Friday, August 1, 2014

Protests Against Boeing War Machines Mount, As Seattle, Chicago Antiwar Movements Raise Company Role in Gaza Killing

In the last week, activists across the country have pointed to the role that the Boeing company is playing in the killing of Palestinians in Gaza.

In a suburb of Seattle, protesters blockaded a Boeing building in Tukwila on July 28. (See "Activists protest outside Tukwila Boeing offices")

Source: KiroTV

According to one of the protesters, "Boeing has been a major supplier of weapons to the Israeli Defense Force, including missile systems, F15 software, and Apache Helicopters. Our aim was to draw attention to how Boeing is profiting from these horrendous attacks on civilians in Gaza." (See "Bodies on the Line in Solidarity with Palestine" by Wendy Elisheva Somerson)

In Chicago, a city-wide coalition called for Boeing to be dropped as a sponsor of the city's massive summer spectacle -- the Air and Water Show -- and are now targeting Boeing's role in the Gaza killings in the huge marches being held in that city.

Protesters at Chicago City Hall press conference, July 30, 2014.

"Boeing weaponry are responsible for many of the over 1000 dead and over 6000 seriously wounded Palestinians in Gaza in the past three weeks. The dead are mostly civilians, including over 200 children. Israel’s fighter jets – the F15s and F16s – as well as Apache helicopters are all made by Boeing," said a statement by the Chicago coalition.  "Boeing has made billions from the sale of weapons for use in Israel's attacks, as part of its eight year old siege of Gaza. The City of Chicago should drop Boeing from the sponsors of the Air and Water Show. No company that makes profit from the slaughter of civilians should be included."

Meanwhile, the use of drones by Israel in the current Gaza crisis is bringing into full view the leading role of Israel in changing the way the U.S. and other countries assert state power against people everywhere.

People around the country are waking up to the atrocities being committed in Gaza, and they're realizing that we here in the U.S. have a responsibility to stand up to U.S. corporations like Boeing who supply the weapons used to do to the killing.

Related posts

Now that the Israeli government's killings in Gaza are front-page news -- particularly the way military aircraft is being used to mow down innocent men, women, and children -- Boeing's involvement is in everyone's face.

(See Boeing Has an Israel Problem . . . and Chicago Has a Boeing Problem)

July 2014 - Many organizations from across the city joined the call by Anti-War Committee – Chicago, Jews for Justice in Palestine, U.S. Palestinian Community Network and 8th Day Center for Justice: Protest Boeing Death Machines in Gaza: Demand Chicago Drop Boeing from Air and Water Show!

(See No Drones Illinois Endorses Call to Drop Boeing from Chicago Air and Water Show)

The #1 supporter of the terror that Israel is perpetrating in Gaza is the United States. Israel is doing the work set out for it by the U.S. government, against victims for which the U.S. government bears full responsibility, using weapons and money supplied by the U.S. government.

(See USA: Proud Sponsor of T E R R O R in Gaza!)

The use of drones by Israel in the current Gaza crisis is bringing into full view the leading role of Israel in changing the way the U.S. and other countries assert state power against people everywhere.

(See Gaza Crisis Brings Israel's "Dronification" of State Power into Full View)

Thursday, June 5, 2014

McDermott in Washington State: Speaking Truth to Power on Drones

"The U.S. has used drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia to kill alleged affiliates of al-Qaida. Thousands of people have been killed, but fewer than 2 percent have been the key leaders the U.S. has said it is targeting."

So explaines Rep. Jim McDermott (WA-7) in a statement on "America's Creeping Militarization of Africa."  It's well worth reading, and it goes a long way toward explaining why McDermott was one of the first members of Congress to co-sponsor the bill demanding that the Obama administration come clean on its full record of drone killings.

People nationwide who have been protesting drones are contacting their representatives to encourage support for H.R.4372: the Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act. If passed, the bill will require the Obama administration to come clean about the killings it has carried out using drones -- killings that, up until now, the administration has been able to pretend don't exist.

So now's the time: write or call your member of Congress today. 

To determine what district you live in, go to

To see an example of a constituent letter, see An Open Letter to Congressman Mike Quigley on H.R.4372: the Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act 

[SEE: hub page for all Resources to SUPPORT the "Come Clean on Drone Killings" Act (Schiff/Jones HR 4372: the Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act)]

Related posts

First Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN) called the U.S. on the carpet for dodging the call from the international community to come clean about its drone killings. Then Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Walter Jones (R-NC) submitted a bill calling for drone transparency. So ... are we finally going to get the truth?

(See REAL Progressives Demand that the U.S. Come Clean on Drone Killings)

A 2013 U.N. report makes it clear that the U.S. has to report fully on all its drone attacks.

(See 2014: The Year of Transparency (for U.S. Drone Use)?)

The reason the Administration is hiding truth about drones is that they don't have a satisfactory answer for how decisions about drone strikes are made.  As we have known all along, we need the public to think about how crummy the whole drone program is, and then they will be ready to be on our side. The best way to get them really thinking is to shine a spotlight on the secrecy, evasiveness, and deceit involved in the U.S. drone program.

