In response to the attacks of 9/11 drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, UASs) became a key component in the US covert “war on terror”. Sent mostly to surveil “terrorist activity” in the middle East, south Asia and Africa, more and more weaponized drones have been deployed, killing an estimated 2500-3500 people to date. Those killed and injured in countries not at war with the US –Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen, by US military and CIA drone operators include US citizens and hundreds of noncombatants.
2013 Drone Summit: CODEPINK has organized a second annual International Summit on Drones Around the Globe: Proliferation and Resistance, in Washington, DC, Nov. 16 & 17. The Summit will gather together grassroots and human rights advocates, lawyers, writers, technology experts, artists, musicians; and include the stories of people in Pakistan and Yemen who have survived or lost loved ones from US drone strikes.Check here for a live broadcast of the Summit.
Killer Drones Don’t Make Anyone Safe.
While the US is slow to admit that drones are killing civilians and wreaking havoc on communities, various human rights groups from affected countries, as well as the UN, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have all reported civilian deaths and injuries and destabilization brought on by US drone strikes.
License to Kill: Why the American Drone War on Yemen Violates International Law stands out as a clear indictment of the US use of weaponized drones as illegal under any circumstances. The AI drone report, “Will I be next?” and the Human Rights Watch report, “Between a Drone and Al-Qaeda” call on the US government to ensure that victims of illegal (vs. legal?) drone strikes, including family members, have access to compensation and rehabilitation. Four years ago Congress did establish a fund to aid drone strike victims in Pakistan. Yet very little of the $40 million so far appropriated has been distributed to the affected families. Read more here.
The Drones Are Coming, Time to Mobilize.
Drone technology is being expanded to “serve” domestic security needs. Already, military drones are being deployed north and south for border security andcustoms, and local law enforcement agencies are adding drones to their operations. Congress has asked the Federal Aviation Administration to expedite permits for the deployment of military, homeland security, and law enforcement drones into commercial air space, and to open air space for both private and commercial drones by 2015.
Actions you can take to stop Killer Drones:
You don’t have to be in Washington, DC this weekend to participate in the 2013 International Drone Summit. You can join drone survivors and families of victims from Pakistan and Yemen, human rights advocates, lawyers, authors, social media experts, technology experts, artists and musicians, and grassroots activists online at: http://www.ustream.tv/
Demand and support legislation that bans weaponized drones and regulates the use of spy drones. Sen. Markey (D-MA) has introduced the Drone Aircraft Privacy and Transparency Act to regulate both government and commercial drone deployments. Pressured by report of the rising numbers of civilian casualties resulting from US drone strikes, the Senate Intelligence Committee has introduced legislation that would require an accounting of the number of deaths and injuries from such targeted strikes.
Watch and share this video of drone survivors visiting Congress.
Sign the petition at BanWeaponizedDrones.org
Promote Local Resolutions against drones http://warisacrime.org/
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