Wednesday, August 6, 2014

What Happened with the Anti-Drone Minute Approved by Orange Grove Meeting?

What ever happened to the minute opposing drone warfare approved by Orange Grove Meeting and by Southern California Quarterly Meeting in 2013? See and

U.S. Air Force photo/Lt. Col Leslie PrattA truncated version of this minute was approved by Pacific Yearly Meeting. However, the text of Orange Grove Meeting was approved almost verbatim by Fifteenth Street meeting, New York Quarterly Meeting, and Kendal Monthly Meeting and posted on the FCNL website along with a letter to President Obama calling for an end to drone warfare from Iowa Conservative Yearly Meeting. These prophetic Quaker voices lent needed credence and support to the anti-drone campaign of FCNL and AFSC.

Opposing drone warfare is clearly an issue that Friends care about, and many are willing to take action. In 2013 forty Friends showed up at an interest group sponsored by PYM PSO Committee and all strongly supported approving a minute calling for an end to drone warfare. Noted Quaker activist David Hartsough was arrested along with others protesting drones in Northern California. Jim Summers helped to organize an anti-drone protest with Veterans for Peace in 2013. Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace (which Orange Grove and Santa Monica Meetings support) has an anti-drone campaign. AFSC prepared a study guide on drones to be used by Meetings and peace activists. FCNL’s annual youth lobby day in 2014 focused on ending drone warfare. Articles on drone warfare appeared in Friends Journal and in Western Friend. A Quaker went with Medea Benjamin to areas of Pakistan where drone warfare is being conducted—an area considered dangerous and “off limits” by the State Department. She and other Americans were warmly welcomed by Pakistanis who are being terrorized by drones and happy to see Americans who cared about them and their children. I am glad that Quaker bodies like FCNL, AFSC, and New York Yearly Meeting have shown that we care, and are petitioning the government to end this pernicious practice. Here are some of the responses to drone warfare by Friends:

§  Friends in Britain YM oppose drones.  See

§  British Friends had a letter-writing campaign and demonstration against drones:

§  FNCL web page on drones includes NY Yearly Meeting’s minute plus Iowa YM’s letter to President Obama:

What You Can Do to Curtail Drone Warfare

Anti-drone efforts by Quakers and peace movement have had some effect on Congress. On April 2, 2014, Rep. Adam Schiff and Rep. Walter Jones introduced legislation which would require the President to report to Congress on civilians injured and killed by drone strike. FCNL joined several human rights organizations on a statement in support of this bill. Ask your Representative to co-sponsor The Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act H.R. 4372   

The campaign against militarized drones is ongoing, a small but important step in efforts to “end endless war.” We need to continue to do what we can to stop making war “cheap and easy.”

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