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NOV. 6 -12 – VOTE AT CREECH WITH CODE PINK

Two days before the so-called “election” next month, please make an all-out effort to be with Code Pink at the gates Creech AFB outside Las Vegas to cast a vote you can be sure will have meaning, in the street, calling for a halt to U.S. drone attacks and an end to U.S. imperial wars.

If you need a nudge to be there, I just ran across the linked March 2016 article reporting that Lockheed Martin is expanding manufacturing of Hellfire missiles, “the signature weapon of Predator and Reaper drones”. Production of 500 lb Paveway bombs, carried by Reapers, is also increasing. Both munitions are used by other aircraft as well, but it is clear that drone war is intensifying.

And the article says: “With top military officials predicting that the ISIS campaign will run for years, demand for missiles and bombs is expected to remain high.”

http://www.defenseone.com/business/2016/03/lockheed-expands-munitions-factories-isis-future/126725/

This of course does not speak to the continuing U.S. drone attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. Indeed, as the NYTimes reports, the U.S. is expanding its war in Somalia. The Times seems to have stopped referring to “drone” attacks, lumping them into what, for the government, seems to be a more comfortable blanket term - “airstrikes”. The Pentagon apparently sees further need of sanitizing, according to the Times, sometimes referring to the air attacks as “self-defense strikes.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/16/world/africa/obama-somalia-secret-war.html?_r=0

Here is the full info on the Code Pink action at Creech:

UPDATE:   Ann Wright, our amazing world peace spokesperson, will join us, as well as a good contingent of VFP allies too…. We have space in one car for 2 more folks, coming from Bay Area.  We also have funds to rent a van or car.  Please let us know asap if you are  interested…we’d love to have you join our peace brigade to put an end to drone killing now!

CODEPINK Drone Resistance Week at Creech AFB

All invited to Join Us!

Sun. Nov. 6 to Sat. Nov. 12

  SHUT DOWN CREECH Action, Spring 2016 - Photo by Sharat Lin

SHUT DOWN CREECH Action, Spring 2016 - Photo by Sharat Lin

On Sept. 27 a US Drone Strike killed 15 Afghans and wounded 13 - 27 others, according to varied reports.  US military officials initially claimed all were militants.  But most other sources are reporting they were all civilian men, killed while sleeping in their beds, and gathered at the home of an health official to welcome his return from the Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca.  The U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) reported the victims were  "students, a teacher, and members of families considered to be pro-government."

There was almost no mainstream U.S. media coverage of this horrific war crime...but the usual U.S. response was:

“We take every possible measure to avoid civilian casualties in these operations, and will continue to work with Afghan authorities to determine if there is cause for additional investigation.”   .....NOT!

How many other brutal drone strikes occur in which we receive no news?

In one air strike alone, 160 Somalians were killed by the US in March of this year.

Will you join CODEPINK in opposing US terror from the blue skies on the world's poorest?

Creech AFB is the central control center for US Drone Killing in the world, where the USAF murders for the CIA.

Our presence does make a difference.  With daily vigils during rush hour commutes, our creative messages for peace & justice reaches souls.  The military reported that there is a high turnover in drone pilots at Creech AFB, limiting them from flying as many killer missions as they would like.  Help us continue to have a positive effect.

Why go toCreech?  Watch:  Russia Today Drone Documentary: Game of Drones: New type of war crime that's going unpunished (27.5 Min., Includes CODEPINK at Creech, Fall 2015)

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFw03C4l5UY?rel=0]

Everyone is invited to join CODEPINK's Fall Nonviolent Action to Stop Drones and Endless Warfare.  We will be staying at the beautiful and sacred Goddess Temple grounds to sleep, eat and rejuvenate between daily early am and pm vigils.  Nonviolent direct action will be planned, support people needed too!

Daily excursions between vigils to connect each other, with mother nature, and to rejuvenate and strategize for peace.....walks in the desert, hot springs soaks, wild horses visit, and more.

While doing very critical and necessary peace work, it's also a great opportunity to bond with fellow peace activists and support each other in our work.

We will share meals and chore responsibilities.  Women will be staying in the Goddess Temple guest house, men will be camping somewhere on the Goddess Temple grounds.  Outdoor shower available for men.

