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Protesters Hold 'NO Drones' Vigil at CEO’s Home in La Jolla

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CODEPINK held a somber vigil outside of the home of General Atomics CEO James Neal Blue this morning in La Jolla, California. Members of the women’s peace group arrived at 10AM to find several news vans and police cars waiting for them. Unfurling banners that read, “Drone Attacks = Terror,” the three protesters set up a small altar with roses and candles to commemorate the children killed in drone attacks.

General Atomics manufactures the Predator and Reaper Drones, the only armed UAV’s made in the US. Though touted as high-tech and life-saving precision weapons, at least 30% of the deaths caused by drone strikes are civilians, with some human rights groups estimating even higher numbers. All the while costing US taxpayers $4 million to $12 million for each plane during a time when domestic needs are desperately under-funded.

Another issue that CODEPINK takes with the use of drones – specifically in the Afghanistan/Pakistan border region – is that they are known to cause more deaths than they prevent, since the terror they cause fuel anti-American sentiment and help extremists groups to recruit combatants. During interrogation of the suspect in the failed NY Times Square bomb plot, it was revealed that drone strikes motivated his attempted attack on US civilians. Intelligence officials even admit to this threat, according to a NY Times article on May 5th. “{…} the attack in December on a C.I.A. base in Afghanistan, and now possibly the failed S.U.V. attack in Manhattan, are reminders that the drones’ very success may be provoking a costly response.”

CODEPINK and San Diego’s Peace Resource Center agree that the price of the drone attacks is too high, both in taxpayer dollars and human lives.


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