Friday, December 21, 2012

January 21: Protest Drones in DC on Inauguration Day

Spread the word and join us in the planning and participating!

“Let us realize the arc
of the moral universe is long,
but it bends toward justice”

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


We invite your organization to participate in the Arc of Justice Parade in Washington, DC, on Monday, January 21st, 2013.

Set to coincide with the Presidential Inauguration Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and the third anniversary of the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling, the Arc of Justice rally and parade will be a determined but hopeful expression of our concern and dissent against the wars, occupations, loss of civil liberties, overwhelming corporate and big money power over our lives, environmental degradation, and many other important issues mostly abused, ignored, or minimized by recent administrations and Congress.

It is a call to action to those in power and to those who would join us to create real change and to renew our drive to build a strong, cohesive peace and to build lasting justice and civil rights movements.

The parade route will begin at Meridian Hill Park (Malcolm X Park) with a rally from 9:00 to 10:00 AM. At 10:00 AM we will begin to proceed down 16th Street NW to K Street NW where we will disband, some to continue to the Inauguration area, the parade route, or back to the rally site.

We are inviting people and organizations working on issues around: 1. Human rights (here and abroad); 2. Truth justice, and accountability; 3. Military might, preemptive wars, and empire building; 4. The power of the corporations and the super wealthy; and 5.The degradation of our environment. If you are not already in a coalition with other people and organizations working in your general area, we see the weekend before Inauguration Day as an important time to meet and plan for the future. Please confer with your associates and let us know how we can help make your participation work.

Imagine if January 21st were a day where only the wealthy and elite, the bankers, the corporate profiteers, the war hawks, and the unquestioning supporters of those in office were the only people in sight, leaving the impression that the work is done and the decisions final.

We cannot stay home and hope and wait for change. With strong organizing, coalition building, and the creative drive of activists such as you, the vitally needed changes will become reality. This is why our voices and bodies are needed in the streets with the Arc of Justice Coalition on January 21, 2013, to recommit ourselves to creating a society based on justice for all.

Join us and let’s organize together! Please email us at and we will contact you with additional details. We welcome your assistance and support in outreach, media, logistical preparations, planning, and database building.

And SO important: Please forward this invitation to others people and organizations you know who may want to join us.

Let us work together to realize the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.

Listen to our theme song at . The lyrics begin “I will stand with you, will you stand with me? We will be the change that we hope to see” .

We hope that you will join us on January 21st in our continued effort to make Dr. King’s prophetic quote a reality.

Yours in peace,


Malachy Kilbride
Peace & social justice activist affiliated with the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance, Northern Virginians for Peace & Justice, Witness Against Torture, and the Bradley Manning Support Network

Joan Stallard
CodePink DC Coordinator, MoveOn DC Coordinator, Move to Amend, Coalition on Corporate Power, Bradley Manning Support Network, WILPF

Our email:

Or follow us on Twitter: @arcofjustice13

Monday, December 10, 2012

Activists to CIA: Stop Your Drone Kilings!

On Saturday, December 8, 2013, many people from the DC area gathered outside the CIA headquarters in Northern Virginia to demand an end to immoral U.S. program of murder-by-drone in Pakistan and other countries.

People representing the following groups, together with others, expressed their opposition to the US drone program:

Stop Killer Drones!
Code Pink and the drone replica from Know Drones

Workers arriving at CIA HQ encounter protesters

STOP! drone bombings in Pakistan

Pax Christi: War is the not the answer!

Drone Strikes: Illegal Immoral Counter-Productive

At the corner of CIA and Extrajudicial Execution

See the full portfolio of excellent photos of the December 8, 2013, drone protest outside CIA headquarters.

Join this historic resistance to U.S. program 
of murder-by-drone when the protests continue
on January 12, 2013, at 10 a.m. at CIA headquarters.

Monday, November 5, 2012

November 10 in McLean: Mobilization Against Drones

The US Military and the Central Intelligence Agency are killing innocent people, committing extrajudicial executions, and violating international law with the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, DRONES, that are destroying the lives of people in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Iraq. The use of killer drones is increasing and spreading to other countries. We must hold our government accountable for these acts of terror. Come out and oppose these aerial death squads. Please make a banner so that all our citizens can begin to understand what is being wrought in our names.