The guest house has very limited beds, so early registration is highly recommended to guarantee a bed for you. 

GREAT NEWS:  Our wonderful friend, filmmaker & documentarian, Nico Columbant, will be joining us again.

REGISTRATION:  Please contact Toby:  ratherbenyckeling@comcast.net

Deadline to register:  October 29, so that we can coordinate work groups for meal planning and prep, etc.

Participants will each share in one day of meal preps.  Meals will be primarily vegan/vegetarian.

Please let us know asap if you plan to come, and if you have food allergies or other special needs.

Van rental:  We have funds to pay for a van from the Bay Area. (Please reserve by Oct. 15).

BED RESERVATIONS:  Please contact Maggie,  maggiehuntington32@yahoo.com

TRANSPORTATION:  Please contact Eleanor,  dreleanorlevine@yahoo.com for coordinating RIDE SHARING and Airport Pick-up and drop off from Las Vegas. Please let her know, asap if you can offer a ride, or need one....airport pick-up may require a 2-3 hour wait, depending).

BEST TIME FOR FLIGHTS:  

Optimal Arrival Times:  9:00am - 7pm

Optimal Departure Times:  10:30- 7pm

BEST to schedule flights between vigil times, 9am to 2am, or travel on the weekend

Please avoid early am or late pm flights.  We also understand that there may be personal reasons these times can't work, and we will do our best to accommodate you.

IMPORTANT:  If you are planning to come, please make sure you arrange for an absentee ballot...the election will take place on Nov. 8th.  

Please notify us if you have any great ideas for our upcoming NO DRONES WEEK & RETREAT atCreech! SHUT DOWNCREECHNOW!

Hope you can join us!

Eleanor, Maggie and Toby

SEPTEMBER ACTION POINTS TO INTERNATIONAL MOVEMENT

It takes sparks to start a fire, and on September 26 I saw a few.

In Washington, the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance organized an anti-war witness at the Pentagon on Sept. 26, immediately following World Beyond War’s “No War 2016” conference.

Knowing that I could not be at this protest I organized a similar witness on the 26th at West Point, near my home. Elsa Rassbach organized a solidarity protest for the same day in front of the U.S. Embassy in Berlin.   Drone protesters at Wisconsin’s Volk Field asked that their Sept. 27 action, that was among those in the international Keep Space for Peace mobilization, be considered also as one of the September 26 solidarity actions.

In addition, Australian protesters at the Pine Gap U.S. intelligence-gathering center, which is involved with drone war, agreed that their Keep Space for Peace action on September 29 action would be in solidarity with the events on the 26th.

The 26th also turned out to be the day of the first presidential debate at Hofstra University on Long Island in New York, where anti-war protests were also held.

And finally, on September 30, I got this email from Carrie Giunta, a freelance writer in Italy, whose linked Pambazuka article points to the potential for anti-drone organizing in Italy.

Pambazuka News
Despite local resistance, America has set up a sophisticated military telecoms system covering more than three-quarters of the globe in the Mediterranean island of Sicily. The facility enables control of remotely piloted drones, missiles and nuclear weapons, making it the mother of all weapons of mass destruction. It affords the Pentagon eyes and ears all over Africa and the Middle East.

It is clear from the above, that in creating Keep Space for Peace events, Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space, has trail-blazed a path for international anti-drone organizing, as did Elsa Rassbach in creating the Global Day of Action Against Drones in 2014.

https://www.popularresistance.org/global-day-of-action-against-drones/

In next month’s bulletin I will give more attention to international organizing against drone wars.

Below are reports of September 26 events.

TWENTY-ONE ACTIVISTS ARRESTED AT THE PENTAGON DEMANDING ACCOUNTABILITY FOR WAR CRIMES AND AN END TO ONGOING US WARS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 26, 2016

Contacts: Joy First 608 239-4327 or joyfirst5@gmail.com; Max Obuszewski 727-543-3227 or mobuszewski@verizon.net; Malachy Kilbride 301-283-7627 or malachykilbride@gmail.com

WHO:  On September 26, 2016, after years of unsuccessfully seeking meetings with elected and appointed government officials over the ongoing US wars, proxy wars and military occupations, armed drones, US war crimes, and the increasing Pentagon budget activists associated with the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance (NCNR) went to the Pentagon today once again seeking a meeting with decision-makers in the Pentagon chain of command including Secretary Ashton Carter. They told Pentagon police they wouldn’t leave until they spoke to an official in a position of authority about war crimes committed by the US and that they were following their obligations under Nuremberg to draw attention to these crimes of US government elected and appointed officials. Although the activists were nonviolent the Pentagon police placed 21 activists under arrest and charged them with “Violation of a Lawful Order”.

