Friday 17th October 2014, 1-3pm Stop arming Israel – Demonstration at Elbit Systems. Shenstone,WS14 0DT (5 minutes from Shenstone train station)
During July and August 2014 2,150 Palestinians were killed as Israel carried out another massacre of Palestinians in the besieged Gaza strip. Entire neighbourhoods were destroyed and mosques, market places, UN relief compounds and schools were deliberately targeted. There was no safe place for the 1.7 million people in Gaza to take shelter from the Israeli bombardment. Israeli unpiloted planes, known as drones, carried out over 800 major strikes. Elbit Systems, Israel’s largest military company, supplied many of the drones used by the Israeli military. Through its subsidiary UAV Engines, Elbit Systems operates a factory in Staffordshire that is the only Israeli owned arms factory in the UK. The company regularly exports military equipment to Israel. Elbit is also a part of the U-TACS partnership manufacturing the Watchkeeper drone for the Ministry of Defense.
Nine campaigners occupied the rooftop of the factory in August. The occupation closed the factory for two days, costing Elbit tens of thousands of pounds, preventing a shipment of components from being exported to the US and shining a spotlight on the flourishing military cooperation between the UK and Israel. During the attack on Gaza, Palestinian organisations called for a two-way military embargo on Israel. The call demands an end on all military exports to Israel and of purchases of military equipment from Israeli companies. Israeli companies were the largest exporters of drones globally in 2013. Israeli drone technology has been sold to over 50 countries worldwide. Israeli war crimes against Palestinians are used as a marketing strategy for Israeli drones which are sold as ‘battle tested’, which means they have been tested on the bodies of Palestinians in Gaza.
We are calling for people from across the UK to join a demonstration at Elbit’s UAV Engines factory to demand a military embargo on sales to Israel and from Israeli companies and to demand the closure of the factory. The demonstration is being held to coincide with the Boycott Israel Network’s gathering in Coalbrookdale, a short distance from Lichfield. We are calling for local groups to arrange transport. Supporting groups: Corporate Watch Boycott Israel Network Drone Campaign Network
Report on Drape the Drones at Parc Aberporth
Drape the Drones Marking International Day of Peace September 21st 2014 at Parc Aberporth
As people across the world marked the UN International Day of Peace (21st September), about 150 people from across south and mid Wales gathered at ParcAberporth (Blaenannerch). The event, the brainchild of local woman Kate Sherringer took the form of a symbolic ‘Drape the Drones’ and ‘Wool against Weapons’ action. Speakers Jill Evans MEP (Plaid Cymru), Jim Scott (Pembrokeshire Green Party), Sue Lent (Deputy Leader of Cardiff Council) and Jill Gough (CND Cymru) all called for an end to militarism, and a halt to plans to spend £100billion of taxpayers’ money on replacing Trident – the British nuclear weapons system.
Jill Evans MEP said: War technology, of course, changes constantly but what does not change is the use of our country to test and practise for war. Aberporth is where drones have been developed for a multimillion Ministry of Defence programme – not a fact we can be proud of. Wales can help build a better world by contributing to peace and development. Jim Scott of the Green Party emphasised the damage caused to the environment caused by wars, arms build up and militarism he said: …..technology is being used by governments and big oil companies to control and exploit vulnerable regions in the world, perpetuate instability and war, and disconnect us from the act of killing by conducting it remotely. We must redress and reverse the environmental damage caused by this approach before it is too late.
Sue Lent of Cardiff City Council, a long time campaigner for peace and justice said that she and her family had been visiting Wales for decades on holiday but had always considered the military sites near Aberporth as a blot on the landscape which spoiled an otherwise exceptionally beautiful area. CND Cymru National Secretary
Jill Gough said: It is time to work on alternative, non-violent ways of conflict resolution and we want Ceredigion, and the rest of Wales to be part of the solution – not part of the problem. Here, where people are forced to use food banks and to seek help to pay energy bills, while £billions is spent annually on armaments, it is time to reconsider our priorities. The Peace Scarf shows just how passionate ordinary people everywhere are about nuclear disarmament. However symbolic the action, when people find their voice, they speak out. If we fail to abolish nuclear weapons, nuclear weapons will abolish us.
