Campaign Bulletin #7

Campaign Bulletin #7; March 22, 2014
By Nick Mottern

Don't forget: Weekly open conference call for activists every Wednesday, 9 pm EST
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1.    ACTION REPORTS
2.    COURT ACTION
3.    APRIL 2 KICK-OFF FORUM TO BE LIVE-STREAMED
4.    BOYCOTT LETTER SENT TO HONEYWELL
5.    IDEAS AND PLANS FOR ACTION
6.    PLEASE POST YOUR ACTIONS
7.    DRONE VICTIM IMAGES
8.    ARTISTS CONFRONT DRONES

7 crossing on to drone site by Ellen Grady[2]

Photo by Ellen Grady

ACTION REPORTS

Last Monday, St. Patrick’s Day, the seven people pictured above as they walked to the gate of the Iowa Air National Guard base in Des Moines, were arrested protesting the establishment of a control center there for MQ-9 Reaper drones.

Those arrested, charged with criminal trespass and released were (l-r):

Steve Clemens, 63, Community of St Martin and Veterans for Peace, Minneapolis.

Ruth Cole, 26, a Catholic Worker from the Rye House, Minneapolis.

Julie Brown, 36, a Des Moines Catholic Worker, who just returned from a two-month delegation as a protective accompaniment and international solidarity activist in occupied Palestine, where she witnessed drone activity.

Michelle Naar-Obed, 57, Hildegard Catholic Worker House in Duluth Minnesota.

Rev. Chet Guinn, 85, a Methodist minister from Des Moines.

Elliott Adams, 67, former National Veterans for Peace President, Sharon Spring, New York

Ed Bloomer, 67, a Des Moines Catholic Worker and Veterans for Peace member.

Their action concluded a weekend program that included a Saturday rally of 100 outside the base and speakers Kathy Kelly, __________and Elliott Adams.

These were the first arrests at the Des Moines base and the largest protest there.  Des Moines joins Creech AFB, Beale AFB and Hancock Air Base in experiencing civil resistance to stop drone operations. The first drone protest at the Iowa base was last year’s Voices for Creative Non-Violence march from Rock Island Arsenal, IL to Des Moines.

Those arrested issued a statement that appears in Attachment A as do more photos by Ellen Grady.

Here is the ABC clip http://www.myabc5.com/story/24985719/protestors-rally-against-drone-warfare and this report in the Des Moines Register

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20140316/NEWS/303160066/1024/?odyssey=nav%7Chead

Julie Brown reports the next step in the local Iowa movement’s efforts will come on Saturday, April 5, when best-selling, award-winning journalist Jeremy Scahill will deliver a speech in Des Moines on drone warfare and the changing face of U.S. foreign military occupation. http://catholicpeaceministry.com/

Corrections: The photo that led Weekly Bulletin #6 was of a drone protest held at CIA headquarters in Langley, VA on Saturday, Mar. 8, 2014; also in #6, the photo of protesters at Nellis AFB was taken by John Amidon. Finally it is not clear that there are any significant drone operations at Nellis now; I based my report on information that appears to be out-of-date.  Nellis is, however, going to be involved, along with Creech AFB and Fallon Naval Air Station, in the Federal Aviation Administration’s drone research, in this case to study how civilian drones can operate next to military airspace.

http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/nevada-gets-spot-drone-development-list

 

COURT ACTION

Joy First reports that the judge who will preside over the cases of five women, including Joy, who are charged with disorderly conduct and trespassing in relation to their protest at the Volk Field drone base in Wisconsin, will require individual trials for each, not the group trial the women anticipated and wished for.  See Joy’s report in Attachment B.  (I do not have the name of the judge at press time.)

This follows the same judicial approach now being undertaken by David Gideon, the judge in DeWitt town court in upstate New York in handling cases of protesters who will soon be going on trial, individually, for civil resistance at the Hancock Air Base drone control center outside Syracuse. 

