Regional Mobilization Here on May 18-19 Calls for an End to Civilian Casualties in Pakistan-Afghanistan Border Region
Peace activists from across California and even from Nevada are planning to mobilize here in San Diego to protest the world’s largest and leading manufacturer of drones May 18-19.
San Diego is home to defense contractor General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, site of the activists demonstration. General Atomics builds the Predator and Reaper drones generally costing U.S. taxpayers $4 million to $12 million each.
Predator and Reaper drones (unmanned aerial vehicles) have become the signature weapons of the Obama administration’s air strikes. Drones scout over the two countries launching Hellfire missiles into the region missing their intended targets, resulting in the deaths of many innocent people including children.
“So many civilian casualties by US drone attacks are not just war crimes but crimes against humanity. We must restore America’s image by suspending these attacks immediately. This indiscriminate method of drone killing will not improve our relationship with Pakistan or the Muslim world. It will not bring us safety or peace throughout the world, in fact it begets more harm and destruction as extremists use the death of innocent civilians as a tool to recruit more people to join the Taliban to fight against us. We are actually helping them,” Samina Sundas, Founder of American Muslim Voice stated.
“Although it may never be known how many civilians have died as a result of U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan, there are estimates of hundreds of innocent bystanders who have perished in the attacks,” states Nancy Mancias organizer with CODEPINK. “We feel these deadly attacks on innocent civilians need to cease. As the U.S. government steps up its Predator and Reaper drone program, the number of civilian casualties in Pakistan will undeniably rise.“
Pakistani authorities released statistics earlier in the year indicating that between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2009, U.S. Predator and Reaper drone strikes have killed over 700 innocent civilians. With the increase of drone strikes, according to the most recent story in The International News, January 2010 proved to be a deadly month in Pakistan with 123 innocent civilians killed.
Click here more information about the May 18-19 demonstration: http://www.sdcpj.org/flyers/2010-04-15_drone%20flier.pdf
See here for our recent post on the drones.
CODEPINK is a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, stop new wars, and redirect our resources into healthcare, education, green jobs and other life-affirming activities.
Peace Resource Center is a membership organization and community clearinghouse of information on peace and social justice issues and activities. Through our active programs and by promoting networking among peace-related organizations, offering nonviolent alternatives to conflict resolution and carrying on a program of peace education, we provide an ongoing presence throughout San Diego County. http://www.prcsd.org/