DRONE ACTION ORGANIZERS BULLETIN – September 12, 2014

MONTHLY BULLETIN FOR DRONE ORGANIZERS #4
September 12, 2014

Edited by Nick Mottern – Coordinator, Network to Stop Drone Surveillance and Warfare.

Next organizers’ conference call: Wednesday - Sept. 17, 2014 at 9 pm EST
Call in number: (605) 562-3000 - Access code: 484539#

In this month's bulletin:

1.    WHERE ARE WE WITH DRONE RESISTANCE?
2.    OCT. 4 ACTIONS PLANNED AND OTHER EVENTS
3.    HONEYWELL BOYCOTT EVENTS SIGN-UP
4.    BEALE RESISTERS CASE DISMISSED
5.    HANCOCK TRIALS CONTINUE/FUNDS STILL NEEDED
6.    DRONE TEST ZONES CHALLENGED IN NJ/ALASKA
7.    OBIT - THANK YOU DAVE LAMBERT

image from a.abcnews.com

Video image of a Predator drone over Raqqa, Syria, a city occupied by the Islamic State, broadcast Sept. 5, 2014 by ABC News.

WHERE ARE WE WITH DRONE RESISTANCE?
By Nick Mottern

IMAGE OF DRONE HIGH IN THE SKY

Video image of a Predator drone over Raqqa, Syria, a city occupied by the Islamic State, broadcast Sept. 5, 2014 by ABC News.

I don’t know what you’ve been thinking and feeling in the last month, but if you are anything like me, you have been stunned and extremely disheartened by Barack Obama’s expanding air war in Iraq and the pro-war propaganda campaign that has infected television and radio news in the US.

I have had to ask myself whether the focus of our work as US counter-drone war organizers - stopping drone attacks and banning drone attacks and drone surveillance - is still relevant in the face of the eagerness and determination of the United States government to dramatically enlarge its wars in Iraq and Syria while continuing the war in Afghanistan and subsidizing relentless Israeli attacks on Palestinians.

The Obama War Model

Last Friday, September 5, the President clarified things for me when, in a press conference at the Wales NATO meeting, he committed the United States to an all out war against the Islamic State (IS, ISIS, ISIL) that will depend on the use of drones for surveillance and for assassination.

The tip-off about the key role of drones in the new war came in his reference to what he sees at success in the US campaign against al Qaeda in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in Pakistan, a campaign that has been based on drone surveillance and killing.

Here is what the President said:

“You can’t contain an organization that is running roughshod through that much territory, causing that much havoc, displacing that many people, killing that many innocents, enslaving that many women.  The goal has to be to dismantle them. 

“And if you look at what happened with al Qaeda in the FATA (the Federally Administered Tribal Areas in Pakistan), where their primary base was, you initially push them back.  You systematically degrade their capabilities.  You narrow their scope of action.  You slowly shrink the space, the territory that they may control.  You take out their leadership.  And over time, they are not able to conduct the same kinds of terrorist attacks as they once could.”

Here is a link to transcript of Obama’s Wales remarks: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/09/05/remarks-president-obama-nato-summit-press-conference

That drones are central to US plans for the new war was made even more clear in his nationally broadcast speech five days later in which he asserted that his models for the war to “eradicate” the Islamic State will be the US attacks on Yemenis and Somalis, in which drone assassination has been the most important feature.

Drone Stench

Curiously, Obama did not utter the word “drone” in Wales or his speech, perhaps because of the stench that emanates from drone war.

Nor did he mention the FATA in the September 10 speech.

Maybe he avoided this reference because between September 5 and 10 someone reminded him of Pakistani sensitivity about US drone attacks, which have been a major factor in creating Pakistan’s current extremely deadly, chaotic political situation.  US drones have killed in Pakistan, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, between 416 and 951 civilians, including 168 to 200 children.

Likewise it is astounding that Obama would speak of success in Yemen and Somalia, also nations in which US drone attacks and other military interventions have contributed mightily to keeping governments broken and spreading widespread suffering. 

In September 2013 the Al Karama human rights group issued a little-publicized, highly detailed report documenting Yemeni deaths from US drone and cruise missile attacks.  The report outlined ways in which the US attacks violate international law and called on the US to: “End extrajudicial executions and the practice of targeted killings by drones and other military means.” http://en.alkarama.org/documents/ALK_USA-Yemen_Drones_PublicReport_EN.pdf

Drone Delusions

Obama said that his “strategy” against the Islamic State requires that non-Americans wear the “boots on the ground.”  This in spite of overwhelming evidence that indigenous armies and militias will never have the same goals as the US or be willing to fight US wars to the last drop of their blood. 

