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.
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.
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