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Bringing down the drone conference

Category:Spark Action
Posted by: SparklandChris on 20/03/2012

Activists call noise demo and organise counter-summit in response to international drone technology conference held in Bristol 2-3 April

Bristol Against Arms Trade has called a noise demo for Monday 2 April to draw attention to the '27th Bristol International UAV Systems Conference' which will be taking place in the city on that day and the subsequent Tuesday.

The noise demo will assemble at 12 noon opposite the Hippodrome in the Centre, which is but a brief flit away from the conference venue of Armada House on Telephone Avenue, off Baldwin Street.

Attendees at the conference include reps from (deep breath) Altran Praxis, BAE Systems, Barnard Microsystems, Cassidian, dstl, EADS, European Unmanned Systems Centre, Fraser-Nash, Intergraph, Nangia Aero Research, Royal Aeronautical Society, Rolls-Royce, Thales, the University of Bristol, Max-Power Inc, Northrop Grumman, Aeronautical Geological Applications Hellas SA, Danielson Aircraft Systems, Microflown and - last but not least - Septentrio Satellite Navigation.

UAVs, or 'Unmanned Aerial Vehicles' - also known as 'drones' - are the cutting edge of the military-industrial complex, with aerospace and defence companies keen to encourage governments to buy in, whether it's for reconnaissance missions, targeted assassinations or plain old spying.

On Sunday immediately before there will be a 'Down The Drones' [warning: Facebook page] contra-conference, with speakers including Maya Evans (Voices for Creative Nonviolence), Joanne Baker (Voices In The Wilderness/Child Victims of War), Chris Cole (Drone Wars UK) and Smash EDO.

Says BAAT:

"Bristol Against Arms Trade have teamed up with Bristol Stop the War and Bristol Palestine Solidarity Campaign, with the aim of making so much noise the conference will be a flop.

"Over the past decade we have witnessed the growing use of unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly known as drones, to launch attacks around the globe. From Afghanistan to Somalia, from Gaza to Yemen, local communities live in fear of drones flying over their heads, looking for ‘targets of opportunity’. Legal experts and human rights organisations have also condemned the rise in targeted extra-judicial killing, enabled by the use of armed drones."

Sparkland Chris
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