The unrelenting eyes of drones, the capacity to see and follow people for hours at a time and then to kill them, may be leading US military leaders to hold the delusion that this technology is equivalent in some way to having “boots on the ground.”  Possibly, Obama and company think that the power of drones to assassinate will give the US the power to exact loyalty from and establish control over the Arab fighters Obama claims he can mobilize.

Oil and the New, Improved Drone Slaughterhouse

Regardless of Obama’s speech to the nation that was intended to give a sheen of democratic process to the march to war, it appears likely that corporate bosses, particularly those in the oil business, decided several months ago that action must be taken to prevent the Islamic State from occupying more and more oil wells in Iraq.  See http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/oil-erbil

Given greater urgency of the United States and some European governments to eliminate the Islamic State, one can imagine that the level of drone killing across Iraq and Syria will far exceed what has been happening in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. 

In its drone use against the Islamic State forces occupying the Iraqi cities of Mosul and Fallujah, and other urban areas, the US will almost certainly study Israeli procedures developed for drone operations over Gaza where drones harass the population, assassinate and guide bombing runs by piloted aircraft. 

The use of drones now underway in Iraq and envisioned for Syria takes US drone use beyond assassination and relatively narrow use in ground support that has occurred in Afghanistan and Libya, into wide-ranging, systematic use as a key component of US war fighting against people who have no modern air defenses.  This follows the lead of Israel in drone use, and is predicated on ignoring the rights to privacy of hundreds of thousands of civilians as well as their right to freedom from fear and right to life.

In addition, the air war that is being planned offers the US aerospace industry not only healthy profits but an opportunity to test a new generation of drone technology, such as General Atomics’ Avenger of Boeings’ X-47B, in what is, effectively, a huge free fire zone that holds an inviting array of fixed, mobile, urban and desert targets. 

The US and Israel are learning about how to use a technology that is well-suited to attempts to control oil and other resources in less developed countries without politicians having to face the pesky problem of sending in troops.

Living Near Auschewiiz

For us in the United States, this will mean an increase in the number of drone executions that will triggered daily from the dark, air-conditioned buildings in at least 19 drone control bases across the United States, including the new drone control centers in: Des Moines, IA; Horsham, PA; Battle Creek, MI; Niagara Falls, NY; Hurlburt Field, FL; and Fort Smith, ARK.    All the communities near these bases will, consciously or unconsciously, feel the emotional burden of the killing that is going on.

The larger scope of drone war will also put more pressure on Air Force drone pilots who are already facing serious morale problems because of the surge in drone attacks under Obama. http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/662467.pdf

The new war will also likely mean that drone attacks in Syria and Iraq will be flown from the United Kingdom, which now flies killer drones in Afghanistan.  Germany, part of the anti-Islamic State coalition, will be under pressure to acquire and fly Reaper killer drones, as will France.  In Germany, there is popular opposition to being involved with drone surveillance and attack, although the U.S.-controlled Ramstein Air Base being used as a coordinating hub for U.S. drone attacks.

What Does This Mean for Us?

For we who have fought to stop drone killing for several years now, I believe the Obama drone war plan challenges us to discuss what steps we can take to:

  1. Recruit.
  2. Educate as well as protest.
  3. Undertake more coordinated actions, including civil resistance, boycott and outreach to drone operators.

We will discuss this on the next organizers’ conference call on October 17.

 

OCT. 4 ACTIONS PALNNED AND OTHER EVENTS; JOIN IN.

In an unprecedented, coordinated international effort, counter – drone war events are being organized in a number of countries on Oct. 4, the first Global Action Day Against the Use of Drones for Surveillance and Killing.  See http://www.knowdrones.com/global-action-day.html for background and a place to list your events.

If Oct. 4 is not a good day for you, please try to organize something for the week of Oct. 4 – 11, which is designated by the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space as “Keep Space for Peace Week.” http://www.space4peace.org

This is an extremely important international effort so please do all you can organize an event.

