Resisting the Drone Wars: Campaign Day 14 June

Click to download flyer
Click to download flyer

The Drone Campaign Network is holding a day gathering for those interested in campaigning on the growing use of drones.  The event will take place at Friends Meeting House, Euston on Saturday 14 June.  The day will include speakers, workshops and planning for the Week of Action on Drones later this year. Speakers include

Workshops will focus on national and local campaigns around the use of both military and civil drones.

The event is free but donations are welcome. Read more

UN Special Rapporteur releases final report on drone strikes

BE_UN_final_cover
click to download report

Ben Emmerson, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and countering terrorism has issued his final report into the impact of drone strikes on civilians.  Briefly, as I have only just seen it, the report looks at recent civilian casualty rates from drone strikes and examines 30 case studies of drone strikes in which there were reports or indications of civilian casualties

Most importantly the report specifically recommends the UK, the US and Israel release more information about these strikes and calls for panel of experts to further investigate the issue.  More soon.

A-Z of Drones 2013 – Part Three

Q-4QinetiQ announced this year they are  working to develop Llanbedr Airfield (near Snowden) as a new drone operating centre linked with Parc Aberporth (and it’s always important to remember QinetiQ’s shady origins).  In December the US renewed an agreement with Qatar to host the Combined Air Operations Center at Al Udeid airbase from which the air war in Afghanistan is run. Lots was written about drones operating in the US this year, but we particularly liked this piece about what the real questions Americans should be asking about drones.  As always Quakers continue to be at the forefront of opposition to drone warfare. Read more

The A-Z of Drones 2013 – Part Two

Letter-IIn February Human Rights Watch released a report detailing how IDF drones violated the Laws of War during operation Pillar of Defence, while War on Want released a report on UK links with the Israeli drone industry.  Drone Wars UK will be releasing its own report on Israel and the drone wars in January 2014.  Imran Khan continued to lead opposition to US drone strikes in Pakistan, initiating a blockade of NATO supplies in December. Regulators continue to press ahead with plans for the integration of drones into civil airspace. Read more

The A-Z of Drones 2013 – Part One

letter_aIt was good to see large numbers turn out at a big protest at Parc Aberporth, the drone test centre in West Wales, in September as the owners announced a big expansion. It was even better to see Yemeni journalist  Abdulelah Haider Shaye released from prison even though he is still under virtual house arrest.  Phase two of the UK government-industry programme, ASTRAEA, which aims to open up UK airspace to civil drones, came to an end this year.  While the drone lobby is keeping up the  pressure the public remain extremely sceptical.   News that British drones may be heading to Africa came as a big surprise, and will no doubt be a focus of campaigning in the coming year. Read more