DRONE ACTION ORGANIZERS BULLETIN – July 5, 2014

MONTHLY BULLETIN FOR DRONE ORGANIZERS  #2
July 5, 2014

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

CONFERENCE CALLS:  The next organizer conference call will be held on Wednesday, July 9, 2014 at 9 pm EST; there will be another call on Wednesday, July 23, 2014, same time. 

The call-in number is: (605) 562-3000; access code – 484539#

1.    EDITORIAL: SUMMER IN THE STREETS
2.    SUPPORT MARY ANNE GRADY-FLORES, JACK GILROY AND RUSSELL BROWN
3.    SEVEN DRONE PROTESTERS FOUND GUILTY IN DES MOINES
4.    INTERNATIONAL GLOBAL ACTION DAY – OCT. 4 and
        KEEP SPACE FOR PEACE WEEK – OCT. 4 – 11

5.    HONEYWELL BOYCOTT UPDATE
6.    KILLER ROBOTS – THIS IS WHERE THE ARMS RACE STOPS 
7.    SURVEY RESULTS 
8.    COUNTER - DRONE WAR ORGANIZING IN LANCASTER, PA CHURCHES

 

Images

MQ-1 Predators surveillance drones at Balad Air Base, Iraq, in 2013. Reuters Photo

EDITORIAL: SUMMER IN THE STREETS

It is stunning for me, as I expect it is for you, to witness what can only be described as the insane, depraved act of sending armed U.S. drones and soldiers into Iraq. 

It is insane in the face of U.S. military history in Iraq, and it is depraved in view of the profound suffering that the U.S. has caused the Iraqi people, having killed nearly a million, destroyed their economy, social safety net and public utilities and poisoned and deformed people with depleted uranium and other military-generated toxins.   And, of course, this is the short list.

But the reinvasion by the U.S. is evidently totally fine and logical from the standpoint of protecting corporate investment in Iraq oil. 

And of course the much advertised use of drones is logical as a brilliant way of getting the U.S. public to accept the return of the US military to Iraq, given the popular American fantasy that drones mean no, or fewer, “boots on the ground”.

And It is clear too that the US corporate/government combine is totally willing and eager to begin a simple little, good old-fashioned drone assassination campaign in Iraq, as noted by Channel 24:

“Using US air assets to target the leaders of the Sunni-led insurgency is one of the options being prepared for Obama as he considers what support to provide to Iraq, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, said in a radio interview.”

The article from Foreign Policy linked below unfortunately does not condemn the use of drones in Iraq, but it does lay out a series of complications in which drones are very likely to prompt decisions that will lead to a huge amount of additional suffering for Iraqis and Americans, including the drone pilots and sensor operators who will be doing the killing.

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2014/06/30/obama_s_armed_drones_in_iraq_reek_of_mission_creep

The recent Stimson report speaks of drones leading to war, but, like the drone reports of the U.N. special rapporteurs, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, it is totally obedient to the goals of the drone attacker, not to the essential need to protect the lives of those being attacked.  It is another report, the authors of which, in spite of the overwhelming moral, legal and pragmatic evidence against drone killing, cannot bring themselves to say: “Stop it.” 

For most who are reading this, these reports are merely disappointing.  Tor those under drone attack they are very likely seen as despicable.

We drone war protesters have a daunting challenge, but this is a moment when more people may be open to questioning US drone and military policy and when protest and street corner education can have a real impact.   The most interest may be at drone bases, where drone operators, already stretched with the work of drone slaughter in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, now have to prepare to kill in Iraq as well.  Appeals to refuse to fly drone missions may begin to resonate. 

It appears that summer days of action are upon us.               

Note: There will be a “Fly Kites Not Drones” event Sunday, July 6 at the Niagara Falls, NY drone base, 2720 Kirkbridge Drive, Niagara Falls, at 1:30 pm, preceded by a kite-making session at 9 am at Hyde Park in Niagara Falls. 

 

SUPPORT MARY ANNE GRADY-FLORES, JACK GILROY AND RUSSELL BROWN

If you can, please come to Syracuse, NY on Thursday, July 10 to support Mary Anne Grady-Flores, who stands liable to be sentenced on that day to up to a year in jail in DeWitt Town Court for violating an order of protection issued against her for protesting at the Hancock Air Base drone control center.

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

 

MaryAnne-630x270

Mary Anne Grady. Photo – Ithaca Week

Peg Gefell, of Upstate Drone Action, is organizing a lunch in support of Mary Anne that will be held at 2 pm on July 10 at the Syracuse Peace Council, 2013 E. Genesee St. in Syracuse, with Mary Anne attending.  If you can be there, please call Peg: (585) 313-6674. 

DeWitt court opens at 5 pm, but it is not known what time Mary Anne’s sentencing will occur.  The Court is at 5400 Butternut Drive, East Syracuse, NY 13057.

Please send financial support to: Mary Anne Grady-Flores, 514 North Plain St., Ithaca, NY 14850.

In addition, please attend the trials in July of two other Hancock protesters, both the evening in the DeWitt court.

Jack Gilroy – July 14 – 15 

Russell Brown – July 29 – 30

All these defendants are confronted by a judge, David Gideon, who has said in court that civil resistance at Hancock must stop.  Maximum support is needed by them personally and on behalf of all of our First Amendment rights.

For more information contact Syracuse Peace Council: (315) 472-5478

 

SEVEN DRONE PROTESTERS FOUND GUILTY IN DES MOINES

Seven people who were arrested at a March 17 St. Patrick’s Day protest against the opening of a Reaper drone control base in Des Moines were convicted of misdemeanor criminal trespass.  Five went to jail; two paid fines.

As you may remember, an attempt was made to have the cases taken out of court and submitted to a peacemaking circle.  This idea was rejected by the local Air National Guard, although it had been, remarkably, accepted by the prosecutor.

Here are links to reports, provided by Frank Cordaro, very worth reading, explaining in detail what happened:

THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX IN DES MOINES (DM) "‘Peacemaking Circle’ could replace protester trials" DM Register Letter signed by 40 DM, May 20, 2014

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/iowa-peace-list/QrOhf-JDBLI

June 23-25 Trial of DM St. Pat’s 7 set - Air National Guard turns down offer of “Peacemaking Circle”… need support!

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/iowa-peace-list/9vtEVKb99aE

News Release: Jury Trial for 7 protesters arrested at the March 17 –St Patrick’s Day protest at the Air National Guard soon to be Drone Command Center in DM

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/iowa-peace-list/a0JjbJVn77k

Drone Protest Trial in DM - 2nd day (tomorrow!) Defendants testify....need court room support / Plus Day 1 Report by Steve Clemens, a defendant

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/national-cw-e-mail-list/VmsWhvg2p4o

Two day trial of the DM St Pat’s 7 concluded Tuesday ... all found guilty... 5 in jail tonight...

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/national-cw-e-mail-list/nXcZk5SIVjs

Two Trial and Two Jail blog entrees by Steve Clemens, one of the DM St Pat's 7 defendants

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/iowa-peace-list/KdUjmRKIh6

----

Phil Berrigan Catholic Worker House

http://just.dmcatholicworker.org/

DMCW http://dmcatholicworker.org

Occupy the World Food Prize campaign

http://occupytheworldfoodprize.com

 

INTERNATIONAL GLOBAL ACTION DAY – OCT. 4 / KEEP SPACE FOR PEACE WEEK – OCT. 4 – 11

Please set aside Saturday, Oct. 4 to organize an event that will be part of an international Global Action Day to end drone killing and surveillance.

This initiative, coming out of Germany, will link counter-drone organizers in a number of countries.  Below is a link to the website that has been created for the Global Action Day where you can post your event and see others that are planned.

As you can see from the website, “Fly Kites Not Drones” will be a common theme and encouraged action.

http://globaldayofaction.nationbuilder.com/

Please note too that Oct. 4 – 11 is “Keep Space for Peace Week”, being organized by the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space.  For more information: http://www.space4peace.org

 

HONEYWELL BOYCOTT UPDATE

The final details are being completed on the website for the Honeywell Boycott, and it should be launched next week. 

 

KILLER ROBOTS – THIS IS WHERE THE ARMS RACE STOPS

Through the thoughtfulnee of Kevin Caron, a counter-drone war organizer in Atlanta, Mark Gubrud, a physicist and peace activist, participated in the June 25 organizers’ conference call to urge that we begin to do more to stop the spread of fully robotic drones, autonomous weapons that make the decision to kill based on data entered into their “brains”, without any human intervention. 

I asked Mark to write an article for the bulletin, which appears below.  In it, he points out, among other things, that it is U.S. policy to seize the lead in research on, and production of, autonomous weapons:

Killer Robots: This is Where the Arms Race Stops

By Mark Gubrud 

As activists know, our protests have drawn media attention to drone warfare and prompted well-connected individuals and NGOs to call for transparency, reform and restraints on US drone strikes – but not yet to end them altogether. Meanwhile, the robot arms race that began with remote-control killing by the United States has spread worldwide, and is now poised to enter a new phase: the transition to fully autonomous weapons that can select and attack targets outside of human control.

Few of us are aware, unfortunately, of the ongoing race to stop killer robots before it’s too late. A coalition of groups in two dozen nations has been working since last year to confront governments with a humanitarian demand to preemptively ban autonomous weapons and machine decision in the use of violent force. The issue has been debated in the United Nations First Committee, the Human Rights Council, the Advisory Board on Disarmament, and most significantly, in the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), a 117-member Treaty which bans or regulates blinding lasers, landmines, incendiaries and other “excessively injurious” or “indiscriminate” weapons. Members of the CCW include the US, Russia, China and other major powers.

These nations met in May for the first informal experts meeting on autonomous weapons. I was there as a member of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control [http://icrac.net]. From the high level of interest and statements made, I can tell you that a majority of the diplomats shared our concerns, but most nations do not yet have national policies and were not ready to commit to a position. Russia and China, in particular, were clearly waiting to see what the US will do. Many friends and allies will also follow the US lead, although some, especially France, Germany and Japan, are leaning in favor of restrictions or a ban.

In November, the CCW will reconvene to consider whether to renew the discussion mandate, move the process forward toward negotiations, or abandon the issue. While abandonment is unlikely, failure to move the process forward would signal faltering and likely stalling of the effort to ban killer robots. This is apparently exactly what United States policy seeks – for the issue to bog down in the CCW and go nowhere while the robot arms race takes off and becomes ever harder to stop.

