Wednesday, May 1, 2013

April Days of Action Against Drones concludes with a vengeance at Davis Monthan Air Force Base

On Tuesday, April 30, Tucson drone protesters vigiled near the main gate of Davis Monthan Air Force Base during the early morning rush hour. Not far from the gate sits the brand new building that houses the Air National Guard drone operation center. Some of their signs read, "Drone Wars Enrage the World" and "Drone Wars Waged Here".
Are Davis-Monthan's drones killing civilians?
 Demonstrators made sure that this question was
 front and center in the minds of rush-hour commuters.
The message of the protesters was deemed sufficiently threatening that counter demonstrators came out, holding signs in support of drone warfare during the protest and, ironically, swelling the ranks of demonstrators.

Counter-protesters came bedecked with American
 flags- but is a flag sufficient justification for the killing
 of innocent children?
Members of The Nuclear Resister and Tucson chapters of Veterans for Peace and Women's International League for Peace and Freedom took part in the protest. Although it joined protests across the country during the culmination of the April Days of Action Against Drones, it was also one of many monthly vigils that, despite arrests for civil disobedience, have persisted for years so that Tucson never becomes complacent about the continuing and escalating atrocities of drone warfare.

The movement to end drone warfare continues! Get involved in your part of the country!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

April Days of Action Against Drones in ARIZONA

Protests in Arizona will be part of the nationwide April Days of Action Against Drones.

SIERRA VISTA- Monday, April 29, 2013- The Drone Rangers of Cochise County are gathering at the main gate of Ft. Huachuca, Sierra Vista, Az.  Ft. Huachuca has long been the site of unmanned aircraft development and training as well as other "intelligence activity". We are gathering at  2:30 at the end of Fry Blvd. in front of the gate. For more information contact: Joel at

TUCSON - Monday, April 15, 2013 - Exhibit: Tax Day at Raytheon Missile Systems: Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson is manufacturing UAVs that can be armed as well as weapons to arm them. We are demonstrating on Tax Day to say "No Taxes for War!" Gather at Raytheon's entrance on S. Nogales Highway at Hermans Road, two miles s. of Valencia. 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. SEE REPORT ON THE ACTION HERE

Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - Vigil at Davis Monthan Air Force Base -Monthly vigil at Davis Monthan AFB, where the 214th Recon unit of the Air National Guard pilots combat drones. "The 214th has flown more than 3,000 sorties and provided more than 55,000 flying hours of combat mission support in Southwest Asia in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation New Dawn, providing overhead full-motion video to U.S. intelligence agencies and close air support to troops in contact." We vigil at corner of Golflinks and Craycroft Roads. 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.

(Add additional Arizona events to the master list of national April Days of Action actions.)

Read about ALL the ways YOU can be involved 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

April Days of Action Against Drones in Tucson: Early morning protest at Raytheon Missile Systems

Joining the nationwide April Days of Action Against Drones, Peace activists representing the Fellowship of Reconciliation rose with the sun on April 15, Tax Day, to picket outside Tucson's Raytheon Missile Systems while the workers arrived for the early morning shift.  

Holding signs - some reading "Not With Our Tax Dollars", "Drones: Terror From the Sky" and "Will the World's Children Survive Your Work?" - the group publicly expressed their desire that tax dollars fund social needs such as education and health care rather than the pilotless drones, cruise missiles, Star Wars "kill vehicles", cluster bombs and more built at Raytheon's Tucson plant.

That afternoon, John Heid had a trial in Tucson City Court for his December 28, 2012 arrest during a drone protest at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, home to an active combat predator drone unit.  He told the judge that he didn't go to Davis-Monthan AFB that day with criminal intent, but rather with the intent to challenge criminality.  Heid was found guilty of trespass and sentenced to time served on the day of his arrest.

Monthly peace vigils protesting drone warfare continue at both Raytheon and Davis-Monthan AFB. Email for more information.

Learn more about anti-drone events taking place around the nation!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Call for "No Drones" in Arizona Colleges, Universities, and Research Institutions


A national call has been made for “April Days of Action” to focus on three key components of U.S. drone work: Drone Manufacturers, Drone Bases in the U.S., and Drone Research. (See the list about nationwide actions and post your own planned actions for April.)

Given the fact that drones are now the primary weapons of warfare used by the US, and for surveillance both domestic and abroad, the research and development of this warfare is growing rapidly at academic institutions, in our towns and neighborhoods. Drones are the perfect instrument for endless war that kills civilians, even as they target “militants” in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Afghanistan.

Academic institutions often receive large grants from the U.S. Department of Defense, enabling them to build labs within schools of engineering, for instance. We are well aware that without this research in robotics, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), and the accompanying accessories, these drone warfare projects would probably not take place. So there is an interdependent relationship between the universities and the U.S. government and or its Department of Defense and CIA. (CIA drones are used in countries with which the U.S. is not “at war”, ie Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, Mali, and others.)

While universities tend to publicize some information on their respective websites regarding the drone work, it is most often said to be for non-military purposes. And there are students working in the labs who are convinced that all the research is for humanitarian purposes. However, history has told us that non-military can quickly and easily become military. Moreover research has shown drones make mistakes on recognizing their targets.

We are therefore asking organizations and individuals, nationwide, to explore any drone research that might be going on at their local university. We are calling for local actions between April 16 and 18, 2013 (Suggested actions are listed below) Our limited research into University and Academic UAV programs indicates that research centers are operating in Arizona:
Arizona State University- Tempe
PIMA Community College - Tucson
University of Arizona - Tucson
Before those dates in April we will need to know what information you have acquired about the research and what actions and events your group is planning.This will be shared among groups in the Network. You can send this information to us at

We will have a press committee that will receive your press release and any articles you are able to publish before or after the event.

This project will complement other outreach, education and action projects that will be launched in April, focusing on drone bases, April 27-28 and drone manufacturers , April 4-6.

Suggested actions:
  1. Learn what research is being done by searching on a university website. Look especially at the Engineering Dept. 
  2. Organize a forum, preferably on campus, with speakers and discussion. Be sure to publicize in campus newspapers, and possibly include a professor as one of the speakers. Also include local activists.
  3. Plan a small meeting with the appropriate persons in the department working on drone research, both professors and students.
  4. Hold vigils and leaflet on or close to the campus, as well as in town.
  5. Let us know if you need further tools for your research.
Thanks in advance for your reply to

With all good wishes,

Marge Van Cleef, WILPF, Philadelphia
Leila Zand, For USA
Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator, Voices for Creative Nonviolence