Upcoming Summit: Drones Around the Globe: Proliferation and Resistance, 2013 Drone Summit, Washington DC, November 16-17, 2013
Cross-posted from CODEPINK: http://www.codepink4peace.org/article.php?id=6457
2013 Drone Summit
Drones Around the Globe: Proliferation and Resistance
The peace group CODEPINK, progressive think-tank Institute for Policy Studies, The Nation Magazine, and National Lawyers Guild (Georgetown Chapter) are hosting a second drone summit titled “Drones Around the Globe: Proliferation and Resistance” in Washington, DC.
On Saturday, November 16th, we are bringing together 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.
The program will include:
Sunday, November 17th, will be a strategy session to look at how to better coordinate the work and to lay the foundation for a Global Drones Network.
Sunday’s session is for representatives of organizations and individuals who want to be actively involved in the work of a Global Drones Network. If you are interested in attending Sunday’s session, please email Noor Mir at email@example.com. We welcome all individuals and organizations to join us in this new initiative.
In the wake of the 9/11 attacks the U.S. government has increasingly deployed drones in the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa. While the U.S. military and the CIA initially used drones primarily for surveillance, these remotely controlled aerial vehicles are currently routinely used to launch missiles against human targets in countries where the United States is not at war, including Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. As many as 3,000 people, including hundreds of noncombatants and even American citizens, have been killed in covert missions.
Our nation is leading the way toward a new form of warfare – where pilots sitting on the ground thousands of miles away command drone strikes and where targets are (in military jargon) “neutralized,” and where unintended victims are dismissed as “collateral damage.” Close observers, both inside and outside the U.S. military, call this “video-game warfare.” These killer drone operations, directed largely by the CIA, lack necessary transparency and accountability.
Drones are also being deployed domestically for “border security” and law enforcement. Predator drones deployed by Customs and Border Protection search for immigrants and drugs on the northern and southern borders, while metropolitan police and county sheriffs are acquiring smaller drones to assist their SWAT operations.
Congress recently mandated that the Federal Aviation Administration open up domestic airspace to private and commercial drones by 2015 and that it immediately speed-up the licensing process to permit the deployment of government (military, homeland security, and law enforcement) in commercial U.S. airways.
As drones become an increasingly preferred form of warfare and as their presence expands at home, it is time to educate ourselves, the U.S. public, and our policymakers about drone proliferation. As remotely controlled warfare and spying race forward, it is also time to organize to end current abuses and to prevent the potentially widespread misuse both overseas and here at home.
Please contact Summit Organizer Noor Mir if you have any questions.