CODEPINK STRONGLY CONDEMNS KILLING OF 15 CIVILIANS FROM US DRONE STRIKE IN YEMEN
Following an invitation of Rosa-Lixenburg Stiftung, Germany, CODEPINK activist Medea Benjamin visited Germany for a presentation of the German edition of her book "Drone Warfare". Last Saturday she was at a protest in front of "Africom", headquarter of the US army near Stuttgart. From here a wedding in Jemen was attacked by hellfire missiles shortly before.
"BAN WEAPONIZED DRONES" Anti‐drone movement spreads in Europe
Participants in a demonstration today against the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) in Stuttgart, Germany, announced a new European anti-drone initiative and presented a statement from civil rights advocates, peace activists and parliamentarians of six European countries, Pakistan, and the USA: "Ban Weaponized Drones!".
AFRICOM is where US secret service and military personnel, working out of Stuttgart, select African targets of US drone strikes. Among those demonstrating against AFRICOM today were Heike Haensel and Annette Groth, both members of the German Bundestag in the Left party, and the well-known US peace activist and drone expert, Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CODEPINK.
During a visit to Berlin last week, Benjamin met with members and staff of the Social Democratic (SPD), Green, and Left (DIE LINKE) parliamentary groups in the German Bundestag. However, the Christian Democratic (CDU/CSU) parliamentary group and Chancellor Merkel's government refused to grant Benjamin an appointment.
"It is urgent that the international community bring these new weapons systems under control and ultimately ban them," said Benjamin. "On the very day that I met with European peace activists in Berlin, at least seventeen people at a wedding celebration in Yemen were killed by a US drone strike. The German government is an accomplice to this and other US drone murders. The Satellite Relay Station at the US base in Ramstein, Germany, plays an essential role in every US drone strike in the Middle East and Africa. Why do the German people continue to allow their government to be complicit in such crimes?" she asked.
The statement "Ban Weaponized Drones!" was one result of an intensive working meeting of peace activists, civil rights advocates and parliamentarians from several different countries and political parties who came to Berlin to meet with Ms. Benjamin last week. A similar statement has been circulated since last spring by the German Drone Campaign and has won significant support.
The participants in the working meeting in Berlin criticized the European Council for considering approval of a European drone development project that does not explicitly rule out military uses for European drones. The European Council will meet in Brussels on December 19th and 20th to decide upon European defense matters, including the drone proposal.
However, the participants in the working meeting said they very much welcomed the current German public discussion about drones that has, at least for the moment, effectively called into question whether the German government will be able to go ahead with its plan to acquire armed drones for the Bundeswehr (German Armed Forces). The debate in Germany represents a first -- and quite promising -- success, they said, for the campaign to stop the proliferation of weaponized drones in Europe. Italy, France, and the Netherlands are reportedly considering acquisition of weaponized drones in the near future, but public and parliamentary resistance could possibly put a halt to these plans.
A Global Day of Action against weaponized drones and targeted killing is scheduled for October 4th of next year. An international drone conference is also planned for 2014.
Statement by the European Section
Global Anti-Drone Network
Berlin, December 12, 2013
Ban Weaponized Drones!
We oppose the use of drone technology for killing, surveillance and repression.
We oppose weaponized and surveillance drones because their deployment
lowers the threshold to armed aggression,
- is used for “targeted” killing of people within and outside warzones – without indictment, trial and conviction,
- terrorizes the population of the targeted territories,
- fuels hatred, thereby increasing the cycle of violence,
- leads to the development of autonomous killer robots, thereby making even more horrifying wars likely,
- initiates a new round in the arms race.
We demand that all governments
- cease the production and acquisition of armed drones, as well as their research and development, and
- work towards a worldwide ban of these weapons.
