Activism Drones

Fly Kites Not Drones

Saturday 22nd March,
Castle Park, 12-2pm
Kite flying, children’s area, info on drones and entertainment.
Join us in a weekend of solidarity happening across the UK with Afghans who celebrate New Year on the 21st March, and who face uncertainty and the probable escalation in conflict during the renegotiation of the international presence within Afghanistan.
Kite flying has become synonymous with Afghanistan as a well loved pursuit which was banned under the Taliban, now Afghans are more used to the presence of UK and US armed and surveillance drones flying overhead. In the last 5 years there have been 547 UK drone strikes on Afghanistan, which is now the “drone capital” of the world.
We are encouraging concerned citizens, peace groups and those from the Muslim and Afghan community to fly kites in solidarity with Afghans who now have to live under the mental pressure and physical destruction which British and American drones now inflict upon Afghanistan…
‘Fly Kites Not Drones’ Action Saturday 22nd March | 12-2pm | Castle Park
Join us for this creative mass kite flying action in solidarity with Afghans during their New Year and to demonstrate our opposition to drone warfare. Learn about Britain’s armed drones being used in Afghanistan and the effects on children.
There’ll be kites to fly, a children’s area to make kites and messages for children in Afghanistan, plus music and fire eating entertainment!
Activism Drones education events

Skills not Bombs

Bristol Against the Arms Trade presents Skills Not Bombs!

Sunday 16th Feb (that’s this Sunday!). 11am- 4pm

The Arc, Broad Street, Bristol, BS1 2HG


A day of skills and learning in the centre of Bristol. There will be a mixture of workshops and speakers on the following:


-NATO summit in Newport this September

-Direct Action and Planning Creative Actions

-Campaign Strategy

-Legal Observing




We’ve got guests from Campaign Against the Arms Trade, Stop NATO Cymru and Drone Wars UK.


It’s going to be a great day of sharing information and skills on effectively campaign and taking action against the arms trade and militarisation.


That evening we’ll be heading down to Kebele Co-op in Easton for some food at the bargain price of £2.50 followed by an open mic.

Activism Drones

Ground the Drones

Just over a year after the down the drones protest at the Bristol International Drones conference there is to be a national ground the drones demonstration at RAF waddington in Lincoln. The Bristol Drone conference cancelled their event this year saying that there was not enough International interest. Maybe it was something to do with the large and loud protest they had to contend with.

Last year the Bristol Drone conference claimed they were meeting to discuss civilian drones this year they are aiming to exibit at the worlds largest arms fair DSEI their website states . . .

As there will be no full Bristol International Unmanned Air Vehicle Systems Conference in 2013, Bristol Unmanned Systems Conference has been in discussions with Clarion Events about the possibilities of staging a Technology Showcase Workshop from Academia at this year’s DSEI Show in London from 9 – 13 September.


The Woes of an American Drone Operator

A soldier sets out to graduate at the top of his class. He succeeds, and he becomes a drone pilot working with a special unit of the United States Air Force in New Mexico. He kills dozens of people. But then, one day, he realizes that he can’t do it anymore.

For more than five years, Brandon Bryant worked in an oblong, windowless container about the size of a trailer, where the air-conditioning was kept at 17 degrees Celsius (63 degrees Fahrenheit) and, for security reasons, the door couldn’t be opened. Bryant and his coworkers sat in front of 14 computer monitors and four keyboards. When Bryant pressed a button in New Mexico, someone died on the other side of the world.

Drones education War

Bristol maths boffins in pay of the military

The militarisation of education has even taken place within the Bristol University Maths Department. To stay ahead of the game, GCHQ  at Cheltenham fund 50% of the  salaries of about 30 staff working within Bristol Uni maths department. The staff are based at The Helibronn Institute near the BRI hospital. A major part of their work is encryption.  Communication between computers, mobiles etc is kept secure by using encryption.   The most famous cryptography machine was the Enigma machine used by the Germans in WW2.

GCHQ spies on everybody, using satellites and mass surveillance of mobile messages.  Anybody deemed an enemy of the empire can be monitored. Also internal enemies are watched for. The police called for GCHQ assistance when they found the participants of the  riots of 2011 were using Blackberry’s to communicate their movements. This was done in real time to keep up with the rapidly changing situation.

It was recently reported that GCHQ provides targeting information for US military drones to attack  the Taliban.

Most of GCHQ’s work is secret and involves intercepting communications. A recent Times article  reported that legal action is underway over GCHQ giving information to the US military which helps them target ‘insurgents’. Another part of the drone war being carried out by the military. An old Guardian article highlights the commercial value of encryption.

The Bristol Maths Department/cryptography has special expertise in an area known as side channel attacks. A category of attack that involves finding ‘leakages’ from what we probably think of as secure transactions. A mobile phone uses clever cryptology via a computer program that consumes power and emits electromagnetic signals.  If you know how to ‘read’ the power consumption then you can decode certain pieces of information. This was well known to the military and in the 1970’s led to the construction of shielded rooms  where communication could be carried out but without leaking electro-magnetic radiation. The rest of us were wide open until the late 1990’s says Elizabeth Oswald, Senior Lecturer at Bristol Uni.