|Kabul under attack, peace groups in the UK respond, is Russia in Afghanistan?|
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FLY KITES NOT DRONES
Nao Roz Kite Flying 2018
Voices for Creative Non -Violence UK
Hudderfield Fly Kites Not Drones 2018
Over the last 2 weeks peace groups across the UK took part in flying kites for the Persian New Year, to publicise the rights of children living under drones.
In Kabul the Nao Roz was overshadowed by an attack which left 31 dead and 65 wounded. The Afghan Peace Volunteers responded by flying balloons as a beacon of hope.
Also in the last 2 weeks we have seen US military officials claim Russian interference in Afghanistan by way of arming the Taliban and exaggerating IS Khorasan presence in the region, and thus being a cause in the prolonging of the Afghan war… Currently there is no hard evidence to support these claims by US military officials, like General John Nicholson, commander of US forces in Afghanistan, who has alleged that Russian weapons were being smuggled across the Tajik border to the Taliban.
At this stage these claims maybe more based on paranoia by the US & UK military who have already recognised the mutual advantages gained by both Russia and the Taliban if they formed an unlikely alliance – it’s worth remembering that many original Taliban members were in the Mujahideen who fought against the Russians for 10 years. There is also, of course, the current ‘anti Russia’ hysteria which is probably impacting the direction which US & UK fingers of blame are being directed.
We hope you enjoy this fully illustrated newsletter with a summary of Fly Kites Not Drones events. Thanks everyone who took part, and to everyone else, there’s always next year!
Fly Kites Not Drones UK & US 2018
“Members of the London Catholic Worker and the CAAT London gathered at the top of Parliament Hill, in Hamstead Heath to fly home made kites against a smoggy London backdrop. There was not a breath of wind, but a couple of us managed to keep our kites airborne by running down hill. We had a bring and share picnic, and took photos. One passer intrigued by the Catholic worker banner told us he was a Jewish anarchist and asked if we had heard of Emma Goldman.”
“A beautiful night in Bradford filling the sky with kites & laughing… lots of skilled boys from Afghanistan passed by & showed us how it was done.”
“On 24th March Leicester CND joined the local Afghan community to celebrate Nao Roz in Victoria Park and ‘Fly Kites Not Drones’. Over 60 people ate delicious Afghan food, and made kites and flew them. Even though the weather was dull and occasionally drizzly the Afghan kites still flew brilliantly! And we got in the local paper with a photograph and article.”
“In Harrogate on 25th, we (supporters of Menwith Hill AC) joined children from Harrogate Friends Meeting. Together, we Celebrated Nao Roz, the Persian New Year, with Afghanistan’s favourite activity of kite flying, while also being in solidarity with children living under drones. We do know that drones in Afghanistan and Yemen are directed using intelligence from Menwith Hill near Harrogate.
One participant said: ‘Great morning, glad we did it.’. I hope we’ll do it again.”
“RAF Waddington lifted us off with this years’ Fly Kites Not Drones for Nao Roz mass actions… above Penny Walker braving the minus 9 degree C windchill, and a blizzard, in order to get a kite airborne. Two police officers in a car looked on as a well prepared team flew kites in Siberian winds.
Most of the kite runners were well dressed for the occasion, while shelter for those less well dressed was provided by a warm car equipped with flasks of tea and legendary carrot cake”
“The weather cleared up just in time for a great day of kite making and kite flying in the Meadows Sunday in solidarity with people living under the threat of drone strikes. We were close to the park cafe where we hosted speakers and a live band. This was our fourth annual FKND Edinburgh Festival with lots of families attending.”
“It was cold and windy, 41 degrees fahrenheit, as we stood at the gates of Volk Field in Wisconsin. Volk Field is an Air National Guard Base that teaches personnel to operate the Shadow Drone, a smaller drone that is used mainly for surveillance, reconnaissance, and target acquisition. There has been concern recently that smaller weapons have been developed so that the Shadow Drone can now be weaponized.”
“Great turnout yesterday – we had 10 people at short notice! Very positive response from the public too.”
“Hastings battled with the elements, biting cold winds on the seafront with flash sleeting didn’t put off the 20 odd who turned out. Loads of traffic with the Hastings Half Marathon runners zipping past. Hastings organised a kite making workshop as well as gaining page 4 coverage in their local newspaper – .”
“In Ireland two primary schools participated in the peace initiative – Scoil Bhriocáin from Galway’s Irish speaking area in the West of Ireland and St. Colmcille’s from the opposite side of the island in Dublin . The latter school focused on how to make and fly a kite while Scoil Bhriocáin’s pupils examined Afghan history and conditions there for children today. Both schools celebrated the Afghani New Year. And despite the rain Irish language TV covered the kite-flying by Scoil Bhriocáin’s pupils, who expressed their solidarity with Afghanistan’s children. A well supported public kite-flying event also happened in Galway city.”
Gaelic Fly Kites Not Drones leaflet as used in Galway
Nao Roz in Kabul
Pursuing Peace Despite of Everything
Dr Hakim in Kabul
On “Nao Roz” ( “New Day”), the Afghan New Year on the 21st of March 2018, a suicide bomb attack occurred near Kabul University, not very far from the Borderfree Nonviolence Community Centre of the Afghan Peace Volunteers. Despite the complicated fears and emotions that arise with each security incident, Zekerullah, Bismillah, Nisar and others gathered at the Centre, built a peace sign and lifted it up into the air with multi-coloured balloons.During the Global Days of Listening program that evening, Zainab Amirzai said, “I was feeling down after hearing about the attack which killed 30 or more persons. I determined to come anyway, and when I saw the peace sign and balloons, I felt a sense of gratitude for our community here, that together we can resolve to work towards the kind of world we long for.”We each can lift peace up!
Read more from Kabul….
Afghan Peace Volunteers fly balloons as a beacon of hope, after a violent Nao Roz morning in Kabul, with an attack which killed 31 people and wounded 65.
Afghan Peace Volunteers response after the suicide bomb attack in Kabul in Nao Roz, how balloons became a beacon of hope.
Voices for Creative Non Violence part of a Stop the War panel in London
Left: Lowkey, Brian Eno, Andrew Murray, Lindsey German, Murad Qureshi,
Elif Sarican, Maya Evans and Michael Muir.
YORK Stop the War Event 24th April
Why We Need An Anti War Government
Panel includes; Chris Nineham, Maya Evans, plus others
NOTTINGHAM Pax Christi 2nd June
‘Drone Warfare Today’, FREE event, tickets here
Panel includes; Max Brookman-Bryne and Maya Evans
Church Hall, Launder Street, NG2 1JQ