Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice
For immediate release: May 9, 2011

Contact:
Diane Farsetta, WNPJ Executive Director, (608) 250-9240, diane@wnpj.org
Bonnie Block, Madison Raging Grannies, (608) 220-2718
Joy First, Madison Pledge of Resistance, (608) 239-4326

Growing Opposition to Drone Aircraft Facility Proposed for Wisconsin

Forty local organizations raise moral, security and financial concerns

MADISON - Forty organizations are objecting to a drone aircraft training facility proposed for Volk Field Air National Guard Base in central Wisconsin.

In open letters released today, forty local groups urge state policymakers to stop plans to build the drone facility. Wisconsin's share of the $8 million construction costs is being considered as part of the ongoing state budget process.

The proposed drone facility would be used for training with the Shadow, or surveillance, unmanned drone aircraft.

"While the Shadow 200's payload is a camera, it is used to put innocent people under surveillance and to identify targets for the armed Predator drones being used in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as Yemen and Gaza," explains the open letter organized by the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice and signed by 37 other organizations across the state.

Signatories to the WNPJ letter include Code Pink of Boscobel, Concerned Citizens of Newport, the Racine Dominicans, Wausau's Northwoods Peace Fellowship and Peace Action in Milwaukee. Separate letters opposing the drone facility were sent by the United Nations Association of Dane County and the Members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Madison.

The letter and full list of signatories are online, at wnpj.org/droneletter

"We object to the killing of innocent victims by these drones," states the WNPJ letter, which calls drone warfare "illegal, immoral and ineffective."

If the drone facility were approved, Wisconsin taxpayers would pay $415,000 for its construction.

"We need that money here at home to feed the one in five Wisconsin children who are hungry; to house the homeless -- one-quarter of whom are veterans; and to create jobs with living wages for the almost eight percent of our citizens who are unemployed," argues the WNPJ letter.

WNPJ (wnpj.org) is a statewide network of 167 member organizations, facilitating activities, cooperation and communication towards the creation of a sustainable world, free from violence and injustice.

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