Here is a list of events planned so far for Oct. 4 – 11:

  • Aberporth, West Wales (Sept 21) CND Cymru has a demonstration at the drones testing centre totally in the spirit of Keep Space for Peace Week. heddwch@cndcymru.org
  • Andover, Massachusetts (Oct 9) Vigil in front of Raytheon, 350 Lowell St (Rte 133) 7:00-8:00 am. Merrimack Valley People for Peace brian@quirk.ws
  • Bath Iron Works, Maine (Oct 4) Vigil across from administration building on Washington Street (Navy Aegis destroyers outfitted with “missile defense” systems built at BIW) 11:30-12:30 am   Smilin’ Trees Disarmament Farm (207) 763-4062
  • Berlin, Germany (Oct 4) Fly Kites, Not Drones! Gather in front of the German Parliament at 11:00 am and fly kites to make clear that we do not want to be threatened by drones and we do not want people anywhere to be threatened by drones. Then at 15:00, we will meet in parks throughout the city and fly kites to continue our protest. kampfdrohnen.aechten.berlin@gmx.de
  • Berlin, Germany (Oct 3-5) Anti-War Conference Berlin at Haus http://antikriegskonferenz.de/ der Demokratie und Menschenrechte. An initiative of scientists and journalists against militarization in Germany and in the member states of European Union and NATO. The conference will focus on new dimensions in the preparation and conduct of war through the use of information technology, media propaganda and recently developed weapons such as drones. http://antikriegskonferenz.de/
  • RAF Croughton, England (Oct 5) Rally at U.S. satellite communication base, March to main gate 1 mile - starts Croughton village 12.00 midday, Returns 3:00 pm, Oxfordshire Peace Campaign, oxonpeace@yahoo.co.uk  
  • RAF Fylingdales, England (Oct 11) Walk around the US and NATO missile 'defence' radar on the North Yorkshire moors. Meeting at Eller Beck at 1pm - see www.yorkshirecnd.org.uk  and check with info@yorkshirecnd.org.uk  or phone 01274730795 for details in case of inclement weather.
  • Gangjeong village, Jeju Island, South Korea (Oct. 4-11)  Will have some education and protest events which will be connected to daily protest mass, human chain and evening culture event during Keep Space for Peace Week. Sept. 21, The International Peace Day, Oct. 4, the International No Drone day, and Oct. 7, the Remembrance Day on the invasion of Afghanistan will also be observed, The South Korean government plans to introduce Global Hawk and THAAD whose range will cover parts of China and Russia. Otherwise, this April, the so called Asia-biggest Aerospace museum was opened on Jeju Island. More details will come later. Please contact armha5156@gmail.com
  • Indore, India (Oct 9) Protest meeting “Space for Peace and Not for War” at Indore in the State of Madhya Pradesh by Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development Studies. Dr.Tapan Bhattacharya will be the Organiser.  jnrao193636@gmail.com
  • Kennebunk, Maine (Oct 3-5) The 29th Annual New England Gathering of War Tax Resisters will feature a field trip to the vigil at Bath Iron Works on Oct 4, a reading of "Project Unspeakable", and a talk on "How Expensive Space Technology is Used to Coordinate Warfare On the Planet." rawnjason@gmail.com
  • King of Prussia, Pennsylvania (Oct 11) Noon - 3pm, large MQ-9 Reaper Drone Replica Display and kite flying in front of Lockheed Martin (L-M) at intersection of Mall & Goddard Boulevards.   L-M is making a killing in drone war and surveillance technology, building the remote-controlled unmanned planes and satellites that direct the drones and launch their deadly Hellfire missiles which L-M also builds. For more info Brandywine Peace Community, (610) 544-1818 brandywine@juno.com  or www.brandywinepeace.com 
  • Kyotango City, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan (Oct 4) Mass meeting against the construction of US ‘missile defense’ X- band radar base in Ukawa Gymnasium (former school, near construction site) at 14:00.. Organized by Citizen's Coalition for No US Base in Kyoto. Contact Atsushi Fujioka fujioka@ec.ritsumei.ac.jp
  • Los Angeles, California (Oct 3) Freeway banner drop against drones during rush hour (5:00 pm).  Meet at Albertsons (3443 S. Sepulveda Blvd) parking lot and walk to freeway overpass on Palms Blvd. 
  • Maine Walk for Peace & a Sustainable Future (Oct 11-20) Peace walk led by Nipponzan Myohoji from Rangeley to North Berwick. The walk will protest the growing militarization of the Maine economy and will call for conversion to sustainable production to help deal with climate change. Sponsored by Maine Veterans For Peace. www.vfpmaine.org 
  • Menwith Hill, England (Oct 11) Demonstration at NSA Spy Base in Yorkshire focused on drones in particular and US missile defense in general. 6-8 pm.   Sponsored by CAAB mail@caab.corner.org.uk  or 01423 884076
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota  (Oct 11) The WAMM Ground All Drones Committee is sponsoring a "Fly Kites Not Drones" action from 1:00-3:00 pm. Meet at the Roberts Bird Sanctuary Shelter located adjacent to the Lyndale Park Peace Garden and just north of Lake Harriet. Kites will be provided to decorate and fly in the nearby Rose Garden along with distributing No Killer Drone stickers and flyers. More info: call WAMM 612.827.5364 or email groundalldrones@gmail.com or wamm@mtn.org
