On last week’s Occupy Supply Skill Share we were joined by Tighe Barry, organizer with CODEPINK. Tighe joined us from the Goddess Temple, a meeting place for activists protesting at Creech Air Force Base. Tighe has been a major part of anti-drone activism with CODEPINK. Tighe gave an introduction to the our government’s use of drones for those unaware of the issue abroad. In Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and other countries drones have been used in covert conflicts killing thousands of civilians. In Pakistan, over 3,000 have been murdered as of early this year. Obama has, in many cases, given executive order for these drone executions on what he calls “Terror Tuesdays,” where he and his advisers select targets for drone assassinations. Some of those killed in these drone strikes have been US citizens, including Samir Khan, Anwar Al Waki and his son. The Obama administration has killed these people without judicial process, making drones judge, jury, and executioner.
In the US, the FAA has been ordered to clear airspace for 30,000 drones in the next few years, and the Drone Caucus in Congress has been pushing for more drones. Tighe and people protesting drones abroad are concerned that drones will be used similarly in the US, removing the need for warrants and due process. There is also a public safety concern as drones crash often, this year a US Navy Global Hawk Drone crashed into a marsh in Maryland on a test run. Activists around the country have been educating people about the impending panopticon in our skies. The move toward domestic drones has inspired many cities to submit local ordinances preventing the use of drones in community airspace. Recently, Buffalo became the first city to have one of these ordinances reviewed in Common Council. As the fight against drones in the US begins, CODEPINK is sending a delegation to Pakistan in September to address this issue with the people of Pakistan. Our presentation wrapped up with a few questions to Tighe and myself about the next steps in the fight against drones.
If you are interested in the CODEPINK Peace Delegation, click here for more information: http://www.codepinkalert.org/article.php?id=6174
If you can help support WNY Peace Center Occupy Buffalo Delegates, click here: https://wnypeacecenter.nationbuilder.com/peace_delegation_to_pakistan