Most Americans are not aware that in November 2012, the Obama administration directed the military to develop, test, validate, acquire and use autonomous weapon systems. Many are under the impression that Directive 3000.09, “Autonomy in Weapon Systems,” represents a cautious policy, or even a moratorium on weapons that could kill people on their own decision. Nothing could be further from the truth. The policy sets bureaucratic requirements for validation and approval of autonomous weapons, but overrides the military’s own strong objections in making it clear that such weapons will be developed and used, and should be integrated into “operational mission planning.”

https://www.google.com/search?q=%5Bhttp%3A%2F%2Fthebulletin.org%2Fus-killer-robot-policy-full-speed-ahead%5D&oq=%5Bhttp%3A%2F%2Fthebulletin.org%2Fus-killer-robot-policy-full-speed-ahead%5D+&aqs=chrome..69i57&sourceid=chrome&es_sm=91&ie=UTF-8

Some even accuse China or Russia of busting “an emergent global norm” against killer robots.  http://gubrud.net/?p=203

In reality, US technology leads the robot arms race and US policy is dragging the world into it. http://gubrud.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Bulletin-of-the-Atomic-Scientists-2014-Gubrud-32-42.pdf

This fateful decision was made quietly and could still be reversed at low political cost. It is urgent that Americans be made aware of the negative role that our policy is playing at a time when the world still has a chance to say “No” to killer robots. Activists have an important role to play in this, one that may directly determine the course of events on the global diplomatic stage. We can begin by calling attention to the issue of autonomous weapons as both the next stage of drones and as a distinct issue of weapons not under human control, making decisions to kill or use force according to algorithms.

This is where the arms race stops, and begins to reverse. No to killer robots!

Mark Gubrud is a physicist, expert on emerging technology, and longtime peace activist. For more information, see his blog at http://gubrud.net./

 

SURVEY RESULTS

In the last two bulletins, I asked people to respond to a survey on their experiences during the Spring Days of Action – 2014, and three people answered.

The first  response was from Daniel Riehl, in Lancaster, PA.

1. Do you think events you scheduled were effective in educating people on drone warfare and militarization?  What made the events successful, and how do you measure that?

The Horsham vigil is effective.  Mostly positive honks from the people.  People who attend learn about drones and about Horsham.  A passing high school girl asked a candidate who is running for Congress from that district about Horsham after she had passed and seen us there on several occasions  This event is scheduled by Brandywine Peace Communities together with at least a dozen other groups/

2. What do you think we can do to make our campaign more successful? 

Keep building.  Your weekly phone conferences are very good and your weekly bulletins keep us well informed and it's encouraging to know what others are doing across the nation and abroad.  Slowly our efforts are reaching more and more people.

3. Is there a way we can expand our campaign into the Deep South and to build it in key areas like Dayton, Ohio, a center of drone activity where organizing is difficult?

Unfortunately I don't know anyone in those two areas.

4.  A “Global Action Day Against the Use of Drones for Surveillance and Killing” is being planned for Oct. 4.   Oct. 4 – 7, the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space is organizing the “International Week of Protest to Stop the Militarization of Space”.

Will you organize events for Oct. 4 and for the week of Oct. 4 -7?   Probably I will be active with the Brandywine Peace Community at that time in that effort

5. Would it be helpful to publish a monthly bulletin for organizers, similar to the weekly bulletin, and have a monthly organizers’ conference call?  If so, what would be the most useful features of such a bulletin?

I would be able to join the call.  I am so busy trying to get contacts in churches I probably won't have much time for organizing

6. The Honeywell Boycott/Divest (HBD) will be launched in June, with educational materials for organizers.  Would you be willing to do HBD coffee hours, leafleting at retailers and other outreach?

If I have time, I will.  I probably will have some time.

7.  What do you think of the idea of making a concerted effort to call on drone pilots and sensor operators to refuse to fly missions?

This is a tremendous idea and probably one of the better ones I have heard.   Yes, Yes, let's go with it

8.  Please add any other comments.   Thanks for the work you have done, building replicas and an organization.  Good Work!

The next response is from Barbara Kidney, of Drone Alert – Hudson Valley, in New York:

Here you go:

1. Yes, I think our actions (Drone Alert - Hudson Valley's) were effective, because, in multiple times, venues, & locations, we witnessed abt the immorality of predator & surveillance drones. If, in my geographical area, Drone Alert - Hudson Valley hadn't done this, I believe there would have been general silence in this area abt the drone issue- with the notable exceptions - thank goodness- of Jay Wenk's Woodstock drone ban resolution, & the multi group demo @ West Point graduation. For months, we (DAHV) showed films, had demos, distributed informative flyers & emails, blogged, got into two regional newspapers. Would have been a lot more silence without our noisemaking :) on the drone issue.

Additionally, we found the weekly conference calls coordinated by you, Nick, to have been a pleasant & valuable way to meet activists from all over the country, & on one occasion, from Pakistan as well, & to exchange & grow ideas.

2. Continue to do what we're doing, ie, witnessing abt the issue in various ways, AND coordinating more with each other. For ex, early in the spring campaign DAHV proposed several times, on the conference calls & hence through the Knowdrones Bulletins, abt the possibility of having a relay march/demo in NYS (& maybe surrounding areas) during summer. Our hope was to coordinate some marches/demos in the summer with groups in different localities in & around NYS. We of DAHV were hoping that some groups (from NYC, Albany, Hancock area, for ex) would chime in. But no one did. I'm not expressing this to be blameful. I'm sure we all are very busy with what we are doing, & it is wise to not take on more than one can chew. However, to be more effective, I perceive that increased coordination of effort in joint projects in feasible ways, occasionally, is one avenue for us activists everywhere to pursue. And actually, more coordination could lead to more efficient efforts- rather than just one or two voices crying in the wilderness, we could more commonly have a choir thundering across a large geographical area, at least at times.

Another avenue is to have more groups & people on the conference calls, not necessarily on every call (unless of course they want to!) but at least occasionally. I'm very happy that conference call participant Kevin Chan from Atlanta is bringing in International Committee for Robotic Arms Control expert Mark deBruhl (sp?) for our upcoming conference call. But I have been a little surprised & disappointed that at no time (as far as I know) was there participation in the conference calls from groups like Roots Action, CodePink, or Iccupy (except for Andrew & me in our small local Occupy group), for example.

4. Re Oct 4-7, I think it is highly probable that we will be participating, by spreading the word abt the global event & sponsoring local rallies.

3. Re Dayton- I have no familiarity. Re Deep South- I can only state the obvious- reach out to progressive groups there & see if anyone is willing to take on the drone issue in some way. Some places are more progressive than others. Obviously, a lot happening in GA, as Kevin reports. Gainesville FL has its progressives, as does St Augustine (check out the Present Moment Café there, for ex). I imagine there are progressive enclaves in MS & AL, certainly in New Orleans. Maybe we could tag onto Moral Mondays. And conservatives don't necessarily support domestic surveillance drones.

5. I guess we've settled on conference calls every other week. 
I like the Bulletins especially for minutes of the calls, important drone news (or at least links), ideas abt actions, from both actual actions & ideas pple have formulated.

6. DAHV will sign on to the Honeywell boycott. I'm not sure that our targeting Honeywell by having a rally in a shopping center or otherwise directly trying to influence pple in a shopping center wld be effective. Think we'd just be shown the door, & meet w a lot of puzzlement from the public. Think we're better off just doing what we've been doing w public outreach & education, & include info abt HW & exhortations to avoid buying from HW, & to contact them abt this, etc. But that's just my initial thoughts, will talk over w my cohorts.

7. I like the idea of making more direct contact with drone pilots, military. I think this a strategy to think abt. I also think it's of paramount importance to address moral issues (one of our flyers contained the quote "Thou shalt not kill") & to de-glamorize the military & to de-mythologize the "serving the country" & "protecting our freedoms" double speak crapola. Our terrorism needs to be called just that, & those (military & politicians) who carry it out need to hear, at least from sone of us, that they are shaming their country by barbaric & egregious violations of law & minimalistic ethical standards. I am not saying that we start a one on one conversation with a pilot for ex, so bluntly, I'm thinking more along general public expressions here, but on one on one conversations, I think we do well to cordially but firmly & clearly challenge the doublespeak slogans when they come up, with doses of reality.

Thanks for all your work, Nick. That's all she wrote!
Barbara

And finally, here is the response from Joan Nicholson, in Kennett Square, PA:

1. Do you think events you scheduled were effective in educating people on drone warfare and militarization?  What made the events successful, and how do you measure that?

 Films about U.S. drone warfare and "Ghosts of Jeju" (shown earlier) helped to raise awareness which resulted in a Friends Meeting giving its approval of a Minute calling for an end to the use of killer drones. It is being considered in other Meetings and will probably be approved in some form by the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting at its annual session in July. Hopefully, a poster with photos that I took at Horsham will be displayed. The challenge is this: will words lead to ACTION. Some Meetings are nostalgically celebrating what happened 300 years ago, and the largest will continue it into October!

2. What do you think we can do to make our campaign more successful?

The real reasons for U.S. invasions, occupations, use of drones, etc.is rarely articulated, causing many in the general public to believe the propaganda promoters. They need to understand that the U.S. is trying to take over geo-strategic regions throughout the world in order to control access to valuable natural resources, and this is combined with a massive weapons industry eager for perpetual warfare. For instance, many may know about the oil in Iraq, but probably don't know about Afghanistan's natural gas and huge mineral resources (including lithium), and that it is considered to be a strategic region for the establishment of oil and gas pipelines.

Also, I don't think the term "innocent civilians" should ever be used, because It strongly implies that there are legitimate targets for the drones, which is false. 

3. Is there a way we can expand our campaign into the Deep South and to build it in key areas like Dayton, Ohio, a center of drone activity where organizing is difficult?

No response.

4.  A “Global Action Day Against the Use of Drones for Surveillance and Killing” is being planned for Oct. 4.   Oct. 4 –11, the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space is organizing the “International Week of Protest to Stop the Militarization of Space”.

Will you organize events for Oct. 4 and for the week of Oct. 4 -11?

 I plan to be involved in whatever way I can.

5. Would it be helpful to publish a monthly bulletin for organizers, similar to the weekly bulletin, and have a monthly organizers’ conference call?  If so, what would be the most useful features of such a bulletin?

 I leave it for others to decide. You have provided a wonderful service!

6. The Honeywell Boycott/Divest (HBD) will be launched in June, with educational materials for organizers.  Would you be willing to do HBD coffee hours, leafleting at retailers and other outreach?

I am not sure at this point how I could use the information, but I look forward to having it.

7.  What do you think of the idea of making a concerted effort to call on drone pilots and sensor operators to refuse to fly missions?

It's a very good idea if people are in a position to do it.

8. Please add any other comments.

There is a big problem of propaganda in public schools that really needs attention, bit it seems impossible to gain access unless there's a connection with someone inside.

Many thanks for all your work!

Peace,

Joan Nicholson

 

COUNTER - DRONE WAR ORGANIZING IN LANCASTER, PA CHURCHES

As we know, religious institutions nationally and locally have been relatively silent about drone war and even less visible in organizing their membership to oppose drone killing and U.S. wars generally.

