2013 Drone Summit

Drones Around the Globe: Proliferation and Resistance - Washington DC,
November 16-17, 2013

Press Inquires:
contact Alli @ 860-575-5692

News Coverage:

CSPAN coverage of the summit

Drone Strike Victims Find Support From Activists, Silence from Unapologetic US Leaders, Truth Out, November 25, 2013

Proliferation and Resistance – Drone Summit 2013, Chris Cole (Drone Wars UK), November 21, 2013

Is Germany the Key to Resisting AFRICOM's Africa Takeover?, Joe Scarry (USA), November 19, 2013

Anti-drone movement prepares for take off, OpEdNews, November 24, 2013

Questions on Drone Strike Find Only Silence, NYTimes, November 23, 2013

Yemenis Tell Capitol Hill of Drone Terror, Salon, November 21, 2013

Drone Free Zone, In These Times, November 20, 2013

In Congressional Briefing, Yemeni Delegation Describe Terror Drones Bring to Their Communities, FireDogLake, November 20, 2013

Voices from the drone summit in US, Press TV-November 19, 2013

Slinging Stones at the Drone Goliath, AntiWar.com, Slinging Stones at the Drone Goliath

Drone summit, The News International - Nov 19, 2013

Drone Summit Demands End To Strikes, Surveillance, Huffington Post, November 18, 2013

Anti-Drone Summit Energizes The Fight Against Boeing Warmakers, Fight Back News, November 18, 2013

Opponents demand end to US drone strikes, secrecy, AFP, November 16, 2013

Relatives of Drone Victims Travel to D.C. for Summit, Democracy Now- November 15, 2013

2013 Summit Highlights:

We are proud to say that the 2013 CODEPINK Global Drone Summit was a major success, with over 400 attendees, plus thousands watching our livestream and C-SPAN coverage, and over 150 press clips, including this one on NBC news.

The summit was organized by CODEPINK, progressive think-tank Institute for Policy Studies, The Nation Magazine, and National Lawyers Guild (Georgetown Chapter). It brought together drone survivors and families of victims from Pakistan and Yemen, human rights advocates, lawyers, authors, social media experts, technology experts, artists and musicians, and grassroots activists.

The presentations and workshops were nothing short of incredible. Read about them in this article by one of the Summit speakers, Marjorie Cohn. Our featured speakers were delegates from Yemen, who told us first-hand accounts of life under drones. In addition to the Summit, we protested at the White House and General Atomics headquarters, lobbied over 150 Congressional offices and held a Congressional briefing with Yemeni drone victims. Representatives Grayson, Lee, Schakowsky, Pingree, and Rangel all attended the historic briefing, as well as staffers from over 40 Congressional offices (thanks to everyone who urged their rep to go!). 

Much to our dismay, just hours before the Yemeni delegation testified before Congress, a drone strike hit the province of Faisal bin Ali Jabar, one of our speakers. Two days later, a US drone strike hit Pakistan, shattering the prospect of peace talks between the Pakistani government and the Taliban. These strikes serve as an important reminder that we still have a lot of work to do.

Here are some actions you can take:

1. Watch the morning of the summit on C-SPAN, including Dr. Cornel West's inspiring opening remarks. Check out and share photos from the Summit on Flickr.

2. Get two copies of Medea's newly updated book, Drone Warfare: Killing By Remote Control. Keep one for yourself and donate the other to your local library!

3. Share this drone fact sheet with friends, colleagues & family.

4. Get a CODEPINK “Drone Free Zone” t-shirt in pink or gray!

5. Keep up to date with the latest drone news on Global Drones Watch.


In the wake of the 9/11 attacks the U.S. government has increasingly deployed drones in the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa. While the U.S. military and the CIA initially used drones primarily for surveillance, these remotely controlled aerial vehicles are currently routinely used to launch missiles against human targets in countries where the United States is not at war, including Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. As many as 3,000 people, including hundreds of noncombatants and even American citizens, have been killed in covert missions.

Our nation is leading the way toward a new form of warfare – where pilots sitting on the ground thousands of miles away command drone strikes and where targets are (in military jargon) “neutralized,” and where unintended victims are dismissed as “collateral damage.” Close observers, both inside and outside the U.S. military, call this “video-game warfare.” These killer drone operations, directed largely by the CIA, lack necessary transparency and accountability.

Drones are also being deployed domestically for “border security” and law enforcement. Predator drones deployed by Customs and Border Protection search for immigrants and drugs on the northern and southern borders, while metropolitan police and county sheriffs are acquiring smaller drones to assist their SWAT operations.

Congress recently mandated that the Federal Aviation Administration open up domestic airspace to private and commercial drones by 2015 and that it immediately speed-up the licensing process to permit the deployment of government (military, homeland security, and law enforcement) in commercial U.S. airways.

As drones become an increasingly preferred form of warfare and as their presence expands at home, it is time to educate ourselves, the U.S. public, and our policymakers about drone proliferation. As remotely controlled warfare and spying race forward, it is also time to organize to end current abuses and to prevent the potentially widespread misuse both overseas and here at home.

You can still donate to the Drone Summit!

General Info: Email Summit Organizer