Ground the Drones

Issue Details


There has been an international people's movement to oppose killer and surveillance drones, since their increased use following the 9/11 attacks in the U.S. The U.S. government increasingly deployed drones in the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa. While the U.S. military and the CIA initially used drones primarily for surveillance, these remotely controlled aerial vehicles are currently routinely used to launch missiles against human targets in countries where the United States is not at war, including Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen. As many as 3,000 people, including hundreds of noncombatants and even American citizens, have been killed in covert missions.

Our nation has led the way to a form of warfare where pilots sitting on the ground thousands of miles away command drone strikes, where targets are (in military jargon) “neutralized,” and where unintended victims are dismissed as “collateral damage.” Close observers, both inside and outside the U.S. military, call this “video-game warfare.” These drone operations, directed largely by the CIA, lack necessary transparency and accountability.

CODEPINK has been involved with pushing back against this unjust and inhumane killing for many years including delegations to Pakistan and Yemen and an international summit on Drones in Washington, DC. 

As drones become an increasingly preferred form of warfare and as their presence expands at home, it is time to educate ourselves, the U.S. public, and our policymakers about drone proliferation. As remotely controlled warfare and spying race forward, it is also time to organize to end current abuses and to prevent the potentially widespread misuse both overseas and here at home.

Other Resources

Below is a list of resources and actions you can use to educate your community about lethal and surveillance drones. 


  • The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has been investigating the US secret wars in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. Find data and articles on their website.
  • Know Drones provides drone replicas and educational materials to support citizen action to achieve an international ban on weaponized drones and surveillance drones.
  • Voices for Creative Nonviolence offers a number of drone warfare awareness and resistance resources including pamphlets and a guide to organizing a mock drone attack action.
  • The Local Civil Rights Restoration (LCRR) campaign protects the fundamental rights and liberties of law-abiding Americans to be free of arbitrary monitoring and surveillance.

Social Media

Books, Films and Plays

  • Order your copy of Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control. Invite Medea Benjamin to your community for a book event by contacting Alli McCracken at Request your library include the book in its catalog.


  • A Drone Field Guide
    Alexandra Gibb and Cameron Tulk (Canadian International Council) 5/31/12
    This report compiles information on the broad spectrum of current and future drone designs and capabilities.
  • Drone Wars Briefing: Examining the Threat of Unmanned Warfare
    Chris Cole (Drone Wars UK) 1/1/12
    This briefing explores some of the key issues arising from the growing use of armed unmanned drones. Examining current UK and US military drone operations, as well as looking at future developments and legal issues, the fully-referenced briefing will be of use to both those new to the issue as well as those with a long-term interest.
  • Protecting Privacy From Aerial Surveillance: Recommendations for Government Use of Drone Aircraft
    Jay Stanley and Catherine Crump (ACLU) 12/15/11
    This report outlines a set of protections that would help protect Americans’ privacy in the coming world of domestic drones. The report recommends that drones should not be deployed unless there are grounds to believe that they will collect evidence on a specific crime.


“The Drone Papers”

Leaked military documents revealing the truth behind the covert U.S Drone Program, the “Kill Chain” of Command, and military data documenting the high civilian casualty rates that top government and Pentagon officials have been publicly denying.


Drone Summit 2013

In November of 2013 CODEPINK hosted an International Drone Summit in Washington DC, hosting delegates from Yemen, Afghanistan, England, Germany, and many more! 

Jeremy Scahill: Obama's Death Panels

More from the Drone Summit here!

Pakistan Delegation 2012 

CODEPINK anti drone rally in Tank, Pakistan from 23rd Studios on Vimeo.

CODEPINK activists travel to Tank, Pakistan, an area just outside the border to South Waziristan. Medea Benjamin addresses a crowd of people inside a tribal compound, demanding an end to US occupation of Afghanistan and the illegal US drone program. The rally, organized by CODEPINK, The Foundation for Fundamental Rights, Reprieve, and PTI, marked the end point of a two day, 10,000 person convoy of protesters starting in Islamabad, Pakistan.

8 October 2012 | Anti Drone Rally in Tribal Area of Pakistan

8 October 2012 | Medea Benjamin interviewed on Al Jazeera about CODEPINK Stop Drones Delegation in Pakistan

8 October 2012 | CNN coverage of CODEPINK delegation to Pakistan</>

6 October 2012 | ‘Code Pink’ Protests Drone Strikes in Pakistan

5 October 2012 | US Peace Activists Challenge Ambassador in Pakistan About Drones

4 October 2012 | CODEPINK activists message on PTI Peace March to Waziristan

3 October 2012 | We Will Not Raise Our Children To Kill Other Mothers’ Children

CNN Coverage of CODEPINK Stop Drones Delegation to Pakistan

Medea Benjamin interview on Al Jazeera

Other CODEPINK Actions

US Peace Activists Challenge Ambassador in Pakistan About Drones from CODEPINK on Vimeo.

Anti-drone protesters from across Pakistan and around the world are gathering in Islamabad this week in preparation for a weekend march into the tribal areas of South Waziristan.

A delegation of 30 US activists and parents of U.S. Army soldiers has arrived in Islamabad, where they plan to join the October 6 and 7th anti-drone march and rally.

During a meeting with Acting US Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Hoagland, Robert Naiman of Just Foreign Policy and members of CODEPINK challenged Hoagland to respond to reports that CIA drone strikes in Pakistan have targeted civilian rescuers, and assertions by international law experts that such targeting is clearly a war crime under international humanitarian law, regardless of whether US drone strikes in Pakistan are otherwise legal.

Medea Benjamin disrupted a talk by Counterterrorism adviser John Brennan spoke at the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington DC on April 30, 2012 on the one-year anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden. It was the first time a high level member of the Obama Administration spoke at length about the U.S. drone strikes that the CIA and the Joint Special Operations Command have been carrying out in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

More information

Pakistani Government Sued by Drone Victims for Complicity in CIA Attacks

Jeremy Scahill: Who approves the Drones?

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