So it is heartening to see the work that Daniel Riehl and H.A. Pennert have been doing in Mennonite churches in Lancaster, PA, as noted in this article:

http://m.lancasteronline.com/lifestyle/faith_and_values/local-christians-unite-to-protest-for-peace/article_75749918-f6ec-11e3-8c42-0017a43b2370.html?mode=jqm

 

In solidarity,

Nick

GLOBAL ACTION DAY

Join the first Global Action Day Against the Use of Drones for Surveillance & Killing - October 4, 2014

20141004drohnen-aktionstag03
As global citizens who believe in justice and the rule of law, we oppose weaponized and surveillance drones because their deployment:

  • violates democratic rights of freedom of speech and assembly and the right not to be unreasonably searched,
  • is used for extrajudicial "targeted" killings based merely on suspicion -- murders -- even of children inside and outside of war zones, 
  • terrorizes populations in targeted territories, thereby fueling hatred and increasing the cycle of violence,
  • lowers the threshold to war and initiates a new round in the arms race,
  • leads to the development of autonomous killer robots, thereby making even more horrifying wars likely.

We demand that all governments cease the production and acquisition of armed drones, as well as their research and development, and work towards a worldwide ban of these weapons.

We further demand that our governments prohibit the use of drones for surveillance and prohibit using space satellites, ground stations, and military bases to enable drone surveillance and to trigger drone killings.

We call on people all over the world to join us in the Global Day of Action on October 4.

To view actions and events planned for Global Action Day, see http://globaldayofaction.nationbuilder.com/calendar.

If you or your group are planning an action or event for October 4 and would like to post information about it on this website, please email a brief description to Anastasia of CODEPINK at anastasia@codepink.org.  The description may be in any language, but it is best to also include an English translation so that people around the world can read it. Please include the address of your event, with the postal code, so that it will show up on the map. You may also send for posting on the website a URL link or a PDF or JPEG attachment such as a photo, flyer, press release, or news coverage of your event. 


GLOBAL ACTION DAY is an opportunity for us to take action TOGETHER AROUND THE WORLD against the use of drones, satellites, and ground stations for surveillance and killing.

A CONCERTED INTERNATIONAL EFFORT will be needed to stop drone warfare and invasive drone surveillance. Global Action Day seeks to deepen and broaden the international discussion about drones and to further the international networking and coordination needed to stop this dangerous development that threatens freedom and peace everywhere.

DECIDE LOCALLY what action you will take on Global Action Day. Whether you live in a country that has already produced or deployed drones for surveillance and killing or is considering doing so -- or in a community that is already targeted by drones or could be in the future: you know best what actions would be most effective to alert, educate and mobilize people in your community. Actions will range in size from large demonstrations to a single person holding a sign. They will include civil disobedience and demanding hearings from those in power. Some are planning to introduce resolutions or referendums to ban drones from their communities; others are planning to fly kites under the Afghan motto: "Fly Kites Not Drones." And there will also be initiatives to hold film showings or discussions, visit government officials or parliamentary representatives, or write letters to newspapers.

COMMUNICATE GLOBALLY by sending a URL link about your action or initiative for us to post on this website. Your link could be to the description of your action as posted on your organization's website, or a photo or video posted in the social media, or link to a newspaper article about your action. You will also be able to learn on this website about what people in other parts of the world are doing -- let them inspire you!

THIS WEBSITE is managed by KNOWDRONES.COM. An ad hoc committee of anti-drone activists from several countries drafted the call for this Global Action Day. Plans for this Global Action Day were first discussed in a meeting in Berlin in December 2013, attended by anti-drone activists from seven European countries, Pakistan, and the US:  http://truth-out.org/speakout/item/20740-ban-weaponized-drones-anti-drone-movement-spreads-in-europe

Many who attended the meeting in Berlin were inspired by the historic conference "Drones Around the Globe: Proliferation and Resistance" in Washington, DC, in November 2013.

Our hope is that activists from many more countries will join with us -- and if you do not yet have an anti-drone campaign in your community, we hope you'll consider launching one on Global Action Day!

Campaign Bulletin #12

Campaign Bulletin #12; April 26, 2014
By Nick Mottern

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

1.    ACTION REPORTS
2.    YOUR HELP NEEDED ON BERKELEY DRONE BAN
3.    LEGAL DEFENSE FUNDS NEED YOUR SUPPORT
4.    MAY 6 – DRONE VICTIMS DAY w/ Important Links to Names and Photos
5.    DRONE WAR COMMENTARIES
6.    IDEAS
7.    EVENTS PLANNED  – Please check for action items.
8.    DRONE PALM CARDS

 

ACTION REPORTS

Hancock Air Base – Syracuse, NY

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Photo from video by Charles Bowman

DeWitt Town Court Judge David Gideon, one of the two judges who have granted an order of protection to NY Air National Guard Col. Earl Evans, mission support group commander of the Hancock Air Base MQ-9 Reaper drone control base.

The protest rally this Sunday, April 27, against MQ-9 Reaper drone operations at Hancock Air Base just outside Syracuse, NY will be conducted behind a building in a parking lot adjoining the base with the rally so positioned that none of the protesters can see the base and no one on the base can see them.

This line-of-sight agreement was reached by protest organizers Carol Baum, Rae Kramer and Ron Van Norstrand and Lt. Curt Daley of the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office, so that any of the protesters who are restrained by an order of protection granted to NY Air National Guard Colonel Earl A. Evans, Hancock mission support commander, can participate in the rally without being arrested for violating that order.  For a report on the granting of the order see: http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2013/04/174th_attack_wing.html

The order was granted by DeWitt Town Judges David S. Gideon and Robert L. Jokl Jr.

After the rally, there will be a permitted march from the parking lot to the main gate of the base, with those attending who are subject to the order free to choose whether or not to participate in the march.

Asked how the Sheriff’s Office deputies will know who, if anyone, in the march is violating the order, Carol said the organizers were told that the police “are pulling pictures.”  Presumably these are pictures taken when those covered by the order were arrested in previous Hancock protests.

Judy Bello, who is subject to the order of protection, said:

“They want to put an end to us thinking we have First Amendment Rights.”

Carol said that efforts have been fruitless in trying to get the New York State branch of the American Civil Liberties Union to take an interest in the protecting the rights of the Hancock protesters.  (Editor’s note: I will follow up on this with the NY ACLU.)

The rally will be held at 4:30 pm immediately after a speech by Dr. Cornel West entitled “Connecting the Dots: Poverty, Racism and Drones”, to be presented at 2 pm at Tucker Missionary Baptist Church, 515 Oakwood Ave., Syracuse.  Doors open at 1:30 pm.  The rally site, the OCM BOCES parking lot, is at 6820 Thompson Road, Syracuse.  The events are organized by:

Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars 

On Friday, April 25, this story appeared in the Syracuse Post-Standard:

http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2014/04/174th_attack_wing_to_put_out_welcome_mat_for_drone_protesters.html - incart_river_defaulted

King of Prussia, PA

On April 18, nine people were arrested at the Lockheed Martin facility in King of Prussia, PA, in a Good Friday protest organized by the Brandywine Peace Community, and focused on Lockheed’s production of drones, Hellfire missiles fired by Predator and Reaper drones and satellites used in drone control.

Those arrested and charged with disorderly conduct were: were:

Rev. Barry Kreider, Akron, PA
Paul Sheldon, Media, PA
Rev. David Reppert, Conshohocken, PA
Genie and William Durland, Colorado Springs, CO
Tom Mullian, Wyncote, PA
Rev. Patrick Sieber, OFM, Philadelphia, PA
Bernadette Cronin-Geller, Philadelphia, PA
Robert M. Smith, Philadelphia, PA

The nine were arrested after a Stations of the Cross ceremony attended by about 25 people in which a “peace bell” was rung and crosses were planted, each with the Lockheed Martin logo placed at the crucifixion nail points.  The crosses were, the Brandywine report of the event said, “for the victims of war and the domestic casualties of the war economy, poverty, and unmet human needs.”  The ceremony also included music by Tom Mullian and readings.  Attachment A gives the Stations of the Cross script prepared for the event.

Bob Smith, Brandywine staff coordinator, says that Brandywine has protested Lockheed Martin since 1979.  From 1979 to 1995, he said, Brandywine “conducted a campaign of nonviolent resistance, many arrests with trials and jail experience - including the first plowshares action, the Plowshares 8 in King of Prussia.”  In the 1980s and 1990s, people “regularly went to jail for 15-45 day stretches.”

Here is a KYW Newsradio report of the April 18 event, including a photo:

http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2014/04/18/peace-activists-demonstrate-outside-lockheed-m artin-in-kop/

Important Note:  Brandywine and others have been conducting monthly protests at Horsham, PA in an attempt to stop the opening of an MQ-9 Reaper control base at the Air National Guard field there. (A protest is set for today, April 26.)  Bob reports:

 Kudos!  PA State Senator Daylin Leach (D, Montgomery County, 17th District) campaigning for the Democratic nomination in the 13th district U.S House of Representatives has announced his opposition to the drone war command center in Horsham Township.

The drone war command center is being established in that very district.  Its current Representative, Allyson Schwartz (D, 13th district) is a supporter of the drone command center.  The district's other U.S. House representative is Rep. Patrick Meehan (R, 13th district) the chief backer of the command center which, according to Horsham Air Guard public affairs, is now expected to become operational "sometime" in 2015.

Albany, NY

DSC02014
Photo by Jon Flanders

Counter drone war protesters on April 23rd at Wolf Road and Central Avenue in Albany, NY.

About 50 people gathered at a busy intersection in Albany, NY on a cold April 23 for a “Spring Days of Action to End Drone Killing, Drone Surveillance & Global Militarization” demonstration.

Mickie Lynn, one of the protesters reports:

“It was far too windy to wear the drone hats but we had a diverse and enthusiastic crowd of protesters with signs, banners and kites (“Fly Kites Not Drones” in support of the Afghan Peace Volunteers)…we got enthusiastic responses from drive hour traffic, including bus drivers, tractor trailer drivers and one police officer.  One man came up to us asking what groups we represented and thanking us for caring and taking the time and energy to be out there getting the message out.  He mentioned the recent killings in Yemen this week.”

The group included a group of Sisters for St. Joseph, Mickie said, a toddler and a Haitian rescue dog named Jean Pierre.

Here are a series of photos of the event by Jon Flanders

https://plus.google.com/photos/115535821288160866267/albums/6005648242717122145?banner=pwa

See Attachment B for a picture of Mickie wearing a drone hat.

The event was sponsored by: Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace, Women Against War, Veterans for Peace and other local peace and justice organizations.

