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Peace prize for drone researcher: Refuses to make weapons
logo”I don't want to build drones for the military”, wrote Dylan Cawthorne in the Danish trade magazine for engineers - and for this attitude the peace organisation ”Aldrig Mere Krig” (”Never More War”) has now honoured him with the association's Peace Rose. Cawthorne is an aerospace engineer and associate professor at the Drone Centre at the University of Southern Denmark.
Cawthorne warns of a ”militarization of public Danish universities”, and that he himself is exposed to ”increased pressure from management to work on military projects”, with ”financial gain as the primary motive”.
Despite the pressure, Cawthorne refuses to work on military projects, and will insist on developing only civilian drones – for the benefit of healthcare and similar humanitarian tasks: ”Then I can combine my love of flight and fabrication, with my dream of making the world a better place.”
The Peace Rose was awarded to Dylan Cawthorne on Sunday the 10th of September in front of his artwork ”Kites for Peace”. The award certificate from the peace organisation honours Cawthorne for ”the courage to demand technology for peace and not for war”.
”In a world where science has made our leaders all too skilled at creating havoc and causing destruction, but not at solving their conflicts peacefully, it is important for daring individuals to speak out against the onslaught of militarisation”, said Tom Vilmer Paamand, who is chairman of the peace organisation, at the presentation:
”Freedom of research is threatened, just as freedom of speech is, when suddenly there is no room for sober thoughts against war. That is why people like Dylan Cawthorne, who dare anyway, are so badly needed.”
”Aldrig Mere Krig” is the Danish section of War Resisters' International, and has been handing out its Peace Roses for over 50 years. Over the years, the prize has been given for many forms of action, and to many types of actors - from dock workers to artists, journalists and even to a commander of the special forces. And in a similar case to Cawthorne's, to the engineering company Rambøll, which at that time had a philosophy of not wanting to ”make money from the arms industry”.
Tom Vilmer Paamand - september 2023








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>  Costa Rica fejrer 73 år uden hær
Militæret i Danmark har sin officielle flagdag, der ikke når meget ud over soldaternes egne familier. Også Costa Rica har en festdag til at mindes militæret i, men det sker i glæde over dets afskaffelse!
Costa Rica afskaffede sit militær allerede i 1948 på initiativ af daværende præsident José Figueres Ferrer. Han havde dog selv taget magten ved et militærkup, efter en borgerkrig på 44 dage, hvor 2000 døde – den mest voldelige begivenhed i landets nyere historie. Ved at nedlægge militæret kunne Ferrer undgå, at andre så kuppede ham – men hans begrundelser var dog bredere, og den nedlagte hær blev indskrevet i landets forfatning.
Efter 18 måneder gav Ferrer magten fra sig, og lige siden har Costa Rica haft demokratisk styre. Trivsel og forventet levetid er højere end i USA, med et miljømæssigt fodaftryk pr. indbygger på kun en tredjedel af USAs. Også læsefærdigheden er højere end i USA, og uddannelse er obligatorisk og gratis – trods at landet samtidig har en generelt haltende økonomi.
Den manglende hær har gjort Costa Rica til en fredelig undtagelse mellem naboerne Panama og Nicaragua. Naboskabet gav problemer i 1980erne, hvor USAs præsident Ronald Reagans støttede lokale terroristgrupper, kaldet Contraerne, i Nicaragua. USA pressede på for militære træningslejre i Costa Rica, som modydelse for bistand til landet, hvilket Costa Rica stod imod.
Costa Ricas vellykkede overgang fra militærkup til demokrati er en af de meget få gange, hvor en voldelig omvæltning har ført til et mindre militariseret samfund – militærkup plejer ellers kronisk at føre til kaserne-samfund.
Tom Vilmer Paamand - december 2021






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