Fly kites not drones at Greenbelt

What are you doing over the bank holiday? If you are one of the 10,000 plus attending Greenbelt, a festival for the common good, you may get a chance to fly a kite with Quaker peace educator Ellis Brooks.

the words common good written in orange on a murky green background with triangles
The theme of Greenbelt 2017 – the common good. Image: Greenbelt

Deep in the East Midlands near Kettering, a festival with a difference is taking place. Largely a Christian gathering, the event attracts those whose faith leads them to seek social justice in an increasingly unequal and frightening world.

Quakers, whose long experience of working for peace and justice (rights for conscientious objectors, the UN landmine ban, and post-war relief operations), offer unique insights in how change for the good happens.

Fly kites not drones


Greenbelt is full of people thirsting for change. We are all concerned about the horror of warfare. Through peace education we're asking people to think about their role preventing it.

- Ellis Brooks, Peace Education Programme Manager


This week the US and the UK have committed to further military spending in Afghanistan. In a country whose national pastime was kite flying, the perfect weather for kites is also perfect for armed drone attacks. Drones can kill without warning from 8 kilometres away, often slaying civilians including children. For an Afghani child a clear blue sky no longer heralds a leisurely pastime, but fear of death.

This weekend at Greenbelt, Ellis Brooks and a group of young Quakers will ask 'are armed drones making us more or less safe?' And as a symbol of hope, young people will make and fly kites. You can find out more at

Follow Ellis and the kites at Greenbelt on Instagram