Creech AFB

Following up on two weeks of protest during the Nevada Desert Experience Sacred Peace Walk, which included arrests at Creech AFB, Toby Blome sent this report from the Washington Post, noting: “The focus is on a counter protester, unfortunately…”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/at-creech-air-force-base-drones-land-protesters-chant-and-one-man-waves-a-flag/2014/04/21/ad6603a2-c956-11e3-95f7-7ecdde72d2ea_story.html

John Amidon also sent this commentary by John L. Smith in the Las Vegas Review- Journal:

http://www.reviewjournal.com/columns-blogs/john-l-smith/other-protest-deserved-our-notice?fb_action_ids=10152357375096147

John A. also sent this video of the wedding of Ming and River Victor on Good Friday, April 18 at the Nevada National Security (nuclear test) Site, where, upon completion of the ceremony they immediately trespassed on the site and were arrested.  Here is a video of the event, which was part of Peace Walk:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6lNbAyIfFI&list=UUdEQL723X3zdcvucRl6BBuQ

New York City

On Friday, April 25, a newly formed grassroots coalition of young Asian-Americans opposing the US “pivot” to Asia and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement held a powerful “US Out of Asia Rally” in Times Square, shown here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVgACBUAfW0

 

YOUR HELP NEEDED ON BERKELEY DRONE BAN

Bob Meola and others have been working for almost two years to get the Berkeley, CA City Council to ban drone surveillance and weaponized drones.

Please act on Bob’s request:

“Here is the link to the long awaited Berkeley City Council "Workshop on Drones" that will take place at 5:30 PM, Tuesday, April 29, 2014.

http://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/City_Council/2014/04_Apr/City_Council__04-29-2014_-_Special_Meeting_Agenda.aspx

(When you open this link, you will see Proclamation Calling a Special Meeting of the Berkeley City Council, look down to the left, and you will see a heading entitled “Worksession” and under it item 1.a. Drone Policy for the City of Berkeley. Click onto this for details on the No Drone Zone legislation that Bob has been working to get passed, based on model legislation by the Bill of Rights Defense Committee.)

“To voice your opinion on a Drone Policy for Berkeley or for a No Drone Zone or a Drone Free Zone, here is the contact info [email addresses, phone numbers, and street address] for the Berkeley City Council Members:”

https://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/City_Council/City_Council__Roster.aspx

Again, please try to contact has many of the City Council members as you have time for and urge them to approve the No Drone Zone legislation. 

 

LEGAL DEFENSE FUNDS NEED YOUR SUPPORT

Civil resistance to drone attacks and drone surveillance is expensive in terms of bail and costs of legal filings and records, even when people represent themselves or have the benefit of free legal representation. 

As noted in Bulletin #11, bail costs for protesters at Hancock Air Base total $36,000 so far.

Please consider contributing what you can to Upstate Drone Action and the Granny Peace Brigade for the legal support of people facing court in connection with the protests at Hancock Air Base.

Checks can be made out to:

1. Upstate Drone Action and sent to: Upstate Drone Action c/o The Syracuse Peace Council, 2013 E. Genesee St., Syracuse NY 13210.

2. Granny Peace Brigade with the following in the memo line: “Joan and Bev defense”.  Checks should be mailed to: Granny Peace Brigade, c/o Gray Panthers, 244 Madison Avenue, #396, New York, NY 10016

 

MAY 6 – DRONE VICTIMS DAY

Please consider organizing for Tuesday, May 6, from noon to 2 pm, a reading of names of people killed in U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan and Yemen.

Joan Ecklein, who is an organizer of a reading in Boston, where the idea started, envisions readings popping up everywhere, with people video-taping the readings and sharing them on You-Tube. 

Speaking on this week’s conference call, Joan said a reading is “a relatively simple action to do.”  All that is needed, she said, are eight or so people, a video-camera and a megaphone.  “It’s a very easy demonstration to set up,” she said.

The reading in Boston will be held at the main entrance of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 77 Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge, MA.  MIT conducts military-related drone research.  The reading is sponsored by the Eastern Massachusetts Anti-Drone Network and Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.

Following Boston’s lead, World Can’t Wait, War Resisters League and KnowDrones.com will hold a reading of names at the same time in front of the world headquarters of L-3 Communications, 600 Third Avenue in Manhattan, NY.  L-3 makes equipment for the Reaper drone and its own drones.

Barbara Kidney, of Drone Alert – Hudson Valley, is organizing a May 6 phone-call-in to the White House to protest drone killing for people who, like her, live in communities where there is no place to address a large street audience or who cannot participate in a reading for other reasons.   Information on the call-in will appear in the next bulletin.

Here are important links, the first to a comprehensive list of names of people killed by U.S. drones in Pakistan and Yemen, compiled by Susan Balmer of World Can’t Wait:

 

 

The second link is to a series of photos of drone victims, checked for authenticity by Jill McLaughlin of World Can’t Wait, and formatted so that you can print them out into 11 x 17 protest posters:

Photos:  http://www.worldcantwait.net/index.php/organizingmaterials-mainmenu-6/materials-mainmenu-296/8508-photos-of-victims-of-us-drone-wars-in-pakistan-and-yemen

 

DRONE WAR COMMENTARIES

Here are two thoughtful presentations on drone warfare:

1. SHADOW WARFARE
by Andrew Dalton – Drone Alert – Hudson Valley

Nick (Mottern) mentioned, during a recent phone conference call, something he heard of the launching of the latest US Navy warship in Bath, ME, guided missile destroyer Elmo Zumwalt, equipped with so much high-tech stuff to command and control it that it will function and fight with a minimum of human crew.  More steps taken toward autonomous war, it seems.  We've heard of the pending development of autonomous drones, drones that pick and carry out lethal attacks on human beings through pre-programming.  No more human operators using Playstation lookalike terminals to do the dirty work.  Good thing that computers are infallible and will never command drones, or any other weapon, to kill the wrong people, right?

But where are we heading in the name of warfare?  Just what is war?  When US carried out some airstrikes in Libya to help topple Khaddafi, Obama stated to Congress that these strikes were not really an act of war by the US since no American soldiers' boots actually touched the Libyan ground.  No need to involve Congress in declaring war, since it wasn't really war.  This act of precedence by Obama looks to clear the way for the US president to do lots of nasty stuff without explaining it thoroughly to Congress, and thereby the American public.  Stand by for SHADOW WARFARE!!!

Now I know we've had lots of this already, where the CIA topples regimes in other countries (Guatemala, Chile et al) and of course, drone warfare in Pakistan, Yemen, etc., where the US is technically not really at war.  But I fear that, as the saying goes, we ain't seen nothing yet.  It looks to me that all this development of autonomous weapons goes hand in hand with war in places out-of-sight-and-mind of broader human scrutiny, out of the purview of human ethics and conscience (if any).  No Geneva Convention rules of war, which are being ignored anyway.  In short, I fear that more and more places in the world will wake up some fine morning to discover that they are in a high-tech, but still brutal and bloody war.  And as the US leads, so will other nations and militant groups follow.  And furthermore, corporatocracy will be the real winner, whether this be the high-tech armament makers, the energy companies, the global mining and other resource extraction companies (who could find this sort of warfare a good way to terrorize and drive away a local population who might stand in their way), etc.  Many more cruel deeds of shadow war can thus be expected, and any word of any of this reaching our ears will be explained by the great propaganda mills of our country as happening for our own safety, prosperity, and national honor.  I mean, look at what's happening now and how many of our friends and neighbors swallow the Great Lie.

Of course, this is War as part of some sort of Great Plan of the military-industrial complex.  Who knows what actually will happen, as even the rich and powerful don't always have things turn out their way.  Or so it is to be hoped.

2. DRONE ASSASSINATIONS
by Brian Terrell, speaking at Yale Divinity School, March 27, 2014

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxxujQp4Heg

 

IDEAS

Here are the minutes of the April 23 activists’ conference call:

Andrew Dalton and Barbara Kidney – Drone Alert-Hudson Valley (NY) – Andrew and his wife Barbara reported a week ago that their request to have a table at the April 27 Earth Day event in New Paltz was rejected, apparently because of opposition from the sponsor of the event, the New Paltz Reformed Church.  Andrew then went to a meeting of the local climate change coalition to make the case that there are important reasons for connecting drone and environmental issues, including: (1) the U.S. military has a huge carbon footprint; (2) drones are being used as the new cutting edge of U.S. military activity in support of global corporate plundering and waste of resources, particularly oil; (3) drones present a repressive threat to activist environmentalists.

Andrew reported that coalition members were extremely receptive to his arguments, that they were “glad to have their sights broadened and they felt that environmental and anti-drone war activists should join forces.

He said Drone Alert will be at the Earth Day event, setting up on the event’s perimeter.

Barbara said that Drone Alert is a welcome participant at a fund-raising event being held by Marcellus Shale Earth First and Hudson Valley Earth First on May 3 in Poughkeepsie.  She said that Earth First members are concerned that drones may be used to intimidate them.

Barbara reported that she has had positive responses to requests for Drone Alert to do a film showing at both the Cornwall and New Paltz Quaker meetings, but dates are not set yet.

Daniel Riehl – Lancaster, PA – reported that he hopes this Saturday, April 26, to take at least six or seven people, colleagues from Mennonite churches in his area, on the 70-mile trip to the monthly demonstration in Horsham, PA protesting the plan to establish a Reaper drone control base there.

Daniel said also that he is going to explore the idea of starting a counter-drone war quilt project in his area, which is noted for quilting, inspired by Leah Bolger’s Quilt Project. http://dronesquiltproject.wordpress.com

David Sladky – St. Louis, MO – reported that another meeting was held Wednesday (the night of the conference call) by the St. Louis group “Drones and Donuts” that is working to prevent the St. Louis police from getting drones.  He reported also that he has been successful in getting Wounds of Waziristan and Unmanned: America’s Drone War shown on public access cable television in Colulmbia, MO and Fort Wayne, IN.  He said that the viewing times are not favorable 3 am – 4 am, but at least the films are being shown.

David said there will be counter-drone war outreach this Sunday, April 27, at St. Louis’ Earth Day event and also at the coming Garlic Fest and Gay Pride Festival.  He also called attention to the Trifecta Resista (see Events Planned, below).

Harold Penner – Akron, PA – is a colleague of Daniel Riehl who is also organizing people to protest the opening of a Reaper drone control base at Horsham, PA.  “We’re trying to say not here and now anywhere,” Harold said.

He noted that an Army (Shadow) drone crashed a few weeks ago (in Jonestown, PA) near the Army base at Indiantown Gap, landing between an elementary school and a motel, and that this raises many questions about what the Army is doing with its drone operations in the area.

Joan Nicholson – Kennett Square, PA – thanked David Sladky for sending her a variety of DVDs on drone and peace subjects.  She has organized a showing of

Wounds of Waziristan at her retirement community for May 27 and Peter Lems, of the American Friends Service Committee, will be speaking.  Joan conducts a daily peace village on Route One near her home, and she has been holding signs urging that the U.S. stay out of the Ukraine and Venezuela.  “I hope we can get across to people what is happening in the Ukraine and Venezuela,” she said, “people don’t understand.”

Joan asked that a corrected version of the Kendal Monthly Meeting be published, which states the Meeting’s position on drone warfare.  The minute is significant because few Meetings have taken a position on drone war.  Here is the corrected minute:

Minute on the government’s engagement in drone warfare.  Adopted by Kendal Monthly Meeting on April 10, 2014.