WHAT: The presence of antiwar activists today at the Pentagon follows the International Day of Peace, the over 700 actions of nonviolence around the US and other countries organized by Campaign Nonviolence calling for an end to war, poverty, and for serious efforts to address the climate crisis and environmental degradation. In addition, many of the activists had attended the World Beyond War conference held in Washington, DC at American University over the weekend entitled “No War 2016: Real Security Without Terrorism”. The attempted meeting by activists was a continuation of the over 700 events organized by Campaign Nonviolence this month in addition to carrying the message of World Beyond War to the Department of Defense and Obama Administration. The activists tried to also deliver a petition signed by over 23000 people to President Obama, Secretary Carter, and German Chancellor Merkel calling for the closing of a drone relay station at US Air Force Base Ramstein in Germany which has been linked to the deaths of innocent civilians. Activists in Germany also attempted to deliver this petition to Merkel today. Australian activists acted in solidarity at the US military base in Pine Gap and another solidarity action was held at West Point, NY by others concerned about the US drone program.

WHY:  Rev. Janice Sevre-Duszynska one of those arrested explained why she was at the Pentagon seeking a meeting today “The measure of a healthy society is how we treat the marginalized. How we can care for them in a just and humane manner when 56% of the federal budget goes to the Pentagon for its 800+ military bases and the killing? That fills the pockets of the weapons manufacturers!” The World Beyond War conference and Campaign Nonviolence say there is a link between poverty, war, and the environmental threat to the planet. They say that there needs to be a new way of running our planet and resolving international conflict through nonviolence. “The reason why I took action today is because I am moved by conscience by the words of the late peace activist Daniel Berrigan who said “Because we want the peace with half a heart and half a life and will, the war, of course, continues, because the waging of war, by its nature, is total - but the waging of peace, by our own cowardice, is partial.” We all need to get out of our comfort zone and away from what is convenient for us when it comes to taking action. We cannot continue on the path of more war while so many social problems exist in society. War is a threat to Mother Earth and all humanity. The way of war is not sustainable” Kilbride said.

Those arrested include Janice Sevre-Duszynska, Richard Ochs, Malachy Kilbride of Maryland, Alice Sutter, Felton Davis, and Chat Gunter of New York, Don Cunning and Manijeh Saba of New Jersey, Brian Terrell of Iowa, Phil Runkel of Wisconsin, Joan Stallard, Art Laffin and Eve Tetaz of Washington, DC, JoAnne Lingle of Indiana, Howard Mettee of Ohio, Phoebe Sorgen of California, Henry Lowendorf and James Pandaru of Connecticut, Beth Adams and Paki Wieland of Massachusetts, Nancy Gowen of Virginia.

A November 3, 2016 court date has been scheduled in the US District Court in Alexandria, Virginia. The activists said they are looking forward to their day in court.

http://hudsonvalley.news12.com/news/anti-war-group-protests-outside-west-point-1.12366767

http://www.lohud.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/09/26/peace-demonstrators-west-point/91107818/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCA9dlDazvI

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-29/pine-gap-protesters-freed-after-military-facility-break-in/7890734

 I am quite sure that reporters came to the West Point protest because it was part of a coordinated international action.

PLEASE GIVE $10 TOWARD UNDERMINING DRONE WAR

As you may recall, in 2015 Knowdrones.com and Veterans for Peace, Chapter 87, ran a series of cable TV ads in communities near U.S. drone bases urging drone operators to “Refuse to Fly.”

The premise for the direct appeal to drone operators was that a number of us counter-drone war organizers have found our members of Congress totally resistant to our pleas for a halt to drone war. And the President has only expanded drone war. In short, representative government has not worked to investigate the extent and impact of drone war, much less to stop it.

Hence the direct ad appeal to the people who are being ordered to do drone killing.