  • Nagpur, India (Oct 4) Demonstration “Space for Peace and Not for War” by the students of Matru Sewa Sangh Institute of Social Work. Nagpur, Maharashtra State. Prof. Jyoti Niswade will be the organizer jnrao193636@gmail.com
  • Nagpur, India (Oct 5) Mass Squatting (sitting in protest) “Space for Peace and Not for War” by the S.E.C. Rly Pensioners Assn and Progressive Railway Women's Organisation at Nagpur, State of Maharashtra. (Ms. Seema Sondiya and Mrs. J. Saraswati are the organizers)  jnrao193636@gmail.com
  • Nagpur, India (Oct 6) “Space for Peace and Not for War” Rally of students of National Institute of Social Work, Nagpur in the State of Maharashtra. jnrao193636@gmail.com
  • Nagpur, India (Oct 11-12) National Youth Conference on “Peace, Disarmament and Development” is being organized at Nagpur University. Students, Lecturers and Professors and other public figures will attend this conference. ISSUES TO BE DISCUSSED: Causes of wars, Role of Imperialism and NATO in waging wars, Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Destruction of Hiroshima & Nagasaki by nuclear weapons, Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space, Vision for 2020, UN Space Treaty, UN Moon Treaty, Non-Aligned Movement, UN and World Peace, Disarmament & Development, Global Military Expenditure and Human Development, Millennium Development Goals etc. jnrao193636@gmail.com
  • Olympia, Washington (Sept 27) Holly Gwinn Graham in concert at Traditions Cafe informing about space week and inviting actions and participation in vigiling during the week  tohollygg@comcast.net
  • Peterson AFB, Colorado Springs, Colorado (Oct 7) Citizens for Peace in Space will be joined by Sisters Ardeth Platte and Carol Gilbert for vigil at (north gate) of Air Force Space Command base from 4:30 - 5:30 pm. They were part of the group of sisters who did an action at the Peterson open house in 2001. If you need a ride let us know. lwirbel@aol.com
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Oct 4) Death Walk Against Drones, noon - 1:00 pm at 12th & Market St. in downtown. Wear black, white masks provided.  Contact: Marge Van Cleef mvc@igc.org
  • Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada (Oct 9) The Making Peace Vigil is planning on handing out flyers related to Keep Space for Peace Week in downtown. sgerardm@gmail.com
  • Stockholm, Sweden (Oct 4) Standing demo in front of parliament, Mynttorget. 11.00-13.00 Banners and handing out leaflets against ‘nEUROn’ drone which will be launched in 2015 in the north of Sweden at North European Aerospace Test Range. nEUROn is an experimental Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle being developed with international cooperation, led by the French company Dassault Aviation along with Switzerland, Spain, and Greece. Contact: Agneta Norberg lappland.norberg@gmail.com
  • Stuttgart, Germany (Oct 4) Protest against Drones and AFRICOM  at 02:00 pm at AFRICOM Headquarters. More information to come!
  • Tucson Arizona (Oct 4) Vigil at Davis-Monthan AFB drone base at 10:00 a.m. (Craycroft gate at Golf Links Rd.) Contact Felice or Jack Cohen-Joppa at nukeresister@igc.org  (520)323-8697
  • Tucson Arizona (Oct 7) Vigil at Raytheon Missile Systems (making Star Wars “kill vehicles”, pilotless drones, cluster bombs, cruise missiles and much more) from 7 - 8  a.m. (Hermans Rd. entrance to the plant, 3rd traffic light south of Valencia on Nogales Highway, the extension of South 6th Ave.) Contact Felice or Jack Cohen-Joppa at nukeresister@igc.org  (520) 323-8697
  • Vandenberg AFB, CA (Oct 1) Vigil at space warfare base from 3:30 to 4:45.  Contact Dennis Apel at  (805) 343-6322
  • Volk Field, Wisconsin (Oct 4) Air National Guard Base 90 minutes north of Madison.  They train pilots to fly Shadow drones used for surveillance and target acquisition.  Vigiling at the gates for 2 1/2 years.  Plan to go to a rest area on Interstate about 10 miles south of Volk Field.  There is a lot of traffic there and we will leaflet and talk to people about what is happening at Volk Field.  Joyfirst5@gmail.com
  • Weld County, Colorado (Oct 4) Protest vigil at Minuteman III nuclear missile M-8 silo on the 12th Anniversary of Sacred Earth and Space Plowshares II.  We join all the other lovers of space, land, water and air people and creatures who know and trust that peace is possible. Sisters Ardeth Platte and Carol Gilbert will be joining us there.  They were part of the Plowshares action at that location in October 2002.  Carpooling from 420 Mesa Road in Colorado Springs at 8:30 am  to join others for a noon vigil.  Let us know if you can go and if you might be able to drive. lwirbel@aol.com
  • Keep Space for Peace Week is co-sponsored by the Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom, KnowDrones.com and the Drone Campaign Network (UK)

