Military drones heard in West Midlands

Protesters at Shenstone

Protesters at Shenstone

The sound that frightens children in Gaza was heard on Tuesday afternoon in Shenstone near Lichfield. More than 50 academics, clergy, members of religious orders, and people training for ordination in the Queen’s Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education in Birmingham gathered for an act of public worship against the UAV Engine factory in Shenstone. This is a factory owned by an Israeli arms company making parts of engines for drones which are heard over the Gaza Strip. A recording of the sound of drones over Gaza was broadcast towards the factory.

The Revd Warren Bardsley said: "When you hear the continual buzzing of drones in the sky, you don’t know if they will attack you or just watch you. We in Britain are acting like terrorists while we believe we are defending ourselves against them!"

After readings from the Bible and the Qur’an the worshippers dedicated themselves to peace and shouted out "Stop the drones!" and "Drones kill". Most of the protestors were men and women training for ordained ministry in the Church of England and the Methodist Church. Bishop Edward  Musonda from the Anglican Church in Zambia said: "It is a pleasure to take part in this act of Christian witness against this savage military weaponry."

A charge of aggravated trespass against a group of young people who had camped on the roof of the factory in August last year was dropped by the Crown Prosecutors when representatives of the UAV Engine factory refused to give evidence in court, reported in The Independent on 30 January 2015. Professor John Hull of the Queen’s Foundation said, ‘It seems that the factory is unwilling to disclose in public the exact nature of their work’.



Tags: Bishop Edward Musonda, drones, Gaza, Lichfield, Queen's Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education, Revd Warren Bardsley, Shenstone, UAV Engine factory

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