Campaign Bulletin #16

Weekly Bulletin #16; May 24, 2014
By Nick Mottern

Don't forget: Weekly open conference call for activists every Wednesday, 9 pm EST
(605) 562-3000, Access code - 484539#

1.    ACTIONS
2.    COURT ACTION
3.    LOCAL DRONE RESOLUTIONS
4.    IDEAS
5.    EVENTS PLANNED
6.    PLANS FOR OCTOBER 
7.    HONEYWELL BOYCOTT 
8.    BEYOND THE SPRING DAYS OF ACTION – 2014

 

ACTIONS

Volk Field, Wisconsin

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Photo by Cassandra Dixon. Charles Bradley, Mary Beth Schlagheck, Jim Murphy, Bonnie Block and Kathy Walsh protest drone operations at Volk Field, Camp Douglas, Wisconsin.

On Saturday, May 17, Bonnie Block and the Rev. Jim Murphy were arrested at National Guard Museum inside Volk Field as they handed out flyers opposing drone warfare. 

Volk Field is an Air National Guard Base, located just outside the village of Camp Douglas, WI, that conducts training in, among other things, the operation of the RQ-7 Shadow drone, pictured below.  The Shadow is designed as a surveillance drone, however it can be fitted with bombs or missiles.  http://www.wired.com/2012/07/small-drone-missile-soon/

(As you may recall, a Shadow drone operated from Fort Indiantown Gap, PA, crashed in April on a highway in Jonestown, PA, landing between an elementary school and a motel. http://www.post-gazette.com/news/state/2014/04/04/Military-drone-crashes-near-Fort-Indiantown-Gap/stories/201404040147 )

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Photo by Joe Oliva Jetpix.com. RQ-7 Shadow 200 drone being displayed by members of the Tactical Unmanned Aerial System (TUAS) platoon of the 32nd Brigade of the Wisconsin Air National Guard at Volk Field, WI.

The protest at Volk began with a counter-drone vigil on an access road to the base; vigils are held there monthly.  After spending some time at the vigil, Bonnie and Jim went into Camp Douglas to board a bus organized to take people on a tour of the base as part of Volk’s 2014 Open House, with its only stop at the museum.

Here is Bonnie’s account of what happened:

“We boarded the bus for Volk Field. (No ID checks there or at the gate house)  National Guardsmen drove the bus and narrated the tour all over the base - which must have lasted about 45 minutes - lots of interesting info about what happens on the base and not much that's good.  We drove by the TUAS (Tactical Unmanned Aerial System) facility where the drones are apparently housed, but there was no word about what they did there other than "they can use remotely controlled cameras to triangulate where ordinance has landed" or words to that effect.  Not a word about their being used in drone warfare.

“The final stop was at the National Guard Museum where we could get off the bus.  Jim and I were in the front seat so we got off first, and I opened my jacket so the t-shirt was visible, and we offered our handout to people getting off the bus--which I think was six or seven other people. (The message on Bonnie’s pink shirt read: “Fly Kites Not Drones”.)  One of the Guardsmen quickly said we couldn't do that on the base and that we had to stop handing out "propaganda."  They hadn't read the handout so I gave two of them to one of the men and said it was just a series of questions they should read.  (See Attachment A.)

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Photo by Cassandra Dixon. Counter drone protesters Bonnie Block and Rev. Jim Murphy at Volk Field, WI.

“One of them then called base security - five arrived within minutes (the guys in the dark blue uniforms) - so we had nine people in uniforms surrounding us.  They said we couldn't leaflet and had to leave.  Jim said we wanted to see the museum and would continue to leaflet so they called the Sheriff.  Two squad cars arrived within minutes and we were handcuffed and taken to Mauston in separate vehicles.  Officer Gary Peterson who handcuffed me was clearly angry at us because we were disrupting the open house, and he was supposed to be at the parade that was occurring in Camp Douglas at the same time.  He asked: "How could you come today of all days?"

“We were processed fairly promptly at the jail and released on a signature bond.  The charges are criminal misdeamenors-- trespassing and disorderly conduct again and we have the initial hearing on June 18 at 9 am.”