Althaler, Birgit - Palestine Solidarity Basel, Switzerland
Aune, Björn - Boycott, Sanctions, Divestment (BDS) Campaign Berlin, Germany
Baloch, Farooq - Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), Germany
Benjamin, Medea - Code Pink (Co-Founder), USA
Björkmann, Rosie - Women for Peace, Sweden
Bosma, Geert - Vredes Informatie Centrum (Staff) & War Resisters Intl. (WRI), Netherlands
Braun, Reiner - Intl. Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (IALANA - Executive Director), Germany
Cole, Chris - Drone Wars UK (Founder) & Drone Campaign Network (Convener), United Kingdom
Dubrow, Niels - Staff Assistant to Dr. Ute Finckh-Krämer, Member of Bundestag (SPD), Germany
Finckh-Krämer, Ute - Member of Bundestag (MdB), Social Democratic Party (SPD) & Stiftung Friedensbildung, Germany
Fredegård, Anita - Women for Peace, Sweden
Fuchs, Barbara - attac & Friedensratschlag, Germany
Fuchs-Kittowski, Klaus - Forum of Computer Scientists for Peace and Social Responsibility (FIfF), Germany
Ghannam, Doris - Boycott, Sanctions, Divestment (BDS) Campaign Berlin, Germany
Hammerschmidt, Rainer - Aktion Freiheit statt Angst (Freedom Not Fear), Germany
Hunko, Andrej - Member of Bundestag (MdB) & of Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, DIE LINKE (the Left)
Hugler, Helmut - Staff Assistant to Dr. Ute Finckh-Krämer, Member of Bundestag (SPD), Germany
Javaid,Tariq - Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), Germany
Kachel, Thomas - Parliamentary Advisor on Peace and Security Issues, DIE LINKE (the Left) in the Bundestag, Germany
Käss, Helmut - Intl. Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (!PPNW), Germany
Krutsch, Elfriede - Intl. Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), Germany
Lammerent, Hans - Vredesactie - Peace Movement (former Chair), Belgium
Lorentz, Charlotte - Staff Assistant to Angieszka Brugger, Member of the Bundestag, Green parliamentary group, Germany
Martensson, Ingela - Women for Peace & former Member of the parliament (Liberal Party), Sweden
Mudassir, Ali - Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), Germany
Müller-Reiss, Brunhild - Drone Campaign & Peace Office Hannover & War Resisters Intl. (DFG-VK in WRI), Germany
Nineham, Chris - Stop the War Coalition (StWC - Vice Chair), United Kingdom
Norberg, Agneta - Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space & Women for Peace, Sweden
Paulini, Peter - Stiftung Friedensbildung (Foundation for Peacemaking), Germany
Pflüger, Tobias - Drone Campaign & Info. Agency on Militarisation (IMI, Founder) & former MEP (DIE LINKE), Germany
Rassbach, Elsa - Code Pink & Drone Campaign & War Resisters Intl. (DFG-VK in WRI, Board), USA/Germany
Schoeppe, Florian - Staff Assistant to Katja Keul, Member of the Bundestag, Green parliamentary group, Germany
Steffen, Jens-Peter - Intl. Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), Staff Adviser on Peace Issues), Germany
Stryk, Lydia - Playwright, USA/Germany
Wijnberg, J.M.T. (Miek) - Burgerrechtenvereniging Vrijbit (President), Netherlands
Wimmersperg, Laura - Drone Campaign & Peace Coordination Berlin (Speaker), Germany
Wirl, Lucas - ICC No to NATO (Co-Chair) & Intl. Network Engineers & Scientists for Global Responsibility (INES), Germany
CODEPINKs press release:
The peace group CODEPINK unequivocally condemns the killing of 15 innocent civilians –– all part of a wedding convoy–– by a US drone in Yemen today. The group calls on President Obama to apologize to the families and pledge to immediately put an end to these strikes that have led to the death of so many noncombatants. CODEPINK has long criticized the Obama administration’s drone policy as being contrary to international law, immoral, and ineffective in combating terrorism.
The tragedy today is not an isolated incident; US drone strikes have been killing innocent civilians in Yemen for years. According to US officials, the targeted wedding was a “mistake,” but it’s just one example of countless “signatures strikes” that profiles people based on what is considered suspicious behavior. In this case, it seems that a group of vehicles driving together was deemed suspicious enough to launch Hellfire missiles.