Resources:

OTHER PLANNED EVENTS

  • Sept. 21 – Peoples Ciimate Change March.   Three drone replicas will be part of a contingent addressing crimes against the earth, organized by World Can’t Wait and KnowDrones.com.  For info contact nickmottern@earthlink.net
  • Sept. 23 – The White House, Washington, DC – (10 am) A protest organized by the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance in support of Campaign Non-Violence that will involve a die-in and civil resistance. Contact: joyfirst5@gmail.com
  • Sept. 29  – Beale Air Force Base – Marysville, CA – (3 – 5 pm) Protest as part of the nationally-coordinate Campaign Nonviolence, calling for an end to war, poverty and climate change. www.occuplybealeafb.org
  • Sept. 30 – Beale – (6 – 8 am) Protest resumes, with non-violent direct action at 7 am.  For information: www.occupybealeafb.org
  • Oct. 9 – U.S. District Court, Baltimore, MD – Trial of Ellen Barfield, Marilyn Carlisle and Manijeh Saba, arrested May 3 in a protest at the National Security Agency.  Contact: mobuszewski@verizon.com

 

HONEYWELL BOYCOTT EVENTS SIGN-UP

The Boycott and Divest Honeywell, BadHoneywell, campaign was launched to a national audience on Labor Day weekend with the publication of this article on Truthout.org by Mathias Quackenbush, co-director of the campaign with Chelsea Faria.  http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/25879-badhoneywell-makes-its-nationwide-debut.

Now a nationwide action is planned to kick off the campaign in earnest. In coordination with a demonstration in Morristown, NJ, the site of Honeywell's headquarters, activists around the country will picket and educate consumers at stores carrying Honeywell consumer products- Home Depot, Target, and Walmart are some of the largest. The action will occur on or around Saturday 10/4 in coordination with the Global Action Day Against the Use of Drones for Surveillance and Killing.

So far, BadHoneywell actions will likely occur in the following cities:

  • San Francisco, CA
  • Madison, WI
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Boston, MA
  • Columbia, SC
  • Honolulu, HI

BadHoneywell is happy to provide organizers with signs, informational pamphlets, and guidance as to where to hold an action. For information and resources, email us at Badhoneywell@gmail.com. Join us, and help kick off this nationwide movement of resistance against corporate war profiteering.

 

BEALE RESISTERS’ CASES DISMISSED

The following report is provided by the Rev. Sharon Delgado.

U.S. Government Unexpectedly Dismisses All Charges
Against Beale Anti-Drone Protesters, Including Those
from Sacramento, Bay Area and Grass Valley Area

SACRAMENTO – The U.S. Attorney here representing the U.S. government has unexpectedly and belatedly dismissed all charges against all 16 anti-drone demonstrators, who had been ordered to appear in Federal Court here to be arraigned Tuesday, September 9.   (Benjamin B. Wagner is the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California, which includes Sacramento.)

