Sunday, April 21, 2013

April Days of Action Against Drones in New York

Noor Mir
Judy Bello of Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones joined Noor Mir of CODEPINK  April 15th on Clearing the Fog Radio with Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers, MD. Mir discussed at length the challenges of documenting civilian casualties of Drone Strikes in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA): 

"what people don’t often realize is that these tribal territories are already so excluded from the urban centers of Pakistan that when these drone strikes happen it’s really very difficult to have a record of them or to bring that kind of narrative out to larger news sources, so these stories get lost."

Mir continued by describing in detail the traumatic effects of living under drone warfare:

"It is a visceral hatred…if you kill civilians and ruin [a home] you’re bound to create enemies”

“On the ground I see anxiety about the violation of their sovereignity and just a general fear and terror…just the psychological effects on the families of the victims I’ve spoken to, they talk about how the buzzing just never goes away…the administration targets group of people that are moving, so that’s why children never go to school and why funerals just aren’t held anymore."  
Judy Bello

Bello applied her experience visiting the FATA to communicate a sense of the isolation of the region, even from the urban populations of Pakistan. 

The remainder of the show focused on how activists in the U.S. have been protesting the killing of civilians in violation of international law, through the April Days of Action Against Drones. Mir gave accounts of the recent protests in San Diego and Washington, D.C..

Bello described the ways in which the anti-drone movement, with the help of the Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones, has been bringing the anti-drone message to upstate New York. She gave her account of a recent protest at Hancock AFB near Syracuse, a site of drone operation. Many of those demonstrating were arrested while blocking the gate to the base, and Bello described how they used their day in court as a platform to highlight the violations of international law entailed by U.S. drone warfare. 
Demonstrators arrested while blocking the gate to Hancock AFB
The momentum will continue with a Convergence to Action taking place at Syracuse's Southwest Community Center from April 26th-28th. The weekend will include panels on drone warfare, workshops on political organizing, and social events and will conclude on Sunday, 4/28 at 12:30 with a demonstration at Hancock AFB followed by a solemn procession around the base at 2.

To hear the full show, click here!

To learn more about the Convergence, visit the Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones

(For rides to the Convergence, contact Ann Glick at

April Days of Action Against Drones continues nationwide! How will YOU get involved?

No comments:

Post a Comment