Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Elders for Peace Stage "The Predator"

Members of Chapel Hill’s Elders for Peace staged a reading of Jack Gilroy’s new play “The Predator” during their weekly meeting at Carol Woods Retirement Center on Dec 10. Following the reading, audience members asked questions of the performers, who remained in character for a spirited discussion of the play’s content. Author Gilroy is making the script available to groups interested in reading and/or performing the two act play, which features an Air Force officer (and drone operator) who is a widow of a Marine officer killed in Iraq, her daughter, who is beginning to question the new age of drone warfare, a pro-drone US senator and a peace activist who has witnessed the devastation of drone attacks first hand.

For information, contact John Heuer at heu93@aol.com, or call 919-444-3823.

Read more about Jack Gilroy's play, The Predator.
Read more about playwright Jack Gilroy's anti-drone activism.

Friday, September 7, 2012

DNC Ends, NC Drone Protests Accelerate: Chapel Hill, Durham and Beyond

The week of the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Charlotte was marked by protests against drones -- both in Charlotte itself, in Chicago (the site of Obama 2012 campaign headquarters), and in other locations.

The convention came to a climax last night with Barack Obama accepting the party's nomination for a second term, but not before a story began to spread about a reporter who was ejected from the convention hall for asking questions about drone killings in Pakistan.

Notably, the Charlotte protests against drones were heightened by the presence of a new drone replica (1/5 actual size MQ-5 Reaper from Know Drones in New York State). For more photos and video of the drones protests in Charlotte, see the World Can't Wait website.

Protests in North Carolina continue today and tomorrow in the Research Triangle area, and in the days and weeks ahead, and will continue on through the North Carolina Peace Action presence at the NC State Fair, where they will be collecting signatures on a petition to end the drone warfare.


5:00 p.m. -- Protest drones in Chapel Hill at the weekly antiwar vigil at Franklin and Eliot.


7:00 p.m. -- Protest drones at the Amy Goodman book appearance in Durham at the Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Art Exhibit in Charlotte During DNC to Highlight Drones Killing and Terror

Will delegates to the Democratic National Convention (DNC) take time from their upcoming event in Charlotte to open a window into the pain and injury that have been caused by their candidate's drone attacks in Afghanistan and other countries?

On September 1 through 8, they will be able to view the murals of Windows and Mirrors: Reflections on the War in Afghanistan, a project of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), at Wells Fargo Gallery in Spirit Square.

An opening reception will be held Saturday, September 1, from 4:00pm-6:00pm.

Muralists from around the world have contributed their work to create this memorial to the human cost of war in Afghanistan. This collection is a powerful testimony to the violence of war. It is also a story of resistance and the human spirit.

The exhibit has been part of the effort to educate the public about drones killing and terror, and other aspects of U.S. war-making, in Illinois, Ohio, Iowa, and many other states.

The mural above, "The 'Peace' Operations of the US. Airstrikes on Weddings," is by Art Hazelwood and Juan Fuentes of San Francisco, CA. According to the exhibit catalog, "This mural is based on a poster created during the Spanish Civil War (1936 – 1939) to protest the aerial bombardment by the Fascists of civilian populations. The original poster showed a dead child and said, “MADRID The ‘Military’ Practice of the Rebels.” The sky in the poster was similarly filled with a web of bombers. In our mural we contrasted the bombers (in this case drones) with a traditional Afghan wedding celebration. The text at the bottom details six documented airstrikes on wedding parties in the course of the war, total civilian deaths are at least 367 at wedding parties alone. It goes without saying that an aerial attack on wedding parties represents only a tiny fraction of all civilian deaths in Afghanistan."

All murals in the exhibition can be previewed online.

Wells Fargo Gallery
Spirit Square
345 North College St.
Charlotte, NC
Exhibit hours: Mon-Sat. 9am - 6pm; Sun. 1-5pm
Exhibit runs September 1-8, 2012.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

VFP and NC Peace Action Say "End Drone Warfare!" During DNC

North Carolina Peace Action and NC Veterans For Peace (VFP) will launch a joint public outreach campaign during the protests at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) to stop the U.S. program of open and covert drone warfare and surveillance.

