Newsflash:
Dr. Syed Taj End Wars and Occupations Anti-Drone Movement Speaks: 'End the Secrecy, No to Kill List'
Saturday, 16 November 2013 01:11

Anti-Drone Movement Speaks: 'End the Secrecy, No to Kill List'

Written by  Sarah Lazare | Common Dreams
Activists from across the globe kicked off the largest-ever anti-drone summit Friday with a boisterous White House rally then march to the headquarters of one of the most notorious weapons manufacturers in the world.

"After ten years of using drones it is about time that American citizens demand accountability from our government," said organizer Medea Benjamin of Code Pink in an interview withCommon Dreams. "Our government has been getting away with a covert program killing innocent people in our names. It is high time we react and say no to killings, no to secrecy, and no to a kill list."

This historic gathering comes amid a growing chorus of criticism of the drone wars, now led by President Obama, following the first-ever testimony ofPakistani drone strike survivors before U.S. Congress, as well as growing concern from Amnesty InternationalHuman Rights Watch, and the United Nations over drones.

Attendees include representatives from some of the most drone-ravaged parts of the world, including Yemen, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

 After a somber ceremony at the White House to commemorate those who have died in drone strikes, scores of protesters "took over the streets" according to Benjamin and marched to the Washington, DC headquarters of General Atomics where they held a die-in.

 "We re-enacted what it is like when drones terrorize a community," said Benjamin. "We handed General Atomics a letter saying we have seen first-hand the destruction they have caused in Yemen and Pakistan. We encouraged them to stop making things that hurt people. We told them that if they feel remorse, they are welcome to give compensation to victims."

The drone summit, which will continue over the weekend, was organized by CODEPINK, the Institute for Policy Studies, The Nation Magazine, Center for Constitutional Rights, and National Lawyers Guild (Georgetown Chapter). A group statement explains, "In addition to [a] Yemeni delegation, the Summit will include drone pilots, legal experts, human rights advocates, authors, technology experts, artists and grassroots activists."

 The gathering is expected to draw over 400 people and include a lobbying day Monday. One of the pieces of legislation that attendees will advocate for is the drone strike transparency bill, which recently passed the Senate Intelligence Committee. Advocates say this bill—which would require the Obama administration to report on civilians killed by drone strikes—is paradigm-shifting in a war where the U.S. kills with impunity behind a veil of secrecy.

"This bill is absolutely crucial," said Robert Naiman of Just Foreign Policy in an interview withCommon Dreams. "Until now, the administration has gotten away with saying civilian casualties have been rare, but independent reporting has said the opposite."

 "We're gathering at a time where there is an undeniable momentum against drones," said Benjamin.

Link to original article from Common Dreams


Read 6747 times Last modified on Saturday, 16 November 2013 01:15

Latest News from the Taj Campaign

  • Learned about Taj (letter to the editor)
    Learned about Taj (letter to the editor)

    I was anxious to attend the League of Women Voters Candidate Night because like so many other people in the new 11th District, I knew little about either of the major party candidates. I sat with more than 100 other voters and waited for Kerry Bentivolio to arrive.

    Written on Thursday, 01 November 2012 22:15 Read more...
  • Blue America Preview: Dr. Syed Taj
    Blue America Preview: Dr. Syed Taj

    With the open seat, Dr. Taj has a more than favorable chance to win. His opponent is Kerry Bentivolio, reindeer rancher, failed business owner and part-time actor who has never held elected office. He has strong ties to libertarian financiers and Tea Party activists but has been ostracized by the Republican Party establishment, having taken large donations from Liberty for All Super PAC, affiliated with Ron Paul.

    Written on Sunday, 21 October 2012 12:48 Read more...
  • Syed Taj: Democrat hopes voters will put a doctor in the House
    Syed Taj: Democrat hopes voters will put a doctor in the House

    He may be a Democrat in a largely Republican town, but don't tell that to Canton voters.

    Dr. Syed Taj finished fourth out of six candidates in 2008 to win a seat on Canton's Board of Trustees -- the first Democrat elected to the board in recent memory and the only Democrat on the seven-member board.

    Written on Monday, 15 October 2012 19:17 Read more...
  • Interview with Mark Maynard
    Interview with Mark Maynard

    We also talk economics and tax policy. We can’t just continue to cut our way to prosperity, Taj says. We continue to fire public employees, he says, and that not only impacts quality of life, but it negatively impacts consumer spending.

    Written on Sunday, 14 October 2012 00:00 Read more...
  • Syed Taj Says He's "on the radar"
    Syed Taj Says He's "on the radar"

    The sudden resignation of Rep. Thad McCotter led to a tumultuous Republican primary in Michigan's 11th District, but the fallout may also mean a competitive general election for a seat thought until recently to be safely in the GOP column. At least, that's what Syed Taj is counting on.

    Written on Wednesday, 15 August 2012 00:00 Read more...

PDA In Your State

Sign the ERA Petition

ERADemandButton

On Friday, September 12th more than 150 activists will go to DC and Demand that their Senators and Representatives support removing the ratification deadline from the ERA (SJ Res 15 and HJ Res 113)

Button-SignERAPetition

Sign the Petition - Sen. Sanders Run as a Democrat in 2016

Button-SandersPetition

MI Endorsed Candidate

Dr.TajSmall 

MI-11 Dr. Syed Taj
http://www.tajforcongress.com

Lori Wallach on the TPP from PDA Progressive Roundtable

Progressive Roundtable with Reps. Ellison and Pocan and Lori Wallach on TPP

TPP: The Biggest Threat to the Internet You've Probably Never Heard Of