CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — The Cherry Building in Cedar Rapids’ revitalized New Bohemia neighborhood is a hive of artisans, small businesspeople, entrepreneurs — and soon, space for the assembly of surveillance drones.
It’s the arrival of the latter in the form of AirCover Integrated Solutions Corp. — a Northern California-founded firm— that attracted about 75 protesters Saturday afternoon from Occupy Wall Street movements across Iowa including Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Iowa City, Dubuque and Davenport. The use of U.S.-government drone aircraft to wage war on suspected terrorists and innocent civilians from Pakistan to Gaza has become controversial as civilian deaths have mounted and civil liberties concerns have grown.
The protest lasted about an hour with the only significant verbal confrontations coming between activists and merchants in the 104,000-square-foot building who were upset that the protest coincided with — and disrupted — the annual Very Cherry Holiday Open House.
For more on this story, visit: In Iowa, occupiers picket a drone factory – Salon.com.