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Cover photo What made us proud in 2020

Banning killer robots in a pandemic: What made us proud in 2020

Farah Bogani is the Project Officer for the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots.

There is never a dull moment at the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots — the work to prevent the use and development of fully autonomous weapons systems that would select and engage their targets without meaningful human control never stops. (Literally! Our campaign covers time zones from Vancouver, Canada to Wellington, New Zealand.)

As if killer robots weren’t enough to keep you up at night, we’ve all had quite a year. From COVID-19, to slowed diplomatic processes at the UN, to fraught elections, to the global resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement — it has been a year of unprecedented challenges…and renewed commitment to activism.

As we say goodbye to this year, we have hope for a 2021 that will bring us even closer to launching treaty negotiations to ban killer robots. But before we get there, let’s take a look back at what made us proud in 2020.

10. Growing our website

Our community of campaigners is made up of people from all over the world with a range of backgrounds. Our coalition is made up of experts in tech, feminist champions, anti-racism advocates, youth activists, faith leaders, and members of the military. Our strength comes from this diversity. So in that spirit, this year we added pages on GenderRaceYouth, and the Military to our website to reflect the concerns of our movement through different lenses.

If you haven’t checked them out already, what are you waiting for? Get scrolling! 💻📱

9. Creating a #FeministFuture

By giving killer robots the power to make life-and-death decisions, we would cement centuries’ worth of gender bias in these machines, enabling them to perpetuate gender- and sexual-based violence, and further entrenching patriarchal systems and structures.

Say no to killer robots AND tear down the patriarchy — now that’s a win-win.

8. Starting #KillerRobotsQandA

Check them out over on our Instagram (and give us a follow while you’re there 😉)

7. #DisarmamentBakeOff. Need we say more?

Case in point:

Puff Pastry Cinnamon Rolls

Erin Hunt: Puff Pastry Cinnamon Rolls

Bread called Khoboz al Tawa

Wanda Munoz: Khobz Al Tawa

#ComfortFood

Photo of a Tarte aux Fraises

Shirine El Jurdi: Tarte Aux Fraises

Zeljanica Egg Tart

Alma Taslidžan Al-Osta: Zeljanica

Is your mouth watering yet?

Photo of a Drawing of Killer Robots

© Elizabeth Minor

6. Attending RightsCon for the first time

Experts in law, tech, and human rights discussed how autonomous weapons could actually use data pulled from our social media, phones, photos, and videos to target, discriminate, and marginalize people.

If you missed it live, you can watch it here!

Photo of Dr. Maria Vanina Martinez, which reads “We are all part of the supply chain in big tech. Apps that we use for entertainment are fun, but we are also giving up data to use the, Tech companies use this training data, with consequences impacting not only your life but others’ lives as well.”

5. That time we went to Buenos Aires (pre-COVID).

4. Hosting the first virtual Humanitarian Disarmament Forum (HDF)

Over three days, participants confronted issues of power, discrimination, racism, and white supremacy within themselves and the community as a first step towards becoming an anti-racist movement.

HDF 2020 Opening Plenary. Graphic Recording by Sonaksha Iyengar (www.sonaksha.com)

HDF 2020 Opening Plenary. Graphic Recording by Sonaksha Iyengar (www.sonaksha.com)

Racism is not an isolated issue — it’s a global issue. By bringing race and intersectionality into conversation with humanitarian disarmament, we can get a clearer picture of how weapons can have discriminatory impacts with disproportionate effects on marginalized groups. We can also see where issues of racism have had personal and professional impacts in our community through the structures of our organizations, policies, and work. While we only had three days of the Forum, as everyone knows, the journey to being anti-racist isn’t over. It has just begun 💪

3. Making sure we keep #YouthInTheLoop

2. When we won the Ypres Peace Prize!

And while there are lots of things we have been proud of this year, we are most proud of…

1. Our community


Original Article on Medium.com.

Farah Bogani

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