Bonnie said that she and Joy First have been arrested before protesting drones at Volk:

“The first time we were arrested in 2012 we were charged with criminal misdemeanors of trespassing and disorderly conduct which were ultimately dismissed.  In 2013, the sheriff arrested us for the same charges but the District Attorney reduced them to county ordinance violations.  After trial on April 28, 2014 I was found guilty of trespassing but not of disorderly conduct and fined $232.  Jim hasn't been arrested at Volk Field but is a regular vigiler.

“The charges for Jim and I are the same two misdemeanors as before.  It'll be interesting to see if the DA changes them to ordinance violations this time around or not.”

San Francisco to Beale AFB March

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Photo by Bill Carpenter. Marchers prepare for 140-mile Walk to Peace at the Embarcadero in San Francisco  May 17.

On Saturday, May 17, marchers set out from San Francisco on “A Walk to Peace” that will take them to Beale Air Force Base, a distance of about 140 miles.

This is the second such march this Spring focused on drone war.  The first was held in Georgia calling attention to the drone research being done at George Institute of Technology in cooperation with Fort Benning, in Columbus, GA.  (See Weekly Bulletin #14.)   A third march is planned in June, going from the Chicago headquarters of drone maker Boeing to Battle Creek, MI, home of a new control base for MQ-9 Reaper drones. (See Events Planned, below.)

The California marchers intend to arrive at Beale on Memorial Day, Monday, May 26, and to hold a counter-drone protest there on Tuesday, May 27.  On Saturday, May 24, they are planning to participate in March Against Monsanto to be held at the State Capitol. https://www.facebook.com/events/427960777291632/

Beale is an operations center for the Global Hawk drone, which plays a role in U.S. drone attacks.

Here are portions of a World Can’t Wait send-off message to the marchers presented on May 17 by Mathias Quackenbush, of KnowDrones.org)

“World Can’t Wait is here today to give a big thumbs-up to the dedicated activists who have set out on a historic journey to stop our government’s targeted assassination of people on the other side of the world…”

“…the Peace Walk from the Golden Gate Bridge to Beale is going to help a LOT more people open their eyes and see.  People need to come to see the killer drones the way my own generation came to think of NAPALM, or the way we came to think of nuclear weapons – the ones only one country in the world has ever used, the U.S. when it used The Bomb against Japanese civilians…”

“…this Peace Walk will ALSO speak to the women and men and children in the countries where the killer drones are flying.  There ARE some people inside the country that is bombing them, who refuse to go along with this – we are with you – we know your lives are no less important than our own – and we will stand up to our own government to say that, and mean it.”

Albuquerque, NM

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Photo by Robert Anderson. Some of the drone protesters who greeted Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh in Albuquerque, NM, on May 17, 2014.

On Saturday, May 17, about 50 people gathered outside the Sheraton Albuquerque Uptown Hotel to protest an appearance there, sponsored by the local Chamber of Commerce, of Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, and responsible for overseeing U.S. drone attacks by Air Force personnel.

Bob Anderson, an organizer of the protest sponsored by Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice, said that General Welsh and his Secret Service guards had to pass the protesters on their way into the hotel.  There was no press coverage of the protest.

Albuquerque is home to Kirtland Air Force Base, and Bob said that the Chamber of Commerce is a booster of the base, which houses, among other things, the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center and a laboratory for laser beam weapons and systems for disabling “electronic systems with minimum collateral damage.”

General Welsh appears to have been involved in drone warfare before becoming Chief of Staff.  From August 2008 to December 2010, he was Associate Director of the Central Intelligence Agency for Military Support/Associate Director of Military Affairs, at the CIA in Washington, DC. This was a period of dramatic escalation in drone attacks and very likely a period in which Air Force personnel were involved in drone strikes ordered by the CIA.

From December 2010 until July 2012, the general was Commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe and, significantly with respect to drones, he was also Commander, Air Component Command at Ramstein Air Base in Germany and Director, Joint Air Power Competency Center at Ramstein.