As Joy notes in her report, one thing the Wisconsin judge fears is publicity for a mass trial of dissenters.  Judge Gideon is under pressure from citizens to cut down the cost of the civil resistance trials, and apparently one way he sees of doing this is to disallow any testimony related to international law.

This suggests that both judges are going to try to limit testimony to whether those arrested crossed a line and refused to move.  On this basis, each case might last no more than five to 10 minutes.

This approach appears to deny defendants the right to fully defend themselves.

 

APRIL 2 KICK-OFF FORUM TO BE LIVE-STREAMED

The first events within the formal April – May calendar of the Spring Days of Action are, to my knowledge:

April 1 – A forum to examine the work being done at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta on military drone technology, in cooperation with Ft. Benning.  For details http://georgiapeace.org

And also on April 1, a protest at Beale AFB near Sacramento, CA, with speaking by Elliott Adams. Contact: occupybeale@earth-justice.org

On April 2, there will be a “Prelude to Drone Days of Action-2014” forum with Maria Lahood, Senior Staff Attorney, Center for Constitutional Rights; Madiha Tahir, maker of the film Wounds of Waziristan; and Carl Dix, co-founder with Cornel West of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network.  Click here for details:

http://org.salsalabs.com/o/1170/p/salsa/event/common/public/index.sjs?event_KEY=81624

Debra Sweet, director of World Can’t Wait, who graciously organized the event, has arranged for live streaming at:   http://www.ustream.tv/stopmotionsolo   

Please publicize this on your networks.

 

BOYCOTT LETTER SENT TO HONEYWELL

This last Wednesday, I express-mailed the letter appearing in Attachment C to David M. Cote, Chairman of the Board and CEO of the Honeywell Corporation in preparation for a boycott against the company for providing turbo-prop engines and navigational equipment for MQ-9 Reaper drones as well as doing other drone work.

I will follow up with the company this coming week.  If you wish to endorse the letter, please let me know, as we will keep the list of endorsers current.  Send your endorsement to: nickmottern@earthlink.net

 

IDEAS AND PLANS FOR ACTIONS

Here are the minutes from Wednesday’s conference call; thanks to Mathias Quackenbush for handling the call and preparing the minutes.

Timothy Baer, Bloomington, IN

Timothy reports that the Drone quilt project will be in several different gallery spaces in the Bloomington, Indiana area, Nashville, Indiana, and other nearby towns in May. Bloomington Peace Action Coalition will be showing Robert Greenwald’s Unmanned tomorrow (now tonight). Present at the screening will be a lot of literature including the newly drafted Drone Control Act. Meanwhile, Timothy and his group continue to work on local anti-drone legislation.

C.J, Seattle

C.J. is a young man who is new to anti-drone activism. He called in mostly for ideas about actions. He and his friends are contemplating a demonstration at the local Boeing manufacturing plant. I will e-mail C.J. links to the No Drone pages around the country, Knowdrones.com, and a link to get on the listserv.

Andrew Dalton and Barbara Kidney, Hudson Valley (dronealerthv.org)

As reported, there will be a rally in New Paltz this Saturday, as well as the following weekend on the Walkway over the Hudson. Wounds of Waziristan will be screened the following day. For the rally on the Walkway, they are trying to get people to fly kites over the Hudson River in keeping with the Fly Kites, Not Drones theme.

-They continue to try to get traction with Quakers to do a presentation at one or more Meetings. Things are moving slowly but surely. They have made contact with Quakers in Poughkeepsie, and the head of this Meeting's outreach committee will come to film showing in New Paltz.

-At their Tuesday meeting, they also helped prepare for the indictment of Obama and others to take place on 3/25, in solidarity with those presenting the indictment at the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. (See Bulletin #6) Andrew and Barbara will be tweeting/emailing Noam Chomsky, Cornel West, attendees to last November's drone summit in D.C. to ask them to help spread the word.