As Friends (Quakers) who believe there is “that of God” in everyone and therefore every life is sacred, we are deeply concerned about the proliferation of lethal unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly known as drones.  The United States is leading the way in this new form of warfare where pilots in U.S. bases kill by remote control men, women, and children thousands of  miles away.  Drones have become the preferred weapons to conduct war due to the lack of direct risk to the lives of U.S. soldiers, but these drone strikes have caused the deaths of rapidly increasing numbers of people world-wide, including people in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia, countries where the United States is not even at war.

We urge our government to put an end to this secretive,  remote-controlled killing and instead promote foreign policies that are consistent with the values of a democratic and humane society.  We call on our government to initiate via the United Nations an international treaty controlling the development and use of drones.

Wilma Ralls – San Francisco, CA – joined the conference call  to get information and contacts of people in her area working on the drone issue.  Nick is sending her contact info.

 

EVENTS PLANNED

Here are selected planned events:

Beale AFB

April 28 – 29 – Veterans for Peace Spring Days of Drone Action – 2014.

Download Beale info for Veterans action.April, 2014.pages

Chicago, IL

April 28 - 9 am - “No Killer Drone for Boeing” protest at the Boeing shareholders meeting, south steps of the Field Museum, 1400 S. Lakeshore Drive, 60605, beginning with a press conference featuring Kait McIntyre, anti-war candidate for Boeing’s Board of Directors; her platform appears here. http://antiwarcommitteechicago.blogspot.com/ and follow her campaign here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/692013380842253/

Sponsored by the Anti-War Committee-Chicago.  Sign their Boeing petition here: https://antiwarcommitteechicago.wufoo.com/forms/zqtccbx0znm21r/

Amherst, MA

April 29 - 7-9 pm - The “Know Drones Public Forum” with Nick Mottern speaking on “Drones and the Death of Democracy, and panelists Frank Gatti, Paul Voss, Jeff Napolitano and Paki Wieland, sponsored by the Amherst, Massachusetts Human Rights Commission will be held at the Amherst-Pelham Regional Middle School, 170  Chestnut Street, Amherst, MA 01002  (413)362-1805 Directions: www.arps.org  

Baltimore, MD - NSA

May 3, 1 pm – Protest electronic and drone surveillance and drone attacks at the National Security Agency (NSA) at NSA headquarters, Fort Meade, MD, organized by the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance.

Directions:From I-95 take Route 32 towards Fort Meade, enter on Canine Road, bear to the left and park in the visitor’s parking lot and wait.

For those risking arrest and those directly supporting them there will be a meeting before at 10AM. For more information contact: joyfirst5@gmail.com

Attachment C is a letter that will be presented to NSA Director Vice Admiral Michael C. Rogers.  If you wish to sign on please contact: Max Obuszewski mobuszewski@verizon.net

Washington, DC – White House

May 4, 1 pm – In front of the White House, Code Pink will recreate a wedding party in Yemen hit by a drone atttack. “We hope to educate the public about the horrors of drone strikes using this street theater, sending our message far and wide by making it into a video.  Please check out the facebook event for details and the RSVP link- we need actors to play various roles in the wedding!! Please share this with your friends in DC.” – Alli McCracken, Code Pink, and Noor Mir, Washington Peace Center.

Boston, MA  and New York, NY

May 6, Noon.  Reading of names of drone dead.  See article above.

San Diego, CA

May 15, 16, 17 - San Diego “Drone Days of Action” will include a street theater drone attack; a light display by the Overpass Light Brigade; a protest at drone maker Northrup-Grumman; a demonstration at the US Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, responsible for, among other things, intelligence and surveillance; and a “Stop the Drones” planning convergence.  See Attachment D for details.

Minneapolis / St. Paul

May 17 1 pm – “Stop the Wars, Ground the Drones” rally, initiated by the Minnesota Peace Action Coalition (612-522- 1861/ 612- 827-5364) Gather at Hiawatha and Lake Street, Minneapolis.

St. Louis / Kansas City, MO

May 30 – June 1 – “Trifecta Resista” –Support a pardon for Pvt. Chelsea Manning at Ft. Leavenworth, KS; protest nuclear weapons parts production at Bannister Federal Complex in Kansas City, MO; then protest drone war and surveillance at Whiteman AFB.  See http://www.trifectaresista.org

 

DRONE PALM CARDS

World Can’t Wait and KnowDrones.org collaborated to produce 4” x 6” palm cards, front and back shown here.

2014 Drones_Palm Card[6]

2014 Drones_Palm Card Back[4]

If you would like to order some, at cost, $35 per 1,000, please contact Debra Sweet, Director of World Can’t Wait, at: Debra Sweet debrasweet@worldcantwait.net

As we come to the end of April, I want to say thank you to all for your inspiring, illuminating work.

In solidarity,

Nick

 


ATTACHMENT A

Good Friday Stations of Justice, Peace, &
Nonviolent Resistance to Lockheed Martin

April 18, 2014, King of Prussia, PA

Vigil…Song: “We Declare Peace”, Tom Mullian

Luke 23:33-49

All: Let us pray that we will break the chains of violence and war; that we may resist war-making and stop Lockheed Martin with acts of justice and Jesus’ love. May the cross, which over time was transformed from a means of violence to a symbol of liberation and peace, be our symbol of nonviolence and justice, a sign of nonviolent resistance to greed, militarism, empire, violation of the earth, and war.

*Litany*

Leader: By the cross and resurrection...All: We Stand Against War!
Leader: By Jesus’ witness to the truth...All: We Act for Justice and Peace!
Leader: By Jesus’ passion and death...All: We Declare Peace!
Leader: By Jesus’ message of peace and victory over the grave...All: We Resist Lockheed Martin!

1st Station: Pilate Condemns Jesus to Death (Reading and Litany)
Except where noted, after each station, reading, and litany, a cross  will be driven into the ground, remembering all the victims of war, the casualties of the war economy, and Lockheed Martin
2nd Station: Jesus Carries His Cross  (Reading and Litany)
3rd Station: Jesus falls the 1st time   (CD, Song by Tom Mullian, and Litany)
4th Station: Jesus meets his most afflicted mother  (Reading and Litany)
5th Station: Simon of Cyrene  is forced to help Jesus carry the Cross (Reading and Litany)
6th Station: Veronica wipes the face of Jesus  (Song by Tom Mullian, and Litany)
7th Station: Jesus falls the 2nd time  (Reading and Litany)
8th Station: Jesus consoles the women of Jerusalem  (Reading, CD, and Litany)
9th Station: Jesus falls the 3rd time  (Reading and Litany)
10th Station: Jesus is stripped of his garments  (Song by Tom Mullian and Litany)
11th Station: Jesus is nailed to the Cross  (Reading and Litany)
12th Station: Jesus Dies on the Cross
Period of silence/bell-tolling /Adaggio for Strings; Civil Disobedience (all - except those prepared to face arrest - should remain on sidewalk).
13th and 14th Stations: Jesus is taken down from the Cross and laid in the tomb

All: We mourn all the victims of war. We know that the profits of Lockheed Martin rest on war, militarism, and the violation of the earth. We have far too long suffered the policies of war and the social ravages of empire, corporate greed, and a war economy.  We insist that where war is business, as here at Lockheed Martin, there cannot be business as usual. We resist Lockheed Martin with Jesus’ love and a continuing commitment to justice, to honoring the earth, to peace, to the cross of nonviolent resistance.

Leader: By Jesus’ love and sacrifice...All: We Stand  Against  War
Leader: By Jesus’ witness to truth...All: We carry the cross of nonviolent resistance
Leader: By Jesus’ passion and death...All: We Resist Lockheed Martin
Leader: By the cross and resurrection...All: We Act for Justice and  for Peace

Thank you and have a joyous Passover and Easter!

Brandywine Peace Community
P.O. Box 81, Swarthmore, PA 19081 - 610-544-1818   
brandywine@juno.com    
www.brandywinepeace.com

See upcoming Events at Brandywine Peace Community website.  And make sure you are on the e-mail list!

Luke 23:33-49

33When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

 35The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, "He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One."

 36The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar 37and said, "If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself."

 38There was a written notice above him, which read:| THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

 39One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: "Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!"

 40But the other criminal rebuked him. "Don't you fear God," he said, "since you are under the same sentence? 41We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong."

 42Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.[b]"

 43Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."

 44It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, 45for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." When he had said this, he breathed his last.

 47The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, "Surely this was a righteous man." 48When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. 49But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

1st Station: Pilate Condemns Jesus to Death.

Reading:

Betrayed, denied, tortured, facing death, Jesus knew where he stood and what he faced. He faced the Cross, a means of execution, a symbol of imperial rule, of Rome’s might, an announcement of the empire’s will to maintain itself the only way it can: violence and war.

What we see depends on where we stand. 

We stand before Lockheed Martin and see the cross of empire, war, and human neglect, greed and environmental destruction, drone strikes and a new era of robotic war.

We see the corporate cross of war that is Lockheed Martin, the world’s #1 weapons manufacturer, the U.S.’s #1 war profiteer.   the Top-Gun of America’s  1%  Super Rich.  We mourn the absence of economic justice and peace and what that means in real human terms for the vast majority in this country and around world

There is an uncompromising difference between the privileged wealth secured through every weapon built by Lockheed Martin and the faithful demands for justice and peace. It is nothing less than the difference between war and peace, crucifixion and resurrection, cooperation and resistance.

2nd Station: Jesus Carries his Cross

Reading:

Jesus carried a heavy cross of wood. At a cost of more than a half-trillion dollars a year, we too carry a cross. We carry the weight of militarism and empire–the weapons it builds, the wars it wages, the earth it poisons, the lives it destroys, the societies and economies it cripples.  Certainly, no less our’s.

Among the numerous Pentagon weapons contracts here in Valley Forge, PA, Lockheed Martin builds Weapons Control Systems for U.S. Navy Tomahawk Cruise Missiles and battlefield computer systems as well as “field support” equipment for Minuteman III missiles Mark 12A nuclear warheads. 

Lockheed Martin is the common denominator in the production of every major weapon system–nuclear and non-nuclear–in the U.S. arsenal and sold by the U.S. around the world. Lockheed Martin received from the public treasury more than $42.7 billion this year.

We all carry the intolerable weight of Lockheed Martin and will continue to do so until We the People, in the truest sense, decide to stop it.

God help us, we can and must!

3rd Station - Jesus Falls the First Time.

CD of Dr. King’s “I’ve Been to the Mountain Top Speech, “I May Not Get There With You”, Tom Mullian

i may not get there with you

don't you get tired
don't stumble down
or ever give up
or get turned around

time gives us wings
truth gives us light
if you believe it
we'll make it through the night

we will march, we will sing
we will let freedom ring
all the dreams that we dared will come true
but when you see the promised land
and you reach for my hand
well, i may not get there with you

welcome the dawn
the sun sees no tears
so carry it on
and move without fear

they can't jail the truth
with a prison of lies
they can't shackle justice
or beat down love's cry

we will march, we will sing
we will let freedom ring
all the dreams that we dared will come true
but when you see the promised land
and you reach for my hand
well, i may not get there with you

words and music by tom mullian, copyright 2006

4th Station: Jesus meets his most afflicted mother.

