Local group protests use of military drones

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Fort Wayne for Peace organized an event at Headwaters Park Sunday afternoon focused on the use of military drones in the Middle East.

Dozens of people of all ages showed up to the “Fly Kites, Not Drones” event in an effort to raise awareness towards U.S. foreign policy practices as well as fly kites with a message. Kite flying is a popular tradition in Afghanistan, but the pastime was banned during the Taliban reign.

“The Kites show us there’s a way to do it peacefully,” Howard Traxmor, who participated in the event said. “We can use drones for agriculture and other needs.”

Organizers said the drones are a major part of foreign policy that people need to understand the impact of better. The United States has been using drone attacks in countries such as Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Pakistan. However, nationwide controversy has erupted after many believe drone attacks killed innocent civilians and children. Although, they’ve also eliminated many Al-Qaeda suspects. Over the past five years, drones have been responsible for around 2400 deaths in the Middle East. Organizers with Fort Wayne for Peace said they were flying kites Sunday to support those victims.

Earlier this year, President Obama tried to move control of the drone program from the CIA to the Pentagon. However, a group of Congressmen ceased that plan with a secretive amendment.

“We have to de-escalate the wars and increase the awareness,” Terry Dougherty, the treasurer of School of Leadership Afghanistan said.

The event Sunday was a part of April Days of Action Against Drones.

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