Join the PJC in Boycotting Honeywell

boycott honeywell

We Boycott Honeywell because of their manufacture of navigational and propulsive technology for Reaper drones, making them hundreds of millions of dollars to for their work supplying one of the most potent tools there is for extrajudicial killing and American imperialism. Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia- for communities throughout the middle east U.S. drones have become synonymous with indiscriminate terror and death.

This has been the case for over a decade now, at the cost of thousands of civilian lives lost and communities destroyed, and at the cost of a perpetuation of the cycle of violence that continues to be driven by American policies in the middle east.

U.S. policies in Iraq have killed 133000 civilians in the past decade- is it any wonder then that even a radical and barbaric group like ISIS, a group that the U.S. once funded and armed, can command such significant popular support in what they bill as a crusade against western imperialism?

Do your part to break the circuit of war and imperialism- join us in boycotting Honeywell’s consumer products and pressuring our churches, schools, and other institutions to divest from all war profiteers. Then be vocal and spread the word so that your actions impact the behavior of these companies.

With the help of Honeywell and the rest of the military-industrial complex, the cycle of violence continues. Many innocent people have already been killed, without due process, in our current bombing campaign in Iraq and Syria Meanwhile, ISIS recruitment numbers are soaring. The bombing campaign in Syria and Iraq is a murderous reaction to an enemy that poses no real threat to the American people. It is serving only to reap brutal destruction on a country already torn apart by decades of U.S. intervention. Click here to sign the pledge to stop your complicity in extrajudicial drone killing!

Why have we been subject to such hysteria and fear-mongering? And why was bombing presented to us as the only plausible response- why were we never led to question the possibility of a nonviolent solution despite the fact that no credible analysts believe that the militaristic strategy being employed will do anything but put our nation at greater risk?

CotePart of the answer is that war is more profitable. The bombing campaign in Iraq and Syria has already cost billions of dollars. And this brings us back to Honeywell, and its weapons contracts worth hundreds of millions- and their widespread campaign contributions to politicians on both sides of the aisle, which they use to buy the policies that suit their profit margins, silencing your voice and the voices of all ordinary Americans.

That’s why we’re speaking out in the language Honeywell understands: Money.

For more information check out the website: www.badhoneywell.org, follow the campaign on twitter @Badhoneywell and on facebook at Boycott/Divest Honeywell International, Inc.

 

 

Remembering One Year Ago Today

On Dec. 12, 2013, United States drone operators attacked wedding party in Yemen killing at least 12 people.  Below is a video account of Abullah Huhammad Al-Tisi, who witnessed the attacked, quoted on Democracy Now Feb. 21, 2014.

“We were having a traditional marriage ceremony. According to our traditions, the whole tribe has to go to the bride’s tribe. We were in about 12 to 15 cars with 60 to 70 men on board. He had lunch at the bride’s village at Al Abu Saraimah. Then we left to head back to the groom’s village.

“A drone was hovering overhead all morning. There were one or two of them. One of the missiles hit the car. The car was totally burned. Four other cars were also struck. When we stopped, we heard the drone fire. Blood was everywhere, and the people killed and injured were scattered everywhere. The area was full of blood, dead bodies and injured people. I was injured. I saw the missile hit the vehicle behind the car my son was driving.”

Click here for an article from The New York Times that contains more details and videos of the attack and the funeral for the victims.

Also watch the video below of an action that CODEPINK held to bring awareness to this attack.

Warm to Cold: Mental Stresses of Drone Pilots

drone viewThe Peace & Justice Center started their Cost of War program in 2012. The program focused on numerous costs of war, especially how soldiers are affected by war. In 2014, the program became specifically about drones. As I am finishing my Cost of War internship, I have explored the reality of drones and more specifically what it means to be a drone pilot.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, ie. drones, such as the Predator and Reaper, are hovering over the Asian and African continents, carrying hellfire missiles, while American pilots are sitting in a room somewhere in the USA. Many believe this type of war is working in our favor because our troops can fight safely from their own country. Even though those pilots are physically safe, it is becoming more evident that drone pilots are paying a serious mental health cost.

brandon-bryantOne drone pilot, Brandon Bryant, has actively spoken out about the physiological reality of being a drone pilot. Originally from Missoula, Montana, Bryant joined the military to pay off college debt. After going through Imagery Analysis training, his entire class was picked up by a drone program. He spent five years as a sensor operator, in an 8×20 trailer stationed in Nevada (1) and realized the harsh truth about drones.