Regardless of who is elected President next month the situation promises to be the same in spite of the widening wars that are flaming out of control in the wake of years of U.S. drone attacks in Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia.

So in the remainder of this year and into 2017 Knowdrones and Chapter 87 will continue the TV advertising, running two types of 15-second ads, one directed at the general public and the other, again, at drone operators.

With respect to drone operators we hope the ads will generate resistance to drone war within the ranks and to U.S. imperial wars generally. Ideally the resistance will become a movement like the GI resistance movement that was so critical in ending the Viet Nam War; documented in the film “Sir, No Sir”.

In 2017 Knowdrones will be contacting churches and justice and peace groups near drone control centers asking them to reach out to drone operators and to offer assistance to resisters.

Last month’s newsletter carried the fund raising appeal below that explains why now is a critical moment for counter-drone war TV advertising.

So far contributions of $3,500 have been received toward meeting the $10,000 matching grant for the advertisements, with $1,000 coming from Veterans for Peace and $300 from the Upstate (NY) Drone Action.

If everyone reading this newsletter would contribute $10 this would help tremendously in meeting the $10,000 goal.

Please consider sending whatever you can to help undermine the U.S. drone program. Many people inside it know that it is illegal, immoral and counter-productive. You can help them to strengthen their resolve to resist.

https://www.gofundme.com/2gksnf68 

MORE DRONE OPERATOR STRESS – TV OUTREACH CRITICAL NOW

Dear Friends:

I’m writing to ask that you help support an extremely important public education campaign that is putting 15-second ads on cable television near drone control bases in the United States, ads that question the legal and moral basis of U.S. drone killing.  https://www.gofundme.com/2gksnf68

This is a extremely critical time for this campaign to hit the air waves because killer drone operators are under increasing stress as new surveillance and assassination missions are laid on in Syria and Libya on top of those already underway in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. It is apparent from the testimonies of “whistleblowers” who were drone operators that much of the stress comes from the PTSD and moral injury that is felt by drone operators carrying out their work as aerial assassins.

The keenest recent evidence of continuing drone operator stress is the announcement on August 10, 2016 that the Air Force is increasing bonuses that it pays to officers piloting killer drones from $25,000 to $35,000 a year. This is part of what the Air Force has come to call its “get well” program for drone operators, obviously aimed at preventing the rash of operator departures that has led to a shortage of pilots.

In addition to the bonuses, the Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James also announced on August 10 that additional air National Guard units are being mobilized and that additional private contracts are being awarded to fly “non-strike” drone surveillance missions. This article provides additional details on things the Air Force is doing to buttress and expand its drone war program.

http://www.airforcemag.com/MagazineArchive/Magazine Documents/2016/August 2016/0816reapers.pdf

We believe this is an absolutely essential historical moment to call drone war into question in those communities housing drone operators, their families and friends.

As you may know the U.S. drone surveillance and attack campaign has killed over 7,000 people since it began in 2001, all killed without due process, without an opportunity for the victims to defend themselves in court, all in violation of international law. Further the continuing drone attacks and surveillance are terrorizing whole communities and regions and destroying civil society. By any measure drone attacks have been a tragic, abysmal failure, leading to increasing killing, war and hatred toward the United States.

What the U.S. is in fact doing with its killer drone program is declaring war on people in a growing number of countries without a declaration of war from Congress. The drone war program is not a temporary project to address “terrorism”. It is a vast, growing system designed to, as military people like to say, “project” U.S. power into countries and regions where the United States, in support of multi-national corporations, wants control. The drone attacks collectively amount to wars of aggression, in and of themselves war crimes.

We are extremely fortunate to have at this time been given a matching grant of $10,000 to enable us to fund the T.V. ad campaign. And we have just received a $1,000 contribution to help us reach the matching grant.

We would so much appreciate any help you can give.

Please help us speak directly to the people who are most intimately involved with the tragic U.S. drone war program.

With thanks for considering this appeal and very best wishes,

Nick Mottern – Coordinator – Knowdrones.com

NOTE: The video link at the top of this letter offers the opportunity to contribute through GoFundMe.   You can ensure that 100% of your contribution goes toward airing the commercials by sending a check made out to:

Veterans for Peace Chapter 87
PO Box 191244
Sacramento, CA 95819

Thank you again for considering our appeal.

