Walkers from Voices for Creative Nonviolence walk Rock Island, Illinois to Des Moines, Iowa to call for an end to drone warfare.Photo: AFSC / Frank Cordaro
DES MOINES -- (CPM News Services) ---- About 15 people, including Aaron Jorgensen-Briggs of Des Moines, walked along 200 miles of road for the past two weeks to ask the U.S. military not to place a Drone Command center at the Air National Guard in Des Moines. (For Des Moines Register coverage of the walk, click here.)
The 200-mile walk drew serious media attention across the state of Iowa and was picked up by the Associated Press making newspapers like the San Francisco Chronicle. It was also covered by several Catholic publications. http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Anti-drone-activists-marching-across-eastern-Iowa-4604004.php
The actions along with national and international disapproval of Drone warfare may cause Des Moines and the U.S. military to reconsider the possibility of putting a command center in Des Moines. The administration is receiving pressure from not only people who know that bombing civilians does not make us any more safe but also from people who say this is going to make Des Moines a military target.
The debate last legislative session on domestic Drones at the Iowa Capitol brought members of the peace community and Tea Party Republicans together to voice their disapproval on the issue and many right-wing radio networks speak critically of the drone program every day saying that assassinating people without due process goes beyond the torture committed during the previous administration.
President Obama's drone program has undergone serious scrutiny the past several weeks and the New York Times recently reported the number of drone bombings may be on the decrease as a result of pressure from the both political parties and citizens like the people who walked from Illinois to Iowa. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/22/us/debate-aside-drone-strikes-drop-sharply.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
"Having just returned from Afghanistan, you understand that this does not make us more secure," said Kathy Kelly of Creative Voices for Nonviolence. Kelly was a few years ago a Nobel Peace Prize nominee based on her work traveling to Iraq to try and draw attention to the sanctions and the impact on the civilian population of that country.
Kelly said "we've met with families who have lost loved ones to drone strikes" and told their stories along the way. http://www.tvballa.com/2013/06/des-moines-ia/protest-moines-des-drone
Videos from Rodger Soundslikesouth1@yahoo.com
Peace and Justice Videographer
Kathy Kelly says Ground the Drones!
Why do people walk to end Drone warfare?
Living Under Drones
http://www.vcnv.org/ (many stories from the entire walk, various newspapers)