This is preliminary report on last week’s six-day street witness that was organized at the busiest locations in New York City by the Granny Peace Brigade (GPB) to call for an international ban on weaponized drones and drone surveillance. (See photos)
The witness, which involved leafletting and sidewalk education, was timed to coincide with the annual meeting of the UN General Assembly, and it turned out to coincide with the plea before the General Assembly by Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, for a halt to US drone strikes against Pakistan.
See this excellent report by NYCity News Service: http://www.nycitynewsservice.com/2013/09/28/drone-protest-takes-flight/ Also hear this report: http://fsrn.org/audio/headlines-friday-september-27-2013/12598
The GPB witness involved at least 20 volunteers from New York City, New Jersey, Westchester County, NY and even Rochester, NY, and was also supported by KnowDrones.org, World Can’t Wait, New York Peace Action and the War Resisters League, all joining the GPB in the No Drones Coalition.
The action was preceded by letters from the GPB to Ban Ki Moon, UN General Secretary, to appropriate UN agencies and to consulates of nations that are believed to be sympathetic to a ban on weaponized drones and drone surveillance.
To my knowledge this is the first such concerted effort that has been undertaken in the US toward achieving an international ban on weaponized drones and drone surveillance.
Over 5,000 leaflets were distributed, and of course, there were hundreds of conversations. We also collected signatures on petitions to the UN seeking the ban.
Monday through Friday, three MQ-9 Reaper drone replicas were set up in three locations, acting as focal points for leafletting and conversation. The action was conducted daily from 11 am to 2 pm. On Saturday, Sept. 28, the witness was from 1 pm to 3:30 pm at one location, the Guggenheim Museum.
Attached are flash cards that volunteers used to study in advance of the event and to cite in talking with people on the street.
Nick Mottern, KnowDrones.org