For Immediate Release
Alli McCracken, CODEPINK Coordinator, 860 575 5692, Alli@codepink.org
Noor Mir, CODEPINK anti-drone campaign coordinator, 845-625-3725
CODEPINK Protester Disrupts Drone Lobby Summit, Says It's Time to Ground the Killer Drones
WASHINGTON - During the powerful pro-drone lobby AUVSI (Aerial Unmanned Vehicles Systems Integrated) Annual Summit at the Convention Center, 24-year-old Alli McCracken, CODEPINK’s National Coordinator, disrupted the speech by Lt. James Barclay, Deputy Chief of Staff G-8.
As Lt. Gen. Barclay spoke about making drones fully autonomous, McCracken walked to the front of the room, unfurled a STOP KILLER DRONES banner, and demanded an end to the killer drone program. “Are you going to talk about the innocent people who have been killed by the drones?,” McCracken asked. “I have met with drone survivors in Pakistan and know that the use of killer drones terrorizes people in places like Pakistan and Yemen. Shame on you, AUVSI. You have the blood of innocent children on your hands. Time to ground the killer drones!”
McCracken was escorted out of the Convention Center by security and is now available for interviews.
CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin commented, “It’s important to shed light on the role of the pro-drone lobby in expanding the killer drones program. All the top manufacturers-- General Atomics, Boeing, Lockheed Martin--are part of the lobby and were in that room. We hope they heard CODEPINK’s message. These companies are complicit in the crime of killing innocent civilians.”
In his May 23 speech on foreign policy, President Obama said he would be reducing the drone strikes and would take great care not to kill civilians. Since his announcement, there have been nine drone strikes in Yemen, with six civilian deaths reported--including a 10-year-old boy. CODEPINK calls for an end to the killer drone program. McCracken is available for interviews and she can be reached at 860 575 5692.
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. CODEPINK rejects foreign policies based on domination and aggression, and instead calls for policies based on diplomacy, compassion and a commitment to international law. With an emphasis on joy and humor, CODEPINK women and men seek to activate, amplify and inspire a community of peacemakers through creative campaigns and a commitment to non-violence.