News Release

“Don’t Look Away”: Activists to Confront Drone Assassination Bases After Thanksgiving

At 11 locations near U.S. military bases, in the days following Thanksgiving, Ban Killer Drone campaign activists will display portraits of ten people who were killed three months ago in Kabul, when a U.S. Predator drone fired a Hellfire missile into the family’s courtyard. The victims, seven of them children, were members of the Ahmadi family. The U.S. military mistakenly identified Zemari Ahmadi as a terrorist. After following him for eight hours, analysts concluded he was driving a car filled with explosives intended for an attack that could harm U.S. military at the Hamid Karzai International airport in Kabul. Conclusive investigations showed he was a civilian, working for an NGO dedicated to nutrition, who had loaded canisters of water into the trunk of his car.

When it’s possible to interact with base employees, activists will offer a “memo” posing 12 questions. “In order to be accountable to us, and to your own conscience, we ask you to answer all these questions to yourselves and to the public.” The questions address ethical concerns about drone attacks.
Referring to the drone attack which killed the Ahmadi family, Joy First, who is coordinating an action in Madison, Wis., said, “This is a tragedy that happens all too often. Over 90 percent of the people killed by U.S. drones are not the ones who were targeted. Hundreds of thousands of innocent lives have been lost in these attacks, including so many children.”

The protests are being held in California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Iowa, Missouri, New York, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Activists participating in the “Don’t Look Away” campaign urge U.S. elected representatives to demand more information and accountability regarding the drone attack that killed the Ahmadi family members. They also are calling for the U.S. government to give immediate reparations to the Ahmadis and for the United States to “unfreeze” Afghanistan’s assets to prevent starvation in that country.

The Ban Killer Drones network is also urging a Congressional investigation into the numbers and identities of all those killed by U.S. drones since 2001 and reparations for all their families. Ultimately, the Ban Killer Drones campaign (bankillerdrones.org) believes an international treaty prohibiting weaponized drones should become part of international law.

Contacts: Nick Mottern, nickmottern@gmail.com
Kathy Kelly, kathy.vcnv@gmail.com