Join us outside CIA HQ:
Where: 900 block, Dolly Madison Boulevard, McLean, Virginia
When: 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, November 10, 2012
Organized by: Pax Christi, Pentagon Area and Northern Virginians for Peace and Justice

Jack McHale, Pax Christi
tel: 703 772 0635

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Discussing the Deep Issues of Drones in Charlottesville with Nick Mottern from Know Drones

The description below of a recent public education event in Charlottesville about drones is excerpted from Challenging Dronotopia, by Nick Mottern, director of the Know Drones project. (Download the full "Challenging Dronotopia" report.)

by Nick Mottern

On October 5, two weeks after we returned to New York from our trip to Ohio and Pennsylvania, George Guerci and I drove to Charlottesville, Virginia, to give presentations, that evening at Random Row Books and the next day at a gathering of the Southern Life Community, a congregation of members of Catholic Worker houses and friends living in Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee.

George Guerci with the drone replica
at an earlier stop on the tour.
We arrived in Charlottesville at about 5:30 pm and set up the drone replica in Random Row, a used books store situated in a large, high-ceilinged former garage in the downtown. The store had a central open, meeting space, with several rows of folding chairs set up for the speaking event. Around the walls and at the edges of the meeting space were shelves holding some choice books, many written in the decades of ferment and personal and political revelation extending from the 1960s to the present. When we arrived, the store was infused with evening light, and it had a familiarity and peacefulness that I found very welcoming and comforting. It spoke of taking time to read and reflect, of reflecting one’s history and human history. It had a calm that I don’t find in electronically generated words and images.

After having a small meal at Revolutionary Soup, a few blocks away, George and I returned to the bookstore and began to greet the audience arriving for our talk.

By 7:30, about 50 people had gathered, and I began my presentation, which lasted for about 20 minutes, leaving nearly an hour for Q & A.

This was a group that I assumed would have considerable information about drones, in part because of the work in Charlottesville on militarism by David Swanson, who manages and is the author of War is a Lie and other books. Despite this, there were questions that demonstrated ignorance of basic facts about drones that had become familiar as we travelled.

I realized again, as I have over and over, how little information is commonly held about drones, even as their use and development soars. I also was struck, again, by how important it is to be able to talk to people face to face about a complex subject and to have the opportunity to respond to questions.

A commonly asked question that we got at Random Row is: How is a drone any different from a fighter plane killing someone? These are responses that we have given:
  • Drones are able to follow individual movements of individuals and groups for hours on end. Because of this monitoring, drones are able to kill when a fighter plane might not because of the normal jets’ relatively limited time over the target area and its speed. The drone makes killing easier, too easy, leading to routine violations of the section of international law that requires judicial findings of guilt before sentences are imposed. Of course there is the question of whether the US has the right to impose any penalty in another nation.

  • Attacks by piloted jet aircraft against individuals in sovereign nations are likely to be viewed as a type of armed aggression that is more politically and legally unacceptable objectionable than drone attacks. At this point, drones are flying in gray area of international law, which has not kept up with drone technology with respect to drone killing, terror generated by drone over-flights or violation of personal and group privacy.

  • Drones enable killing without risk to the lives of pilots and at a somewhat less dollar cost than normal jet aircraft, thus giving the illusion of less political risk to politicians wishing to undertake sustained drone wars and drone intimidation. As drone wars develop, the risks it generates will be more and more apparent. I think perhaps that learning can best be done through questions and answers because the question lays out the pathway of a person’s thinking that one has walk back down to deliver new ideas. This of course helps those listening to follow the same paths. Maybe this is obvious, but it raises a question about our current heavy reliance on the internet for political communication.
One of those in the Random Row audience was a long-time friend and colleague of mine, Carroll Houle, a former Maryknoll priest who now lives in Charlottesville. He and I worked together at Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, and we travelled to Africa together several times between 1985 and 1990 as part of our work on the Africa Peace Tour, an ecumenical project to provide information to the US public on apartheid and US military involvement in Africa.

Carroll has done a lot of work to help young people, particularly in Kenya, where he lived many years for Maryknoll. In the Q&A Carroll suggested that we describe the drone war, as well as other current wars, as war on children. A recent report by the U.K.-based organization of health professionals, Medact, entitled "Drones: the physical and psychological implications of a global theatre of war", speaks to the impact of drones on women and children:
Women are disproportionately affected by drones. What little control they have over their lives is further eroded by a weapon they know could strike at any time. Their lives and those of the children they try to protect are under constant threat. While men can sublimate their grief and anger to some degree by becoming fighters – one of the terrible consequences of drone warfare – women have no such outlet. And if their menfolk are killed in a drone strike, they may have to endure the continuing presence of the drone just overhead.

