Coalition for Peace Action to co-host vigil at drone command center in Pennsylvania Saturday in response to civilian deaths in Afghanistan

The Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action and the Brandywine Peace Community will co-host a vigil from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 2 outside the Horsham, Pennsylvania Air Guard Station in response to the Aug. 29 killing of ten civilians, including seven children, by a U.S. drone in Afghanistan.

The Horsham Drone War Command Center is one of 12 drone centers spread across the United States. The centers have drone operators who control drones thousands of miles away in far-flung places like Afghanistan. They are under the central command of Creech Air Force Base an hour north of Las Vegas.

The vigil is being held in solidarity with the National Shut Down Creech Peace Encampment. The encampment, taking place from Sept. 26 to Oct. 2, is co-sponsored by Veterans for Peace, Code Pink, and the newly formed national Ban Killer Drones coalition.

Members of the public are welcome to attend the vigil. All attendees must wear face masks and practice social distancing.

The vigil will include holding large anti-drone warfare signs and banners at the busy intersection, as well as a rally. Speakers include former fighter pilot Richard Moody and Robert M. Smith of the Brandywine Peace Community. A celebration of nonviolence in honor of Mahatma Gandhi will also be part of the vigil. Gandhi’s birthday is Oct. 2.

“The August 29 killing of ten Afghan civilians, including seven children, by a U.S. drone is just one more reminder that drone warfare inevitably kills innocents,” said the Rev. Robert Moore, executive director of the Coalition for Peace Action. “Ironically, we are simply replacing one form of endless war with another. It’s too easy to launch drone strikes when the operators are safely thousands of miles away at places like Horsham. We need to U.S. end drone warfare, preferably through a global treaty, if we are to truly end endless wars.”