Archive for Mai 11th, 2020

11. Mai 2020

Anti-Drone Protest in Berlin ahead of a “Broad Public Debate” at the German Defense Ministry on the Legality and Ethics of the use of Armed Drones.

On Monday May 11, 2020 anti-war groups in Berlin held an event and vigil close to the entrance of the German Defense Ministry. Elsa Rassbach and the Berlin Peace Coordination organized the event.

Members of the Berlin chapter of World Beyond War participated in the event.
https://worldbeyondwar.org/berlin

Parlamentarians from three different political parties were speaking at the event.

Here a short video:

 

The main TV-channel ZDF reported on the hearing that was held at the Ministry in Berlin. https://www.zdf.de/nachrichten/politik/drohnen-debatte-bundestag-100.html

Hier ein Ausschnitt:

The German Parliament is about to enter a decisive stage in the only public debate ever to be required by the ruling parties of a NATO-member state regarding whether to acquire lethal killer drones. Other NATO countries have blindly followed the U.S. and Israeli precedent without much public discussion.

This unique situation in Germany results in part from “the importance of international law that Germans came to recognize after the Nazis,” said Elsa Rassbach, of CODEPINK-GERMANY, in her May 4, 2020 interview on The Real News Network:


German reflection about their own nation’s criminal past, she says, has led to strong criticism of the U.S. government’s ruthless violation via its drone program of international and human rights law. Though the German military has tried for more than seven years to acquire armed drones, so far it has not been able to persuade a majority of the population or their representatives in the German Parliament to authorize the acquisition of armed drones.

On May 11, 2020, as Rassbach reports in the interview, the German Defense Ministry is moving during the Corona-Virus-Crisis to get around an agreement by parliamentarians to hold a “broad public debate” on the legality and ethics of the use of armed drones. The Ministry of Defense plans to hold its own hearing loaded with hand-picked witnesses in which attendance will be limited to selected parliamentarians and reporters. So far, no drone whistleblowers or victims of drone attacks have been invited to testify.

Taking advantage of the current lockdown due to COVID-19, during which large public protests are prohibited, the German Defense Ministry will likely promise the parliamentarians that it will never use killer drones for war crimes. And the Ministry will argue that the arming of German drones is essential for the „protection“ of German soldiers on their supposed peace-keeping missions in Afghanistan and in Mali. The Ministry will thus attempt to achieve a consensus among the leaderships of a majority of the six parliamentary parties.

Whatever the Ministry of Defense promises now, it can make no promises regarding the use of drones by future German governments, which may include the right-wing populist forces that are on the rise throughout Europe. Peace activists and many parliamentarians believe it essential that Germany hold the line against acquiring killer drones.

WHAT YOU CAN DO.

During the COVID Lockdown, many house-bound Germans are writing letters to the parliamentarians, particularly to the members of the key committees for the decision about arming the drones. In addition, after receiving complaints about the exclusivity of the Ministry of Defense event on May 11th, the Ministry has opened up a parallel discussion on Twitter, and some killer-drone opponents are tweeting in English, German and other languages.

Elsa is asking us to watch her 17-minute Real News interview and then immediately tweet messages about why Germany should not arm drones: https://twitter.com/hashtag/DrohnenDebatte2020?src=hashtag_click

Please also send emails (by not later than May 20th) to members of the German Parliament, particularly in the Defense and Budget committees, urging that Germany not arm its drones.  These emails can be of any length and give your personal reasons to oppose drone killing.  For an example of such a message, see the letter written in 2018 by Ed Kinane of Upstate Drone Action. https://www.knowdrones.com/blog/2018/6/7/urgent-extremely-important-request-from-elsa-rassbach-in-berlin-to-us-drone-war-organizers

Elsa Rassbach  reports that many German parliamentarians are interested in what US-Americans have to say about drone warfare, and the letters have gotten attention.

