Arrests at protest over ‘remote killing machines’

From This is Bristol 

A PROTEST in the city centre against a conference on unmanned drone aircraft ended with seven people being arrested. About 75 people gathered outside Armada House in Telephone Avenue and in Baldwin Street at about 9am yesterday to disrupt and protest against the Unmanned Aircraft Vehicle Conference.

They argued that the aircraft – known as drones – are used to kill people by those who operate from a remote position, and that Bristol University, which has organised the conference in the past, should have nothing to do with it. The group carried banners and placards with slogans such as “dumb drones” and “murderers”, and people sat on the pavement and banged drums as they chanted their messages.

But after they began climbing on window fronts to bang on the glass and disrupt the meeting inside, police stepped in to keep the peace. The protest turned to chaos, and seven people were eventually arrested, three for assaulting police officers.

Bristol performance artist Milly Fish went topless and covered herself with fake blood as part of the protest. She carried a cross with the word “murderers” written on it. In a statement she said: “Unmanned drones operate in Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan and far away places, but police want to use them in the UK too. “They carry surveillance cameras and bombs, and are a very frightening technology.

Yet they allow their operators to kill while sat at computers resembling a games console, thousands of miles away. Many Bristol residents may be surprised at the close association between our city, our universities and the shadowy world of global arms trade.

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