On 6 February, Cian Westmorland, a former VeCo student, came to Vesalius College and gave an interesting presentation on “When it Becomes Essential To Resist”, a talk on his experience as peace activist and whistleblower. After having served in the US air force in Afghanistan and being involved in the drone programme building communications infrastructure, Cian studied International Affairs and European Peace and Security Studies at Vesalius College. His work has been featured in several media such as The Guardian, Al Jazeera and Democracy Now! Cian talked to students about the flaws in the US drone programme, the dangers of unmanned warfare and the impact of drones on civilian populations.
After the presentation, students welcomed Cian’s courage on speaking out against his former employer and they posed questions on his personal choice on becoming a whistleblower. Students had also questions on how will the US drone programme and the US military strategy change under the Trump administration. The talk ended with some interesting remarks on individual responsibility when witnessing abuse of power.