Washington DC, April 28-29, 2012
The peace group CODEPINK and the legal advocacy
organizations Reprieve and the Center
for Constitutional Rights are
hosting the first international drone summit.
On Saturday, April 28, we are bringing
together human rights advocates, robotics technology
experts, lawyers, journalists and activists for
a summit to inform the American public about the
widespread and rapidly expanding deployment of
both lethal and surveillance drones, including
drone use in the United States. Participants will
also have the opportunity to listen to the personal
stories of Pakistani drone-strike victims.
- Time: 9:00am-9:00pm
- Location: Mount Vernon Place United
Methodist Church, 900 Massachusetts Avenue NW,
Washington, DC 20001
On Sunday, April 29 we will have a strategy
session to network, discuss and plan advocacy
efforts focused on various aspects of drones,
including surveillance and targeted killings.
- Time: 10:00am-4:00pm
- Location: United Methodist Building, 100 Maryland
Avenue NE, Washington, DC 20001
Sunday’s session is for representatives
of organizations and individuals who want to be
actively involved in this work. If you are interested
in attending Sunday’s session, please email
Ramah Kudaimi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Topics will include:
- the impact of drones on human lives and prospects
- the lack of transparency and accountability
for drone operations, including targeted killings
- disputed legality of drone warfare
- compensation for victims
- the future of domestic drone surveillance
- drone use along U.S. borders.
Speakers will include:
- Jeremy Scahill, award-winning investigative journalist
- Clive Stafford Smith, director of UK legal
group Reprieve that represents drone victims
- Medea Benjamin, author of Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control
- Maria LaHood, attorney with Center for
- Shahzad Akbar, attorney with Pakistani Foundation
for Fundamental Fights
- Amna Buttar, member of the Provincial Assembly of Punjab in Pakistan
- Rafia Zakaria, Pakistani-American journalist
- Sarah Holewinski, director of Campaign for
Innocent Victims in Conflict (CIVIC)
- Hina Shamsi, ACLU national security expert
- Jay Stanley, ACLU privacy expert
- Tom Barry, drone border expert with Center
for International Policy
- David Glazier, law professor who served 21
years as a US Navy surface warfare officer
- Amie Stepanovich, legal counsel at Electronic
Privacy Information Center (EPIC).
- Peter Asaro and Noel Sharkey from the International
Committee for Robot Arms Control (ICRAC).
Click here for
a more detailed program and bios of speakers.
Join us Friday, April 27 at 6:00pm to hear Medea Benjamin discuss her new groundbreaking book "Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control." She will discuss the menace posed by the proliferation of drones for killing abroad and spying here at home. The United States is the number one user of drones, but now over 50 countries have them, leading us into a world of chaos and lawlessness. The event will take place at Busboys and Poets, 1025 5th Street NW, Washington, DC.
In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. government
has increasingly deployed drones in the Middle
East, South Asia, and Africa. While the U.S. military
and the CIA initially used drones primarily for
surveillance, these remotely controlled aerial
vehicles are currently routinely used to launch
missiles against human targets in countries where
the United States is not at war, including Pakistan,
Somalia, and Yemen. As many as 3,000 people, including
hundreds of noncombatants and even American citizens,
have been killed in covert missions.
Our nation is leading the way toward a new form
of warfare where pilots sitting on the ground
thousands of miles away command drone strikes,
where targets are- in military jargon- “neutralized,”
and where unintended victims are dismissed as
“collateral damage.” Close observers,
both inside and outside the U.S. military, call
this “video-game warfare.” These drone
operations, directed largely by the CIA, lack
necessary transparency and accountability.
Drones are also being deployed domestically
by border security and law enforcement agencies.
Predator drones deployed by Customs and Border
Protection search for immigrants and drugs on
the northern and southern borders, while metropolitan
police and county sheriffs are acquiring smaller
drones to assist their SWAT operations. Congress
recently mandated that the Federal Aviation Administration
open up domestic airspace to private and commercial
drones by 2015 and that it immediately speed up
the licensing process to permit the deployment
of government drones (military, homeland security,
and law enforcement) in commercial U.S. airways.
As drones become an increasingly preferred form
of warfare and as their presence expands at home,
it is time to educate ourselves, the U.S. public,
and our policymakers about drone proliferation.
As remotely controlled warfare and spying race
forward, it is also time to organize to end current
abuses and to prevent the potentially widespread
misuse both overseas and here at home.
If you have any questions, email Summit Organizer
Ramah Kudaimi at rkudaimi[at]gmail.com.
Endorsed by Center for International Policy, the Fellowship of Reconciliation, Global Exchange, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Muslim Peace Coalition-USA, Nonviolence International, Peace Action, United for Peace and Justice, Veterans for Peace, Voices for Creative Nonviolence, the Washington Peace Center and the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.