WNPJ member group Voices for Creative Nonviolence is planning a 200-mile walk and speaking tour to protest drone warfare.
From June 8 to 23, walkers will trek from the Rock Island Arsenal (where launch mechanisms and bomb components are manufactured) to the Iowa Air National Guard’s 132nd Fighter Wing in Des Moines, the proposed site of a new command center where drones can be remotely-piloted to fly over other countries.
Voices for Creative Nonviolence is seeking walkers, places to stay and groups interested in hosting a presentation. The walkers will include Voices co-coordinator and activist Brian Terrell, of Maloy, IA, who will have just completed 6 months in prison for nonviolent civil resistance at a drone base, and Kathy Kelly, who will have just returned from Afghanistan, where U.S. drones have tragically impacted so many lives.
Contact Voices at 773-878-3815 or email@example.com.
A bill proposed by a bipartisan group of state representatives would require law enforcement officials to get a search warrant before using drones for surveillance, and ban drone surveillance by private citizens in non-public places, where there is "expectation of privacy," reports the Capital Times.
Bonnie Block of the Wisconsin Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars, a WNPJ member group, applauds the bill but wishes it would go further.
"We have militarized the police and the use of drones is just another part of that," she said. "It is very worrisome to me that they need military-style weapons for local law enforcement agencies."
A bill introduced by state Representatives Tyler August (R-Lake Geneva), David Craig (R-Town of Vernon), Frederick Kessler (D-Milwaukee) and Chris Taylor (D-Madison) would prohibit law enforcement and individuals from using drones without a warrant, except in special circumstances. It would also bar the private use of drones equipped with video or audio equipment, or with a weapon.
The ACLU of Wisconsin applauded the bill.
By Brian Terrell, a Catholic Worker and Co-Coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, a WNPJ member group
In the final weeks of a six month prison sentence for protesting remote control murder by drones, specifically from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, I can only reflect on my time of captivity in light of the crimes that brought me here. In these ominous times, it is America’s officials and judges and not the anarchists who exhibit the most flagrant contempt for the rule of law and it is due to the malfeasance of these that I owe the distinction of this sabbatical.
WNPJ member group the Wisconsin Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars, along with Madison Pledge of Resistance, are helping to circulate the following sign-on letter, initiated by the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance (NCNR), to CIA Director John Brennan regarding U.S. drone warfare.
Individuals and those representing organizations can add their names by emailing Max at firstname.lastname@example.org
The letter will be delivered in mid-May.
The following piece was written on March 3rd by Dr Hakim and the Kabul-based Afghan Peace Volunteers, colleagues of WNPJ member group Voices for Creative Nonviolence.
Two young Afghan boys herding cattle in Uruzgan Province of Afghanistan were mistakenly killed by NATO forces yesterday.
They were seven and eight years old.
Our globe, approving of ‘necessary or just war’, thinks, “We expect this to happen occasionally.”
Some say, “We’re sorry.”
Therefore today, with sorrow and rage, we the Afghan Peace Volunteers took our hearts to the streets.
We went with two cows, remembering that the two children were tending to their cattle on their last day.
We are those two children.
On February 4th, Charlottesville, Virginia, became the first U.S. city to pass a resolution against drones.
The resolution resolves that the city: "endorses the proposal for a two year moratorium on drones in the state of Virginia; and calls on the United States Congress and the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia to adopt legislation prohibiting information obtained from the domestic use of drones from being introduced into a Federal or State court, and precluding the domestic use of drones equipped with anti-personnel devices, meaning any projectile, chemical, electrical, directed-energy (visible or invisible), or other device designed to harm, incapacitate, or otherwise negatively impact a human being; and pledges to abstain from similar uses with city-owned, leased, or borrowed drones."
The following piece was written on February 9th by Dr Hakim (Dr Teck Young, Wee, on right in picture, with Raz and Abdulhai), a colleague of WNPJ member group Voices for Creative Nonviolence, who mentors the Kabul-based Afghan Peace Volunteers.
It’s hard for me, an ordinary citizen of Singapore, a medical doctor engaged in social enterprise work in Afghanistan and a human being wishing for a better world, to write this from Kabul.
But people are dying.
And children and women are feeling hopeless.
“What’s the point in telling you our stories?” asked Freba, one of the seamstresses working with the Afghan Peace Volunteers to set up a tailoring co-operative for Afghan women. “Does anyone hear? Does anyone believe us?”
Silently within, I answered Freba with shame,” You’re right. No one is listening.”