Posted by CODEPINK Staff
From Liz Hourican:
Nancy Mancias, California codepinker, invited me to a DRONE Expo in Albuqueque, New Mexico. The opening 2 days were open; the last day was classified. It was the 11th Annual DRONE Expo held at a way out of the main path secluded hotel.
We went inside the main event and listened for just over an hour until the Q&A session was permitted for 10 minutes. Nancy put her hand up immediately, waving it eagerly. Lt. General Dephula signaled to get her the microphone. "I am Nancy Mancias with CODEPINK, a women's peace group," she began ... and all the heads turned. "Where is the accountability with regard to civilian casualties and the incredible amount of IDS's?" It was a very long question.
The Lt Gen. stated this is a very good question - 3 times! He stepped off the stage away from the podium and the microphone and started pacing the stage area. He was probably thinking: YIKES what do I say? Holy smokes I don't know what to say!! He said, "The Taliban is what is shooting and killing people and DRONES are PRECISE! Drones aren't killing civilians!" Unfortunately, he is wrong. Even David Kilcullen - a former advisor to Gen. David Petraeus - testified before Congress that drones kill 50 civilians for every 1 "target."
We feel that these are the venues that we need to take note of and speak out at from the heart. They just don't know how to handle people that look like relatives, their children, neighbors, and speak the truth as we look into the eyes of these warmongers, war machine developers, war promoters, and others.
After the answer we were asked to leave the hotel for disruption. I asked, "Why is that when Nancy raised her hand the featured speaker allowed the question and took 5 -6 minutes to answer it?" We thanked him. We left the room and were detained in a small foyer in the back of the house. They checked our ID and requested a signature asking that I would never come back to that hotel. The hotel staff were so nice and friendly! They expressed support for a very courageous speak out.
We rolled out and hit the road to plan another action! So let's stay persistent, informed, together, and do something to humanize the the human price of DRONE TERROR!
Thanks to peacemakers: Nancy, Chelsea, Marcus, Derek, Steven, Patrick, and Frankie!