I got my exercise today and raised awareness on the use of drones in warfare all at the same time. Now that’s multi-tasking!
The Peace Train has appeared in the Eugene Celebration Parade for the past seven years. The car Oregon WAND created originally admonished that we Free All Beings From Nuclear Threat. WAND is still working on that issue, of course, but this year we converted our car to focus on a growing threat to our security . . . drone warfare.
We draped our car in black plastic with bright yellow letters proclaiming, No Drone Warfare. Mini-drones bounced along with the car while those holding the Play Station joysticks chased after them to keep them under control.
Don’t those terms sound out of place when talking about warfare? Play Station! Joystick! The controls for drones are designed to look and operate exactly like those earlier ‘toys’ but the consequences are not imaginary.
I wondered how many of Eugene’s parade watchers would know about drones and their dark side of ‘collateral damage’, ‘mistaken targets’, and missile attacks in countries where we are not at war. Would they understand the spying eyes that poked through the windows of our car?
The reaction of the crowd was very positive. You could see folks puzzle at the sign, ‘Drones Kill. Diplomacy, Not Dronacy’. Then, they looked beyond to the car and the model planes bouncing over their heads. They began to nod, then clap and give us a ‘thumbs up’.
Oregon WAND has begun to do just that in meetings with our senators and representative. Today we worked on raising awareness of Eugene’s citizens, too.
As we finished the parade route and turned into the parking lot where we had assembled the car earlier in the day, a wheel fell off! I hope it is not an omen!
I think it is a reminder – pushing for peace is not easy. Sometimes we even get derailed, but we pick up the parts and go back at it.
Oh I’ve been smiling lately,
dreaming about the world as one
and I believe it could be,
some day it’s going to come
Cause out on the edge of darkness,
there rides a peace train
Oh peace train take this country,
come take me home again.