Sunday, April 14, 2013

April Days of Action Against Drones: Protests at the CIA headquarters and the White House

The April Days of Action Against Drones continued this weekend with demonstrations targeting the agencies and policy-makers most directly responsible for drone assassinations: the CIA and the executive branch. 
  Pax Christi, a religious group devoted to peace, turned out to swell the ranks of those demonstrating in front of the CIA headquarters Saturday morning.

An image of a foreign victim of drone warfare stood as a stern
rebuke to those entering the headquarters on Saturday.
More photos from the CIA headquarters here. Join the demonstrators when they return Saturday, May 11th from 10 to 11:30 A.M.

The centerpiece of the day was a demonstration at the white house that began at noon, drawing massive crowds (see coverage on RT and PressTV plus more photos):
a simple equation: "DRONE STRIKES=WAR CRIMES"
A realistic Predator Drone model hovers ominously
over the seat of executive power.
A sea of yellow signs carrying
stark messages for President Obama.

"U.S. Drones Out of Africa, the Middle East, Asia & Everywhere."
An oft-repeated theme of the day emphasized the imperialistic
 overreach facilitated by drone warfare.

Police attempted to prevent demonstrators from exercising
 their constitutional rights. A heated exchange ensued.
Authorities were powerless to stop demonstrators from
breaching the barricade of yellow "caution" tape.

Veterans for Peace


Rev. Graylan Hager of
Plymouth United Congregational Church of Christ

The march ended with a die-in, in which bloody-shrouded people
 lay in white masks to bring home the impact of civilian casualties
 from drone warfare.

The Saturday demonstration was covered on PressTV, RT, and Simultaneously, demonstrators were making the anti-drone message heard in Boston.

Click here to receive e-mails about future anti-drone actions all around the country, and here to see the schedule of April Anti-Drone events around the country.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Call for "No Drones" in Virginia Colleges, Universities, and Research Institutions


A national call has been made for “April Days of Action” to focus on three key components of U.S. drone work: Drone Manufacturers, Drone Bases in the U.S., and Drone Research. (See the list about nationwide actions and post your own planned actions for April.)

Given the fact that drones are now the primary weapons of warfare used by the US, and for surveillance both domestic and abroad, the research and development of this warfare is growing rapidly at academic institutions, in our towns and neighborhoods. Drones are the perfect instrument for endless war that kills civilians, even as they target “militants” in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Afghanistan.

Academic institutions often receive large grants from the U.S. Department of Defense, enabling them to build labs within schools of engineering, for instance. We are well aware that without this research in robotics, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), and the accompanying accessories, these drone warfare projects would probably not take place. So there is an interdependent relationship between the universities and the U.S. government and or its Department of Defense and CIA. (CIA drones are used in countries with which the U.S. is not “at war”, ie Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, Mali, and others.)

While universities tend to publicize some information on their respective websites regarding the drone work, it is most often said to be for non-military purposes. And there are students working in the labs who are convinced that all the research is for humanitarian purposes. However, history has told us that non-military can quickly and easily become military. Moreover research has shown drones make mistakes on recognizing their targets.

We are therefore asking organizations and individuals, nationwide, to explore any drone research that might be going on at their local university. We are calling for local actions between April 16 and 18, 2013 (Suggested actions are listed below) Our limited research into University and Academic UAV programs indicates that at research centers are operating in Virginia:
Virginia Commonwealth University - Richmond
Virginia Tech - Blacksburg
Before those dates in April we will need to know what information you have acquired about the research and what actions and events your group is planning.This will be shared among groups in the Network. You can send this information to us at

We will have a press committee that will receive your press release and any articles you are able to publish before or after the event.

This project will complement other outreach, education and action projects that will be launched in April, focusing on drone bases, April 27-28 and drone manufacturers , April 4-6.

Suggested actions:
  1. Learn what research is being done by searching on a university website. Look especially at the Engineering Dept. 
  2. Organize a forum, preferably on campus, with speakers and discussion. Be sure to publicize in campus newspapers, and possibly include a professor as one of the speakers. Also include local activists.
  3. Plan a small meeting with the appropriate persons in the department working on drone research, both professors and students.
  4. Hold vigils and leaflet on or close to the campus, as well as in town.
  5. Let us know if you need further tools for your research.
Thanks in advance for your reply to

With all good wishes,

Marge Van Cleef, WILPF, Philadelphia
Leila Zand, For USA
Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator, Voices for Creative Nonviolence