Reading:

 Taxes for Need..., not War and Greed!

There is a broad and growing movement of community, labor, peace, and economic justice groups pushing for new spending priorities. The Pentagon budget, which stands at nearly half a trillion dollars, is now a matter of public debate.

After 13-plus years of a “war on terror” more and more people are seeing the need to rein in Pentagon spending and start funding the real needs of our communities. As the United States war in Afghanistan “winds down” it’s outrageous that the Pentagon’s $47 billion a year slush fund, the Overseas Contingency Operations account for deadly drone strikes and wars around the world, is actually going up.

We must face the facts of U.S. military spending like never before. We must unequivocally put justice for all our people before the corporate profits of billion-dollar weapons producers, such as Lockheed Martin, the world’s #1 war profiteer and break the corporate stranglehold on our democracy by demanding taxes for need, not greed…for caring about the environment and global climate change, for universal health care, housing, and education…for Need, not greed.

5th Station: Simon of Cyrene is forced to help Jesus carry his cross.

Reading:

Lockheed Martin is among the largest manufacturers of surveillance and armed drone aircraft as well as the Hellfire missiles they fire and the military satellites that direct and control drone missile attacks against people thousands of miles away in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yeman, and Somalia, from the Continental United States and a computer ‘pilot’ command center at the Creech Air Force Base in Nevada outside of Las Vegas.   

The phenomenal, just a few years ago unimaginable, rise in drone technology and application for war and domestic surveillance over the past decade has seen thousands of research firms, weapons manufacturers, security businesses, police departments around the country, as well as colleges and universities, such as UPenn, Drexel, and John Hopkins University line up to get in on this new era of war, with its billion dollar killing with impunity machinery, the language of ‘targeted assassinations’, and White House kill lists.

U.S. bases for attack and spy drones now surround Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and North Africa.  A U.S. drone base is now being built to launch attacks from Saudi Arabia.

And drone war is by leaps coming home, to the USA, where they originated.  Drone training and command bases are also now being established across the continental U.S. in a nationwide network that assumes drone war without end anywhere in the world and spying across the U.S. And in Congress, the largest caucus is the UAV (drone) congressional caucus.  The PA delegation representative to the caucus is Representative Bob Brady of Philadelphia.

Here in Pennsylvania, Fort Indiantown Gap, headquarters to the PA Guard and PA Air National Guard is now an operating base for surveillance drones. A surveillance “shadow” drone just days  ago crashed near an elementary school in Jonestown, PA while on test flight from Fort Indiantown Gap.

On the other side of Montgomery County, at the Horsham Air Guard Station, the U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard is establishing a PA drone war command center, announced a year ago, and slated to become operational in 2015 meaning that drone war and killing will be directed from the commonwealth state which its Quaker founder, William Penn, called a “Holy Experiment”.

It is overwhelming what the war makers and profiteers have made of the world.  We are not powerless though. Our task is to act as if nonviolence and the cross of Jesus matters, that peace can and will be made.

6th Station: Veronica wipes the face of Jesus.

 A Poem by Father Daniel Berrigan, SOME, written in dedication to the Brandywine Peace Community

 Some stood up once, and sat down.
Some walked a mile, and walked away.

Some stood up twice, then sat down.
“It’s too much,” they cried.
Some walked two miles, then walked away.
“I’ve had it,” they cried.

Some stood and stood and stood.
They were taken for fools,
they were taken for being taken in.

Some walked and walked and walked –
they walked the earth,
they walked the waters,
they walked the air.

“Why do you stand?” they were asked, and
“Why do you walk?”

“Because of the children,” they said, and
“Because of the heart, and
“Because of the bread,”

“Because the cause is
the heart’s beat, and
the children born, and
the risen bread.”

7th Station: Jesus falls the 2nd time.

Reading:

The ceremonial groundbreaking for the Pentagon, the most powerful agency of violence and war in the world, took place on September 11, 1941, sixty years almost to the minute before American Airlines flight 77 arrowed into the side of building that faces Arlington Cemetery.

Like the child who was able to see that the Emperor was without clothes, can we see what’s before us today? Can we see the greed, the lies, the violence?  Can we see the illusions of security that come from making war?

September 11, 2001, all of our imperial illusions of security based on nuclear weapons, “Star Wars” weaponry, and trillion dollar military budgets, shattered in a wink.

We were vulnerable, just like everybody else on this fragile planet. If there be such a thing as real security then it must rest on something more than what we can do for ourselves with muscle or weapons, something that has to do with relationship with others and the earth, with fairness, with honoring the commonweal and the commonwealth, with being neighbor not the overlord. And that means justice.

Bombs may win wars and bring the false peace of victory (whatever that may mean today), but justice will never be achieved with bombs and drone strikes nor with Star Wars and out of this world plans (however profitable) for the militarization of space. The only victor in war is still war itself. 

If you want real peace (as the words of Dr. King would remind us) — not dominion or empire, or more wealth for the already filthy rich ­— then work for justice: justice for one another, for the community, for the earth.

8th Station: Jesus consoles the women of Jerusalem

April 4, 1967.  Exactly one year before his assassination Dr. King spoke in New York City at Riverside Church.  He condemned the war in Vietnam, calling the U.S. government “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today” and drew a connection to the war and its domestic fallout – the impoverishment of people in this country, the export of racism, and an arrogant belief in the absolute rightness of U.S. policy around the world.  Moreover, Dr. King in calling for nonviolent resistance to “the evil triplets of American society: racism, materialism, and militarism” was seeking an inseparability and continuum of action for social justice and peace. 

Hear now some of Dr. King’s words of 46 years ago…(CD)

9th Station: Jesus Falls the 3rd Time.

Daniel Berrigan once described the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German pastor and martyred resister to Nazi Germany, this way: "He said his prayers, he told the truth, and then he died."

Anyone who has over the past four decades been at Lockheed Martin or elsewhere with the Brandywine Peace Community or any number of other groups  from Philadelphia to Washington, DC would have seen Mary Jo McArthur --  holding a sign, gripping a banner, standing, walking, getting arrested, doing what was just a matter of fact for her - quietly standing up for justice, saying her prayers, doing peace, caring about and serving others.

A year ago at this time, Mary Jo McArthur died.  Her passing was with the same peace in which she acted over and over and over and over, again and again, without bluster, or argument,  with just a matter of fact-ness that says, in effect, this is where I am, I know what happens here, and this is what I do…knowing full well what would happen.

Mary Jo is still with us here today, in the prayer of St Ignatius that she said daily.

“Take Lord and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will, all that I have and possess.  You have given all to me. To You, O Lord, I return it.  Everything is yours, do with it what You  will.  Give me only Your Love and Your grace, for this is enough for me.”

10th Station: Jesus is stripped of his garments.

“The Needed Time, Tom Mullian

the needed time

now is the needed time
now is the needed time
now is the needed time

brothers, won't you walk with me
brothers, won't you walk with me
brothers, won't you walk with me

now is the needed time
now is the needed time
now is the needed time

sisters, won't you pray with me
sisters, won't you pray with me
sisters, won't you pray with me

now is the needed time
now is the needed time
now is the needed time

people, won't you come with me
people, won't you come with me
people, won't you come with me

now is the needed time
now is the needed time
now is the needed time

verse lyrics by tom mullian

11th Station: Jesus is nailed to the Cross.

Reading:

“The revulsion against war not too long hence will be an insuperable obstacle for us to overcome and for that reason I am convinced that we must set in motion the machinery of a permanent war economy...It must be an ongoing program and not the creature of some emergency.”

So spoke the president of General Electric, Charles E. Wilson, in July 1944, one year before the first atomic bomb was tested in the desert area of Alamogordo, New Mexico named Jornada del Muerto or  Dead Man’s Trail.

Today, we stand before Lockheed Martin in the social order which Wilson called for - a culture of weaponry and militarism, a permanent industry of war, embedded so deep in our society that it is quite immune to political change and democratic oversight - and extends itself into virtually every society on earth.

That is empire which could be likened to the Orwellian notion of unending war - hot, cold, low-intensity, endless - in which we become so accustomed to it that we don’t even realize it any longer. 

“Our problems stem from our acceptance of this filthy, rotten system.”, said Dorothy Day, founder of the Catholic Worker movement. 

And so our first acts of truth are ones first of realization and then of resistance.

These crosses before us today represent the suffering and crucifixion of a suffering humanity, of Jesus Christ today.  Lockheed Martin, War and Weapons, Christ Crucified!

We who stand before Lockheed Martin in peace and the works of justice embrace the nonviolent cross: resistance to empire, war and militarism, community organizing and the works of peacemaking and service to the victims of war and injustice, resistance to the injustice that is Lockheed Martin.

Today, we remember Jesus’ words: “Peace, I leave with you; my peace I give to you...”(John 14:2)

 


ATTACHMENT B

Photo 2[4][1][2]

Mickie Lynn wearing a paper drone hat, which she says was inspired by Kathy Kelly and made by Kim Kennedy of Grannies for Peace.

 


ATTACHMENT C

National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance [NCNR], 325 East 25th Street, Baltimore, MD 21218 Email mobuszewski@verizon.net; Phone 410-366-1637

April 28, 2014

Vice Admiral Michael S. Rogers
Director, National Security Agency
Chief, Central Security Service
National Security Agency
Fort George G. Meade, MD  20755

Dear Admiral Rogers:

As members of peace and justice groups with grave concern for the National Security Agency’s role in the invasions of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan and Yemen, we are writing to request a meeting.  We are deeply concerned about our government’s use of unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as drones, to assassinate people in the countries listed above. As you know the NSA is involved in this assassination program by providing potential targets for the president's "kill list."

We are aware that the NSA is open 24 hours a day,7 days a week. Therefore, we are suggesting a meeting at the NSA on Saturday, May 3, 2014. We are confident that someone in a policy-making capacity will be available to meet with us and to arrange a subsequent meeting due to the important nature of our concern.

At the meeting, National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance representatives will urge you to support an end to this assassination program which we believe to be illegal.  Please confirm that a meeting can take place on May 3.  

In 2011 in Yemen, CIA drone attacks were used to kill, first, Anwar Al-Awlaki and weeks later his son. They were U.S. citizens, who were never charged, brought to trial, or convicted of any crime. In fact, four other U.S. citizens have been assassinated by killer drone strikes without any pretense of due process.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights brought a lawsuit in US federal court against the Obama Administration regarding the assassination of Al-Awlaki. The suit was lost on procedural grounds; however, the judge in the case stated "Can the executive order the assassination of a US citizen without first affording him any form of judicial process whatsoever, based on the mere assertion that he is a dangerous member of a terrorist organization?"

The killer drone strikes only promote more terrorism directed at the US. This point was made by Malala Yousafzai when she met with President Obama and his family.  On Oct. 11, 2013 Philip Rucker of THE WASHINGTON POST wrote this: “Yousafzai said she was honored to meet Obama and that she raised concerns with him about the administration's use of drones, saying they are ‘fueling terrorism.’”

