Lawsuit on Yemen Drone Death: Protestors to Gather at Obama’s West Point Address

May 28th, 2014 - by admin

Abby Zimet / Common Dreams & The World Can’t Wait – 2014-05-28 01:02:12

US Aid Wrapped in a Body Bag:
Suing the Drone Makers

Abby Zimet / Common Dreams

(May 23, 2014) — Mohammed Al-Qawli, an educational consultant in Yemen, remains haunted by the day in January 2013 he spent hours trying to collect the body parts of his brother Ali, a schoolteacher, and his cousin Salim, a student, both “accidentally” killed in a US drone strike.

Now Al-Qawli and human rights group Reprieve are mounting a legal challenge against the UK government for failing to investigate violations of international law by communications giant British Telecom, which is allegedly facilitating US strikes that have killed perhaps 1,000 Yemenis.

In April, Al-Qawli also launched the National Organization for Drone Victims in memory of his brother to allow “the voices of victims” to be heard and to work to end an ongoing US targeted killing program that has had a “devastating” effect on communities throughout Yemen.

While “Ali al-Qawli the schoolteacher has left us,” he notes, “his tremendous legacy of love, passion and hope remains. . . I hope that the American people (will) stand against the violent actions of their Nobel Peace Prize-winning president and join us in demanding that the US government stop its blind killing of hundreds of innocent people.”

“I’d heard that the United States of America was sending support to Yemen, but for a long time I did not know what that meant. Now I can see it firsthand. I have received US gifts and US aid, wrapped in a body bag. These explosive fragments kill Yemenis, destroy their spirits, burn their bodies and only further empower the militants.

The US and Yemeni governments killed a young man who strongly opposed terrorism and tried to bring change through education — the very same things they purport to want themselves. I want to know why.”

ACTION ALERT: Obama to Outline
How He’ll Keep International Order

The World Can’t Wait

(May 27, 2014) — Press reports say Obama will make a major address at West Point’s commencement Wednesday morning on US foreign policy objectives, and portray the US as “the ultimate guarantor of international order” according to The New York Times.

Days after his “surprise visit” to Afghanistan to announce that whoever is president after Karzai will allow occupation troops to stay past this year, we speculate on this vision of international order. . .

Will Obama talk about the order created by the 1,200 US military bases worldwide; its possession of more nukes — and history of using them — than any other country? Or the order created by NSA’s vacuuming of data on whole populations and other world leaders? Or how his government holds people indefinitely, even after promising to release them? Or the “order” of targeted assassination and indefinite detention from the Oval Office?

The international press needs to see messages from us against all this. We will be at the gates with model drones and photos of known victims of the US military and secret CIA targeted assassination program. The display is for family and friends of the 2014 graduating class as they enter West Point gates at 7 am.

The protest will extend to 9:30 am; graduation ceremonies begin at 10:00 am.

This protest has special meaning for those in the US Army because the MQ-1C Gray Eagle drone (above), a more deadly version of the infamous Predator drone, is being integrated into use in every Army division. Gray Eagles are now being used in Afghanistan, where the United States is conducting intensive drone attacks in anticipation of a reduction of US ground forces.

KnowDrones estimates that at least 5,000 people have been killed by US drones in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and the Philippines since drone attacks began in 2001. In addition, thousands of people live in terror from continuing drone surveillance because of the knowledge that missile attacks may come at any time.

The protest is sponsored by KnowDrones, World Can’t Wait, WESPAC Foundation and Code Pink. Look for reports later this week or dial in to the conference call Thursday night to hear more about it.

Event details
Wed, May 28, 2014
6:45 AM – 1:00 PM
Protest President Obama Speaking at West Point Graduation

An anti-drone war protest is planned to address President Obama when he comes to West Point on Wednesday morning, May 28 to speak at the graduation of the Class of 2014.

Protesters are asked to gather at 6:45 am near the Stoney Lonesome Gate of West Point just off Route 9W, one exit north of the exit leading to Highland Falls, NY, home of West Point. The protest will end shortly before 10 am when the commencement is scheduled to begin.

Please RSVP as soon as possible to assist in planning._
Write: Also: (914) 806-6179.

Event Location
United States Military Academy
Michie Stadium
West Point, NY 10996