Read

User menu

Search form

The Anti-Drone Movement Takes Flight

The Anti-Drone Movement Takes Flight
Sat, 4/13/2013 - by Eric Stoner
This article originally appeared on Waging Nonviolence

With drones seemingly more in the public’s conscience than ever, anti-drone activists have just launched their most ambitious campaign to date. Called the “April Days of Action,” the newly-formed Network to Stop Drone Surveillance and Warfare is coordinating protests in dozens of cities around the country — including Washington D.C., Atlanta, Philadelphia, Honolulu, San Francisco, Sacramento, Minneapolis, St. Louis and Des Moines — over the course of the month. (The full list of actions can be found here and new ones can be added to the list here.

While protests of all sorts are now planned for nearly every day of April, organizers originally attempted to give some structure to the month’s actions by designating specific dates for different targets: April 4 to 7 for those against drone manufacturers, like General Atomics, the San Diego-based maker of the Predator and Reaper drones; April 16 to 18 for sites where drone research and training is being conducted, especially colleges and universities that are plugged into the military industrial complex; and April 27 to 28 for drone bases around the country.

At the end of the month there will be workshops and panel discussions on drone warfare in Syracuse, N.Y., followed by a rally at Hancock Air Base, which has been targeted by activists many times before over its drone operations.

Under the enormous American flags hanging outside Rockefeller Center on 5th Avenue in New York City, dozens of activists turned out for one of the first actions of the campaign last week. By and large the crowd was made up of the usual antiwar suspects. Despite a noticeable dearth of young people, the Granny Peace Brigade kept things festive by singing their original anti-drone tunes.

Several speakers addressed the crowd, including former U.S. Army colonel and diplomat Ann Wright, who resigned from the State Department to protest the invasion of Iraq. The lack of amplification, however, made it difficult to follow what was being said.

“It’s targeted assassination,” explained Richard Greve, a member of Veterans for Peace who attended the rally. “The people that send them are judge, jury and executioner all at once. They wind up killing a lot of people nearby who are totally innocent, like women and children. To me, it’s state terrorism. It makes people have feeling of revenge against us and it’s only creating more enemies.”

In their effort to sway public opinion and build a movement, however, anti-drone activists have their work cut out for them. While the public is strongly opposed to the use of drones domestically, a new Gallup poll found that nearly two-thirds of Americans approve of their use to “launch airstrikes in other countries against suspected terrorists.”

Despite these grim results, Code Pink founder Medea Benjamin and Noor Mir argued in a recent article for AlterNet that there are many hopeful signs that the tide is beginning to turn against drones. In addition to the unprecedented series of actions this month, they detail a flurry of new activity at the city, county and state level to regulate or ban domestic drones. They also point to new initiatives by Congress and the courts as evidence that even these lumbering institutions may be waking up to their responsibility on the issue.

The faith-based community is beginning to speak out as well. For example, in a surprising development, the National Black Church Initiative, a coalition of 34,000 churches comprised of 15.7 million African Americans from 15 denominations, recently “issued a scathing statement about Obama’s drone policy, calling it ‘evil’, ‘monstrous’ and ‘immoral.’”

The challenge before anti-drone activists will be to tap into this growing anger and translate it into collective action that involves a much more diverse group than is currently mobilized on the issue.

Originally published by Waging Nonviolence.

 

Sign Up

Article Tabs

Goma water movement, Lucha, Congolese fighting, Congo war, grassroots movement, access to safe water

The Congolese group Lucha successfully mobilized thousands to march for the right to water in the city of Goma. Now, the group is challenging the regime of President Joseph Kabila.

A special episode dedicated to the most militarized land in the world—one that you may not even have ever heard of.

Restoring Internet Freedom Order, FCC rules, net neutrality, Internet freedom, fast line, Big Telecom, telecommunications industry, Ajit Pai

Access matters, and unequal access can have onerous consequences for those who can’t afford the fast lane.

Brexit, Brexit opposition, Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn, no-deal Brexit

“This historic defeat will show that the government is deadlocked – and we now need to throw this back to the people and give them a final say," said Paul Butters of Best for Britain.

manosphere, incels, misogyny, black men, black women, racism, sexism, Black Manosphere

In response to the racism often targeted exclusively toward black men on majority white digital spaces, black males have created their own manosphere – where they rail against black women.

Goma water movement, Lucha, Congolese fighting, Congo war, grassroots movement, access to safe water

The Congolese group Lucha successfully mobilized thousands to march for the right to water in the city of Goma. Now, the group is challenging the regime of President Joseph Kabila.

#climatestrike, COP24, UN climate talks, carbon emissions, catastrophic climate change, climate movement, climate protests, climate demands

"Science has clearly told us that we need to act now to keep the planet within 1.5 degrees of warming," the young climate activist said in calling for a day of global action on Friday.

A special episode dedicated to the most militarized land in the world—one that you may not even have ever heard of.

Global investors managing $32tn are urging governments to phase out all coal burning. Photograph: Alexander Koerner/Getty Images

Global investors managing $32 trillion issued a stark warning to governments at the UN climate summit on Monday, demanding urgent cuts in carbon emissions and the phasing out of all coal burning.

Restoring Internet Freedom Order, FCC rules, net neutrality, Internet freedom, fast line, Big Telecom, telecommunications industry, Ajit Pai

Access matters, and unequal access can have onerous consequences for those who can’t afford the fast lane.

rising emissions, climate catastrophe, Global Carbon Project, climate impacts, carbon emissions, carbon cuts

According to a new Global Carbon Project report, emissions are heading in the opposite direction to the deep cuts that are urgently needed to prevent the worst impacts of climate change.

Posted 5 days 13 hours ago
rising inequality, income inequality, global wealth, costs of inequality

Americans pay a steep price for not spreading their wealth around as well as other developed countries.

Posted 5 days 14 hours ago
Brexit, Brexit opposition, Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn, no-deal Brexit

“This historic defeat will show that the government is deadlocked – and we now need to throw this back to the people and give them a final say," said Paul Butters of Best for Britain.

Posted 4 days 4 hours ago

A special episode dedicated to the most militarized land in the world—one that you may not even have ever heard of.

Posted 2 days 12 hours ago
Restoring Internet Freedom Order, FCC rules, net neutrality, Internet freedom, fast line, Big Telecom, telecommunications industry, Ajit Pai

Access matters, and unequal access can have onerous consequences for those who can’t afford the fast lane.

Posted 3 days 15 hours ago
Brexit, Brexit opposition, Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn, no-deal Brexit

“This historic defeat will show that the government is deadlocked – and we now need to throw this back to the people and give them a final say," said Paul Butters of Best for Britain.

Protesters on Sunday in Katowice, which is hosting the UN climate conference. Photograph: Sadak Souici/Le Pictorium/Barcroft Images

The move shocked delegates at a UN conference in Poland as ministers flew in for the final week of climate talks.

rising emissions, climate catastrophe, Global Carbon Project, climate impacts, carbon emissions, carbon cuts

According to a new Global Carbon Project report, emissions are heading in the opposite direction to the deep cuts that are urgently needed to prevent the worst impacts of climate change.

rising inequality, income inequality, global wealth, costs of inequality

Americans pay a steep price for not spreading their wealth around as well as other developed countries.

Restoring Internet Freedom Order, FCC rules, net neutrality, Internet freedom, fast line, Big Telecom, telecommunications industry, Ajit Pai

Access matters, and unequal access can have onerous consequences for those who can’t afford the fast lane.