIC
U.S. Palestinian Community Network

Documents for raids on anti-war activists unsealed

Reveal McCarthyite attack on free speech, right to organize

On Feb. 26, the application and affidavit used to obtain the search warrants for the 2010 raids on homes and offices of anti-war and international solidarity activists were unsealed, revealing lies and attacks on the constitutionally-protected rights to speak out and organize. The unsealing of these documents came as a result of legal action taken by the anti-war activists.

For more information and to read the documents go to  STOPFBI.NET.   It's interesting reading, to say the least!