We are also disturbed by the lack of transparency and oversight by congress. In spite of assurances from President Obama that the victims of drone strikes are surgical targets, it has been reported that hundreds of victims who are innocent of crimes against the US have been killed including civilian men, women, and children. These people have names and families who love them.

According to a report, “US: Reassess Targeted Killings in Yemen,” released on October 21, 2013 by Human Rights Watch “United States targeted airstrikes against alleged terrorists in Yemen have killed civilians in violation of international law." The report added that the strikes are creating a public backlash that undermines US efforts against Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

We hope that you will take our concerns seriously, as it is our position that killer drone strikes are wrong on many levels: the illegality and immorality of assassinations, the violation of international law and the constitutional protection of due process, the targeting of civilian populations, and the disregard of sovereignty. We have great concern for people caught up in conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, the Philippines, Somalia and Yemen.  We believe the US killer drone program must be brought to an end immediately.

Please respond to our request to meet and to discuss your role in terminating the National Security Agency's role in this assassination program. This is an opportunity to consider our proposal of reconciliation and diplomacy rather than pernicious killer drone strikes.  A U.S. policy of endless wars must be placed in the dustbin of history.  We look forward to your response.

In peace,

Max Obuszewski
On behalf of the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance

 


ATTACHMENT D

  - Pass On – Circulate Widely -

San Diego “Drone Days of Action”
May 15-17, 2014

  Image-0133

Join us in San Diego, May 15, 16 and 17, 2014
for action and education against US global drone wars, drones violating civil liberties, and the US “pivot to the Pacific”

San Diego continues to be the US capital of spy and killer drone production

Stand Up and Speak Out!

THIS IS YOUR OPPORTUNITY, following last year’s “No Drones Days” in April, to be a part of moving this nation away from mechanized warfare and military empire, toward a better future!

PLANNED EVENTS

Thursday May 15

  • 4-7 PM – San Diego Veterans for Peace Demonstration: Federal Building, Front and Broadway, downtown San Diego; Street Theater staged aerial “drone attack” by Artful Activist San Diego
  • 8 PM – 9:30 PM – Overpass Light Brigade, light/sign demonstration at Clairemont Drive overpass at I-5 freeway

 Friday May 16

  • 8 – 10 AM – Demonstration, including street theater against drones, Northrop Grumman, 9326 Spectrum Center Blvd. and Ruffin Road, San Diego 92123
  • 4-6 PM – Women Occupy San Diego, Demonstration at SPAWAR, Pacific Highway (gather at 3:30 at parking lot of Old Town transit center, Pacific Hwy. just south of Rosecrans/Tayor St.)
  • 9:30 AM – 2 PM – Stop the Drones Convergence!   Registration 9:30 AM; 10 AM – 2 PM:  Issues panel, break-out groups to discuss and plan NEXT STEPS! First Church of the Brethren, 3850 Westgate Place, SD 92105

Saturday May 17

  • 9:30 AM – 2 PM – Stop the Drones Convergence!   Registration 9:30 AM; 10 AM – 2 PM:  Issues panel, break-out groups to discuss and plan NEXT STEPS! First Church of the Brethren, 3850 Westgate Place, SD 92105

2014 Anti-Drone Days of Action is a collaborative action of:

San Diego Coalition for Peace & Justice; Peace Resource Center of San Diego; Veterans for Peace San Diego Chapter; San Diego Overpass Light Brigade; Women Occupy San Diego (WOSD); Occupy San Diego; Artful Activist San Diego; Canvass for a Cause (CFAC); Back Country Voices; San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality (SAME); San Diego BDS; United Against Police Terror San Diego; Green Party of San Diego; Code Pink; San Diego International Socialist Organization  (Contact us if your group would like to be a sponsor).

For more info/action updates: www.sdcpj.org  info@sdcpj.org nodrones@prcsd.org  https://www.facebook.com/events/630247980379475/

Campaign Bulletin #10

Campaign Bulletin #10; April 12, 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.    ACTION REPORTS

  • Whiteman AFB
  • Honolulu
  • New York City
  • Pakistan
  • Washington DC
  • San Francisco

2.    WCC STANDS OUT AMID CLERGY SILENCE ON DRONES
3.    THE U.S. KILLER DRONE PROGRAM IS GROWING
4.    KILLER DRONES, CLIMATE CHANGE AND JOBS
5.    IDEAS
5.    PLANNED EVENTS

 

Drone_protest_4.6.14_WAFB[4]

Photo by: Charles Heiss, Sheriff, Johnson County, MO

ACTION REPORTS

Whiteman AFB

Pictured above are activists who gathered on Sunday, April 6 at Whiteman AFB, about 70 miles southeast of St. Louis, MO, to protest its Reaper and Predator drone control base.  Whiteman is also home to the B-2 “Spirit” stealth bomber, which is capable of carrying nuclear weapons.

As noted in the excellent report of the protest by Jane Stoever, appearing in Attachment A, Ray McGovern used the name of the base to observe that U.S. drone attacks are rooted in racism.  He criticized church leaders who are remaining silent in the face of drone attacks that are committing a “wanton slaughter against black and brown people.” 

(See the WCC article below and also the remarks of Madiha Tahir and Carl Dix in the report on the Kick-Off Forum in Bulletin #9 http://www.knowdrones.com/2014/04/campaign-bulletin-9.html#TOPIC1 )

Brian Terrell, who spent six months in Federal prison after being arrested at Whiteman in 2012, also spoke, calling blasphemous the use of words with religious meaning  -  “Spirit”, “Hellfire” and “Reaper” – to name weapons.

In case you read the credit line on the photo above, Brian explains that Johnson County Sheriff Charles Heiss was across the street from the base throughout the protest and that: “He came over as we were packing to leave and asked how it went.  He politely agreed to take several of our cameras and take some group shots.”

The next protest at Whiteman will be part of Trifecta Resista - 2014, May 30 – June 1, that will support a pardon for Pvt. Chelsea Manning at Ft. Leavenworth, KS; protest nuclear weapons parts production at Bannister Federal Complex in Kansas City, MO; then protest drone war and surveillance at Whiteman.  See http://www.trifectaresista.org

Honolulu

On Wednesday, April 9, World Can’t Wait Honolulu organized an anti-drone/militarism protest in front of the Sheraton Hotel in Waikiki, the site of LANPAC (Land and Power in the Pacific), which WCW’s Carolyn Hadfield describes as:

“…an annual international symposium and exposition organized by the U.S. Army that brings together top military and weapons industry representatives to strategize on how to strengthen U.S. military control over the Pacific region.  Representatives of 30 countries were invited; exhibiters include Boeing, Lockheed, and other major drone suppliers.”

Carolyn’s report on the protest appears here, along with details on the next action, which will be at a talk by Al Gore on April 15. http://www.worldcantwaithonolulu.blogspot.com

New York City

IMG_1532 (2)[7]
Photo provided by Marty Rajandran

 In New York City, on April 8, members of the Granny Peace Brigade, Veterans for Peace and KnowDrones.org held a leafleting session in Tribeca to promote a resolution that would ban the use of weaponized drones and surveillance drones in the city.

The leafleting, which was the first of a series that the GPB will hold as part of Spring Days of Action, was particularly effective because the time, 3 pm, and place, at a subway entrance, gave an opportunity to encounter literally thousands of people, including students on their way home from Stuyvesant High School. 

One of the students had just participated in a debating competition in which he had taken a position against drone warfare.  He said he believes drones will be the central issue of foreign policy for his generation.  He said too that it will be up to his generation to save the planet from environmental destruction and climate change. 

This link gives information on the next GPB leafleting events and the drone ban resolution.  http://www.grannypeacebrigade.org

Pakistan

Screenings of Unmanned: America’s Drone War are being courageously organized by students in Pakistan.  Tim Molina, outreach director Brave New Films, that produced Unmanned, forwarded this report from one of the students in Pakistan. It comes belatedly but offers the opportunity to know and see something of what the students are doing.

“Our screenings here in Pakistan are in full momentum. The screening at Namal College on the 21st (of March) went really well. The students were completely engrossed and wanted to share it further. You can view the photos of the screenings here:  https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.443637409101902.1073741833.419249894873987&type=3

“Yesterday (Mar. 24) we had a screening in a university in Karachi. The event was a huge. Many in the audience saw this dimension of the drone strikes for the very first time. Photos will be up in a day or two. 

“Today we have 2 screenings in Peshawar. 

“Will keep you posted. You can also log on to our Facebook page, best way to track all the activity. www.facebook.com/pakserz

Washington DC

On Thursday, April 10, Medea Benjamin and other members of Code Pink went to Capitol Hill to counter-act a lobbying “expo” organized by the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems (AUVSI) for members of the Congressional Unmanned Systems Caucus.  See http://www.dcmediagroup.us/2014/04/10/drone-lobby-visits-congress/

It seems odd for the AUVSI to lobby the caucus since the group is notoriously a lobbying arm for the drone industry inside the Congress, with a number of members getting drone industry campaign money.  For example, Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA), caucus chair, got $23,700 in this campaign cycle from Northrop Grumman and $21,850 from General Atomics, maker of the airframes for the Predator and Reaper drones, and $8,500 from Honeywell International, maker of the engines and some navigational and guidance equipment for Reapers.

To see the members of the drone caucus: http://unmannedsystemscaucus.mckeon.house.gov/about/membership.shtml

To check on their campaign contributions: http://www.opensecrets.org

San Francisco

On Wednesday, April 9, Bay Area counter-drone war activists held large posters of children drone victims at their weekly vigil in downtown San Francisco. 

http://www.firejohnyoo.net/2014/04/children-have-no-place-in-war.html

The pictures, in color, are stunningly sad.  I asked Mathias Quackenbush, one of the protesters, about how people responded, and he reports:

“I haven't been to a lot of demonstrations yet so it's hard to have a basis for comparison. I can say that the SF demonstration on Wednesday attracted a lot of attention, and a lot of allies. I did get one woman who confronted me about our methods, saying that she felt like she and her friends would not be receptive to our use of the photos and our calling out of Obama for his war crimes. She said that, to her, that made us seem like "crazy people." But even as I was having this conversation, other passersby gathered and expressed opinions strongly divergent from that. Over all, I think it was a good tactic.”

 

WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES STANDS OUT AMID CLERGY SILENCE ON DRONES

The Executive Committee of World Council of Churches (WCC), headed by Dr. Agnes Abuom, of the Anglican Church of Kenya, went further this week to try to halt drone attacks than the United Nations and leading human rights organizations, announcing that it: “Condemns drone strikes by any country, especially the unlawful policies and practices of the use of lethal force by drones carried out in different countries.”  (Emphasis theirs.)