"I am your sister, you are my brother"
Andrea Gallagher, Chicago, IL
from the AFSC Windows and Mirrors Exhibition

To read the rest of the report, download "Challenging Dronotopia: A report of the 2012 Know Drones Tour to Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia and suggestions for further action" from the Know Drones website.

Additional excerpts available at:
No Drones Ohio: Drone Jobs, Drone Bubble, Drone Distraction
No Drones Network: Challenging Dronotopia: Part One - What We Experienced On the Road

* * * * *
"I am your sister, you are my brother" by Andrea Gallagher, from Windows and Mirrors: Reflections on the War in Afghanistan

Monday, August 6, 2012

Charlottesville Op-Ed: Drone Users "Playing God"?

In an opinion piece published August 5, in the Charlottesville Daily Progress, U.S. Army veteran and peace activist Evan Knappenberger said, "it is obvious to me that the allure of drones is that of playing God: the promise of omniscience and the lust of being able to hurl thunderbolts at anything and everything."

Knappenberger emphasizes the trauma associated with attacks -- such as those carried out by drones -- and makes the connection to the 9/11 attacks. "Are U.S. drone attacks, most of which are carried out from offices in Nevada and Northern Virginia, not the very embodiment of the terror which was inflicted upon the New Yorkers in 2001?" he asks.

Knappenberger is an Iraq war veteran and board member of the Charlottesville Center for Peace & Justice, as well as acting president of Veterans for Peace Chapter 962, Charlottesville. In his article, Knappenberger refers to the "RQ-7 Shadow unmanned aerial vehicle [drone] that haunted a year of my life in Taji, Iraq." (Read more about DoD basing plans for RQ-7 Shadow at Fort Pickett and Fort AP Hill in Virginia.)

For full article, see "The ethical problem that drone warfare poses" in The Daily Progress.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

October: Know Drones Comes to Charlottesville

Know Drones will participate in a public education event about drones in Charlottesville in connection with the Southern Life conference to be held there in October 5-7. Know Drones will display a 1/5 actual size replica of a Reaper drone (8' length, 11' wingspan), elevated on a lifter, and include video displays showing various aspects of drone operations as well as simulation of drone targeting. [SEE INFORMATION ON DRONE REPLICAS BELOW.]

Additional details will be posted in the coming weeks.

For information, or to learn how you can get involved, email us at nodronesvirginia [at]

MORE ABOUT DRONE REPLICAS: Production proceeds on the drone replica for use during the Charlottesville event. Additional replicas are in production for use in New York State and Delaware. See also the report from No Drones Wisconsin about their recent protest activity at the Oshkosh Air Show, and the report about the drone replica being used by Robert Rast in Indiana to protest his son's killing by a drone strike.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Virginia Preparing Six Drone Bases?

According to the Department of Defense Report to Congress on Future Unmanned Aircraft Systems Training, Operations, and Sustainability (April 2012), Virginia has six (6) locations that have been designated as potential basing locations for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) [i.e. drones] (p. 8 ff.).

The table below gives information on the types of drones that are proposed for basing at each location.

BASE Predator/Reaper type Shadow/Raven type Other
Fort Story RQ-11B Wasp, Puma, Scan Eagle
Fort Eustis RQ-11B
NALF Fentress RQ-11B Wasp, Puma, S-100
MCB Quantico RQ-11B, RQ-21A Wasp
Fort Pickett RQ-11B, RQ-7B Viking
Fort AP Hill RQ-11B, RQ-7B

It is disclosed that the RQ-7B Shadow is operated from Fort A.P. Hill, under the status "Locations Requiring COAs [Certificate of Waiver or Authorization]". ("Locations where the Army currently conducts operations outside of Restricted Areas that require a COA from the FAA. In the majority of these locations, the purpose of the COA is to transition from the launch site to adjacent Restricted Areas. Additionally, the Raven can be operated using DoD-FAA agreed-to Class G airspace notification procedures for flights flown over Government-owned or -leased land." (p. 20))

How do people in Virginia feel about sharing their airspace with drones?