Statement on UK and drones from the Waddington Six

Statement on UK and drones from the Waddington Six

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) claims that UK operated armed Drones are mainly used for surveillance. However, Afghanis report civilian trauma at the constant droning sound and fear of being bombed by Drones.

The MoD claim that RAF pilots of Drones operate differently to the American pilots; this seems unlikely and is not borne out by any evidence.

The MoD claims that drones saved lives. However, after two invasions of Iraq and a drawn out and aimless occupation of Afghanistan, the British people are no safer from terror and other nations are terrorised in our name.

The MoD have never criticised the US and the CIA or denounced their actions nor has the UK government. They share an HQ at Northwood and the UK spy headquarters, GCHQ, shares information with US government agencies, knowing that this may be used by US drone pilots. UK and US pilots have shared a drone-pilot hanger in Texas and the US and UK have regularly supported one another’s campaigns. MoD claims of moral superiority over the US ring hollow.

· We call on the MoD to publicly promise never to use autonomous drones

· We call on the MoD to publicly denounce signature strikes as war crimes

· We call on the MoD to admit to its use of Armed Drones on civilian populations

· We call on the MoD to make Drone strike intelligence available and accountable to parliament

· We call on the MoD to denounce the use of Armed Drones as immoral and criminal and to cease operating them immediately

· We call on David Cameron to end UK complicity with the four decades of war against the Afghani people

Opinion polls regularly show that the public in the UK and around the globe are increasingly worried about armed drones and remote warfare. A controlled, public relation, charm offensive will not fool anyone and we again call on the MoD to be more transparent about their use of armed drones.

Signed:

Penny Walker (Grandmother)
Martin Newell (Catholic priest)
Susan Clarkson (Pensioner)
Keith Hebden (Anglican priest)
Chris Cole (Drones researcher)
Henrietta Cullinan (School teacher)

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© the Waddington Six. Keith Hebden is an Affirming Catholic Anglican pioneer minister and Seeking Justice deanery adviser in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, where he chairs the Diocesan Greener Churches Group. He teaches and writes on Dalit theology, Christian anarchism, green spirituality, and spiritual activism. His latest book, Seeking Justice: The radical compassion of Jesus plots experiments in faith based community organising and direct action. Some of his workshop material and other resources can be found at Compassionistas.

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