It is the plan of our governments, the military, and industry, to use drones and robots as weapons of choice as well as tools for increased domestic surveillance.
Under the Obama administration, the use of drones as weapons has increased dramatically, with serious legal, moral, and philosophical implications. Surveillance drones, which could become weaponized, create concern for our privacy and freedoms when deployed in US airspace.
The Veterans for Peace working group on drones has been established to:
- Become knowledgeable about drones and related weapons.
- Educate ourselves and the public about the issues created by the use of drones and robots as weapons and surveillance tools. We can do this through publications, press releases, vigils, marches and direct actions at home and abroad.
- End the development, production and use of these weapons through coordinated efforts with other like-minded groups and individuals by conducting actions at drone facilities, research sites, and drone manufacturers.
- End targeted assassinations.
- Defend our right to privacy and freedom by banning information-gathering of citizens and others, by drones, and advanced surveillance systems.
DRONE STRIKE - United States TERRORISM
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Drones Working Group Update
VFP members all over the country (and the UK!) have been heavily involved in anti-drone activities for some time now, and the working group will attempt to better coordinate and publicize the work that is being done.
Recently, several members of VFP attended the second “Drones Summit” in Washington, DC. Over 300 people participated in the 4-day event, which began on Friday, November 15th with a rally and march from the White House to the offices of General Atomics. Saturday and Sunday were filled with panel discussions, presentations, workshops, strategy sessions and networking, and many folks stuck around for a lobby day on Monday. There was also a direct action resulting in four arrests on Monday at the office of Senator Chuck Schumer, an outspoken advocate of combat drones. For many of the attendees, a highlight of the Summit was listening to the first-hand accounts of three Yemeni drone victims who had traveled all the way from Yemen to tell us their stories and to present a briefing to Congress.
One of the action items resulting from the summit was the plan to create an international coalition against drones, particularly armed drones. A website will be created to coordinate the activities of the coalition.
Veterans For Peace is in a particularly good position to be an effective player in this anti-drones work since we have chapters all over the country, and now in the UK as well. Many of our members have been at the forefront of the work. Examples include:
- Anti-drone protests and direct actions at drones bases and manufacturers
- Getting cities and counties to pass legislation which bans drones from local airspace
- Educating the public about drones with drone models and fact sheets
- Raising awareness about the victims of drones through the Drones Quilt Project
If you would like to be a part of the Drones Working Group, or if you are doing anti-drone work that you want us to know about, please contact Leah Bolger (firstname.lastname@example.org) who has recently taken the reins as the chair of the Drones WG.
- Educate yourself. Read Medea Benjamin’s book, Drone Warfare.
- Educate others. Talk to your friends and neighbors about what you have learned.
- Invite a speaker to your town. Look into the organizations and websites listed in the resources section to find a speaker.
- Participate in the Drones Quilt Project by making a quilt block, or hosting the exhibit in your town. See www.dronesquiltproject.wordpress.com
- Obtain a scale model drone, available through www.knowdrones.org Use the model to educate the public and/or have a die-in using the model as a prop.
- Download fact sheets or informational fliers and pass them out.
- Find out what drone manufacturers or drone bases are near you.
- Organize or attend protests.
- Write Letters to the Editor. The opinion page is the second-most read page of the paper after the front page.
- Join or support organizations that are doing anti-drone work.
- Both houses of Congress have pro-drones caucuses. Find out where your Representative and Senators stand—see if they are members: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congressional_Unmanned_Systems_Caucus
- Write or visit your Congressman and tell him/her of your concerns about drones.
- Discuss the moral and legal aspects of drones in your church group or discussion group.
- Have a drones teach-in; many videos are available on-line. Discuss the “Living Under Drones” report.
- Host a showing of the four-woman play The Predator, by Jack Gilroy. Free download available here: www.paxchristieusa.org