“If this had happened in the United States, it would be called mass murder and we would be absolutely outraged,” said CODEPINK co-founder Jodie Evans. “Since when are our lives more important than theirs? How will anyone in Yemen feel safe enough to do something as simple and joyful as having a wedding celebration when they are being terrorized by American drones? President Obama needs to be held responsible. He needs to apologize, and immediately put an end to the horrific killing.”
Today’s strike proved again that these attacks are not as precise as they are purported to be, and in fact kill non-combatants with total impunity. “This is an abhorrent example of the United States’ unchecked power to bomb indiscriminately with no accountability,” said CODEPINK’s anti-drone campaign coordinator, Noor Mir. “With the deaths of all these innocent people, this is the time for the American people and the world community to insist that the strikes end and that those responsible be held accountable.”
CODEPINK just held a Drone Summit in Washington DC November 16 with over 400 participants and just today, in Berlin, cohosted a gathering with representatives from 10 countries. “This latest attack shows the importance of the global anti-drone network we’re creating,” said Medea Benjamin, author of Drone Warfare. “Obama needs to listen to the rising voice of global dissent,” she added.
Read more http://codepink.org/article.php?id=6550
and in German www.drohnen-kampagne.de
REPORTS, ARTICLKES & INTERVIEWS during Medeas visit
neues Deutschland 06.12.2013
Bei Knopfdruck Mord
Von Dago Langhans
Medea Benjamin berichtet über die unheimlichen Drohnenkriege und wachsenden Widerstand
Titel Kulturmagazine 08.12.2013
Von Wolf Senff
"Code Pink" - Friedensaktivistin Benjamin: Medeas rosa Welt
Von Dorothea Hahn
Rüstungspolitik -Keine Macht den Drohnen
Moderation: Matthias Hanselmann
n-tv.de, dpa 11.11.2013
"Ich appelliere an die deutsche Regierung"
US-Expertin sieht Deutschland bei Drohnenkrieg in Schlüsselrolle
dpa 11.12.2013 (in mehreren Zeitschriften)
US-Expertin: Deutschland spielt führende Rolle im Drohnenkrieg
Titel Kulturmagazine 11.12.2013
"US-Behörden lügen seit Jahren": Kriegsverbrechen durch CIA und US-Militär auf deutschem Boden?
Interview mit Wolf Senff
neues Deutschland 13.12.2013
Interview mit Johanna Treblin
Riskanter Protest in Pink: Friedensaktivistin Medea Benjamin über den Drohnenkrieg der USA
junge Welt 14.12.2013
Obama richtet Blutbad an
Von Knut Mellenthin
Stuttgarter Zeitung 15.12.2013
"Deutsche sollten fragen, was in Africom passiert"
Interview mit Christoph Link
Kampagne gegen Drohnen weitet sich aus
Von Peter Nowak
VERANSTALTUNGEN & AKTIONEN
Terminübersicht – Friedensaktivistin Medea Benjamin auf Deutschlandbesuch
Luxemburg Lecture with Medea Benjamin in Berlin, 10.12.2013
"Drone Warfare -- Origins, Consequences and the Worldwide Resistance to it"
(complete talk in English & German)
Buchvorstellung Hamburg 11.12.2013
Medea Benjamin: Tod durch Drohnen
taz Bewegung Termine 12.12.2013
International Working Meeting on Drones
Videos, Fotos: “Stop Drone Killing” – Medea Benjamin CodePink delivers a letter to german chancellor Angela Merkel and to the US-Embassy in Berlin, December 13, 2013
Sa, 14.12.: Veranstaltung zum Drohnenkrieg | So, 15.12. Aktion beim Africom
Buchvorstellung "Drohnenkrieg" mit Medea Benjamin, Frankfurt 15.12.2013
Drohnen-Kampagne News Release 15.12.2013
"BAN WEAPONIZED DRONES": Anti-drone movement spreads in Europe
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Created: 2013-12-16 11:51:14
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