Here you can find instructions how to contact the German parliamentarians:
https://www.knowdrones.com/blog/2020/5/7/now-send-emails-by-may-20-urging-germany-dont-arm-your-dronesk

Drohnendebatte 2020 | Livestream

Even the Federal Ministry of Defence reports on the protest on its webpage.

ScreenHunter 3706

Here a rough translation of the article: LINK here

„Outlaw combat drones!“ reads one of the banners, „No combat drones for the Bundeswehr (German Army)!“ reads another banner. Around 40 activists from the peace movement stood in front of the Ministry of Defense in Berlin on Monday afternoon to stand up for their conviction.

The panel launched a panel discussion on the political, legal and ethical aspects of the use of armed drones on the same day – and the peace movements expressed their rejection of the „combat drones“ in advance.

The protest was supported by speeches by several politicians: the Green Party was represented by Deputy Chair Ricarda Lang, and the Left Party with its defense policy spokesman Tobias Pflüger. The MP Karl-Heinz Brunner, who sits on the Defense Committee as chairman for disarmament and arms control, spoke for the SPD, the Social Democratic Party of Germany .

The event at the ministry marks the starting signal for a public debate on the pros and cons of armed drones. A national consensus is to be discussed about the possible armament of the Bundeswehr’s drones. As reported, CDU Christian Democratic Union / CSU Christian Social Union and SPD Social Democratic Party of Germany had In the coalition agreement on the purchase of armed drones – several Heron TP drones have already been rented in Israel – but on the other hand it was stated that the decision about actual armament should only be made after „extensive international law, constitutional and ethical assessment“.

„We want to show that there is a critical public“

A general social debate could not be conducted in Corona times, so the tenor among the activists – the citizens have other concerns and could also be difficult to mobilize. Nevertheless, they want to show that there is a critical public, says Jutta Kausch-Henken. She announced the protest for the groups of the Berlin Peace Coordination. The initiative pools the efforts of an entire network of activists. „We are against wars, and combat drones are lowering the inhibition threshold for warfare,“ says Kausch-Henken. „That is why we do not want the Bundeswehr to get this weapon under any circumstances.“ It is not correct that decisions of such scope are made behind the walls of the Ministry of Defense.

Elsa Rassbach from the German Peace Council points out how important a „substantial discussion“ about the use of armed drones is also for the global community. In her home country of the USA and other countries, this debate had not been carried out in advance, said the US-American. Therefore, it is important to do this now in this country. „We have had terrible experiences with this weapon. It is now up to Germany whether the criticism in the global community should remain awake. ”It is particularly important to also listen to the relatives of drone victims, says Rassbach. „People have to understand that this weapon is harmful to the Bundeswehr.“

„Set the inhibition threshold as high as possible for an assignment“

Bernd Mewes protests for the Friedensglockengesellschaft Berlin in front of the Bendlerblock. „I’m not a pacifist,“ the former temporary soldier clarifies first. However, he is committed to peace, disarmament and international understanding – and is therefore against armed drones. „The arms spiral is turning faster and faster,“ says Mewes. A dynamic of its own could develop that could no longer be stopped. He does not believe that the introduction of armed drones in the Bundeswehr can still be avoided – but one can at least try to set the inhibition threshold for their use as high as possible.

11. Mai 2020

Bleibende Schäden – Infektion Hunderter Arbeiter aus Ost- und Südosteuropa mit dem Covid-19-Virus (II) german-foreign-policy.com

