“Senator Reed refuses to make time to clearly stand with his constituents against the war in Yemen, but he seems to have plenty of time to speak to weapons industry lobbyists,” said rally co-organizer Joey DeFrancesco. “He needs to come out decisively against our complicity in this horrific war.”

Protestors gathered outside the Newport Marriott demanded that Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed end United States support for the horrific Saudi-led war in Yemen, asking that he use his power as Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Forces Committee to ensure the upcoming National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) halts United States support for the conflict. The NDAA is expected to be finalized by mid-September. The carnage and deprivation resulting from this war is generally understood to be the worst ongoing humanitarian crisis in the world. Senator Reed has yet to publicly support a resolution to end United States involvement.

Senator Reed was in Newport to participate in Defense Innovation Days, a conference of weapons manufacturers including Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin – the top four spenders of defense lobbying money in Washington. Reed is himself one of the top recipients of defense industry money in the Senate. Reed is a keynote speaker at the conference, which also features speeches and discussions with Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, United States Representatives David Cicilline and James Langevin, and Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.

Protesters handed out flyers to passersby.

“Senator Reed refuses to make time to clearly stand with his constituents against the war in Yemen, but he seems to have plenty of time to speak to weapons industry lobbyists,” said rally co-organizer Joey DeFrancesco. “He needs to come out decisively against our complicity in this horrific war.”

Last year, the Rhode Island Senate delegation initially opposed, but after protest later supported, a War Powers Resolution to end United States support for the war, but it was vetoed by President Donald Trump. The NDAA will allow Congress to overcome Trump’s decision, and end our support for this horrific war. It will be voted on in mid September, and Reed has a unique position as Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee to mold its final form.

Activists held a rally earlier this month at Reed’s office encouraging him to use the NDAA to cut United States support, and local activists along with a national coalition have continued to pressure the Senator. Another rally at Jack Reed’s Providence office is scheduled for Wednesday, August 27. Last week, the popular podcast Chapo Trap House led 500 Rhode Islanders at the Columbus Theater in Providence in calling Senator Reed to voice support for ending United States involvement in the war. Dozens of Rhode Islanders are calling Reed every day to demand an end to the war.

Here’s Reed speaking at the 2017 Defense Innovation Days at the Newport Marriott

[From a press release]

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Greg Gerritt
Member

What is even more pagthetic is the entire RI political class seems to think building more things to kill is good for the economy, desp[ite the fact that building weapons produces fewer jobs per dollar than almost anything else.