-They also warned us about the "Game of Drones" summit at SUNY Albany law school which occurred today. Joe Lombardo of Albany, Co-Director of United National Antiwar Coalition, had given them a heads up that this was actually not an anti-drone event, and featured discussion that ignored any of the moral implications of drone use:

"It appears to me that this is a pro-drone forum.  The keynote speaker works at the National Defense University, which trains military people.  He also has represented the government at the UN.  It is easy to make a legal case for drones because the administration has passed laws making it legal, just as they go to the FISA court to make spying and attacking Muslims legal.  I don’t know too much about the panelists, but they are all legal people.  The drone question is not a legal question it is a moral and political question.  The morality is obvious.  The political part it to spread the US corporate empire throughout the world.

“I think it is OK for people to go to this to challenge the speaker, but people should not be fooled into thinking this will be an anti-drone meeting.  One of the things that we have seen from the recent NSA revelations is the government is entering social media, creating false web site and doing other activity to confuse and fool the progressive community.”

Eileen Bardell, Staten Island Peace Action

Eileen reported that six members of Peace Action met at the local congressman’s office, and while not able to speak with the congressman himself, discussed drones with some of his aides, who were apparently fairly dismissive of their concerns and acted as if the civilian casualties of drone warfare were simply inevitable collateral damage. Eileen reported that they are using a drone replica and plan to take part in the Global Day of Action on April 15, including leafleting on the Staten Island Ferry.

Dave Lambert, Fort Wayne, IN

Dave reported that Indiana's anti-drone legislation has successfully passed through both houses of the state legislature. He showed Robert Greenwald’s Unmanned at the library last weekend and Wounds of Waziristan is to be shown next weekend. Dave also reported that as Joanne Lingle has just returned from CodePink’s attempt to get to Gaza, they are trying to get a speaking event that features her. Finally, his group is also planning a tax day protest.

Joan Nicholson, Kennett Square, PA

Joan has convinced her friend at another retirement community to screen Robert Greenwald’s Unmanned.

She said the Right to Heal Campaign will hold an event next Wednesday at the Florida Ave Meeting House in DC featuring Iraq Vets Against the War and the Center for Constitutional Rights.

David Sladky  St. Louis, MO

David described an exciting weekend in Des Moines, despite the fact that he was unable to make it to the Monday event at the Air National Guard base. He noted that St. Patrick was there in religious garb Friday, receiving a great deal of attention.

He is helping to organize a protest in mid-April at Whiteman AFB, as well as Earth Day tabling.

He also reported that he passed out 200 copies of Unmanned to VFP chapters and at protests over the weekend.

Joan Livingston, Boston

Joan reports that her group has shown all the films, including a screening of Dirty Wars with an appearance from Jeremy Scahill. They will show Unmanned in a couple of months. They staged a demonstration on St Patrick’s day at which CODEPINK was present.  Their plans for Spring Days of Action are still in flux, although a protest at MIT is in the works, as MIT engages in a great deal of drone R&D which they try to hide behind the label of "robotics." There is also likely to be a protest at the Raytheon plant just 20 minutes outside of downtown Boston. Bruce Gagnon will be involved in this. Finally, they continue to work on a state ban on Drone Surveillance, the Drone Privacy Act, and will be hosting the drone quilt project in June.

 

PLEASE POST YOUR ACTIONS

Please remember to post the events you have planned from now until the end of May at:

http://org.salsalabs.com/o/1170/p/salsa/event/common/public/create.sjs?distributed_event_KEY=708

This is critical in giving us all a picture of the scope of activity that is getting underway and to encourage others to join us.

