On Sunday, October 7, 2018, Daniel Riehl, an ardent Mennonite anti-war/anti-drone war organizer, gave the following presentation at Pilgrims Mennonite Church in Akron, PA, in which he explained the background of the protests that are held monthly in front of the Air National Guard drone control center in Horsham, PA, just outside Philadelphia. (The next protest there is on Saturday, Oct. 27.)
Since 2013 on the last Saturday of each month from March to December of each year, a group of peace activists witness at The Horsham Air Guard Station at the intersection of Rt 611 and County Line Roads. The Horsham Air Guard Stationh is owned by the PA Air National Guard and is located in Horsham, PA Montgomery County. The vigil lasts for 2 hours from noon to 2 p.m. As many as 100 persons have participated but usually only about 20 are there of which about 1/3 often come from Lancaster County.
Our objective is to draw attention to the fact that the Horsham Air Guard Station serves as a 24/7 execution center for persons in countries such as Pakistan, Afghanistan and some other countries. Their purpose is to kill terrorists who would sow terror in other countries and are deemed potential threats to the U.S. The persons operating the drones sit behind consoles in a safe place in the U.S. operating the drones that fly thousands of miles away over other countries and shoot deadly missiles that destroy persons and villages.
Unfortunately, thousands of innocent persons have died or their lives and homes have been destroyed by U.S. drones strikes, many more innocent persons have been killed than terrorists. Instead of making us safer, drone strikes have caused great hatred of the U.S. among survivors in other countries.
I grieve very much for the persons who have been hurt by our wars and feel very strongly that it is my duty to God to speak out against the atrocities carried out by my government. Someone has likened drone attacks to demons cowardly attacking from behind without warning.
The response we get from the traffic passing by is generally positive, estimates of up to 80% of passersby seem to support us. Often a passing tractor trailer truck gives us encouragement with a mighty blast from his horn.
I want to show two 15 - second TV commercials produced by Veterans for Peace and Nick Mottern of Knowdrones.com asking drone operators not to fly their deadly drones. These commercials started showing on Sept 27 of this year close to two drone sites, one in Syracuse NY and the other one in Fort Smith, Arkansas. They will be shown once a week for a full year.
Pilgrims Mennonite Church Resolution to Advocate for the End of Drone Warfare