Clear Skies Initiative
Universal Coalition Against Drone Violence:
The use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles commonly known as "Drones" has become ubiquitous among military agencies, and increasingly by domestic law enforcement agencies. Unfortunately, the scope of their use is shrouded in secrecy, and the consequences of their use go largely without scrutiny from other branches of government and mainstream media, which allow this practice to go on without accountability or challenge.
Leaks and reports occasionally reach the public about the shocking number of innocent civilian casualties resulting from the use of Drones to target alleged terrorists. Additionally, the nature of drones makes their use by domestic law enforcement agencies a chilling violation of privacy.
In September, 2012 a thoroughly documented report titled "Living Under Drones" was released by researchers at NYU School of Law and Stanford University Law School. The study documented the impact of Drone attacks on the ground. Also in September, 2012, Newsbound released a presentation on how Drones work, why they are being used and what is their impact. In January, 2013, they presented more information and a documented count of Drone attacks casualties in Pakistan and Yemen.
In February, 2013 a secret Department of Justice white paper titled, “Lawfulness of a Lethal Operation Directed Against a U.S. Citizen” was leaked. The document which is referred to as the "Drone Memo" details the vague and easily satisfied legal criterion that the Executive Branch believes justifies drone strikes on American citizens. In addition, White House spokespeople have been unclear whether such operations could be conducted within the United States.
We the undersigned, a broad coalition across faiths, ideologies, ethnicities, and national borders see this as a final straw; enough is enough. We demand that steps be taken immediately to ensure that civilians the world over need not fear that terror and death reign on them from the sky or that their privacy be violated. We are petitioning all branches of the US government, all branches of the 50 States’ governments, and all foreign governments, to take the following actions:
1. Publicly acknowledge that drone strikes and any method of indiscriminate killing are unacceptable as a weapon of war.
2. Dismantle all drone bases, foreign and domestic, including the one that was exposed in Saudi Arabia in February 2013.
3. Repudiate the so-called “Drone Memo” and affirm their commitment to the legal standards of evidence and due process.
4. Adopt measures similar to those passed in Charlottesville, VA banning the use of drones by domestic agencies.
5. Offer reparations to the families of all past victims of drone strikes who cannot be substantiated as active combatants.
We call upon all people of conscience to sign this petition and say unambiguously to the US government and all governments of the world that this tactic is unacceptable. We urge people of other nations to pressure their governments to withdraw their support and assistance to the US drone program. We demand an immediate end to drone violence. We demand clear skies.
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