Wisconsin Residents Contact Representatives in Congress to Call for End to Drone Warfare

Members of the Wisconsin Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars and Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice organized a statewide lobby week against drone warfare during which time visits or calls were made to all eight Congressional offices around the state between January 15-21 as we commemorated the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., prophet for peace and nonviolence.

 

Joy First, organizer, stated, “We have to let our members of Congress know that drone warfare is immoral, illegal, and ineffective. We want our elected representatives in Congress to take more responsibility in bringing drone warfare to an end. There will never be peace when our government continues to kill our innocent brothers and sisters around the globe.”

 

During the meetings and calls with representatives in Congress, the various citizen groups asked for an end to funding of training for drone warfare at Volk Field here in Wisconsin where a $4.5 million training facility was recently completed. They also asked their representatives to better exercise real oversight over the drone program, and to end all funding for the drone warfare program.

 

The Bureau for Investigative Journalism reports that between 3,500-6,000 people have been killed by drones in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, and other places around the world (including hundreds of children). Only 2% of those killed have been high-level targets. A study from New York University and Stanford Law school shows that drones constantly flying overhead are terrorizing entire civilian populations.

 

Drone warfare is a violation of international law – the UN Charter, the Geneva Conventions, the Hague Conventions, and the principles of the Nuremburg Tribunal. It also violates the U.S. Constitution, international human rights laws, the laws of war, and the law applicable to the use of inter-state force. The people who have been killed have not been given any kind of due process. They have not been charged, tried, or convicted of any crime. They are summarily murdered by our government. The Supreme Court of Pakistan has declared that U.S. drone warfare is a war crime.

 

Drone warfare is not making the world safer; rather it is instantly radicalizing a generation of people more effectively than al Qaeda ever could. At the Code pink “International Drone Summit” in Washington D.C. in November, 2013 a member of the Pakistani Parliament reported that 74% of the people consider the US an enemy because of CIA run drone warfare.

 

The Days of Lobbying were timed to coincide with Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday and the official King Holiday.  Dr. King's words still ring true today:

 

"I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality...I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word."

 

  • District 1 - Nine individuals met with Congressperson Paul Ryan’s staff on January 15.

  • District 2 – Eight individuals met with Senator Tammy Baldwin’s staff on January 15, and five people met with Congressperson Mark Pocan on January 21.

  • District 3 – Calls were made to Congresspersson Kind's office and a meeting is still being set up.

  • District 4 – Calls have been made to set up appointments with Congressperson Gwen Moore and Senator Johnson

  • District 5 -- Phone calls were made and Congressperson Sensenbrenner's staff said he would reply in writing.

  • District 6 – An organizer talked with Congressperson Petri about drones at a local event and is setting up a meeting for a larger group.

  • District 7 -- Three people met with Congressperson Duffy.

  • District 8 --Phone calls were made to Congressperson Ribble.