Spring Days of Action Against Drones 2014!

The Peace & Justice Center is excited to work with our members throughout Vermont in solidarity with a world wide coordinated campaign in April and May to End Drone Killing, Drone Surveillance and Global Militarization. This campaign is designed to encourage communities to host educational events and actions around the world with the eventual goal of winning the passage of local laws that prohibit weaponized drones and drone surveillance from being used in their communities as well as seeking national laws to bar the use of weaponized drones and drone surveillance.

Our Spring Days of Action began a little early with kite flying on Burlington’s waterfront. The brisk weather on Sunday, March 23rd may have deterred participants from the Fly Kites Not Drones event but it brought with it a perfect kite-flying breeze. The event, which took place in solidarity with Afghan Peace Volunteers, was created to celebrate the Afghani tradition of kite fighting as a means of ringing in Nowruz, the Afghan New Year that falls on the first day of spring.  While participants flew homemade and store bought kites they were given the opportunity to learn more about the United States and United Kingdom’s use of drones for surveillance and warfare in the war-torn country. As the war drags through its 13th year Afghan civilians have become more accustomed to seeing drones in their skies than kites and are wary of the detrimental physical and psychological effects these machines have.  The Fly Kites Not Drones event highlighted these unfortunate truths while simultaneously exalting the rich culture that has remained resilient throughout the war.

April Events:

April 15th: Day of Action Against Military Spending! The PJC will be tabling on Church Street in Burlington with the Will Miller Chapter of Veterans for Peace to raise awareness about how much of our income tax dollars go to the military and how little goes to other important government programs. Stop by our table and participate in our penny poll to share where you want you tax dollars to go and be entered in a raffle to win a one-hour massage from Silliman Massage & Bodywork.

April 23rd at 6pm: Drones Film Screening and Talk. Come to Montpelier’s Savoy Theater for an evening of education and discussion centered on drones as a political and moral issue. Learn about the legal controversies that surround the use of drones internationally and domestically. The evening will begin with a presentation by Lydia Bates on the current status of drones, continue with the screening of the short film Wounds of Waziristan by journalist, Madiha Tahir and conclude with a brief discussion of what actions can be taken to spread awareness and help prevent more transgressions. This is a FREE event.

April 26th at 10am: Screening of Dirty Wars through the White River Indie Festival at Tupelo Music Hall in White River Junction followed by a Q & A and discussion. This film follows investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill, author of the international bestseller Blackwater, into the heart of America’s covert wars, from Afghanistan to Yemen, Somalia and beyond. Part political thriller and part detective story, Dirty Wars is a gripping journey into one of the most important and underreported stories of our time. What begins as a report into a U.S. night raid gone terribly wrong in a remote corner of Afghanistan quickly turns into a global investigation of the secretive and powerful Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). There is a $7-$9 admission to this event.

April 27th at 2pm: Caravan to Upstate NY to see Dr. Cornel West speak and join a march/rally at Hancock Air National Guard. Dr. Cornel West’s talk will begin at 2pm and is titled “Connecting the Dots: Poverty, Racism and Drones”. This will be at Tucker Missionary Baptist Church in Syracuse, NY. Following the talk will be an action at Hancock where they fly reaper drones from, this rally is titled “The Peoples Order of Protection Against Drone Terror”. For more information on this event and to join the caravan please contact Kyle at kyle@pjcvt.org or 802-863-2345 x6. This is a FREE event.

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