Catholic peace campaigners join national protest against UK drones

During the week when the UK began its own remote operation of unmanned aerial vehicles in Afghanistan (drones) hundreds took part in protests at RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire where the UK’s Reaper drones will be operated.
The protest, organised by the Drone Campaign Network (of which Pax Christi is a member), CND, Stop the War Coalition and War on Want, brought together hundreds of people concerned about the legality and morality of the use of Drones.  Until now the operational base has been at a US base outside Las Vegas.

Chris Cole of the Drone Campaign Network spoke of the danger of pilots developing a play-station mentality, of pilots sitting in a base thousands of miles from where the weapons they launch will be used.  John Hilary of War on Want said that drones should be banned in the same way that landmines and cluster munitions have been banned. MP Jeremy Corbyn spoke of drones as the ultimate in use of first-world power over the poor.  They also allow us to remove ourselves from the horror of war.

Pat Gaffney of Pax Christi said: “We believe that the use of armed drones is a new challenge to the morality of warfare.  Among other things, their low cost, ease of use and minimal military casualty rate make them attractive to politicians.  They insulate Western public opinion from the true horrors of war.  Decisions leading towards war and military intervention will be more not less likely.  We urge our Church leaders to evolve a new moral teaching that reflects the challenge of this new technology."

Read Pax Christi briefing here

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