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Sr. Marian Klosterman, OSF, rallies in Des Moines in March against the Iowa Air National Guard's 132nd Fighter Wing piloting armed reaper drones.

Sisters Rally Against Drone Warfare

About 100 protesters, including three Franciscan sisters, rallied against drone warfare and U.S. overseas military occupation in Des Moines this past March.

Protesters from across the country gathered at the Iowa Air National Guard Base in Des Moines, 3100 McKinley Ave., to participate in the rally. Des Moines Catholic Worker and the Des Moines Veterans for Peace chapter organized the rally.

The protest took place at the Iowa Air National Guard Base in Des Moines because the Iowa Air National Guard’s 132nd Fighter Wing will be involved in a mission piloting and controlling armed reaper drones.

"It brings war directly, physically to Des Moines," said Gilbert E. Landolt, president of the Des Moines Veterans for Peace chapter. "I don't think the people of Iowa know what’s going on."

Organizers of the event said the rally was meant to raise awareness of drone warfare.

"I hope people will be inspired to do research and form their own opinions (on drone warfare)," said Julie Brown, the emcee for the rally and Des Moines Catholic Worker.

Kathy Kelly, a three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee, said at the protest that drones do not give the United States information on the poor and malnourished people in Afghanistan.

Kelly advocated for money to be used to help nourish children instead of to deploy troops to Afghanistan. She said it costs $2.1 million per year for each soldier in Afghanistan and "5 cents to get iodine into the diet of a malnourished child."

The rally ended after protesters laid flowers on the ground at the entrance of the Iowa National Guard base. Brown said the rally was a success, but it was "one small step in the long range."



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