Take banners, whistles. Be visible, vocal. Make our opposition loud and clear.
Philip Alston, United Nations Special Rapporteur and Hina Shamsi, New York University
GROUND THE DRONES
I learnt recently that RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire will become the home base for the pilots who control the Reaper Stealth bombers (Drones). I was horrified.
Killing and maiming others for oil it appears, while our ‘pilots’ sit in comfort and safety at their computer consoles, thousands of miles away. Murder by remote control. Whatever next?
Having lived through WWII, I witnessed the destruction of my grandmother’s house, cut in two by a V2 rocket. I feel deeply ashamed that in the 21st century we are bringing in a new generation of murderous technology to blight the future.
We have seen the back of Cruise Missiles, the son of the Nazi V1 flying bombs , now we have their grandson Drones bringing about indiscriminate destruction from the skies. Do we want them? – NO.
Hope to see you at the peace camp on the 3rd. In sisterhood and total defiance.
Further Information on Drones (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles)
* The US and UK currently deploy armed drones in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan and Libya.
* The decision to fire missiles from the drones is made thousands of miles away from the conflict zone itself by pilots watching real time images on monitors.
* UK drones are controlled remotely by 39 Squadron currently based at Creech, Nevada and a new squadron is being formed to be based at RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire. You can watch a CBS news feature on the drones controlled from Creech at: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=5245555n
* Far from being the accurate weapon that the military claim drones are increasingly responsible for civilian casualties. Official statistics of civilian casualties have not been released by the Ministry of Defence but they recently admitted to killing 4 civilians in a drone attack in Afghanistan in March. Research done by the New America Bureau estimated that around a third of all casualties from drone attacks in Pakistan were civilian.
* Drones are seen as the weapon of the future by the military and both the US and UK are investing heavily in this technology. The UK plan to double their number of Reaper drones by 2013 at the cost of £135 million.
* Plans for fully automated systems (without the need for human decision making) are already in development. “It would only be a small technical step to enable an unmanned aircraft to fire a weapon based solely on its own sensors, and without recourse to higher, human authority” The UK
Approach to Unmanned Aerial Vehicles – Ministry of Defence
* A large exhibition of drones will be on display as part of the Dsei Arms Fair in London on September 13th.
* Drones will also be a focus of “Keep Space for Peace” week from the 1st - 8th October (see www.space4peace.org/)
* For further information on Drones and the campaign against them see:
Drone Wars UK http://dronewarsuk.wordpress.com/
Fellowship of Reconciliation www.for.org.uk/act/campaign/
Keep Space for Peace www.space4peace.org/
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Twitter - @yorkshirecnd