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Yemen: The #NoDrones Campaign

Categories: Middle East & North Africa, Yemen, Digital Activism, Human Rights, International Relations, Protest, Technology, War & Conflict

Yemenis have launched a campaign on Twitter to express their condemnation of the United States’ drone war [1] in Yemen. They are tweeting under the hashtag #NoDrones [2], and have asked non-Yemenis to speak out and join them in their campaign.

Mai Saleh in Yemen tweeted:

@A4Mai [3]: Take a moment and shout with us: No to the jungle law, No to the extrajudicial killings, No to the killing of innocent civilians #NoDrones


Stop drone attacks, protest sign. Image by meeshypants on Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Talal, a British-Yemeni activist in London, urged:

@25FebFreedom [5]: #US killing innocent civilians in #Yemen in the name of “war on terror ” #StopDrones #NoDrones for God sake in #Yemen

The campaign started on May 13, the same day that President Obama's counterterrorism adviser, John O. Brennan, met with Yemen's president [6], Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, and a day after a stepped-up campaign of American airstrikes reportedly killed 11 militants.

British journalist Tom Finn, who is based in Yemen, tweeted:

@tomfinn2 [7]: Yemenis launch a #NoDrones campaign on twitter as US counterterrorism czar John Brennan arrives in Sana'a… #Yemen

Mai Saleh addressed some tweets to Brennan:

@A4Mai [8]: Urgent message to the visiting Mr. #Brennan: Take your hands off #Yemen & take your drones off our skies for good. Yemeni Citizen #NoDrones

‏@A4Mai [9]: Dear Mr. Brennan, Your policy has proved a failure in #Pakistan, why try it in #Yemen? It is obviously doomed to fail, sincerely #NoDrones

Yemenis condemn terrorism, and they believe the use of US drones only fuels it, as blogger Atiaf Alwazir pointed out:

‏@WomanfromYemen [10]:B/c I'm against #terrorism & #extremism, i'm also against #drones. It's counter-productive & fuels more extremism. #NoDrones #yemen #US

@womanfromYemen [11]: We are saying #NoDrones, b/c we don't want militants in #Yemen. Drones do not eradicate militants they intensify their presence.

French journalist Benjamin Wiacek, who is based in Yemen, tweeted

@Nefermaat [12]: #US drones and air strikes create more extremism and resentment than improving the situation: SAY NO to DRONES !! #NoDrones

He also tweeted a link about drone strikes [13] and the civilan casualties in Yemen which are seldom reported.

Atiaf Alwazir added:

@WomanfromYemen [14]: For every headline you read regarding “militants” killed by drones in #Yemen, think of the civilians killed that are not reported. #NoDrones

A Yemeni journalist and poet who goes by the name Sana2 Al-Yemen tweeted her contempt:

@Sanasiino [15]: It is a disgusting thought to know US officials across the globe are playing a video game with our people in #Yemen. #NoDrones

@Sanasiino [16]: Decreasing #AQAP [17] support and power would need to start with a #NoDrones policy in #Yemen

And finally, Shams in Yemen tweeted a hope many Yemenis share, that the new governemnt will put an end to US drone attacks:

@shamsalshomos [18]: I hope #Hadi does what #Saleh never did speak and act on behalf of the welfare of his people #NoDrones in #yemen

To learn more about the campaign follow the hashtag #NoDrones [2] and read this Storify [19].