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Oxford is such an active town, it’s like a sparkle box of engaged-ness in a sea of tweed. On Saturday, we took the FoR message of nonviolence in action to their “One World Fair” and spoke to loads of people.

The timing of the event meant we were plugging two things shamelessly. 1) Carol concert and 2) Mini drones quilt. Because people have busy lives, we took as much of the effort out of making a square as possible. We provided the material, a spare bit of fabric for sewing on in pretty shapes, instructions and a freepost envelope. We got one back immediately from the lovely folks at the World Development Movement next door to our stand and gave out about 20 to others who said they’d like to get involved with the project. We also gave out badges with our fancy new logo on, proudly stating “FoR peace – nonviolence in action”, one of which we gave to a lady for whom it was the first peace movement she’d become a member of, that day.

We got an updated list of drones strike casualties from the bureau of investigative journalism, so this time we were giving people a name from the list in the hope of not duplicating too many.

If anyone would like one of these packs and receive the name of a person for whom to advocate, then drop us an email at emma@for.org.uk

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FoR peace – nonviolence in action since 1914

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Dear quilters everywhere,
If any of you heard about the drones quilt and thought, “what a good idea!” and then life took over and no square happened, fear ye not.

We’ve had so many requests for the big quilt – eventually 13m x 2m – that we’re making a smaller one. Unfortunately, there are more than enough names to make many many quilts, so making another, more portable quilt won’t be a problem…so long as we have people like YOU to make squares and prayers.

Names of civilian victims are available here. If you’re making it as part of a group project, in the interest of trying to cover as many names with as fewer duplicates as possible, please let me know which list/source you’d like so I can tell you if someone’s covered it yet.

What to make:
A square of material (something sturdy-ish but not denim/leather)
30x30cm
with the name of a drones victim
your name
and prettiness

Adding the age of the victim and yourself is optional. For a few ideas, see the homepage.

Then send it to:
Drones quilt
Peace House
19 Paradise Street
Oxford
OX1 1LD

Don’t worry if art isn’t your thing. What matters is remembering civilian victims as people and not statistics. Let’s make this thing beautiful!

The Drones Quilt is a project of the Fellowship of Reconciliation. FoR is a charity that promotes nonviolence and peace and works to end armed conflict, campaigning on peace issues and educating about a philosophy of nonviolence.

The quilt is a work of advocacy. It’s a really simple project designed to raise awareness about drones and remind the government that those killed by drones are human beings, whose lives are sacred. Each square of the quilt is made by someone like you, who writes their name and then the name of a victim on a square of fabric. By doing so you advocate for that person, you put your name next to theirs as a sign that you stand in solidarity with them. These are then sewn together to create a visual petition.

Drones are remotely detonated weapons, which can be used in the Middle East, for example, but detonated by someone in Nebraska. They reduce human beings to dots on a screen, tiny blobs of light in the control room of an army base. They are also inaccurate and wildly random in their targets, often killing civilians miles away from military bases or nominated “targets”. The quilt restores humanity to those killed or maimed and reminds people that for every single victim of a drone there was a real person with loves, desires and a life.

We want to take the quilt to Parliament next year to advocate on behalf of those killed needlessly. Britain is already involved in the drones industry and wants to be more so. This is unacceptable and barbaric.

It’s easy to get involved:

1. Using the tab at the top, read some stories about people killed or maimed by drones. Choose a story that resonates with you.

2. Cut a square of fabric 30cm by 30cm.

3. Sew, write, embroider or paint your name and the name of someone killed by a drone onto your square. Be as creative as you can!

4. Pop it in an envelope and post it to Peace House, 19 Paradise Street, Oxford, OX1 1LD

5. Tell people! The more squares, the bigger the quilt, the more impact.

e-mail emma@for.org.uk with any questions. To read more about the Fellowship of Reconciliation, check out our website at http://www.for.org.uk. To learn more about drones go to dronecampaignnetwork.wordpress.com/