Yesterday (24 Jan), the School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at RMIT (Melbourne University) hosted a forum on the development of drones.
Military officials and arms companies were invited to speak, while the public were invited to listen. However, rather than just sit quietly a number of activists decided to speak out.
“Here in Melbourne we don’t all think it’s okay for our universities to be hand in glove with manufacturers of drones, the remote controlled random death from above. We disrupted the meeting, which then moved into a locked room, which we stood outside, loudly asking to allowed entry.”
Simon Moyle gives a good account of the whole event on his blog and below is a video of the action.
As participants shuffled nervously in their seats and organisers grinned sheepishly, the truth is spoken aloud
We are here today
To say that drones have no place
In our civilised society.
Our technological innovation
Has outstripped our moral capability.
We kill without compunction
And from a distance.
Drone operators have greater rates of post traumatic stress disorder
Than regular soldiers
Drone bombings are the cause
Of mass civilian casualties
And much anger and bitterness around the world.
In particular Afghanistan
And the tribal areas of Pakistan
See regular drone bombings.
Some of us know innocent, ordinary Afghans
Who are terrified by your silent weapons from the sky.
Will give you stacks of information
On the latest in drone technology
But it will not give you information
On how to be more compassionate or more human…
Thanks to all for the words and action….