Where: Peace Presbyterian Church, 217 Oak St., Mauston, WI
When: Saturday, April 16, 10am-2pm
Contact:  Steve Burns, Program Director, Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice, 608-332-3717, Mary Beth Schalgheck, Co-chair, Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice, 608-846-7924, John McGinley, Juneau County Peace Committee,  608-847-4929 
 
Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice, a statewide coalition of more than 160 organizations working against war and for social and economic justice, will be holding a statewide gathering in Mauston, Wisconsin on Saturday to respond to plans for a drone training facility to be located at nearby Fort McCoy. The meeting will include a presentation by Kathy Kelly, an internationally recognized human-rights activist who has traveled extensively within Afghanistan to document the human cost of the Afghanistan war. 
 
The Ft. McCoy facility, intended to train pilots in operating unmanned surveillance drones, would receive the bulk of its funding from the federal government, but Wisconsin taxpayers would still be expected to bear about $400,000 of the cost.
 
"We're opposed to the construction of a facility that would further involve our state in a form of warfare that violates international law and causes immense human suffering," said Mary Beth Schlagheck, co-chair of Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice.
 
In a recent report to the UN Human Rights Council, UN special rapporteur Philip Alston sharply criticized the legal basis for US drone strikes in Pakistan and elsewhere, saying that the use of drones by the CIA amounts to "a license to kill without accountability."
 
A 2010 study of more than 2000 victims of drone attacks in Pakistan concluded that the vast majority of the victims were civilians, and found that the military could only identify 66  of the victims -- or about 3% -- as members of al Qaeda. 
 
Keynote speaker Kathy Kelly, founder of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, has only recently returned from Afghanistan, where her organization has been working closely with the organization Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers in search of non-military solutions to end the Afghanistan war.
 
The meeting will be hosted by WNPJ member group Juneau County Peace Committee. 
 
Sent 4/13/2011,
Steve Burns
Program Director
Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice
122 State St. #405
Madison, WI 53703
(608) 250-9240





 
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