To see a calendar of posted events, and the location of the events, go to:

http://org.salsalabs.com/o/1170/p/salsa/event/common/public/index.sjs?distributed_event_KEY=708

 

DRONE VICTIM IMAGES

Thanks to Joy First who selected images of drone victims from the internet, Judy Bello who made them widely available on the internet, and Dave Lambert who has created a very moving video presentation using them; our colleagues have given us an extremely powerful and long-needed resource.  Here are the links:

http://upstatedroneaction.org/documents/Presentations/Images_of_Drone_Victims.pdf

http://web.photodex.com/create/?watch-6ww2dbm4

 

ARTISTS CONFRONT DRONES

Cy Adler sent the following song this week, saying: “Here is a song you can use to tell the drone story so Americans will listen.”

IT TAKES A WORRIED MAN,
TO SING A WORRIED TUNE

Oh it takes a worried man, to sing a worried tune,
Takes a worried man, to sing a worried tune,
Well it takes a worried man to sing a worried tune;
I'm worried now; saw drones flying past the moon.

I saw five deadly drones flying overhead,
Saw five deadly drones flying overhead,
I saw five deadly drones flying overhead,
I knew that soon,  some kid would  be dead.

We asked the pres’dent: Why do these drones fly?
Asked the  pres’dent:  Why do these drones fly?
We asked the pres’dent : Why do these drones fly?
He said: gen-rals like to play, that’s why.

Oh it takes a worried man, to sing a worried tune,
Takes a worried man, to sing a worried tune,
Well it takes a worried man to sing a worried tune;
I'm worried now; saw drones flying past the moon.
                                         ###

 Contact: adlercy@gmail.com to to hear the song sung.

From Chicago, Joe Scarry reports on Leveling Up, a play performed by the Steppenwolf theater group that “demonstrates just how thoroughly America’s new ways of warfare have become intertwined with the other dominant strands in our culture.”

http://joescarry.blogspot.com/2014/03/leveling-up-drone-play-Chicago.html

Joe notes that Steppenwolf has created “an outstanding study guide for high schools”.  The guide is beautifully produced and while there may be points that one would want to add, it shows remarkable commitment to working with young people.

http://www.steppenwolf.org/_media/documents/Education/Study%20Guides/Leveling_Up_Study_Guide_FINAL.pdf

Joe says: “I think this play (and the associated materials) could be a valuable resource for people interested in reaching out to schools about drones. Maybe a Vonvo event with Hallie Gordon, from Steppenwolf, who put this together?”

A concluding note

Frank Brodhead, a friend of mine who heads Concerned Families of Westchester, an anti-war group, often ends his newsletters with a reward to the readers.  Following that line of inspiration, and in relation to the power of art, I want to note that last Thursday, I took two of my granddaughters to Amateur Night at the Apollo Theater in New York City.  Lakesha Lee, one of the winners, sang A Change is Gonna Come, and as I listened, I felt this song might help us all right now in pursuing our work. 

Here is a link to Lakesha’s presentation and then a link to a performance by Sam Cooke, who wrote the song.

http://amateurnight.org/contestants/lakesha-lee and

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbO2_077ixs

 

In solidarity,

Nick

 


 

ATTACHMENT A

We come to the Des Moines Air National Guard base as members of faith based and Catholic Worker communities who annually join for a week of nonviolent resistance to war and injustice.   This week, we aim to raise a call against the use of remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) commonly known as drones.  We recognize that the slaughter of war always requires war makers to dehumanize the victims.  Reliance on drones exacerbates the dehumanization because the technology allows war makers to kill a target without identifying clearly who the person is or what the person has done or is doing.

Therefore we bring to this base the faces of several who have been killed as well as the desire of a young Afghan friend who says, "We want to live without war."

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel said, "In a free society, few are guilty but all are responsible."  If weaponized drones are flown from this base, we, along with RPA crews, share responsibility for consequences including death of targeted victims and whatever trauma is sustained by those who operate the drones.

St Pat's Anti Drone Witness in DM by Ellen Grady[1]

The St. Patrick’s Day protest at the Iowa National Guard base. Photo by Ellen Grady
7 at blocked gate by Ellen Grady[1]

The seven protestors at the base gate before arrest. Photo by Ellen Grady.
Flowers on the line..by Ellen Grady[1]

Flowers on the line. Photo by Ellen Grady.