Ramstein is said to be a central clearinghouse of drone attack control.

http://www.dw.de/berlin-powerless-to-challenge-us-drone-operations-at-ramstein-air-base/a-17545327

General Welsh has had other intelligence/surveillance jobs as indicated in this bio: http://www.af.mil/AboutUs/Biographies/Display/tabid/225/Article/104966/general-mark-a-welsh-iii.aspx

Minneapolis, MN

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Photo by Bob Bottolene. Drone protesters march in Minneapolis on May 17, 2014.

On May 17, about 120 people participated in the “Stop the Wars – Ground the Drones” protest in Minneapolis that was organized as part of the Spring Days of Action by the Minnesota Peace Action Coalition (MPAC)

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Photo by Bob Bottolene. A Women Against Military Madness banner at the May 17 drone protest in Minneapolis, MN.

Here is a full account of the protest: http://www.fightbacknews.org/2014/5/18/minneapolis-protests-says-stop-wars-ground-drones

Philadelphia, PA

On Saturday, May 17, a counter drone war leafleting and protest was held on Independence Mall in Philadelphia, organized by the Granny Peace Brigade of Philadelphia, Brandywine Peace Community and International Women’s League of Peace and Freedom.

Here is a video of the event by Bob Barton, with a speech by Medea Benjamin, co-director of CODEPINK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtWGh6AEd4o

 

COURT ACTION

Syracuse, NY

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Photo by Ellen M. Blalock – Syracuse Post-Standard. Mary Anne Grady (left) and her sister Clare, are arrested at Hancock Air Base in 2012.

On Friday, May 16, the bizarre granting of orders of protection (OOP) to protect a military commander from non-violent protesters took a dangerous turn when Mary Ellen Grady Flores was found guilty by a six-person jury of violating her OOP.

Mary Anne is liable to spend up to a year in jail.  Her sentence will be announced in July after a pre-sentencing investigation by DeWitt Town Judge David Gideon, who presided over the trial and who said at a recent trial of Hancock protesters that protests at the base must stop. http://ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/anti-drone-activists-new-york-receive-jail-time-restraining-order

Mary Anne’s conviction bodes ill for other protesters facing OOP trials over the next several months.

Brian Terrell, who spent six months in federal prison in 2012 – 13, said:

“The DeWitt court seems to be the only court anywhere that has ever used an OOP to deal with protests, so there is no direct precedent.”

In spite of the assault on free speech rights implicit in the DeWitt judges’ use of the OOP, counter-drone organizers in upstate New York have not been able to engage the interest, much less the support of, the New York State American Civil Liberties Union.  The NYACLU failed to respond to a call that I made to its press line.

The OOP strategy was instituted in 2012 when Judge Gideon and the other DeWitt Town Judge Robert Jokl granted the request of Col. Earl A. Evans, mission support commander of the 174th Attack Wing of the New York Air National Guard, to apply orders of protection against protesters at the base.

Colonel Evans had the order issued to him rather the base commander because he is in charge of base security, which includes arming of guards for the base.

As noted on the PeterDeMottPeaceTrot blog:

“Grady Flores received the order of protection on Oct. 25th, 2012, when she and 16 others were arrested near Hancock.  The order states that they must stay away from Colonel Evans’ ‘place of employment’.  Grady Flores, who had never heard of the Colonel, and didn’t know what he looked like, is charged with: ‘Criminal Contempt 2’, because she took photos of the demonstrators from the roadway on Feb. 13, 2013.”  http://www.peterdemottpeacetrot.org/blog

Here is a commentary on the case by Linda LeTendre, herself arrested at a Hancock protest, in which she relates details of Mary Anne’s situation, including the point in her trial when Colonel Evans testifies that he does not feel threatened by or afraid of any of the protesters.

http://www.dailygazette.com/weblogs/letendre/2014/may/22/your-tax-dollars-work-folks/

Judy Bello, who is subject to an OOP, commenting on the trial said:  “Mary Anne really did not understand what the Order meant” in terms of definition of where she could and could not go, the permitted boundaries of protest.  