Music provided by Côr Gobaith (Aberystwyth), St Dogmaels Community Choir and Côr Cochion Caerdydd, and poetry by Paul Hawkes and Dave Rendle (Cardigan), Katy Beddoe (Newport Gwent) and Patrick Dobbs (Llandovery) was followed by a moving reading of the Waldo Williams poem Y Tangnefeddwyr by Megan Williams (Glandŵr Pembrokeshire). After a 2km locally knitted rainbow scarf had been unrolled around and across the entrance to ParcAberporth and around the roads and the adjacent roundabout, people stood in a very moving two minutes silence, to remember all victims of war. Over 100 signatures were collected on a giant postcard to David Cameron calling on him to follow 19th Century Tregaron born Welsh MP Henry Richard in his work towards International Arbitration instead of violent conflict. The day had been preceded on September 21st by a colourful and musical lead-up event outside Cardigan Guild Hall. Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire peace campaigners will be meeting on the Global Action Day against the Use of Drones for Surveillance & Killing to fly kites on Poppit Sands (12pm)
Drape the Drones 20th and 21st September
Drones are currently being ‘tested’ for the British army at Aberporth in Ceredigion, west Wales and this will be the venue for the main protest on Sunday 21st September. ‘Warm up’ events in Cardigan town will take place on the previous day.
1. Saturday 20th September
Cardigan Guild Hall Steps
11.00am – 1.00pm
Following the successful recent anti-NATO Vigil at Cardigan Town Hall, this event will focus on the military drones at Aberporth, Trident and its replacement, anti-militarism and war in general. Contact Bob Doyle: firstname.lastname@example.orgAt 12.00 midday there will be a special (and beautiful) ‘Drape the Drones’ focus at the same venue with ‘Wool against Weapons’ knitting on display, singing and bubbles!
It is hoped that, following these Guild Hall steps events, the good folk of Cardigan will be better informed about the issues and feel encouraged to come to the main event on Sunday.2. Sunday 21st September.
Entrance to Parc Aberporth Drones ‘Centre of Excellence’ (sic) (as signed from the main road A487) Postcode: SA43 2BN
12.00 midday – 1.00pm
This positive event will include songs, poems, (brief but passionate) speeches, music followed at 1.00 to 1.15pm by a knitted photo call around the roundabout at the entrance as above and, with your help, a noisy finale.
Bring wet weather gear if necessary.
See you in Cardigan and/or at Aberporth!
Kate Sherringer – Drape the Drones
Jill Gough – CND Cymru
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Drapethedrones/491092527676407?fref=ts
Drone Watch Waddington 123 – September 21st – Peace One Day
The drone watch at RAF Waddington near Lincoln, from where the armed Reaper drones are controlled, falls on Peace One Day this month. We leave you to interpret that in any way you want, but be as visual as you can. The base is on the A607 5 miles south of Lincoln. September 21st is a Sunday but there is still a useful bus service. The No.1 bus to Grantham leaves Lincoln Bus station (near the train station) at 12.45 and returns at 15.04. There is a bus stop outside the base.
Last month for ‘flat pack them back’ – see below – there were fewer of us than usual but we had a huge impact because there was an air show on a and a continuous stream of cars going into and later out of the base.
