The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Tony Newman, 646.335.5384,
Noor Mir, 845.625.3725,
Medea Benjamin, 415.235.6517,
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DC Global Drone Summit: Momentum Building Against Killer and Spy Drones

Friday: National Press Club Event and White House Rally and March to Drone Manufacturer Headquarters


For the first time ever, a Yemeni delegation of drone strike victims' family members, human rights experts and Yemeni political leaders will be visiting the US as part of the Global Drone Summit. Faisal Gaber, whose family members were killed by U.S. drones, will ask President Obama for an apology. The delegation will speak at the Friday press conference and at the Drone Summit on Saturday from 1:30pm-3:30pm.

Their visit follows in the wake of the shocking new reports on the impact of US drone strikes put out by the United Nations, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, and a recent US visit by Pakistani drone strike survivors. Yemen is now the number one target for US drone strikes, and the heart-breaking story of the death of Faisal Gaber's family members is detailed in the Human Rights Watch report.

The Global Drone Summit will bring together hundreds of people from across the US and around the world to discuss strategies to stop the proliferation of drones used for killing and spying. It is organized by the peace group CODEPINK, along with the Institute for Policy Studies, The Nation Magazine, Center for Constitutional Rights, and National Lawyers Guild (Georgetown Chapter).

In addition to the Yemeni delegation, the Summit will include drone pilots, legal experts, human rights advocates, authors, technology experts, artists and grassroots activists.

On Friday, November 15 at noon, CODEPINK is organizing a protest march from the White House to the headquarters of drone manufacturer General Atomics, and a day of congressional lobbying and actions on Monday, November 18. These actions will build on hundreds of recent protests at drone bases, CIA, Pentagon, White House and drone manufacturers as the anti-drone movement has gained rapid momentum.

Press Conference

Time: Friday, November 15, 11:00am

Location: National Press Club, 529 14th St., NW, DC

Speakers: Faisal bin Ali Gaber, whose brother-in-law (an anti-al Qaeda cleric) and 21-year-old nephew were killed in drone strike; Entesar Al Qadhi, prominent female Yemeni politician from drone strike area; Baraa Shiban, youth representative for National Dialogue Conference and drone investigator for human rights group Reprieve UK; Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK cofounder and author of Drone Warfare.

White House Rally and March to Drone Manufacturer General Atomics HQ

Time: Friday, November 15, 12:00pm-1:30pm

Location: Rally at White House, march to General Atomics (1899 Pennsylvania Ave, NW)

Summit: Drones Around the Globe: Proliferation and Resistance

Time: Saturday, 9 am to 6 pm and Sunday, 9 am to 5 pm

Location: Georgetown Law Center, Hart Auditorium, 600 New Jersey Avenue, NW DC

The Summit's program will include:

* Opening Remarks by Dr. Cornel West

* Victims' Testimonies: Honoring Voices, Acknowledging Lives

* Drone Operators: Commanding the Machines

* I Spy: Drones and the Surveillance State

* Compensation: Helping with Loss

* Global Action to Regulate Drones: The United Nations and the International Movement

* Creative Resistance to Drone Warfare, Art and Poetry From Around the World

* Film screenings throughout the weekend

* Workshops on Sunday for direct action training, street theater, social media and student organizing

* Speakers include international law expert Mary Ellen O'Connell, author of Drone Warfare Medea Benjamin, Retired Colonel Ann Wright, UK/Europe drone expert Chris Cole, renowned British scientist Noel Sharkey, and creator of DroneStream Josh Begley.

The Yemeni delegates and other speakers are available for individual interviews.
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CODEPINK is a women-led grassroots organization working to end U.S. wars and militarism, support peace and human rights initiatives, and redirect our tax dollars into healthcare, education, green jobs and other life-affirming programs.

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