More than 30 students and staff from a ministerial training college have protested outside a factory which makes engines for unmanned flying bombs. The group from The Queen's Foundation gathered at the Shenstone UAV Engine Factory on Friday 10th May to warn the military that the use of their drones to terrify and kill people in Pakistan is creating a surge in support for the Taliban.
"It is obvious, when you pause to think", said Rev Chris Aldridge, "There are three sons and a little sister in a family. One of the sons and their sister are suddenly killed by a bomb from the sky and the other two curse the British and the Americans and join the Taliban!"
"It is particularly distressing", said Andy McCosh, one of the organisers and a priest in training at the Queen's Foundation, "when there are so many useful things that drones could be doing, such as watching the spread of bush fires and assisting searches at sea. There is good money to be made through these peaceful usages. Why create trouble for ourselves by inflaming people in Pakistan who could be our friends?"
Drones are used for air reconnaissance and for military strikes against potential terrorists. Britain has recently joined the USA in using them. However, innocent bystanders are frequently killed and their use is alienating many Pakistani people.
The meeting is one of a series that has been going on three times a year since 2009. People come from several organisations, such as the Catholic peace movement, Pax Christi, the Palestinian Christian peace group, Friends of Sabeel (UK), and the Queen's Foundation in Birmingham, where ministers are trained for the Church of England and the Methodist Church.
Professor John Hull, who teaches at Queen's, said: "We are particularly concerned now that the RAF has begun to make use of military drones. This seems to be the end of the heroism of the air force. It is not very heroic to sit in front of a computer in your warm office and push buttons.”
We Need Your Support
ICN aims to provide speedy and accurate news coverage of all subjects of interest to Catholics and the wider Christian community. As our audience increases - so do our costs. We need your help to continue this work.
Please support our journalism by donating today.Donate