We have arrived at a point at Hancock and around the United States where boundaries are arbitrarily applied to control and repress protest when one of the basic premises on which the First Amendment is based is that non-violent protest should be completely impossible for government to control.

Evidence of how far we have come down the road of repression is the extraordinary requirement of the police at the April 27, 2014 protest at Hancock that protesters who were subject to OOPs should remain behind a building in a parking lot adjacent to the base so that they could not see the base and no one on the base could see them.  Some with OOP abided by this ruling, others did not.

Des Moines, IA

On March 17, 2014, Elliott Adams, Ed Bloomer, Julie Brown, Steve Clemens, Ruth Cole, the Rev. Chet Guinn and Michele Naar-Obed, “The St. Pat’s 7”, were arrested in a counter-drone protest at the Des Moines, IA Air National Guard base where a drone control center is set to open.

All were charged with criminal trespass.

Instead of the seven going to court in June, Fred Van Liew, Director of the Center for Restorative Justice Practices, in Des Moines, has suggested an alternative, a Peace Making Circle, in which the accused would meet with seven members of the Iowa Air National Guard to exchange their views on drone warfare.

“I'm excited, for this case and for the future of justice in our community,” said Fred.   “The use of the Circle process in this case could open the door to significant changes - if we continue to push for them.”

To get the idea in front of the public, and the court system, Fred and other supporters of the idea, including Frank Corado, a peace activist and co-founder of the Catholic Worker group in Des Moines, sought to get a letter advocating the Circle into the Des Moines Register.  The letter, published by the paper on May 19, is signed by 40 members of the community, including retired Assistant Iowa Attorney General Bob Brammer and a number of clergy, including two bishops.  Here is a link to the letter:

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/opinion/columnists/iowa-view/2014/05/20/peacemaking-circle-protesters/2264516/

Fred said this is the first instance he knows of in which a Peacemaking Circle, which has its origin in indigenous cultures, would be used instead of an adversarial court proceeding in this type of case.

An anonymous source in Des Moines said that Polk County Attorney John Sarcone appeared to be open to the Circle idea and that a conversation will be held with the Air National Guard.

Fred invites anyone interested in the Circle concept to contact him at: rjpractices@gmail.com

 

LOCAL DRONE RESOLUTIONS

Amherst, MA

On May 19, the town meeting of Amherst, MA approved a two-part drone ban resolution that includes an instruction to town government to ask Amherst’s Congressional representatives to introduce legislation that will stop drones from being used for extra-judicial killing.

Prospects for passage of the Amherst ban resolution were unclear last month because of reluctance or uncertainty of at least one member of the town board.  However, Beth Adams, Frank Gatti, Bill Newman, Paul Voss and others organized a public education drone ban campaign, including a public forum and radio and television interviews, that appears to have been decisive in winning passage of the resolution.

Amherst is the second community in Massachusetts to approve a drone ban; the Leverett town meeting approved similar legislation earlier in May.

Here are: a more complete report on the passage of the Amherst ban; a link to one of the television shows that Beth did to win approval of the ban; and a report from the Western Massachusetts office of the American Friends Service Committee:

http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2014/05/amherst_town_meeting_adopts_dr.html

https://archive.org/details/88171Drones1

http://afscwm.org/2014/05/20/amherst-votes-against-drones/

Woodstock, NY

On May 20, a drone ban resolution was approved in a 4 to 1 vote by the Woodstock, NY Town Board.  (There was one abstention).

The resolution (Attachment B) was introduced by board member Jay Wenk,  who said he adapted it from a resolution that was approved in Charlottesville, VA.

Here is a report of the board action from The Woodstock Times:

Drone free Woodstock seeks ban on law enforcement drones

by Nick Henderson

 ‘I do not believe, from the bottom of my shoe soles, that the use of this equipment in particular is in any way designed or implemented to protect us…’

As surveillance technology becomes more widely used by law enforcement, Woodstock lawmakers, at their May 20 meeting, took one step toward making the town a drone-free zone.

The use of drones in war zones, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan is well known, but the unmanned craft are now being used by police agencies in the United States.