As part of the campaign, both the NC Peace Action and VFP tables at the PDA "Progressive Central - The People's Convention on Tuesday, September 4, in Charlotte will have a petition to "End Drone Warfare." (See full text below.)

The outreach and petition effort will be ongoing, including at the NC Peace Action booth at the North Carolina State Fair October 15-26.

Join North Carolina Peace action and Veterans For Peace to End Drone Warfare!

PETITION: End Drone Warfare

To: President Barack Obama

Our nation is leading the way toward a new form of warfare, where airmen sitting in control rooms thousands of miles away command deadly drone strikes dismissing civilian victims as “collateral damage.” This very real “video-game warfare,” directed largely by the Central Intelligence Agency, is immoral and lacks transparency and accountability.

Pakistani authorities estimate U.S. drone strikes killed more than 700 innocent civilians in 2009. Instead of making us safer, drone warfare has radicalized people in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, increased anti-American sentiment and perpetuated an endless cycle of violence.

We, the undersigned, believe drone warfare is illegal and immoral, and we are filled with anguish by the deaths of innocent civilians. We ask our leaders to stop drone warfare, and to lead efforts toward diplomacy and development, not more violence.


Monday, August 6, 2012

Protest Drones During the DNC in Charlotte

The 2012 Democratic National Convention (DNC) will be held in Charlotte, NC, beginning on September 3.

Plans are now in formation to make a strong statement against drones killing and drones surveillance at the convention.

People from around the country are signing up at the World Can't Wait site to connect with drone protest in Charlotte.

Help us raise funds to bring drone replicas for the protest, like the ones used recently in Wisconsin, Indiana, and scheduled for use in Illinois and Ohio. If you're in North Carolina and can volunteer to help support the effort on the ground, please contact us at nodronesnorthcarolina [at] gmail.com.

Read about the NC VFP and NC Peace Action petition to end drone warfare to be featured during the protests at the DNC in Charlotte.


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Tell Congress: STOP THE DRONES!

Nearly every member of Congress from North Carolina can be reached on Twitter. Below are their Twitter addresses. If they really represent us, now is the time for them to become responsive to our message: STOP THE DRONES!


1st District - GeorgeButterfield: @gkbutterfield
2nd District - ReneeElmers: @repreneeellmers
3rdDistrict - Walter B.Jones: @RepWalterJones
4th District - DavidPrice: @repdavideprice
5th District - VirginiaFoxx: @virginiafoxx
6th District - HowardCoble: @howardcoble
7th District - MikeMcIntyre: @repmikemcintyre
8th District - LarryKissell: @replarrykissell
9th District - SueMyrick: @SueMyrick
10th District - PatrickMcHenry: @PatrickMcHenry
11th District - HeathShuler: NOT ON TWITTER!
12th District - MelvinWatt: @melwattnc12
13th District - BradleyMiller: @RepBradMiller

Learn more about the Congressional drones advocates in other states -- the members of the Congressional Unmanned Systems Caucus.

Friday, July 27, 2012

North Carolina: First in Flight? Or First in Drones?

According to the Department of Defense Report to Congress on Future Unmanned Aircraft Systems Training, Operations, and Sustainability (April 2012), North Carolina has four locations that have been designated as potential basing locations for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) [i.e. drones] (p. 8 ff.).

The table below gives information on the types of drones that are proposed for basing at each location.
BASE Predator/Reaper type Shadow/Raven type Other
Fort Bragg MQ-1B, MQ-1C, MQ-9A RQ-11B, RQ-7B Wasp, Puma, Viking
MCB Camp Lejune RQ-11B, RQ--21B Wasp
MCALF Bogue RQ-21A, RQ-7B
MCAS Cherry Point RQ-21A, RQ-7B
NOTE: The report states, "Active FAA COAs allow the transit of VMU-2 aircraft through uncontrolled airspace from the MCAS Cherry Point class "D" surface area to the Restricted Area R5306CID, and from the NAS Fallon class "D" surface area to the surrounding restricted areas. A ground based sense and avoid (GBSAA) solution is currently being evaluated by the FAA to support the 6 nm transit at Cherry Point. However, a network of 14 ground-based observers is still required to comply with the COA while the evaluation is ongoing." (p. 23/4)

Will we see drones flying in the skies of North Carolina soon?