The annual Chicago Air & Water Show, sponsored by Shell Oil and Boeing, is the largest such free public display of deadly military airpower in the country. Jets screech across the skies above the Chicago lakefront for most of a weekend, projecting the sounds that terrorize large swaths of the world. Here, the City offers this spectacle as “entertainment.” Some people flee the city to avoid the sounds and the crowds. On Sunday, World Can’t Wait and Voices for Creative Nonviolence went into the thick of it to bring some truth and challenge people attending what our banner declared to be “The Air & War Show.”
We displayed the WCW signs with the names of all SEVEN countries the U.S. is currently waging war on and the statement, “Neither candidate running for president will stop the U.S. war on the world. It’s up to us!” We also had maps of each country on display. This all grabbed more attention than we expected. Many, many people were surprised, even shocked, by the list of countries. There was also a lot of confusion about why these wars OF terror continue and spread, whether Republicans or Democrats are in the White House. We were struck by the fact that very few people brought up the elections at all, a reflection of the fact that all of the major candidates (including Bernie Sanders) have been committed to these wars for empire. We distributed more than 600 flyers in a couple of hours and got into some good discussion about WHY this is going on and what it will take to end them. It’s on us!