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Occupy the Military Industrial Complex (report back)

by Rick Panna Saturday, Jun. 23, 2012 at 1:05 PM

A series of demonstrations drew attention to one of the biggest (and least-discussed) welfare programs: the Military Industrial Complex. Although Boeing was the main target, demonstrations also occurred in front of Northrop Grumman and Raytheon. By late afternoon, there were about 50 participants. That number increased to approximately 75 by early evening. Most response from vehicular traffic seemed positive.

Occupy the Military ...
nokillerdrones.jpg, image/jpeg, 2848x2134

(Above: The banner reads "No Killer Drones.")

On Tuesday June 19, Occupy LA, along with Veterans for Peace (www.veteransforpeace.org), Arlington West (www.arlingtonwestsantamonica.org), and Code Pink (www.codepinkla.org) organized a protest against the U.S. war economy, the second such event in recent months, in front of weapons manufacturers in El Segundo.

Although Boeing was the main target, demonstrations also occurred in front of Northrop Grumman and Raytheon. Participants began showing up well before 2pm (the official starting time), and by 5pm, this author did a rough count of 50. Organizer Julie Levine estimated a total of around 75 participants by early evening.

Emphasis was placed on the outrageous amounts of public money spent on weapons (over 50% of government spending) while people here and abroad suffer from hunger, disease, and illiteracy. And despite the huge Military budget, various demonstrators observed that they do not feel any safer.

Various participants also spoke out against the current U.S. military build-up in the Pacific—against America's greatest trading partner, China.

There was considerable emphasis, too, on flying drones. “We are in secret wars in Yemen [and] Pakistan,” read a widely-distributed leaflet. “There will soon be thousands of weaponized predator drones in the United States airspace.”

When spokerperson Julie Levine was interviewed by Russian Television and KPFK, she spoke of converting these Military jobs to green jobs. She later told this author that “I emphasized that both parties are part of the corporate killing machine--bought by the corporations that run this country and the world. I also spoke about drones and the dehumanization of genocide.”

Chants by protesters asked company employees: “Who do you protect? Who do you serve?”

The first demonstration was at Northop Grumman and received generous positive response from vehicular traffic--with the notable exception of a bellicose employee leaving the parking area. His barrage of obscenities was interspersed with statements about “your freedoms.” (A recurring reaction from hecklers was the old tried-and-true “Get a job!” Although, many participants similarly yelled at company reps., “Get a real job!”) Generally, though, the positive responses throughout the event far outnumbered the negative ones. Quite a few people expressed no opinion either way.

Some of the extensive streaming video of the Boeing demonstration can be found here:
http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/23429755
http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/23431801
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Demonstration in front of Raytheon

by Rick Panna Saturday, Jun. 23, 2012 at 1:05 PM

Demonstration in fro...
raytheon.jpg, image/jpeg, 2848x2134

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Demonstration in front of Raytheon cont'd

by Rick Panna Saturday, Jun. 23, 2012 at 1:05 PM

Demonstration in fro...
raytheoncloser.jpg, image/jpeg, 2848x2134

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Demonstrators approach Boeing

by Rick Panna Saturday, Jun. 23, 2012 at 1:05 PM

Demonstrators approa...
boeingbuilding1.jpeg, image/jpeg, 2134x2848

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Demonstrators approach Boeing cont'd

by Rick Panna Saturday, Jun. 23, 2012 at 1:05 PM

Demonstrators approa...
boeingbldg.jpeg, image/jpeg, 2134x2848

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Protestors pass lawn next to Boeing

by Rick Panna Saturday, Jun. 23, 2012 at 1:05 PM

Protestors pass lawn...
marchlawnboeing.jpg, image/jpeg, 2848x2134

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Protest sign

by Rick Panna Saturday, Jun. 23, 2012 at 1:05 PM

Protest sign...
usdrones.jpg, image/jpeg, 2848x2134

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Sign

by Rick Panna Saturday, Jun. 23, 2012 at 1:05 PM

Sign...
signmisguided.jpg, image/jpeg, 2134x2448

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Protestors in front of Boeing on Sepulveda

by Rick Panna Saturday, Jun. 23, 2012 at 1:05 PM

Protestors in front ...
protesterssepulveda.jpg, image/jpeg, 2848x2134

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Another sign visible in front of Boeing at rush hour

by Rick Panna Saturday, Jun. 23, 2012 at 1:05 PM

Another sign visible...
militaryindustrialcomplex.jpg, image/jpeg, 2848x2134

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Entrance to Boeing on Sepulveda

by Rick Panna Saturday, Jun. 23, 2012 at 1:05 PM

Entrance to Boeing o...
boeingfront.jpg, image/jpeg, 1972x2126

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Demonstrator and sign on Sepulveda

by Rick Panna Saturday, Jun. 23, 2012 at 1:05 PM

Demonstrator and sig...
imaginefairness.jpg, image/jpeg, 2512x2134

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On Sepulveda

by Rick Panna Saturday, Jun. 23, 2012 at 1:05 PM

On Sepulveda...
dronessign.jpg, image/jpeg, 2400x1750

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Code Pink member with Einstein quote

by Rick Panna Saturday, Jun. 23, 2012 at 1:05 PM

Code Pink member wit...
fouthworldwara.jpg, image/jpeg, 2836x1738

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Julie Levine interviewed by RT (Russian Television)

by Rick Panna Saturday, Jun. 23, 2012 at 1:05 PM

Julie Levine intervi...
boeinginterviewls.jpg, image/jpeg, 2848x2134

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Interview cont'd

by Rick Panna Saturday, Jun. 23, 2012 at 1:05 PM

Interview cont'd...
interviewrt.jpg, image/jpeg, 2848x2134

Both RT (Russian Television) and KPFK were on the scene.
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Interview cont'd

by Rick Panna Saturday, Jun. 23, 2012 at 1:05 PM

Interview cont'd...
interview2.jpg, image/jpeg, 2848x2134

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LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 6 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
Photo: One of several veterans who participated Rick Panna Saturday, Jun. 23, 2012 at 1:59 PM
NOT TRUE RovingCounter Thursday, Jun. 28, 2012 at 1:35 AM
offer of proof? more israeli hogwash Thursday, Jun. 28, 2012 at 3:58 AM
Mankind at war with self geral Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012 at 9:05 AM

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