As regular readers will know, Drone Wars UK tracks crashes of the larger type II and III military UAVs in our Drone Crash Database (details of UAV classifications here). We have just updated our list with a further six crashes during 2013, including military drone crashes in the US, Israel, Mali and Afghanistan. Although the crash of a US military target drone in Florida received much media attention again this is of a type we do not record in our database. Read more
As many of you will have seen reported in the media the Waddington Six trial took place yesterday. All six spoke about the dangers of drone warfare and how the use of drones by British forces breaches international law. District Judge John Stoddert listened carefully to everything that was said, but stated that he felt constrained by what he could do. As has been reported in various media, the judge said that he convicted “with a heavy heart” and then went on to urge the six to appeal to a higher court as there were important issues in the case that needed careful examination. The six are considering their next move. For a good summary of the day see War isn’t a video game: witnessing (against) drone warfare. Read more
Next Monday (7th October) six peace activists will go on trial at Lincoln Magistrates Court following an anti-drone war protest at RAF Waddington in June 2013. The six, Susan Clarkson, Chris Cole, Henrietta Cullinan, Keith Hebden, Martin Newell and Penny Walker, were originally charged with conspiracy and aggravated trespass, but these charges were dropped and replaced with a single charge of criminal damage to the perimeter fence. All six intended to plead ‘not guilty’ arguing that their actions were reasonable in the circumstances.
The trial comes during the Drones Week of Action, which is itself part of the International Keep Space for Peace Week. Many events are taking place around the country raising awareness of the growing use of armed drones. Read more
Brian Terrell, US anti-drone campaigner and long-time Catholic Worker activist is coming to the UK in October as part of the Week of Action on Drones.
Brian lives and works at Strangers and Guests Catholic Worker Farm in Maloy, Iowa. Brian also travels around Iowa and beyond, speaking and acting with communities that are working for justice and peace. His travels include Iraq and Afghanistan and he was deported from Bahrain in 2012 after witnessing the violent repression of human rights activists there.
In recent years, he has been active in resistance to remote controlled murders by drones with friends in Nevada, New York and Missouri and on May 24 of this year he was released from a six month federal prison sentence for participating in a peaceable assembly in protest of drones at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri. Read more
The second day of our Information Tribunal focused on the legal submissions by ourselves represented by Sam Jacobs, the Ministry of Defence represented by Charles Bourne, and the Information Commissioner represented by Robin Hopkins. This is just a brief update – we will obviously say more when the Tribunal’s decision is released – hopefully within two weeks.
The Information Commission had previously upheld the MoD’s refusal to disclose the information that we requested under the Section 26 exception of the Freedom of Information Act (‘prejudice to the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces’) and Section 27 (‘prejudice to relations with another State’). In this Tribunal we are seeking to overturn Read more
Just a brief update from the first day of our Information Tribunal. Although we were excluded for almost a third of the day while the Tribunal went into ‘closed’ session, it was very illuminating to hear directly from a UK Reaper pilot speaking about British Reaper operations in Afghanistan. [We have been asked not to publish his name]. Read more