The Shadow Hawk drone, made by Vanguard Industries, which can be outfitted with a grenade launcher, tear gas and rubber buckshot, is being marketed to police agencies.

But Woodstock went in the opposite direction, passing a resolution expressing the desire that the town be a "No Drone Zone."

"The rapid development of drone technology throughout the United States poses a threat to the privacy and Constitutional rights of the American people, including the residents of Woodstock," reads the resolution, proposed by Councilman Jay Wenk.

The resolution states that drones can also be used to "film individuals or groups around the clock, in public spaces or through the windows of private homes, and to continuously monitor cell phone and text messages." It calls on Congress, the state and county legislatures to prohibit use of drones for domestic surveillance and law enforcement. It also calls for the prohibition of weaponized drones.

The original resolution declared Woodstock a "No Drone Zone," but wording was changed after concerns from Councilman Bill McKenna. "To me, it brings the resolution down a little bit." he said. We can't declare Woodstock a no drone zone. I know it's a great sentiment."

McKenna agreed with the other points made in the resolution, but thought the declaration would open the town to ridicule. "For us to go and declare something is meaningless and it almost makes the rest of it a joke in some people's eyes and I don't want that to happen," he said.

Wenk agreed to the change in language.

Deputy Supervisor Laura Ricci said she wants to protect law enforcement's ability to use technology for legitimate purposes, but Wenk countered that these drones have no such use in his view. "I do not believe, from the bottom of my shoe soles, that the use of this equipment in particular is in any way designed or implemented to protect us," Wenk said. Rather, it is "designed to create more of a police state."

Added Wenk, "We are living in a state where agencies like the NSA, for example...have run roughshod over the constitutional respect for Americans. To say nothing of the fact that these drones have been used in horrible ways overseas."

Woodstock is not the first municipality to work toward banning drones. Charlottesville, Virginia, Iowa City, and St. Bonifacius, Minnesota are other examples, Wenk noted.

All voted in favor of the resolution except Councilman Ken Panza, who abstained. When asked, Panza said he didn't have enough understanding of the resolution, which was added late, to cast a vote.

The resolution does not apply to recreational drones, provided they are not used to monitor people or residences.

______________

Here is a link to reports on passage of other bans, compiled by David Swanson:

http://warisacrime.org/content/all-drone-politics-local

 

CODE PINK MOBILIZING LOCAL DRONE BAN ACTION

Dear friends and activists,

Here at CODEPINK we're excited to announce that we have launched a campaign to pass 100 local resolutions restricting the use of drones in our communities. While there’s been much discussion about the dangers of drones being used in the US by law enforcement and other government agencies, only a few cities have passed resolutions to regulate their use or impose a moratorium until such regulations are in place. Restricting the use of drones in our communities is important for our privacy and our safety. It’s also important to make sure that drones used here at home are never weaponized, like they are overseas.

We have a great action toolkit, including a short video, that takes you step-by-step through the resolution process. Check out the campaign here and contact me if you are interested or have any questions!

Peace,

Alli, Medea and the CODEPINK team.

 

IDEAS

Here are minutes from this week’s organizers conference call; each person on the call was asked to submit a report of their contribution:

Schuyler Kempton - Drone Alert Hudson Valley :

“Last Saturday (May 17th), Barbara Kidney, Andrew Dalton, and I distributed around 30 Drone Alert fliers and displayed signs on the Walkway Over the Hudson, a heavily-trafficked pedestrian bridge over the Hudson River. To draw attention, Barbara and Andrew sung anti-war songs accompanied by guitar and flute or recorder. 

“This Saturday (May 24th), we're holding a memorial service for those killed by U.S. drones in front of Elting Library in the college town of New Paltz, NY. Each name will be written on a large sheet of news print paper to visually represent the extent of the destruction caused by drones. Our flier publicizing the event begins:

"A riddle: A 67 year old midwife picks vegetables in her garden with her grandchildren/ A foreign drone pilot targets them and kills her & some of them. Who, then, is the terrorist?"

