Peace activists in St. Charles, Missouri blocked the entrance to a weapons facility run by the arms manufacturer Boeing on Monday, August 27, in protest of the joint US-Saudi war on Yemen.
The anti-war demonstrators barricaded the street with a bus, on which they wrote “Boeing gains from Yemen’s pain.”
They used a bus as a symbol of Saudi Arabia’s August 9 bombing of a school bus in Yemen, in which at least 40 children and 11 adults were killed and another 79 civilians were wounded with a US-made bomb.
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The Earth Defense Coalition said in a press release that the “action was done in solidarity with the people of Yemen as they are murdered by Saudi Arabia using weapons supplied by Boeing and other weapons manufacturers.”
The group noted that the St. Charles Boeing office manufactures “smart bomb” kits like those used by Saudi Arabia in Yemen.
RIGHT NOW two activists are currently LOCKED DOWN TO A SCHOOL BUS blockading the entrance to the offices of #Boeing, near #StLouis. The action is solidarity with the people of #Yemen. pic.twitter.com/2PYp3n6uYY
— About Face: Veterans Against the War (@VetsAboutFace) August 27, 2018
The “lockdown” protest began at 6 am EST and lasted for more than five hours.
Phillip Flagg, one of the protesters on the bus, said in a statement:
To the people of Yemen I’d like to say that we have heard your cries and that you are not alone. On the contrary, it seems clear to me that both the Yemeni and American people share a common enemy in the United States government and the corporations that control it. The same corporate state that is responsible for your suffering in Yemen is responsible for our suffering from Flint to Ferguson to the bayous of Louisiana.
Activist Amber Mae said two protesters were arrested in the action and charged with obstructing and resisting and are being held on $600 cash bond. “One will post bail, the other has chosen to remain incarcerated awaiting time with a judge,” Mae said.
Heather De Mian, a citizen journalist who uses the handle @MissJupiter1957, livestreamed video footage and reported from the site of the protest:
Protesters with a bus blocking entrance to Boeing plant in St Charles, Missouri https://t.co/HyU3KZtb3j
(@MissJupiter1957) August 27, 2018
De Mian said the police parked their cars around the bus to prevent reporters from filming it.
The St Charles Police have decided to violate the First Amendment Freedom of the Press & have strategically parked their vehicles to prevent filming of their handling of the protesters.
cc @aclu_mo pic.twitter.com/JEqXDSSHPN
(@MissJupiter1957) August 27, 2018
Yemeni journalist Ahmad Algohbary wrote in support of the protest, “As one of the Yemeni people, I express my deep gratitude for those activists for standing in solidarity with us and for blocking both entrances to Boeing Defense Building 598 in St. Charles facility today morning.”
“The bus represents the school bus crime by #US bomb in #Yemen,” Algohbary said.
As one of the Yemeni people, I express my deep gratitude for those activists for standing in solidarity with us and for blocking both entrances to Boeing Defense Building 598 in St. Charles facility today morning.
The bus represents the school bus crime by #US bomb in #Yemen. pic.twitter.com/zn72FdOLIQ
— Ahmad Algohbary (@AhmadAlgohbary) August 27, 2018
“Thank you so much, from Yemen, wrote journalist Nasser Morshid Arrabyee. “Yemen bus will remain spot of shame and disgrace on killers. Your bus will remain symbol of love in our debt.”