Die Infektion Hunderter Arbeiter aus Ost- und Südosteuropa mit dem Covid-19-Virus in Deutschland ruft Protest der diplomatischen Vertretungen ihrer Herkunftsländer hervor. Die Arbeiter, die zu Niedrigstlöhnen für deutsche Schlachthöfe schuften, leben oft unter desaströsen Bedingungen; auf diese war laut Einschätzung des Robert-Koch-Instituts bereits eine „auffällige Häufung“ von Tuberkulosefällen unter rumänischen Schlachthof-Beschäftigten im Jahr 2018 zurückzuführen. Dass ihre desolaten Lebensbedingungen seitdem nicht verbessert, sondern weiterhin ignoriert wurden, begünstigt nun die Ausbreitung der Covid-19-Pandemie. Die Lage ost- und südosteuropäischer Arbeiter in der Bundesrepublik resultiert daraus, dass das krasse Wohlstandsgefälle in der EU den Bürgern peripherer Staaten oft kaum eine andere Wahl lässt, als ihren Lohn im wohlhabenden Zentrum der Union zu verdienen; dafür müssen sie niedrigste Löhne sowie miserable Wohn- und Arbeitsverhältnisse in Kauf nehmen. Der deutschen Fleischindustrie sichern sie damit billige Exporte und eine führende Weltmarktposition.

Weiterlesen
https://www.german-foreign-policy.com/news/detail/8272/

11. Mai 2020

Ein Lied in 29 Sprachen …. Zum 75. Jahrestag des Sieges über den Faschismus

Über 1 Million Menschen aus vielen Nationen hat mit eigenen Darbietungen des populären Liedes „Den Pobedy“ (Tag des Sieges) an der online-Initiative der gleichnamigen russischen Organisation teilgenommen. Die Organisation hat ein Video veröffentlicht mit einem kurzen Zusammenschnitt ausgewählter Darbietungen in 29 Sprachen.
„Die Einheit aller Nationen gegen den Feind rettete die Welt vor dem Faschismus. Deshalb ist der Tag des Sieges ein Feiertag für alle Menschen auf der ganzen Welt“, erklärte „Unser Sieg“ und setzte sich dafür ein, die Erinnerung an die Ereignisse des Zweiten Weltkriegs zu bewahren.
Siehe Videohttps://youtu.be/lNvSa1WPy4Q

11. Mai 2020

Kundgebung und Mahnwache gegen die Anschaffung deutscher Kampfdrohnen – Berlin 11. Mai 2020 am Bundesverteidigungsministerium

11. Mai 2020

ASPARAGUS AND BOMBERS – Berlin Bulletin No. 177  –  May 11, 2020 by Victor Grossman

In late spring an age-old tradition places asparagus – the white kind preferred here – at the very top of German menus. But only until St. John’s Day, June 24th (the summer solstice). After that date farmers stop harvesting – to give plants at least 100 days to convalesce for the next year before the first frosts arrive (if frosts do arrive this year!).

weiterlesen hier:
shorturl.at/gRU59

 

11. Mai 2020

DROHNEN-BEWAFFNUNG: Pressemitteilungen von attac u. DFG-VK/weitere Info zum Protest am Montag, 11.05., ab 11:10 Verteidigungsministerium

Pressemitteilungen von attac Deutschland und der DFG-VK sowie weitere Infos, auch zum den Livestream- und sozialen Medienangeboten des BMVg von 13 bis 18 Uhr morgen.
[attac-d-presse] Drohnen: Bewaffnungspläne während Corona stoppen! / Montag Mahnwache in Berlin
Pressemitteilung als PDF:
https://link.attac.de/pm-kampfdrohnen
Pressemitteilung der bundesweiten DFG-VK:
DFG-VK zur Beteiligungen an dem sozialen Medien-Angebot des BMVg morgen:

Und in den USA:
Die Drohnen-Kampagne und daran beteiligte Organisationen haben eine Kundgebung und eine Mahnwache für morgen, den 11.05. in der Nähe des Bundesverteidigungsministeriums in Berlin mit Redebeiträgen von führende SPD, Grünen und Linke Politiker*innen organisiert.
Kundgebung:
Montag, 11. Mai, 11.25 bis 12 Uhr, vor Shell-Haus, Ecke
Reichpietschufer/Stauffenbergstraße, Berlin

Mahnwache:
Montag, 11. Mai, 12 bis 13.30 Uhr, vor Verteidigungsministerium,
Stauffenbergstraße 18, Berlin

11. Mai 2020

Germany Plans To Arm Drones Under Cover Of COVID-19 Crisis

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