The US Drones Quilt project is a work of collective art designed to remind us that often the victims of drone attacks are people like us who are afraid, alone and innocent.
It was inspired by a similar UK quilt
and initiated during the April Days of Action 2013.
Activists across the country are doing coordinated actions against militarized drones, targeted assassinations, drone proliferation, use of public monies for drone research, and drone bases in Africa and other nations. The quilt project will continue after April 2013.
Each square of the quilt is made by someone like you who puts their name and then the name of a civilian victim on a square of fabric. These are then sewn together to create a quilt panel that can be used in many ways:
- to raise awareness,
- for political advocacy,
- to connect us deeply to the victims of drone warfare and their families,
- to convert pain into beautiful, activist art.
The quilt restores humanity to those killed or maimed and reminds people that for every single victim of a drone there was a real person with loves, desires and a life.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
1. Contact Leah Bolger at email@example.com. Leah will give you the name of a person who you will be honoring. There are many anonymous victims too, so some squares will honor the un-named.
2. Cut a square of cotton fabric 10 inches x 10 inches.
3. Sew, write, embroider or paint your name and the name of someone killed by a drone onto your square. Be as creative as you want! Leave a margin of at least 1/2 inch around the edge for seams.
3. Mail it to Leah Bolger 3740 SW Western Blvd., Corvallis, OR 97333
A sample square from the U.K drones quilt
4. If you can, please include a donation of $5-20 to cover costs for the quilt.
5. Spread the word!
Check out Drones Quilt on Facebook
Pratap Chatterjee | Common Dreams
Boeing, the aircraft manufacturing giant from Seattle, helped defeat a Republican proposal in Washington state that would have forced government agencies to get approval to buy unmanned aerial vehicles, popularly known as drones, and to obtain a warrant before using them to conduct surveillance on individuals.
Local authorities in Seattle and in King county experimented with conducting surveillance from Draganfly Innovations drones last year, only to cancel both programs in the fact of public protest. “I’m not really surprised that people are upset,” said Jennifer Shaw from the American Civil Liberties Union, a human rights group that campaigned against the drones. “It’s a frightening thing to think that there’s government surveillance cameras overhead.”
On February 7, 2013, David Taylor, a Republican member of the state legislature, introduced a bill to regulate drone use. The proposed law quickly won support from several Democratic party politicians on the state Public Safety Committee.
Alarmed by the growing bipartisan coalition, Boeing jumped into the fray. “We believe that as the technology matures, best practices and new understanding will emerge, and that it would be counterproductive to rush into regulating a burgeoning industry,” Boeing spokeswoman Sue Bradley wrote in a statement. (The company makes a variety of drones from the Unmanned Little Bird and the A160 Hummingbird helicopters to the ScanEagle which has been used in Iran and Iraq and the proposed new X-45C combat aircraft)
Medea Benjamin and Noor Mir | The Huffington Post
Rand Paul’s marathon 13-hour filibuster was not the end of the conversation on drones. Suddenly, drones are everywhere, and so is the backlash. Efforts to counter drones at home and abroad are growing in the courts, at places of worship, outside air force bases, inside the UN, at state legislatures, inside Congress — and having an effect on policy.
1. April marks the national month of uprising against drone warfare. Activists in upstate New York are converging on the Hancock Air National Guard Base where Predator drones are operated. In San Diego, they will take on Predator-maker General Atomics at both its headquarters and the home of the CEO. In D.C., a coalition of national and local organizations are coming together to say no to drones at the White House. And all across the nation — including New York City, New Paltz, Chicago, Tucson and Dayton — activists are planning picket lines, workshops and sit-ins to protest the covert wars. The word has even spread to Islamabad, Pakistan, where activists are planning a vigil to honor victims.
2. There has been an unprecedented surge of activity in cities, counties and state legislatures across the country aimed at regulating domestic surveillance drones. After a raucous city council hearing in Seattle in February, the mayor agreed to terminate its drones program and return the city’s two drones to the manufacturer. Also in February, the city of Charlottesville, Va., passed a two-year moratorium and other restrictions on drone use, and other local bills are pending in cities from Buffalo to Ft. Wayne. Simultaneously, bills have been proliferating on the state level. In Florida, a pending bill will require the police to get a warrant to use drones in an investigation; a Virginia statewide moratorium on drones passed both houses and awaits the governor’s signature, and similar legislation in pending in at least 13 other state legislatures. Read More
David Weigel | Slate
A year ago, as the presidential race was taking shape, The Washington Post’s pollster asked voters whether they favored the use of drones to kill terrorists or terror suspects if they were “American citizens living in other countries.” The net rating at the time was positive: 65 percent for, 26 percent against.
Today, after a month of Rand Paul-driven discussion of drone warfare, Gallup asks basically the same question: Should the U.S. “use drones to launch airstrikes in other countries against U.S. citizens living abroad who are suspected terrorists?” The new numbers: 41 percent for, 52 percent against.
The lede of the poll is even kinder to Paul, finding as high as 79 percent opposition to targeted killing in the United States. But that’s a new question. On the old question, we’ve seen a real queasy swing of public opinion.
The Seattle Times
Officer Jim Britt demonstrates the unmanned aerial vehicle during an October informational meeting at the Garfield Community Center.
The Seattle City Council approved regulations that cover the Seattle Police Department’s use of unmanned aircraft systems. But the department has to start all over again, under the new rules.
That much has apparently not changed. Last week the SPD secured a last-minute revision of pending City Council legislation that laid out the operating conditions for the use of surveillance technology, including drones.
The unanimously approved council bill allows the police to use drones under three sets of conditions: when they have a warrant to do so; under certain “exigent” emergency circumstances; and in the course of a criminal investigation when the courts would not require a warrant for specified kinds of surveillance in public spaces.
Seattle Police Chief John Diaz asked the council for the exemptions. He noted a council requirement to always secure a warrant could create an impediment to investigations because the courts are not inclined to issue warrants when they are not needed.
The sought-after language was included in the council bill, but its last-minute inclusion offered the public virtually no opportunity to comment during a brief public hearing. Read More
This simple visual, created by Pitch Interactive, captures drone strikes along a timeline starting 2004. The creators of the visual give us two different views of the drone strikes: one by the number of attacks each year, and another view that calculates the number of victims per strike. The number of drone strikes each year are symbolized by red spherical explosions that you can control from your own computer. By clicking on the victims view you can see an expanded view of the actual victims with the total number of attacks and casualties for each month. You would be surprised to see the ratio of civilian casualties to high-level targets at the top. Check it out here, and remember to share.
Charlie Savage | The New York Times
WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court held Friday that the Central Intelligence Agency must disclose, at least to a judge, a description of its records on drone strikes in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.
The 19-page opinion by Judge Merrick B. Garland rejected an effort by the Obama administration to keep secret any aspect of the C.I.A.’s interest in the use of drone strikes to kill terrorism suspects abroad.
It does not necessarily mean the contents of any of those records will ever be made public, and it stopped short of ordering the government to acknowledge publicly that the C.I.A. actually uses drones to carry out “targeted killings” against specific terrorism suspects or groups of unknown people who appear to be militants in places like tribal Pakistan. The Obama administration continues to treat that fact as a classified secret, though it has been widely reported.
But the ruling was a chink in that stone wall. Judge Garland, citing the C.I.A. role in analyzing intelligence, as well as public remarks by a former director and other top officials about what they asserted was the precision and minimal civilian casualties caused by drone strikes, said it was a step too far to ask the judicial branch to give its “imprimatur to a fiction of deniability that no reasonable person would regard as plausible.” Read More