No to Nato 30th August – 5th September
A whole series of events, demonstrations and an alternative summit is going on at the NATO summit in Wales including lots of stuff about drones. see the list of activities here
Drone Watch Waddington 123 – August 21st – Flat Pack Them Back
The next drone watch at RAF Waddington from 1pm -3pm will have the theme ‘flat pack them back’. It is likely that the decision about where the armed Reapers will next be deployed after they leave Afghanistan at the end of the year, will be made at the NATO summit in Wales at the end of the month. Since they can’t be flown over British air space, our message is pack them up and bring them back. There are good public transport links to the base on the A607, 5 miles south of Lincoln. Contact Penny on 07414 465695 for more details. Here is a photo from last month’s grim reaper gathering
DANGEROUS SURVEILLANCE TUESDAY 5th AUGUST 7pm – 9pm
Dangerous Surveillance :Drones, Data and Deprivation of Citizenship Includes a screening of Dirty Wars, a film by Jeremy Scahill Venue: Council Chamber, Camden Town Hall, Judd St, London WC1H 9JE (near Kings Cross tube/rail station)
SPEAKERS Kat Craig, Legal Director of the Abuses in Counter-Terrorism (ACT) team of Reprieve and Vice-Chair of Haldane Society Alastair Lyon, Solicitor, Birnberg Peirce & Partners Mohamed Ibrahim, Co-ordinator, London Somali Youth Forum Chaired by Les Levidow, CAMPACC
For information contact: Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC): Estella Schmid email@example.com tel. 020 7586 5892, www.campacc.org.uk <http://www.campacc.org.uk>
Drone Watch Waddington 123 on July 21st will focus on the grim reaper
The fields around the RAF base at Waddington will be almost ready to harvest by mid July but in Afghanistan the armed Reaper drone will be harvesting death not food. The British Reaper drone is based on the US Predator drone.Those sinister names describe well their sinister function. We welcome people to come and join us between 1pm and 3pm on the A607 five miles south of Lincoln. There are good public transport links. The no 1 bus to Grantham from Lincoln bus station – almost opposite the train station – stops right outside the base and leaves at every half hour at 5 minutes and 35 minutes past the hour. Please wear black if you can. For more information contact Penny on 07414 465695
Mary Dobbing speaking in Bristol June 30th No to NATO
for more details see the flyer No-to-NATO-Public-Meeting 30th June Bristol
Drone Watch Waddington 123 on June 21st will be Faith Watch Waddington.
see details of how to get there below. Photo below of a reflective exercise on drones
Drone Watch Waddington 123 on April 21st – Easter bonnets
Join us at the RAF base at Waddington near Lincoln from 1pm – 3pm on Monday 21st April. Because this is Easter Monday you may want to wear an Easter Bonnet – as bold and imaginative as you like! The RAF base is on the A607 between Bracebridge Heath and Waddington and even though it is a bank holiday the no. 1 bus to Grantham is still running – it leaves the bus station at 12.45 and returns at 15.04. The bus station is just opposite the train station – a bit to the right – and the bus stops right near the base. For more information contact Penny on 07414 465695. Some of us in bonnets below.
Fly Kites Not Drones 21st – 23rd March
In solidarity with people in Afghanistan at their new year there will be ‘fly kites not drones’ events happening around the country.
Saturday 15th March Bristol 11am-3pm kite and banner making workshop at Kebele including famous Kebele breakfast! kebele is at 14 Robertson Road, Easton, Bristol BS5 6JY Bring materials for kites and banners. contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday 18th March
Hastings 7.30pm kite building workshop at the Friends Meeting House, South Terrace, Hastings TN34 1SA see http://www.hastingsagainstwar.org or email email@example.com tel 01424 433230 or 07895830125
Friday 21st March
a.Tavistock. 11am -1pm Fly Kites not Drones stall in Bedford Square, organised by Tavistock Peace Action Group
b. Lincoln 1pm-3pm at RAF Waddington on the A607 between Bracebridge Heath and Waddington Village. We will also be in contact with young Afghan peace volunteers in Kabul through skype as we fly our kites. Please bring kites with you. The no.1 bus to Grantham leaves the High Street close to the train station at 12.35 and returns again at 14.58. There is a bus stop next to where we will be. contact Penny on 07414 465695 There will be groups coming from many places including Sheffield, Norwich and Bristol. The Bristol group explains ” we will be leaving Bristol at 08:30hrs and returning about 19:00hrs. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org by 6:00pm 16th March to express an interest – a suitable vehicle will be hired for the journey and the costs shared. Let us know if you have a vehicle we can use and/or if you can share driving.”
Saturday 22nd March
a. Hastings 10.30am on the West Hill, Hastings by the cafe – bring a kite and have fun. (see above for Hastings contacts)
b. Bristol 12-2pm Castle Park . There’ll be kites to fly, a children’s area to make kites and messages for children in Afghanistan, learn about Britain’s armed drones being used in Afghanistan and the effects on children, plus music and fire eating entertainment! contact email@example.com
c. Leicester 12.30 and 3.30 Green Light Festival at Queens Building, De Montford University. Come to the CND stall with your kite at 12.30 and at 3.30 and we will go to Bede Park. contact Penny on 07414 465695
d. Edinburgh 1pm-4pm The Meadows next to the Pavilion cafe – kite making and flying, juggling, facepainting, dancing, Afghan clothes stall and much more see the
website for more details
e. London 2pm Speakers Corner Hyde Park. Led by VCNV and the feminist protest group ‘The Activettes’ this is a child friendly event. Bring a kite!
