Drone Wars: Out of Sight, Out of Mind, Out of Control

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New campaigners briefing published by Drone Campaign Network calls for renewed push to challenge the growing use of armed drones

Over the past fifteen years unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly known as drones, have risen from a fringe technology to becoming a key component of Western military power, with US, British and Israeli forces launching thousands of drone strikes across Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Drones have become one of the most used weapons in conventional wars, but are also being used far from any battlefield in so-called targeted killings to ‘take out’ those deemed to be a threat to security.

While officials describe drone strikes as ‘the most precise and effective application of firepower in the history of armed conflict’, human rights organisations and journalists have documented that hundreds of innocent civilians have been killed in such strikes. Read more

Campaigners claim victory as High Court throws out injunction against protests at drone factory

Campaigners celebrate outside court after injunction set aside
Campaigners celebrate outside court after injunction set aside

Campaigners claimed complete victory over Israeli-owned drone engine manufacturer UAV Engines yesterday when the company withdrew its application to the High Court to continue an injunction taken out against protesters.   Worse was to follow for the company as Judge Purle agreed with campaigner’s arguments that the injunction should never have been granted in the first place and the High Court set the Order aside ab initio (that is, ‘from the beginning’) .  The Judge stated: Read more

Of crimes and misdemeanours – Part II

edw-fourIn January 2015 four anti-drone protesters (Gary ‘Eagle Spits’ Eagling, Katha Karcher, Penny Walker and myself) entered RAF Waddington in order to disrupt on-going British drone operation in Iraq and Syria.  We knew that our presence would trigger a security alert that would put the base on ‘lockdown’ which (in the words of an RAF witness at our trial) meant that personnel “were unable to go about their normal duties bringing the effectiveness of the station to a minimum.” Read more

Stop British Drone Targeted Killing

Reposted from Drone Campaign Network

dcn-logoThe Drone Campaign Network is appalled by the British government using its armed drones to undertake the targeted killing of British citizen Reyaad Khan in Syria.  Many legal scholars and international law experts are arguing that this targeted killing goes beyond what the US is doing in Pakistan and elsewhere and that the scant legal argument put forward so far by the UK government raises many questions. See some of the arguments here: Read more

Campaigners seek to overturn injunction against protests at Israeli-owned drone factory

High Court rules to lift ban on protests at Israeli drone factory

The High Court today lifted a ban on protests taking place within a 250 metre “forbidden zone” around an arms factory in Shenstone. The ban came in the form of a temporary junction granted by the court on 30 June to UAV Engines Ltd in order to prevent protests outside the factory. Campaigners challenged the injunction in court today, claiming that it was designed to prevent people from exercising their right to free speech and protest at a factory manufacturing weapons used in human rights abuses abroad. Read more

Behind the polls: Large protests continue at US drone bases

Protesters blockade Hancock AFB using giant copies of drone reports, UN Charter and US Constitution

Despite polls and headlines proclaiming ‘overwhelming public support for US drone strikes’ large and persistent protests continue at drone bases throughout the US.  In its latest issue, US peace movement newspaper The Nuclear Resister gives an important insight in to this continuing opposition by rounding-up recent protests at some of the US bases facilitating drone strikes.  Documenting these protests, arrests and prison sentences gives an important insight into on-going opposition to US drone wars.   Read more