What About PeaceHow is your “What About Peace?” project coming along?  Don’t forget that the deadline for youth aged 14-20 is February 17, 2014  to enter the contest, win prizes (up to $1000) and show the world that you care passionately and creatively about peace on earth.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how we talk about peace–inner peace, cease fires between nations, freedom from violence on our city streets, an end to discrimination and bullying in our schools — and what our individual responsibility is for peace.  It can seem so overwhelming at times and so out of our control. But one thing has been clear over and over again from the works of 14 – 20 year old contest participants, young people want to be empowered to make the world a better place.  Here is a small opportunity to make your voice heard!

Earlier this month the highly regarded human rights organization, Amnesty International made a bold assertion that US officials should face war crimes charges over drone strikes.  They highlighted the case of a grandmother who was killed while she was picking vegetables and other incidents which could have broken international laws designed to protect civilians.

But aren’t we’re mostly just killing the “bad guys”?  No. According to Human Rights Watch, another leading human rights watch dog organization that has studied the missile attacks in Yemen, American airstrikes in Yemen kill more civilians than terrorists.  Their new report  confirms that Hellfire rockets lack selectivity and exterminate women and children more often than they hit Al-Qaeda members,  which the group believes goes against the laws of armed conflict, international human rights law and Barack Obama’s own guidelines on drones.

Wondering what you can do? Learn more, speak up to your friends, in the newspaper and blogs and engage your representatives. We need to create a groundswell of opposition to this.

Fifty organizations and over 75,000 individuals are asking the United Nations Secretary General and the International Criminal Court to declare that drone attacks violate international law — and to ultimately pursue sanctions against nations using, possessing, or manufacturing weaponized drones.

Take-ActionTAKE ACTION! Here’s what you can do:

  • Ask your US Representative and President Obama to support a treaty forbidding the possession, use of weaponized drones and extra-judicial “kill lists”
  • Ask the governments of each of our nations around the world, to ban the use or sale of weaponized drones.
  • Join the over 75,000 people who have signed this Ban Weaponized Drones petition  by adding your name and comments now!
  • Spread the word to youth and teachers who work with youth aged 14-20 about Global Exchange’s What About Peace art contest to inspire our next generation to create peace.