Daniel Riehl – Lancaster, PA :

The Mennonite Church USA is talking about passing a resolution against drone warfare next year at their annual conference.  There are one or two Mennonite congregations that have passed congregational resolutions against drone warfare, one of them in Seattle, WA.  Also there are two Mennonite churches that have made public statements/actions against the drone strikes that have been carried out.

“See: http://www.mennoniteworker.com/tag/drones/

“Also see: http://peacemaking.us/mennos/  

“The next vigil at Horsham, PA will be Saturday, May 31.”

Reports from others on the call have not been received at press time.

 

EVENTS PLANNED

San Francisco, CA

May 17-27: A 10-day "WALK TO PEACE, To Resist Global Militarization and Drone Warfare".  Any help offered will be very welcomed! For details:  

https://www.facebook.com/events/1380107975587685/

West Point – Highland Falls, NY

May 28 – Drone protest at West Point graduation ceremony where President Obama is speaking.  7 am – 9:30 am at Stoney Lonesome Gate off of Route 9W and the Thayer Gate in downtown Highland Falls. For detailed driving information: Nick Mottern (914) 806-6179 nickmottern@earthlink.net

Kansas City, MO

May 30 – June 1 – Trifecta Resista – As follows:

Fri., May 30, 4-9 pm: Kickoff of weekend at DeLaSalle Education Center 3737 Troost, Kansas City, MO, 64109, with nonviolence training, supper, input on Trifecta sites, and small-group sharing.

Sat., May 31: Demonstrations at Fort Leavenworth (at 10 a.m.—Chelsea is now serving a 35-year sentence there) and Bannister Federal Complex (at 3 pm), and meals and gatherings at DeLaSalle. At 7 pm, talks by Kathy Kelly, Brian Terrell, Medea Benjamin, Ann Wright and others.

Sun., June 1: Early breakfast, then departure from DeLaSalle at about 11 a.m., a gathering at Knob Noster State Park at 1 pm, and demonstration at nearby Whiteman AFB at 2 pm. See http://www.trifectaresista.org

Chicago, IL – Battle Creek, MI

June 3 – 14 “On the Road to Ground the Drones” walk from Boeing headquarters in Chicago along Lake Michigan’s south shore and through Michigan to Battle Creek, proposed site of a new drone command center, 165 miles, organized by Voices for Creative Nonviolence. For more information:

http://vcnv.org/on-the-road-to-ground-the-drones

 

PLANS FOR OCTOBER

As some of you know, the week of Oct. 4 – 11 will be a particular time to focus on ending drone attacks and drone surveillance. 

Medea Benjamin and CODEPINK are in communication with organizers in the United Kingdom and Germany on an Oct. 4 Global Day of Actions Against Drones and will be developing actions with organizers in the U.S.

Elsa Rassbach, reports from Germany:

“In Berlin our theme for October 4th will be something like ‘Fly Kites Not Drones: Against Use of Drones for Killing and Surveillance.’

“We'll make this a day for families to fly kites and protest together at simultaneous actions in different boroughs in Berlin.  We'll provide simple kites, all in one color, on which people can paint their individual messages.  I've attached the first version of a poster we'll likely use. (See below.) Other slogan suggestions we've had are: ‘We demand drone-free skies’ or ‘Restore drone-free skies.’ 

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“Global Action Day has been endorsed by the nationwide German Drone Campaign, and actions will take place throughout Germany on October 4th. Likely many of them will use the kite theme. People here like that the idea began in Afghanistan. 

We may also decide to use Global Action Day to formally submit the petition for which we've been gathering signatures since 2013:  "No Combat Drones." (See: https://drohnen-kampagne.de/appell-keine-kampfdrohnen/international/appeal-no-combat-drones-english-version/)

And in Berlin we are in addition exploring the feasibility of using October 4th to introduce a resolution to the Berlin City Council to "Make Berlin a Drone-Free Zone."  (We're inspired by the local resolution efforts in the US, such as in New York, and we think the kites make a good image to go along with such a resolution.)”

Oct. 4 is also the beginning of the international week of action being organized by the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space.

Bruce Gagnon, Secretary/Co-ordinator for the Global Network, in encouraging organizing for the week, is offering the poster and the flyer, below.

