Anti-arms trade activists will demonstrate outside an industry conference on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) - commonly known as drones - on Wednesday 16 November. The protest is organised by Drone Wars UK and Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) Universities' Network.
"Unmanned Aircraft Systems 2011", a trade conference organised by SMi conferences, has speakers from military and industry backgrounds. The programme includes first-hand updates on drone operations in Afghanistan and Libya from senior military officers, discussions on drone developments and debate on the topic: “How can we stop the public hysteria surrounding UAV operations in the 21st Century?”
Chris Cole, Convenor of Drone Wars, says:
"In the last few weeks we have seen protest actions against the use of drones in Pakistan, Yemen and the USA. Drones have a terrible record of killing and maiming people, the vast majority of whom are civilians."
Beth Smith of CAAT Universities Network says:
"Many students and staff are unaware that universities carry out research linked to military drones. Given the death and damage caused by drones, this research is unethical and should be stopped."
We know of ten universities that have a specific relationship with BAE Systems and drone research through the FLAVIIR research programme. They are: Cranfield, Imperial College, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham, Southampton, Swansea, Warwick and York Universities. It is important that staff and students from these universities raise the ethical issues around these links."
For further information contact CAAT's Universities Co-ordinator, Beth Smith on 020 7281 0297 or email Universities.
- Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) in the UK works to end the international arms trade. The arms business has a devastating impact on human rights and society and damages economic development. Large-scale military procurement and arms exports only reinforce a militaristic approach to international problems. CAAT Universities' Network exists to provide students and staff in higher education with information on arms companies' ties to universities and to actively campaign to break these ties.
- Drone Wars UK aims to be a source of information on the growing use of armed drones. As a UK-based organisation, it focuses on the use of British drones but also covers information about armed drones in general.
- The protest will take place outside Unmanned Aerial Systems 20111 conference at the Copthorne Tara Hotel, Scarsdale Place, Kensington, London, W8 5SR (High Street, Kensington tube) from 12 noon to 2pm on Wednesday 16 November.