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RUPPERSBERGER TO BE CHALLENGED ON CONFLICT OF INTEREST IN CAMPAIGN FUNDING BY DRONE-MAKERS
When the 2012 national Know Drones Tour comes to Baltimore on Thursday, May 3, it will challenge Congressperson C.A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger, a member of the House Unmanned Systems (Drone) Caucus, to reallocate $190,000 in campaign contributions that he has received from drone makers and related businesses to benefit children in US drone strike zones and to the Baltimore City Schools.
“The Congress has done no effective oversight of US drone warfare and has opened US skies to drones carrying weapons and to drone surveillance of the US public,” said Nick Mottern, director of the Know Drones Tour. “Congressman Ruppersberger, as a member of the House Armed Services Committee and the House Permanent Committee on Intelligence, has direct responsibilities related to drone war and drone surveillance,” Mottern continued, “and he can avoid any appearance of conflict of interest by sending his drone industry campaign contributions to kids who are being harmed by the US infatuation with drones and by resigning from the drone caucus, a lobbying group for the drone industry within the Congress.”
Max Obuszewski, a long-time advocate for peace and justice made this observation: “It is shocking that the Obama administration has used drone strikes to murder U.S. citizens. This horrible affront to due process suggests that the Bill of Rights is being shredded.”
The tour, endorsed by Baltimore Pledge of Resistance, the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance, Code Pink, War Resisters League and others (below), uses 8’ long replicas of the MQ-9 Reaper drone to do sidewalk education on the legal, ethical and civil liberties concerns raised by the surge in US drone warfare and drone surveillance.
Thurs. May 3
4 pm – Office of Cong. Ruppersberger – 375 West Padonia Rd. Suite 200, Timonium, Md. With a presentation at 4:45 pm of a letter discussing the congressman’s campaign contributions and drone war.
5:30 – 7:30 pm –Sidewalk education at First Thursday in Mt. Vernon, Charles and Centre Streets, Baltimore.
Fri., May 4
9:30 am – Drone witness at AAI Corp., 124 Industry Lane, Hunt Valley, MD.
Noon – 3 pm – Visits to the campus of Towson University.
5 – 6 pm - Join the weekly silent peace vigil outside the Homewood Friends Meeting House, 3107 North Charles Street, Baltimore. Afterwards there will be a potluck dinner in the meetinghouse, followed by a showing of “1984”.
Sat. May 5
2 pm – Join a demonstration at Dulaney Valley Road and Fairmount Avenue, Towson.
3 – 5 pm – Sidewalk education at Wyman Park, Charles and 29th Streets, Baltimore.
7 pm – Forum “Where Are Drones Taking Us?” with Nick Mottern, director of the Know Drones Tour and Max Obuszewski, Baltimore Pledge of Resistance, who will speak on the drone witness at Johns Hopkins University on May 8, 2012.
The Know Drones Tour is endorsed by: American Civil Liberties Union (Philadelphia),American Friends Service Committee, Brandywine Peace Committee, Bryn Mawr Peace Coalition, Brooklyn For Peace, Bryn Mawr Peace Coalition, Catholic Peace Fellowship (Philadelphia), Coalition for Peace and Justice (Southern New Jersey), Code Pink, Interfaith Peace Network of Western New York, Granny Peace Brigade (Philadelphia), International Action Center,Occupy Wall Street – Anti-War, National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance, Pakistan Solidarity Network, Pax Christi – Greensburg, PA, Peace Action New York, Peace Center of Delaware County (PA), Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore, United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC), Upstate NY Coalition to Ground the Drones & End the Wars, Veterans for Peace, Chapter #128 (Buffalo, NY), Veterans for Peace (Philadelphia), Voices for Creative Non-Violence, War Resisters League, WESPAC Foundation, Western New York Peace Center, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (Philadelphia), World Can’t Wait.