Go Fly A Kite - No Drones
Wales and the World in Drones Protests
On October 4th groups of Welsh (UK) peace campaigners met on Poppit Sands in Pembrokeshire and in The Hayes, Cardiff to mark the first Global Action Day Against the Use of Drones for Surveillance and Killing.
Campaigners in over 40 countries across the world were taking part in simultaneous creative direct actions. They were demanding that governments stop producing and acquiring military drones, stop enabling them through infrastructure 'investment' - as has the Welsh Government at ParcAberporth, calling for a halt in military drone research and development, and instead help achieve a worldwide ban of these weapons.
On Poppit Sands, a group from Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire flew kites into the clear blue sky above the Teifi estuary. Kite flying is a popular national sport in Afghanistan; 80% of drone strike victims so far have been Afghans.
CND Cymru National Secretary Jill Gough said:
Flying kites is a show of solidarity to all people who live in fear of these remote spying and killing machines. There is always money for war, never money for the poor. While we are distracted by austerity and loss of public services, we in Wales must stay alert to the fact that governments across the world are developing these weapon delivery systems and surveillance machines - to the delight of the military hardware manufacturers and
If all you have is a hammer - then every problem looks like a nail. Drones are not the solution to international conflict, they lower the threshold to war and initiate a new round in the arms race. They erode our humanity while ignoring international law and the likelihood of finding peaceful ways to resolve conflict.
This misguided policy of killing and terrorising people thousands of miles away with the push of a button must be stopped.
Israeli El-Bit/French Thales designed Watchkeeper Drones, are being developed and tested for spying, surveillance and target acquisition over mid-Wales. The unmanned planes fly from ParcAberporth in Ceredigion, over north Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and to the military training ranges on Mynydd Epynt in Powys. Welsh taxpayers also fund the development of armed drones being operated in the east of England.
Barclays Bank Cardiff
In Cardiff, Côr Cochion (Cardiff Reds Choir) sang songs of peace in the Hayes. They were joined by others to protest at Barclays Bank, which invests in the Israeli arms company El-Bit.
Choir member Wendy Lewis said:
Drones have been used extensively in Gaza against the defenceless civilian population. Barclays Bank has the blood of more than 400 children killed in the August bombing of Gaza, on its hands.
Inside the bank, a letter of complaint was handed to the manager and the choir sang:
Barclays are funding the arms trade! That's how they keep profits high Profit they put before people
They don't care how many die.
Plenty of things need investment. Hospitals, schools and much more. People must come before profit
Tell them to stop funding war!
CND Cymru Vice Chair Ray Davies later reported:
We ended our action before the police arrived, but not before we asked customers to cut up their bank cards in protest.