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HONEYWELL BOYCOTT

Work is continuing on the website for the Honeywell Boycott/Divest campaign.  The “Call” for your endorsement of the campaign will be sent out this week.  I apologize for the delay.

 

BEYOND THE SPRING DAYS OF ACTION – 2014

We are nearing the end of the formal Spring Days of Action – 2014 campaign in which you have committed huge amounts of energy, time, imagination and courage, as documented in these weekly bulletins.

Debra Sweet, director of World Can’t Wait, suggested we reflect on what we have learned during the campaign and where we are inspired to go.  We will explore this more in next week’s bulletin, but if anyone has thoughts they want to share now, please send them.

Thank you all for your continuing hard work and grand spirit.

In solidarity,

Nick

 


ATTACHMENT A

Here is the content of the flyer that drone protesters Bonnie Block and Rev. Jim Murphy distributed inside Volk Field, WI, on May 17, 2014.

 

Would you?

Would you have heightened anxiety if
surveillance drones were flying over your
community all day long?

Would you live in fear if a simple gathering
of your friends might be misinterpreted as a
terrorist gathering that could be targeted
for attack?

Would you understand that under the rule of
law, death sentences can only be imposed
after due process in a court of law and not
by a secret program of drone assassination?

Would you be uncomfortable in your own
home if your neighbor's activity might lead
to all of you being targeted and killed by a
foreign government?

If YES, call you members of Congress and
ask them to ground the drones before we
become targets.


ATTACHMENT B

Desire Town of Woodstock to be a “No Drone Zone”

Offered by Councilman Wenk, seconded by Councilman McKenna:

Whereas, the use of drones by the United States military provides a dangerous precedent for their domestic use; and

Whereas, the rapid development of drone technology throughout the United States poses a threat to the privacy and Constitutional rights of the American people, including the residents of Woodstock; and

Whereas, the Federal Government and the State of New York have failed to provide reasonable legal restrictions on the use of drones within the United States; and

Whereas, drones can be used to film individuals or groups around the clock, in public spaces or through the windows of private homes, and to continuously monitor cell-phone and text messaging; and

Whereas, Police departments throughout the country have begun implementing Drone technology absent any guidance from law-makers; and

Whereas, Vanguard Defense Industries has confirmed that its Shadow Hawk Drone, which is already being sold to law enforcement agencies throughout the country, will be outfitted with weapons, including a Grenade launcher, or Tear gas and rubber buckshot, thus sending a clear and chilling message to those attempting to exercise their First Amendment rights by taking to the streets to protest government policies; now therefore be it Resolved, that the Town Board of the Town of Woodstock New York,

·      Desires Woodstock to be a “No Drone Zone;”

·      Strongly warn that the unrestricted, unregulated use of drones is a serious threat to the Constitutional rights of all Americans;

·      Call upon the United States Congress and the New York State legislature to recognize the extreme danger and urgency of the issue, and to adopt legislation that would prohibit the use of drones for domestic surveillance and law enforcement purposes;

·      Call upon the United States Congress and the New York State legislature to adopt legislation that would strictly prohibit the domestic use of drones equipped with anti-personnel devices, meaning any projectile, chemical, electrical, directed-energy (visible or invisible), or other device designed to intimidate, harm, incapacitate, or otherwise negatively impact human beings;

·      Call upon the United States Congress and the New York State legislature to adopt legislation to prohibit information obtained by drones to be used as evidence in Federal or State judicial proceedings; and 

be it further Resolved, this resolution does not apply to hobbyists that fly remote controlled model aircraft, away from areas where they could harm people, as long as those devices are not equipped to monitor any person or residence; and 

be it further Resolved, that the Town Board authorize the Town Clerk to forward a certified copy of this resolution to Ulster County Executive, State and Federal representatives, to the Governor of New York State, and to the President of the United States.

All voted 4-1-0:

Supervisor Wilber - aye
Councilwoman Magarelli - aye
Councilman Wenk - aye
Councilman McKenna - aye
Councilman Panza - abstained