Bryant became aware of the fact that over 98% of those killed in drone strikes are not high targets. Drones can see everything beneath them, including something as small as a soccer ball. At one point, Bryant even witnessed a child accidentally get hit by a drone and then was told it was just a dog. Also, the screen that the pilots watch, displays a heatwave map. The map shows body temperature of humans, so pilots can literally see a person go from having warm blood to cold (1). Bryant now has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a direct result of being a drone operator.

Bryant is not the only drone pilot who has suffered from PTSD. The Air Force has taken interest in knowing the health effects of drone operators. In 2011, the Air Force surveyed 840 drone pilots and found 46% of Predator and Reaper pilots, and 48% of Global Hawk sensor operators reported to have “high operational stress.” Another study focused on health records of 709 drone pilots and 5,256 manned aircraft pilots between October 2003 and December 2011. After examining diagnosis and treatment records, professionals concluded that drone operators had higher incidence rates from 12 conditions including anxiety disorder, depressive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, and suicidal ideation (2).

Drone operators experience high stress and PTSD because one, they are monitoring a potential target area for days; two, they also see the aftermath of a drone attack where manned aircraft pilots do not; and three, the brain has a difficult time understanding how one can be at war during the day and then return home to a community not at war (3).

While technological advances seem to be improving safety for our soldiers, they are ordered to kill people and communities of people whose faces and behavior they recognize. We are taking whatever humanity is left in war out and our own pilots are paying a serious mental health cost as a result.

If you have any further questions please feel free to contact the Peace & Justice Center. We would be more than happy to travel anywhere in Vermont to share our drone programming which includes films, speakers, action ideas, and two presentations, one on the basics of drones and the other on the experience of drone pilots.

By Michaela Herrmann, Cost of War Intern

Works Cited:
(1)   “Former Drone Operator Speaks Out.” YouTube. YouTube, 16 May 2013. Web. 03 Sept. 2014.
(2)   Dao, James. “Drone Pilots Are Found to Get Stress Disorders Much as Those in Combat Do.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 22 Feb. 2013. Web. 03 Sept. 2014.
(3)   “Drone Pilot Kills Afghani Militants from Nevada Control Centre.” YouTube. YouTube, 23 Oct. 2009. Web. 03 Sept. 2014.

New Jim Crow Book Group Discussions

New Jim CrowIn Michelle Alexander’s powerful book entitled, “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration and the Age of Colorblindness”, Alexander uses historical and empirical evidence to support her claim that the War on Drugs has continued the legacy of Jim Crow in deliberately targeting and criminalizing non-white citizens. With African Americans being incarcerated nearly six times the rate of whites, despite multiple reports proving that whites use illicit drugs more often than blacks (1), Alexander claims that once criminals, these individuals lose their right to vote, right to employment, and effectively become second class citizens.

Please join us Sunday, Dec. 7th at 3:00pm and Tuesday, Dece 9th at 6:oopm at the Peace and Justice Center for two hour intellectual group discussions on Alexander’s book, and her claims surrounding mass incarceration. For the first discussion, we will be focusing on the introductory chapter, although reading the entire book is encouraged. Click here for an online copy of the introduction to the book.

All are welcome to attend. Free. To register, please visit https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1efUq9KMOeLVRh2j7DPaYoLBIyd7zaVlwzdie1caM6Dw/viewform

[1] NAACP. “Criminal Justice Fact Sheet.” NAACP. N.p., 2014. Web. 19 Nov. 2014

LiNK Nomads visit the PJC!

We are so excited about the event this Thursday at the Center beginning at 7pm. Don’t miss the presentation from touring representatives of Liberty in North Korea (LiNK) also known as LiNK Nomads. LiNK is a global movement standing with the North Korean PEOPLE as they face one of the biggest challenges confronting humanity today. The organization exists to empower the North Korean PEOPLE as they drive progress inside their country. Check out these videos to learn a bit more about their work!