MORE DRONE OPERATOR STRESS – TV OUTREACH CRITICAL NOW

  This show mourners honoring victims of a U.S. drone attack in Pakistan. Credit- Bureau of Investigative Journalism

This show mourners honoring victims of a U.S. drone attack in Pakistan. Credit- Bureau of Investigative Journalism

Dear Friends:

I’m writing to ask that you help support an extremely important public education campaign that is putting 15-second ads on cable television near drone control bases in the United States, ads that question the legal and moral basis of U.S. drone killing.  https://www.gofundme.com/2gksnf68

This is a extremely critical time for this campaign to hit the air waves because killer drone operators are under increasing stress as new surveillance and assassination missions are laid on in Syria and Libya on top of those already underway in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. It is apparent from the testimonies of “whistleblowers” who were drone operators that much of the stress comes from the PTSD and moral injury that is felt by drone operators carrying out their work as aerial assassins.

The keenest recent evidence of continuing drone operator stress is the announcement on August 10, 2016 that the Air Force is increasing bonuses that it pays to officers piloting killer drones from $25,000 to $35,000 a year. This is part of what the Air Force has come to call its “get well” program for drone operators, obviously aimed at preventing the rash of operator departures that has led to a shortage of pilots.

In addition to the bonuses, the Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James also announced on August 10 that additional air National Guard units are being mobilized and that additional private contracts are being awarded to fly “non-strike” drone surveillance missions. This article provides additional details on things the Air Force is doing to buttress and expand its drone war program.

http://www.airforcemag.com/MagazineArchive/Magazine Documents/2016/August 2016/0816reapers.pdf

We believe this is an absolutely essential historical moment to call drone war into question in those communities housing drone operators, their families and friends.

As you may know the U.S. drone surveillance and attack campaign has killed over 7,000 people since it began in 2001, all killed without due process, without an opportunity for the victims to defend themselves in court, all in violation of international law. Further the continuing drone attacks and surveillance are terrorizing whole communities and regions and destroying civil society. By any measure drone attacks have been a tragic, abysmal failure, leading to increasing killing, war and hatred toward the United States.

What the U.S. is in fact doing with its killer drone program is declaring war on people in a growing number of countries without a declaration of war from Congress. The drone war program is not a temporary project to address “terrorism”. It is a vast, growing system designed to, as military people like to say, “project” U.S. power into countries and regions where the United States, in support of multi-national corporations, wants control. The drone attacks collectively amount to wars of aggression, in and of themselves war crimes.

We are extremely fortunate to have at this time been given a matching grant of $10,000 to enable us to fund the T.V. ad campaign. And we have just received a $1,000 contribution to help us reach the matching grant.

We would so much appreciate any help you can give.

Please help us speak directly to the people who are most intimately involved with the tragic U.S. drone war program.

With thanks for considering this appeal and very best wishes,

Nick Mottern – Coordinator – Knowdrones.com

NOTE: The link at the top of this letter offers the opportunity to contribute through GoFundMe.   You can ensure that 100% of your contribution goes toward airing the commercials by sending a check made out to:

Veterans for Peace Chapter 87

PO Box 191244

Sacramento, CA 95819

Thank you again for considering our appeal.

DRONE ORGANIZERS BULLETIN – AUGUST 3, 2016

IMG_HIL
The Veterans for Peace banner provided by Tarak Kauff and Ellen Davidson dominated the western end of the Democratic National Convention Anti-War Truth Display created by Brandywine Peace Community, Knowdrones.com and World Can’t Wait in front of the Arch Street United Methodist Church in the heart of downtown Philadelphia. Photo by Nick Mottern

Click on the links below to read the articles for this bulletin:

Hope Springs from the DNC Anti-War Protest
Proposal: Occupy Weapons of War
World Beyond War Conference 9/23 - 25
$10,000 Matching Grant Given for New TV Drone Ads
VFP Targets Drone Parts Maker in Woodstock NY
Churches Rebuff Drone War Protesters
7 Arrested at Beale AFB
5,000 Rally at Ramstein to Stop Drone War
Kathy Kelly Reports on Visiting Russia
12 Arrested at Navy Ship “Christening”Y
Contributions Needed to Cover Protester’s Bail Grabbed by Judge