Boeing has been expediting the shipment of weapons to Israel so it can carry out its strikes on the Gaza Strip. According to Bloomberg, Israeli Air Force planes transported the 250-pound small diameter bombs from an American air force base to Israel.
Nearly 1,000 bombs, including Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs) and small diameter bombs, are manufactured at the plant. In 2021, Boeing won a contract totaling $2.2 billion to make the small diameter bombs for Israel; they have been making them for the U.S. Air Force since 2003 and have since delivered them to more than 35,000 customers. It was a direct commercial sale rather than a foreign military sale between governments, according to Bloomberg.
The protestors came from groups such as the anti-war Dissenters, Resist STL and the St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee. The activists are calling for the Biden administration and Congress to demand that Israel immediately halt its strikes in the Gaza Strip. They're also calling on Boeing to stop selling arms to the Jewish state. In addition, they are encouraging others to take part in protesting Boeing and other companies that are profiting from Israel’s actions in Gaza.
Some held banners with messages such as “Boeing Arms Genocide” and “We mourn,” while others held up a sign listing the names of Palestinian children who have been killed in the attacks.
One of the event’s organizers, Su Mac, said: "As taxpayers, we all have blood on our hands. Congress must act before they are etched into history books as complicit in a genocide the country called on them to stop. The whole world is watching."
So far, the war has killed at least 10,000 Palestinians living in Gaza, many of whom are believed to be civilians. The enclave has also been cut off from accessing basic resources by Israel.
Boeing said it would not be canceling any shipments and allowed employees whose work can be carried out remotely to work from home during the protests.
St. Louis is home to much of Boeing’s defense operations and is the site of its fighter jet production, while the company’s munitions are made at the site in St. Charles. The St. Charles plant has been speeding up its delivery of JDAM kits to Israel, which are capable of transforming bombs into GPS-guided weapons.
A Chicago-based activist who participated in the protests, Rose Tang, said: "Boeing has the blood of 10,000 Palestinians and counting on their hands from just the past month alone. So we're here to force Boeing employees to confront that and to acknowledge the complicity that they have in the system that is the genocide of Palestinians right now.”
Some passersby heckled the protesters, with one driver shouting out “You’re supporting terrorists!” and another telling protestors to “Go to work!”
Israeli warplanes continue to bombard the Gaza Strip, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has sworn that their retaliation against Hamas terrorists would “reverberate for generations.” Unfortunately, it will be generations of Gazan civilians paying the price, and companies like Boeing are complicit in the loss of these innocent lives.
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