f. Cardiff. 2pm at Cardiff City Hall Lawn. ‘Fly Kites not Drones – solidarity with victims of drones’. Action called by Drone Network Cymru. Supported by Cardiff Stop the War and Cardiff Palestine Solidarity Campaign
g. Oxford 2pm-4pm in Bonn Square. Bring a kite!
Sunday 23rd March
a. Coventry 9am – 11am Lady Herbert’s Gardens kite making while the half marathon is on followed by kite flying in the Gardens and Swanswell Park until 1pm . contact Penny on 07414 465695
b. Hastings 10.30am on West Hill by the cafe – bring a kite and have fun (see above for Hastings contact)
c.Brighton 2pm on The Level, Brighton. Bring kites and musical instruments. We’ll be giving out cakes, playing music and chatting to the public. Child- friendly event organised by Smash EDO
d.Blackheath, London 2.30pm on Blackheath SE3 where people are flying kites! bring a kite. Organised by WILPF, Stop the War and Blackheath and Greenwich UNA tel 0208 858 8489 for more info. Flyer here
And there will also be kite flying in other parts of the world including North America, Sweden and of course Afghanistan.
Here is the Spring Days of Drone Action update in the US, including news about Medea Benjamin’s violent treatment as she attempted to go to Gaza on a solidarity mission
London event 24th March
7pm -9pm at Friends House, 173-177 Euston Road NW1 2BJ Resist Drone Wars, the impact of drone attacks on Gaza public meeting and discussion, Drone attacks caused the most deaths in the Israeli attack against Gaza in 2012. Come and hear the stories of those at the receiving end of drone technology, taken from Corporate Watch’s recent visit to Gaza. Find out how to make sure that Israeli drone makers don’t profit any further from bloodshed in Gaza. Mary Dobbing will talk about Drone Wars UK’s newly published research into Israeli production, use and proliferation of drones. Plus practical planning about how we can resist the drone wars from here in London, led by London Palestine Action. download flyer here
Drape the Drones in Aberporth September 21st
see poster with details here
London Event 27th February 2014
FREE THE SKIES, DRONE DOWN THE DRONES Come and add your voice to express grief and horror at the UK government’s involvement in drone warfare and murder of innocent civilians. Bring voices and instruments (no musical experience required as we’ll be sounding long single notes – ie droning). 12 – 2 Thursday February 27th. Meet St. James’s Park, London SE1 outside the cafe in the park (St James’s tube station). contact Camilla 07791 516275
Bristol Event 16th February 2014
16th February: Join Bristol Against Arms Trade for an interactive and hands on all-dayer of skill sharing, where you can learn all the tricks of the trade and meet some fellow campaigners in the process! Drones feature in the day with a talk by Corporate Watch about their recent fact-finding tour of Gaza interviewing the families of victims of Israeli drones and the effects that ‘drone seige’ has on the people. Drone Wars UK will present their their recent report on Israel and the Drone Wars. Planning local and regional ‘Fly Kites not Drones’ actions in support of Afghan victims of drone warfare on Saturday 22nd March, and joining the vigil at RAF Waddington 21st March with promotion of Global Days of Listening skype with peace activists in Kabul. A great opportunity to brainstorm ideas for future protests and keep the momentum going after the successful action blocking access to the DPRTE fair held at UWE which made Bristol’s stance on the arms trade very clear.At a central Bristol venue – Everyone welcome! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
Drone Watch Waddington 123
Throughout 2014 a group of us will be at the gates of RAF Waddington near Lincoln on the 21st of every month from 1pm until 3pm
We will be there because it is the control base for the British Reaper drone which is killing people in Afghanistan
When we can we will skype with the young Afghan peace volunteers in Kabul
Come and join us any time you can.