 

ATTACHMENT B

 

Friends,

Five grandmothers in Wisconsin were charged with disorderly conduct and trespassing in May 2013 after we walked onto the base at Volk Field, an Air National Guard Base where they are training drone pilots.  We carried an indictment for war crimes modeled after the one used at Hancock.

Yesterday we had a conference call with the judge for a motion to consolidate our cases.  I was very surprised that the judge refused to allow us to consolidate.  In all my years of doing civil resistance this has never happened.

He said that it made him recoil in horror at the thought of a mass trial for political dissenters, thinking about what happened with dissenters in China and Russia.

We tried to explain to him that we planned this action together, we went through the action together, and we would like to be tried together.

First, he said that we couldn't consolidate because what we said in court could be prejudicial to another's defense.  We told him we didn't believe that would happen and we wanted to be tried together.

Then he said that even if he wanted to consolidate our cases, the statutes don't allow us to be tried together.  Here I had a hard time completely understanding what he said, but this is what I think he said.

Cases can be consolidated if brought as a single action and there are 3 elements.

We met two of the elements: 1) that there was a question of law or fact in common, and 2) it arose out of the same transaction or occurrence.

The third element gave him the reason not to consolidate.  In explaining it he said each claim in each case is individual.  For example, if one of us was fined the others would not be responsible for that individuals fine.

Below are the statutes he was referring to.  If anyone has any insight or suggestions as move forward, we would greatly appreciate it.

Right now we have 5 individual trials scheduled in April and May for Bonnie Block, Joyce Ellwanger, Joy First, Mary Beth Schlagheck, and Kathy Walsh.

Peace,

Joy 

805.05 Consolidation; separate trials.

(1)  Consolidation.

(a) When actions which might have been brought as a single action under s. 803.04 are pending before the court, it may order a joint hearing or trial of any or all of the claims in the actions; it may order all the actions consolidated; and it may make such orders concerning proceedings therein as may tend to avoid unnecessary costs or delay.

(b) When actions which might have been brought as a single action under s. 803.04 are pending before different courts, any such action may be transferred upon motion of any party or of the court to another court where the related action is pending. A conference involving both judges and all counsel may be convened on the record as prescribed by s. 807.13 (3). Transfer under this paragraph shall be made only by the joint written order of the transferring court and the court to which the action is transferred.

803.04 Permissive joinder of parties.

(1)  Permissive joinder. All persons may join in one action as plaintiffs if they assert any right to relief jointly, severally, or in the alternative in respect of or arising out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences and if any question of law or fact common to all these persons will arise in the action. All persons may be joined in one action as defendants if there is asserted against them jointly, severally, or in the alternative, any right to relief in respect of or arising out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences and if any question of law or fact common to all defendants will arise in the action. A plaintiff or defendant need not be interested in obtaining or defending against all the relief demanded. Judgment may be given for one or more of the plaintiffs according to their respective rights to relief, and against one or more defendants according to their respective liabilities.

Trial Dates set for Wisconsin:

Bonnie Block - April 28 at 1:00 pm

Joyce Ellwanger - May 6 at 1:00 pm

Joy First - May 9 at 10:30 am

Kathy Walsh - May 19 at 1:00 pm

Mary Beth Schlagheck - May 23 at 11:00 am

 


 

ATTACHMENT C

 

NETWORK TO STOP DRONE SURVEILLANCE AND WARFARE

c/o Nicholas Mottern, P.O. Box 495  Hastings on Hudson, NY 10706

March 19, 2014

David M. Cote
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Honeywell Corporation
101 Columbia Road
Morristown, New Jersey 07960

Re: MQ-9 Reaper Drone; weaponized drones and drone surveillance.

