Fly kites, not drones at Greenbelt

By agency reporter
August 26, 2017

What are you doing over the bank holiday? If you are one of the 10,000 plus attending Greenbelt, a festival for the common good, you may get a chance to fly a kite with Quaker peace educator Ellis Brooks.

Deep in the East Midlands near Kettering, a festival with a difference is taking place. Largely a Christian gathering, the event attracts those whose faith leads them to seek social justice in an increasingly unequal and frightening world.

Quakers, whose long experience of working for peace and justice (rights for conscientious objectors, the UN landmine ban, and post-war relief operations), offer unique insights in how change for the good happens.

This week the US and the UK have committed to further military spending in Afghanistan. In a country whose national pastime was kite flying, the perfect weather for kites is also perfect for armed drone attacks. Drones can kill without warning from eight kilometres away, often slaying civilians including children. For an Afghani child a clear blue sky no longer heralds a leisurely pastime, but fear of death.

*This weekend at Greenbelt, Ellis Brooks and a group of young Quakers will ask 'are armed drones making us more or less safe?' And as a symbol of hope, young people will make and fly kites. Find  out more  here

* Quakers are known formally as the Religious Society of Friends. Around 23,000 people attend 478 Quaker meetings in Britain. Their commitment to equality, justice, peace, simplicity and truth challenges them to seek positive social and legislative change.

*Quakers in Britain http://www.quaker.org.uk/

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