We will be at the main gate on the A607 which is down a track off to the left before your reach the village of Waddington, coming from Bracebridge Heath. The no. I bus to Grantham via Waddington leaves from near Lincoln train station at 12.35 and returns again at 14.58
For more information about this year long non violent drone watch contact Penny Walker from the Drone Campaign Network on 01163 199487 or 07414 465695 email email@example.com
Sat 5th – Sat 12th Oct 2013
The Drone Campaign Network’s Week of Action is part of International Keep Space for Peace Week. Here is a list of events so far – to let us know of an event not listed here please email us firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please consider organising an event in your area focusing on the use of drones.
Week of Action Details so far:
UK tour – by members of the Waddington 6, Brian Terrell and members of Voices for Creative Non Violence who have been to Afghanistan and seen the effects of drones on the Afghan people. They will also have the huge Fellowship of Reconciliation quilt – 13 metres by 2 metres made up of panels of people killed by drones in Pakistan.
Contact: email@example.com if you would like them to come to your area.
Friday 4th Oct:
- Hastings Public Meeting: ‘Ground the Drones’ with Brian Terrell: Hastings Against War, Venue: The Roomz, Western Road, St Leonards on Sea, (opp. Warrior Square train station) 6.30pm. Contact: Maya Evans 07973 484202
Saturday 5th Oct:
- RAF Croughton, Oxfordshire. Rally at U.S. satellite communication base, March to main gate 1 mile – starts Croughton village 12.00 midday, Returns 3:00 pm.
More details: Oxfordshire Peace Campaign, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday 6th Oct:
- Lincoln, Support the ‘Waddington Six’ Pre-trial celebration. 5pm – 8pm Pimento Tea Rooms, Lincoln, LN2 1LU Contact Chris 07960 811437
- Cardigan, Benefit Concert Small World Theatre, Scene Red plus guests, 8pm
Monday 7th Oct:
- Birmingham. Public meeting “The Military use of Drones” at Queens College, 7.30pm with Brian Terrell.
More details: Drones Public Meeting Queens 7 October 2013.
- Lincoln Magistrates’ Court. Trial of the Waddington 6 begins. The 6 entered the RAF base in June and have been assured that their arguments will be listened to in full and they want to use the trial as an opportunity to get as much media coverage as possible for ‘Putting Drones on Trial’. They will be using the recently published paper by Public Interest Lawyers about the illegality of drones.
Tuesday 8th Oct:
- Liverpool. Liverpool Pax Christi protesting the University’s involvement in drone wars, Noon – 2pm
- Leicester. The Real Cost of Drone Warfare – with Maya Evans & Penny Walker, The Muslim Khatri Association Centre, 1 Connaught St Leicester LE2 1FJ. 7.30pm – 9pm
- Menwith Hill, North Yorkshire. Demonstration at NSA Spy Base focusing on drones in particular and US missile defense in general. 6-8 pm. Sponsored by CAAB.
More details: email@example.com or 01423 884076.
Wed 9th Oct:
- Coventry. The Real Cost of Drone Warfare – with Maya Evans & Penny Walker, Friends Meeting House, Hill St. Coventry CV1 4AN, 7.30pm – 9pm.
- York. York Against War: “The Menace of Drone Warfare” with Brian Terrell, 7.30pm Friends Meeting House
Thurs 10th Oct:
- Oxford Oxford Catholic Worker / Drone Wars UK “The Menace of Drone Warfare” with Brian Terrell, 7.30pm Peace House, Paradise St, Oxford OX1 1lD
- Sunderland Public Meeting on Drones with Revd. Keith Hebden, The Yurt in the Minister. 6pm – 7.15pm
- Exeter: The Real Cost of Drone Warfare - with Maya Evans & Penny Walker, Exeter University Amnesty, Harrison Building, Exeter University, 6.30pm.
Friday 11th Oct:
- Shenstone: Vigil at UAV Engines, Lynn Lane, Shenstone,11am – Noon. Meet at Shenstone Railway Station car park prior to walking to the factory. Sponsored by FRIENDS of SABEEL and PAX CHRISTI, supported by the Queen’s Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education. Contact: Andy ajmccosh [at] tiscali.co.uk
Sat 12th Oct:
- Lincoln: Protest vigil at RAF Waddington – organised by Liverpool Quakers
- London. Afghan Peace Conference, organised by Voices for Creative Non Violence. Friends Meeting House, Euston.