In light of the failed New York Times Square bombing, increased U.S. predator drone attacks in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region is stoking anti-American feelings and prompting violent acts of revenge. The drone attacks are killing innocent civilians. Peace activists from California and Nevada will mobilize outside the predator drone manufacturing company, General Atomics, and at the home of General Atomics CEO, James Neal Blue, to bring home the issue of the increased deadly drone strikes on innocent civilians. A shrine for the children of predator drone strikes will be built at Blue's home on Tuesday, followed by the community-wide protest at General Atomics HQ on Wednesday.
WHEN: Tuesday, May 18, 10am-12pm (Building of the Altar for the Children of predator drone strikes)
WHERE: Home of James Neal Blue, General Atomics CEO, 9756 La Jolla Farms Road, La Jolla, CA
*Followed by a prop-making workshop (4pm), Public Forum on Drones (7pm) at First Church of the Brethen, 3850 Westgate Place, San Diego, CA 92105
WHEN: Wednesday, May 19 8-10am
WHERE: General Atomics Headquarters (Makers of the Predator & Reaper Drones)
3550 General Atomics Ct. San Diego, CA 92121
"So many civilian casualties by US drone attacks are not just war crimes but crimes against humanity. We must restore America's image by suspending these attacks immediately. This indiscriminate method of drone killing will not improve our relationship with Pakistan or the Muslim world. It will not bring us safety or peace throughout the world, in fact it begets more harm and destruction as extremists use the death of innocent civilians as a tool to recruit more people to join the Taliban to fight against us. We are actually helping them," Samina Sundas, Founder of American Muslim Voice stated.
Not only are there a great number of lives lost in the attacks, but U.S. taxpayers are paying billions to produce these deadly machines. Predator and Reaper drones generally cost U.S. taxpayers $4 million to $12 million each.
As many U.S. domestic programs suffer, drones and other unmanned aerial systems have taken a prominent role in the U.S. occupations and defense budgets with billions continuing to be directed toward research and development. Even though General Atomics brought countless technical jobs into the community, San Diego along with many other cities has had their share of hardships. The civilian unemployment rate is at 10.1%; there are more than 160,000 San Diegans unemployed, and employers have lost roughly sixty thousand jobs. The school district is $87 million dollars in the red with threats of salary and program cuts. Over 7800 people live on the streets. According to Veterans Village of San Diego, 30-40% of San Diego County’s homeless are veterans.
CODEPINK is a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, stop new wars, and redirect our resources into healthcare, education, green jobs and other life-affirming activities. www.codepinkalert.org
Peace Resource Center is a membership organization and community clearinghouse of information on peace and social justice issues and activities. Through our active programs and by promoting networking among peace-related organizations, offering nonviolent alternatives to conflict resolution and carrying on a program of peace education, we provide an ongoing presence throughout San Diego County. http://www.prcsd.org/