The demonstrators included military veterans and members of the clergy, who were among the 31 people arrested last March and April for trespassing onto Beale Air Force Base in four separate nonviolent actions to protest the use of unmanned drone aircraft which are killing unarmed civilians, including children, around the world.

Beale AFB, located just outside Marysville, CA, is home to the Global Hawk Drone, a surveillance drone that assists in finding targets for armed Predator and Reaper drones.  Anti-drone demonstrators have kept up a sustained a presence at Beale for the past three years, calling for peace and drawing attention to civilian deaths and the illegality of the US drone warfare program. 

Some of those whose charges have been dismissed were arrested at Beale’s front gate on April 18 following a Good Friday prayer service that was attended by more than 50 people.  Eleven demonstrators attempted to deliver a letter to Beale’s commander, along with the World Council of Churches' Statement on the Use of Drones and the Right to Life and "A Call from the Faith Based Community to Stop Drone Killings," signed by religious leaders from around the country. 

Beale officers promptly detained the 11, who included internationally recognized peace activist Kathy Kelly; The Reverend Dr. Gerald O. (Jerry) Pedersen, retired Lutheran pastor and member of Veterans for Peace, from Sacramento;  The Reverend Elizabeth Griswold, pastor of Parkside Community Church, United Church of Christ in Sacramento; The Reverend John Auer, retired United Methodist Pastor from Fresno, California; The Reverend Sharon Delgado, retired United Methodist pastor and Executive Director of Earth Justice Ministries from Nevada City; Michael Kerr, a Veteran for Peace from Bay Point/Pittsburg; Rodger  Stall from San Rafael; Arthur (Buff) Whitman-Bradley from the Bay Area; Nancy Reiner from the Bay Area; Bob Russell from Pleasant Hill and Pamela Osgood from Grass Valley.  Participants carried white crosses with artistic renderings of children killed by US drones. 

Other demonstrators had participated in a Veterans Unite against Drones action at Beale on April 29.  Thirteen demonstrators, including six veterans, temporarily blocked traffic at the two busiest gates entering Beale. They were arrested after reading and trying to deliver an indictment charging President Obama, the Beale base commander, drone pilots and others with "crimes against peace and crimes against humanity." Among the veterans arrested were Barry Binks, John Reiger and Cres Vellucci of Veterans for Peace of Sacramento; Richard Gilchrist, Michael Kerr, VFP, from Bay Point/Pittsburg, Ted Sexauer.  Other arrestees included Fred Bialy from the Bay Area, Bev Fitzpatrick from Fresno, Catherine Hourcade from Stockton, Shirley Osgood, Devan Phenix and Pamela Osgood from Grass Valley and Cathy Webster.  In addition to these arrests, five protesters were arrested on March 5 and two were arrested on April 1. 

Although those arrested are supposed to be notified with 2-3 weeks of a court date, the Beale protesters heard nothing until August (nearly six months after the March arrests), when 16 of them were summoned to appear for arraignment. Less than a week before court, all charges were dismissed.  No explanation was given. However, the National Lawyers Guild of Sacramento had already recruited a defense team of some of the most prominent defense lawyers to help represent the veterans, clergy and other defendants.

In the midst of the confusion about whether charges would be filed, Occupy Beale activists have continued regular, ongoing demonstrations at Beale. This month, on September 29 and 30, demonstrators plan to again engage in nonviolent action at Beale, as one of over 160 actions coordinated with Campaign Nonviolence to highlight the links between war, poverty, and climate change. 

Other federal trials this year involving anti-drone defendants at Beale have resulted in a handful of convictions and one “not guilty” verdict. The government has refused to allow jury trials of the demonstrators.

To find out more about past actions and to stay updated about upcoming demonstrations, go to the Occupy Beale Air Force Base Facebook page or http://occupybealeafb.org/

 

HANCOCK TRIALS CONTINUE/FUNDS STILL NEEDED

Meanwhile, in the town of DeWitt, NY, outside Syracuse, trials will are continuing for protesters arrested outside Hancock Air Base, from which Reaper drone attacks in Afghanistan, and possibly elsewhere, are controlled.

On September 15 and 16, Eve Tetaz will be tried for obstructing governmental administration and disorderly conduct.  

