NZ Weapons Conference sponsors tied to illegal US drone war
Lockheed Martin, the major sponsor of next month’s Weapons Conference at the TSB Arena in Wellington, manufacturers the Hellfire missiles fired by drone aircraft. CAE, also a sponsor of the conference, is responsible for training the drone pilots.
“This information has come to light as part of a large number of classified documents leaked to news organisation, The Intercept, that show the extent of the US drone assassination programme throughout Afghanistan, Yemen, Iraq and the Horn of Africa.” said Valerie Morse, member of Peace Action Wellington.
“We don’t believe in assassinating people with drones, and we don’t want the companies responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent people around the world to feel comfortable holding a large arms fair to showcase their wares. Companies that profit from war and murder have no place in a civilised society. Theirs is the business of death and destruction for profit.”
Thousands of civilians have been murdered by the United States military operating these invisible drones that hang over large areas of the Middle East and North Africa. The drone assassination campaign has been called a “global killing campaign” by Amnesty International that says, “the USA has systematically violated international law, including by classifying unidentified people as ‘combatants’ to justify their killings.”
CAE likes to boast about its role:
“CAE is responsible for delivering aircrew training to more than 1,500 U.S. Air Force MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper pilots and sensor operators annually. CAE provides academic (classroom), simulator, and live flying instruction on the USAF MQ-1/MQ-9 program, which is the world’s largest remotely piloted aircraft training program.”
Peace Action Wellington is organising a community blockade to shut down the conference and encouraging people to take the day off from work or school to stand up for peace and justice. We invite all concerned people – young and old – to join us on the 17th and 18th of November.”