Campaigners from four anti-war organisations marched from Lincoln to RAF Waddington on Saturday, April 27, in an organised peaceful protest against the use of drones, some of which are controlled from the station near the city.
The protestors represented organisations such as CND, the Drone Campaign Network, Stop the War, and War on Want, and came from different parts of the country. Rafeef Ziadah, Senior Campaigns Officer at War on Want, argued: “Drones, controlled far away from conflict zones, ease politicians’ decisions to launch military strikes and order extrajudicial assassinations, without democratic oversight or accountability to the public.” The The MoD said the use of drones has saved many civilian and military lives, and they adhere strictly to the laws of armed conflict and engagement.
Armed Reaper drones are operated by RAF’s 39 Squadron from an US base in Nevada, while the 13 Reaper Squadron has been officially ‘stood up’ last October with three control terminals at RAF Waddington near Lincoln, along some 100 personnel, including pilots, mission commanders, engineers, systems operators, admin and logistics staff. This week, drones have been operated remotely from Britain for the first time from the base near Lincoln, BBC News reported.
Lincolnshire Police accompanied the protesters’ march from the assembly point at South Common up Cross O’ Cliff hill and along the A15 to the peace camp site opposite RAF Waddington. The force said on Twitter: “Thanks to all residents, participants and motorists for their co-operation and patience throughout today’s protest march at RAF Waddington.”