On September 18 and 19, Mark Colville will be tried for obstructing governmental administration, disorderly conduct and contempt, the last charge for his alleged violation of an order of protection granted by the court on behalf of Hancock.

On Oct. 1, Jack Gilroy will be sentenced for violating an order of protection and trespass.   The question here is will Jack be sentenced to one year in prison for the order violation as was Mary Anne Grady-Flores.  Mary Anne has been released pending appeal.

For more information about the series of Hancock trials, see: http://upstatedroneaction.org/

A Reason to Move to Sacramento?

The contrast is obviously dramatic between the way the federal government is handling the civil resistance cases at Beale and what is happening in the DeWitt court.   What we may be seeing here are decisions based on local political reactions to the protests: the Sacramento area near Beale is more politically liberal than is upstate New York.   It may also be that the federal prosecutor in Sacramento does not want to tie up the court with protest trials.

Or it may be that the federal prosecutor simply agrees with the protest, in the same way a Massachusetts prosecutor who, agreeing with two climate change protesters, dropped the most serious charges against them. http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2014/09/08/activists-drops-charges-case-blocked-coal-shipment-power-plant/sUpBpGxzxAz3E2Vr5RFQQM/story.html

Funds Still Needed in Syracuse

Over the last several months, you all have been encouraged to contribute to the legal defense fund for Syracuse protesters facing the need to foot bail and transcript, lawyer and travel costs.  Carol Baum at the Syracuse Peace Council reports that so far, $2,525 has been raised.

Right now, in cases in which there is on appeal, transcripts are a big expense.  The cost for a recent transcript was $1,000, and Carol says protesters have been told they will now need to hire their own court stenographers. 

PLEASE CONTINUE TO SEND MONEY TO: The Syracuse Peace Council, 2013 E. Genesee Street, Syracuse, NY 13210, with a designation on the check that it is for the Hancock Legal Defense Fund.

 

DRONE TEST ZONES CHALLENGED IN NEW JERSEY /ALASKA

In December 2013, the Federal Aviation Administration established six test zones for experimenting with technology intended to allow drones to fly among piloted airplanes in U.S. air space.

On September 13, in southern New Jersey, there will a first of its kind protest against infringement on privacy in any of the drone control zones.  Protesters, led by Steve Fenichel, will do outreach at the annual Air Festival at Ocean City Municipal Airport.  The south Jersey group is proposing county-wide privacy protection legislation and is finding local politicians not well informed and unclear on how to proceed.

The flyer that will be distributed at the air show appears in Attachment A.

In Alaska, Bob Mumford, of Fairbanks, is opposing the drone test zone that extends from Alaska to Hawaii because, he says, it will be involved in the creation of war drones that are “tools of assassination, go beyond the pale of legitimate military application, and are threats to our Liberty as well.”

In the linked article, Bob reports on the impact of the test zone on residents of Salcha, Alaska, where there is a corporate effort to change the zoning of 25 square miles to accommodate drone testing.  See page 10 – Drone Centers Want Land in http://www.space4peace.org/newsletter/Space Alert 30.pdf 

Basic information on the six test zones appears in the resource section of Know Drones.com http://www.knowdrones.com/resources-for-activists.html

 

OBIT – THANK YOU DAVE LAMBERT

I was extremely sad to learn three weeks ago of the passing of Dave Lambert, a stalwart anti-drone war activist who lived in Fort Wayne, Indiana and who took his message into the streets of his hometown, other parts of Indiana and to the site of the new drone base in Battle Creek, MI.

Dave was an enthusiastic, generous, go-the-limits person, a measure of which was his eagerness in 2012 to offer to rent a U-Haul trailer to drive over to Dayton, OH, to pick up two drone replicas that George Guerci and I delivered there.  Dave took one of replicas to Indianapolis for organizers there and the other to Robert Rast, in South Bend, whose son Benjamin had been killed by a Reaper drone in a “friendly fire” incident in Afghanistan in April the previous year.  (Robert put the replica in his front yard and for almost a year used it to tell passersby what had happened to his son.)

Here is an obituary for this warm, caring person whom I was blessed to know.

http://www.news-sentinel.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20140722/NEWS/140729924

In solidarity,

Nick

 


ATTACHMENT A

http://www.knowdrones.com/spring-days-of-action-2014/Bulletins/Drone-Flyer-Airshow-Ocean-City.pdf