(See Drone Killings: Come Clean )

Friday, April 19, 2013

April Days of Action Against Drones: Protest in downtown Seattle

Demonstrators came out to Westlake Center in downtown Seattle on Tuesday to protest drone warfare as part of the nationwide April Days of Action Against Drones.
On Tuesday morning, the square became a "No Drone Zone."
Speakers of all ages came out
 against drone warfare!
Seattle, home to the Boeing corporation, is a hotbed
of drone development and production.

More photos can be found here.

Seattle citizens have already experienced the power of citizen action to alter the narrative on the encroachment of drone technology, having recently won a victory against the Seattle Police Department after it purchased two drones to be used in domestic surveillance.

April Days of Action Against Drones Continue! Get involved elsewhere in the country.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

What's the Future of Our Skies?

People in Seattle have started the public discussion on drones and should be done about them.

In April it was reported that Seattle police were considering using drones to monitor protester activity.

Subsequently, the ACLU reported that Seattle was considering safeguards against the use of drones. Memmbers of No Drones Washington State have met with City officials, and have opened a channel of communication about what type of transparency and citizen review will be instituted. Your involvement in this process is vital!

In an effort to encourage this discussion, we've posted an example ordinance with language suggested by Drones Watch. We encourage people to give feedback on this, and speak up about the kind of measures they believe we need locally.

Oh, and by the way: it's not just Seattle! Washington State has three bases that have been designated for drone operation by the Department of Defense.

Here's how you can get involved:

(1) Comment on these blog posts, and share them with your friends and encourage them to comment, too!

(2) Contact us at erie1917 [at] or kn0w.drones.wa [at] and tell us what you are prepared to do to help build this movement.

(3) Get into the discussion on Twitter -- tweet us at @NoDronesWA and loop others into the conversation about #drones, as well!


Sample Language for a "No Drones" Ordinance

Below is a sample resolution supplied from Drones Watch.

ORDINANCE of the City (Town, Village, County) of________________________________________

1. United States airspace is the busiest in the world, with up to 87,000 flights per day, including commercial airliners and freight haulers, air taxis and private and military aircraft.

2. Unmanned aerial vehicles (referred to in the remainder of this ordinance as drones) are not now allowed in United States general airspace because of the threat they present to other aircraft. Under the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 the FAA is directed to create regulations that will enable drones to fly throughout US airspace by September 2015.

3. Small drones, 25 pounds or under, are now permitted to fly in general airspace below 400 feet for the use of police and first responders, with FAA permission.

4. Drones have limitations in “vision” compared to the vision of human pilots, do not have the same capability to avoid other aircraft as aircraft piloted by humans, and there has been at least one instance outside the United States of a drone collision with an aircraft with a human pilot on aboard and as well as a near miss. These instances occurred in airspace much less crowded than that of the United States.

5. Drones have at times gotten out of human control, in at least one instance having to be shot down, and drones are susceptible to having control seized electronically by unauthorized operators.

6. Drones have the capability of carrying a variety of weapons, including 12-gauge shotguns, tear gas, rubber bullet guns, bombs and missiles, but drones have significant limitations in identifying specific individuals and groups.

7. Unmanned aerial vehicles have the capability to watch individuals, groups and populations on a 24-hour basis, following and recording their movements for days and weeks in an unprecedented way.

8. Unmanned aerial vehicles have the capability to continuously monitor cellphone and text messaging of individuals, groups and populations.

9. Drones are being developed that will use computerized facial images to target individuals and, once launched, to operate, autonomously, without further human involvement, to locate and kill those individuals.

We find therefore that:

Drones present an unreasonable and unacceptable threat to public safety in the air and to persons and property on the ground in the City of________________________ due to limitations in drone “vision”, capability to avoid other aircraft and adequate control,


Armed drones and surveillance drones present an unreasonable and unacceptable threat to the rights of individual privacy, freedom of association and assembly, equal protection and judicial due process in the City of _______________________.


1. Drones are hereby banned from airspace over the City of__________, including drones in transit. Flying of a drone within the airspace of the City of_____________shall be considered a gross misdemeanor carrying a penalty of up to one year in jail and a fine not to exceed $5,000. More than one offense of flying a drone within said airspace will beconsidered felonies, with jail time and fines based on the number of violations. (Specificson misdemeanor and felony classifications and penalties will vary by locality.)

2. Drones will not be purchased, leased, borrowed, tested or otherwise used by any agency of the City of_____________________.

Washington State to Base Drones?

According to the Department of Defense Report to Congress on Future Unmanned Aircraft Systems Training, Operations, and Sustainability (April 2012), Washington State has three locations that have been designated as potential basing locations for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) [i.e. drones] (p. 8 ff.).

The table below gives information on the types of drones that are proposed for basing at each location.

BASE Predator/Reaper type Shadow/Raven type Other
Yakima Training MQ-1B, MQ-9A RQ-7B
McChord AFB RQ-11B Wasp, Puma
Fort Lewis RQ-11B, RQ-7B

Recently, people in the city of Seattle worked to resist the attempt to use drones locally. What will people in the rest of Washington State react to the prospect of growing drone use?