Dear Mr. Cote:

We, the undersigned, are among many, many people in the United States who are working to end the United States drone attacks and drone surveillance that are killing and terrorizing thousands, if not tens of thousands, of people from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

We believe that these acts are gross violations of international law, the United States Constitution and the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, which guarantee the rights to life, due process, privacy, freedom of assembly and free speech, among others. 

In addition, we oppose the production, export and proliferation of weaponized drones, as well as the spreading use of drone surveillance, domestically and internationally.

The workhorse of United States drone killing and surveillance is the MQ-9 Reaper drone, described sometimes as a “hunter-killer” aircraft, which is also used by the United Kingdom in attacks in Afghanistan.  It appears that the United States intends to have built a total of approximately 400 Reapers by FY 2021 at a cost of about $16 million each, not including support equipment.  Others nations have bought or are planning to buy Reapers.

The letterhead photo shows the aftermath of a U.S. drone attack on a wedding party in Yemen in December, 2013.

Honeywell’s website states that Honeywell “is proud to be a significant content-provider for the MQ-9 Reaper.”   The website explains that Honeywell makes the TPE331-10 engine that propels the Reaper and provides certain navigational equipment for the Reaper. 

In addition, your website says that Honeywell is producing the T-Hawk, a drone with “unique hover-and-stare capability” that enables “advanced intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.”

Honeywell’s “Code of Business Conduct” says the company places “a high value on the integrity of the company and our directors, officers, employees, and representatives.  Our reputation and our brand name mean a lot to us. From the shop floor to the boardroom, all Honeywell employees and representatives are expected to comply with all laws and regulations in the countries where we do business, and adhere to our Code of Business Conduct.”

Included in Honeywell’s controls to ensure integrity, the website says, are:

“Legal and compliance reviews of proposed transactions that take into account applicable legal restrictions, including health, safety, environmental stewardship, anti-corruption, trade controls and business integrity.”

Given this commitment, we are asking Honeywell to:

(1) immediately stop providing to the United States government, and other governments, engines, navigational equipment and any other equipment and support for the MQ-9 Reaper drone and;

(2) disengage from all its other activities involving weaponized drones and drone surveillance.

We ask that you consider this request on an urgent basis and respond as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

Nick Mottern – Coordinator, Network to Stop Drone Surveillance and Warfare And KnowDrones.org / nickmottern@earthlink.net

Elliott Adams – Creating a Culture of Peace, Chairperson; Meta Peace Team, Training Committee member; Veterans for Peace, Past president

Judy Bello – Upstate (NY) Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars

Medea Benjamin – Co-founder, Code Pink

Fred Bialy – El Cerrito, CA

Bryn Mawr Peace Coalition – Bryn Mawr, PA

Chelsea C. Faria – Graduate student, Yale Divinity School; Promoting Enduring Peace

Sandy Fessler – Rochester (NY) Against War

Kathy Kelly – Voices for Creative Non-Violence

Schuyler Kempton – Drone Alert Hudson Valley; Anti-Oppression Forum, Highland, NY

Ed Kinane – Upstate (NY) Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars

Raymond L. McGovern - Former analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency;  Steering Committee, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS); Tell the Word – Church of the Savior, Washington, D.C.

Ian Mitchell – Poughkeepsie, NY

Max Obuszewski – Baltimore Nonviolence Center, Baltimore, MD

Peace and Justice Center – Burlington, VT

Charles Philp – New York, NY

Janet M. Powers – Professor Emerita, Gettysburg College

Mathias Quackenbush – KnowDrones.org

Daniel Raphael – Occupy, University Place, WA

Robin Ryan – San Francisco, CA

Jim Schulman, AIA – Washington, DC

Kyle Silliman-Smiith – Peace and Justice Center, Burlington, VT

Carmen Solari – Peace and Justice Center, Burlington, VT

David Swanson – WarisACrime.org; World Beyond War.org

Debra Sweet – Director, World Can’t Wait

Ann Tiffany – Upstate (NY) Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars

David Twomey – American citizen

Voices for Creative Non-Violence