Representatives from some of the parts of the world where US drones kill descended on Washington DC for the largest ever anti-drone summit. Code Pink, The Nation Magazine and the Georgetown chapter of the National Lawyers Guild served as host for the two-day summit.
As Majore Cohn, professor at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, writes:
“Members of a delegation from Yemen provided examples of the devastation drones have wrought in their communities. Faisal bin Ali Jaber is an engineer. For some time, one of his relatives had been giving public lectures criticizing drone attacks. In August 2012, family and friends were celebrating the marriage of Jaber’s son. After the wedding, a drone struck Jaber’s relative, killing him instantly. Jaber lost a brother-in-law who was a known opponent of al Qaeda, and a 21-year-old nephew in the attack.”
The summit began with a rally at the White House to say hello to Barack, I have a drone Obama, and then a march to the headquarters of Drone manufacturer General Atomics where activists staged a die in. Medea Benjamin, Co-Founder of Code Pink and key organizer of the Summit said:
“We re-enacted what it is like when drones terrorize a community, 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.” T
The summit will lead into a day of anti-drone lobbying on the hill Monday, where one of the biggest pushes will be for the passage of a drone strike transparency bill, which would require the Obama administration to report on civilians killed by drone strikes.