The WCC statement is also noteworthy because it stands out so starkly in comparison to the total unwillingness of major religious leaders around the world to call for a halt to drone attacks.  There have been expressions of discomfort by some religious leaders over lack of “transparency” about the strikes, but there are none, to my knowledge, who are taking a relentless public position in opposition to drone war and spying such as Dr, Martin Luther King Jr., the Rev. William Sloan Coffin, the Rev. Daniel Berrigan and Clergy and Laity Concerned, and others, took in opposition to the Viet Nam War.

It is also worth noting that Pope Francis has failed to call for a halt to drone attacks in spite of a write-in campaign last December to his Facebook page.

To his great credit, Dr. Cornel West, a professor at Union Theological Seminary, has courageously called out President Obama as a war criminal for his authorization of drone attacks http://newsone.com/2229728/cornel-west-obama-drones/    Dr. West was keynote speaker at last year’s Code Pink drone conference, and he will speak on April 27 at the annual counter-drone war gathering of the Upstate NY Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars. (See the Planned Events section.)

The WCC executive committee appears to expect that drone attacks will continue, calling on the attackers to, among other things, be “transparent about the development, acquisition and use of drones and publically disclose the legal basis for the use of drones…”   Here is a link to a list of those on the executive committee:

https://www.oikoumene.org/en/about-us/organizational-structure/executive-committee/ExecutiveCommittee.pdf ; and a link to the group’s statement:

https://www.oikoumene.org/en/resources/documents/executive-committee/geneva-february-2014/statement-on-the-use-of-drones-and-denial-of-the-right-to-life

 

THE U.S. KILLER DRONE PROGRAM IS GROWING

There have been reports of a lull in U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan but an increase in Yemen.  Attachment B describes how the U.S. killer/surveillance drone program is expanding, regardless of what is being reported about fluctuating levels in drone attacks.  It suggests that we begin to focus more systematically on encouraging war/spy drone operators to step back from their consoles.

 

KILLER DRONES, CLIMATE CHANGE AND JOBS

By the time you read this, the protest at the launching of the new destroyer “Zumwalt” in Bath, ME, will be ending, with a potluck supper the Unitarian Church in Brunswick.  But I am mentioning it because Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power, in his announcement of the protest, below, is making an argument appropriate to the U.S. killer/surveillance drone program as well as the Zumwalt.  Here is a link describing the Zumwalt: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-04-02/the-navys-newest-destroyer-is-a-drone

Here is Bruce’s statement:

Connecting the Dots in Maine: April 11-12 Events Update

 This weekend Maine Veterans for Peace, and other sponsors, will hold three events in our state to make public the issue of the US military 'pivot' into the Asia-Pacific.  This pivot is being used to provocatively surround China and Russia as 60% of US forces move into that region.  Vital in this pivot will be naval forces, many of which are built at Bath Iron Works. 

Remembering the call to work within our 'bio-region' the issue of the Navy's April 12 ceremony in Bath thus looms crucial for our collective movements.  The ‘christening’ of the new $4 billion Zumwalt ‘stealth’ destroyer ought to be connected to climate change and growing cutbacks in social spending.

At this very moment USM (University of Southern Main) students are in the streets protesting faculty lay-offs and cuts of entire programs, while climate change activists are stepping up their local efforts to arouse the public about our warming Mother Earth.  To all of our movements the public appears tranquilized in the face of these mounting crises.

The US ‘pivot’ is all about control of declining resources on the planet.  In order to be successful the Obama team has stepped up military escalation and confrontation that benefits the agenda of the resource extraction corporations.  Not only is this strategy highly expensive, but also it dramatically exacerbates the already massive carbon footprint the US has.  In fact the Pentagon has the largest carbon boot print on the planet today, and during the development of the Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate the US military’s boot print had to be waived as a relevant issue in order for the US to agree to sign on.  There can be no doubt that warships equal global warming.

…How do we end the US addiction to military production in our local communities?  Unless the workers at BIW (Bath Iron Works) feel that people across Maine share their desire to "build something more positive" then little movement toward real conversion is possible. Jobs are key... there must be public discussion about how we convert BIW and protect jobs. By connecting the issue dots we can help create an alternative strategy that reduces spending on militarism, helps end wars for oil, lowers our national carbon boot print, and creates 'products' like needed commuter rail systems at BIW.   This difficult but crucial undertaking is our greatest challenge.

 

IDEAS

Here is a report of this week’s conference call:

Barbara Kidney and Andrew Dalton – Hudson Valley – reported that this Sunday, April 12, a  “Fly Kites Not Drones” event will be held in the middle of the Poughkeepsie-Highlands Railroad Bridge, with people starting out from each end of the bridge at 2:45 pm.  Barbara also reported success in getting approval for a drone program at a Quaker meeting.  

Groups in Boston and New York City are planning to do a reading of names of drone victims at noon on May 6, and Barbara is thinking of organizing a call-in on that day to President Obama or some other official with responsibility for drone attacks.  She said there is no central place in her community that would be good for the reading.

Barbara is considering presenting the region’s U.S. Attorney with a request for a drone war crimes indictment against President Obama, CIA Director John Brennan and other officials, picking up on the initiative of the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance (NCNR).  NCNR attempted to give such a request to the acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia but were locked out of his office. (See Bulletin #9)

Barbara is also considering starting an petition to oppose drone attacks in addition to the current Roots Action drone ban petition in that this would increase exposure. Here is the Roots Action petition: http://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=6180

She also reported that Bard College has a Center for the Study of the Drone with a website offering news and commentary.  http://dronecenter.bard.edu

Dave Lambert – Fort Wayne, IN – reported that a “Fly Kites Not Drones” event will be held this Sunday afternoon at Headwaters Park in downtown Fort Wayne.

He said Harry Dougherty, a former Peace Corps worker in Afghanistan, will bring authentic Afghan kites.  The kite flying event is being done in solidarity with the Afghan Peace Volunteers.

David Sladky – St. Louis, MO – joined the call a little late, having just returned from taking a drone replica to the campus of the University of Missouri where the first meeting of “Drones & Donuts” was being held.  The group has organized to prevent the St. Louis police department from using drones. http://www.dronefreestl.org

David said that, regrettably, people who oppose the St. Louis police use of drones do not want to challenge President Obama’s drone attacks because they have “a blind allegiance to Obama.”

At the end of the call we discussed ways to frame counter-drone war arguments to place them into a larger context of the competitive struggle for global resources.  I asked Barbara to write a short article based on her comments, and this will appear in next week’s bulletin.

Andrew speaking of how drones generate war, observed that drones enable the United States to launch simultaneous attacks in a number of countries that would otherwise be impossible if the country had to send troops to each.

 

PLANNED EVENTS

Here is a selected list of planned counter-drone-war events.  For a complete list of what is happening around the U.S. see:  http://org.salsalabs.com/o/1170/p/salsa/event/common/public/index.sjs?distributed_event_KEY=708

Amherst, MA

Tuesday, April 15
Screening of Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars - 7-9 PM
Jones Library – The Woodbury Room
43 Amity St, Amherst, MA 01002
www.joneslibrary.org
(413)259-3090

Tuesday, April 29  - An in-depth, filmed interview and Public Q&A, with Nick Mottern, Paul Voss and Paki Wieland, moderated by Beth Adams.
3-5PM
Amherst Media
246 College Street, Amherst, MA 01002
www.amherstmedia.org
(413)259-3300

Tuesday, April 29, 2014 – 7-9 pm - The “Know Drones Public Forum” with Nick Mottern speaking on “Drones and the Death of Democracy, and panelists Frank Gatti, Paul Voss, Jeff Napolitano and Paki Wieland, sponsored by the Amherst, Massachusetts Human Rights Commission will be held at the Amherst-Pelham Regional Middle School, 170  Chestnut Street, Amherst, MA 01002  (413)362-1805 Directions: www.arps.org  

Baltimore, MD

The Center for Advanced Media Studies is pleased to announce the April 21st screening of Robert Greenwald's film "Unmanned: America's Drone Wars" at 7:30 PM in Hodson 110, Johns Hopkins University.  A discussion will follow, featuring the filmmaker himself, the philosopher David LaRocca, the Director of the Maryland Film Festival, Jed Dietz, and moderated by the director of CAMS, Bernadette Wegenstein.

King of Prussia, PA

Friday, April 18 – Noon.  “Good Friday Stations of Justice, Peace, and Nonviolent Resistance” at Lockheed Martin.  Gather at Mall and Goddard Boulevards, directly behind the King of Prussia Mall and across from the UA King of Prussia movieplex.  Nonviolence discipline for participants, http://www.brandywinepeace.com/nonviolence.html . Call the Brandywine Peace Community, (610) 544-1818, by April 12 if you are interested in participating in the nonviolent resistance/civil disobedience and willing to face arrest.  There will be an on-site meeting at 11a.m. for those planning on doing the civil disobedience.

New Haven, CT

Wednesday, April 16 – 7 pm - Medea Benjamin will receive the Gandhi Peace Award from Promoting Enduring Peace at the United Church on the Green, 270 Temple St. with a reception following.  Please RSVP: http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?utm_medium=email&oeidk=a07e8wvlqjw8039c23d&llr=w9nytzkab&utm_campaign=Janemail&utm_source=February092014

Horsham, PA

Saturday, April 26 - Noon – 2 pm – Monthly “Stop the Drone War Command Center at the Horsham Air Guard Station” demonstration.  Easton Road and County Line Road, Horsham, Montgomery, PA 19040

Ft. Benning to Atlanta, GA

April 26 – May 3 - Join School of the Americas Watch Maria Luisa Rosal and SOA Watch's newest council member Kevin Moran on the "Right to Peace" walk from Fort Benning, Georgia to Atlanta, Georgia.

A 120-mile "Right to Peace” walk will culminate with a rally at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) in Atlanta, to draw attention to the research and development connection between Georgia Teach and the Maneuver Battle Lab at Ft. Benning focusing on autonomous killer drones.  The walk will also protest the training of Latin America's police and military forces at Ft. Bennings’ School of the Americas (SOA/WHINSEC) in the use of the tools and tactics of oppression.  See: http://georgiapeace.org or contact: kevin@soaw.org.

Syracuse, NY

Sunday, April 27 – 2 pm – Dr. Cornel West speaks at Tucker Missionary Baptist Church, 515 Oakwood Ave., Syracuse on “The People’s Orders of Protection Against Drone Terror”; 4:30 pm – Rally near the Hancock Air Base drone control center at the BOCES parking lot, 6820 Thompson Rd., Syracuse.

Chicago, IL

Monday, April 28 – 9 am - “No Killer Drone for Boeing” protest at the Boeing shareholders meeting, aouth steps of the Field Museum, 1400 S. Lakeshore Drive, 60605, beginning with a press conference featuring Kait McIntyre, anti-war candidate for Boeing’s Board of Directors; her platform appears here. http://antiwarcommitteechicago.blogspot.com/ and follow her campaign here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/692013380842253/

Sponsored by the Anti-War Committee-Chicago.  Sign their Boeing petition here: https://antiwarcommitteechicago.wufoo.com/forms/zqtccbx0znm21r/

In closing this week’s bulletin, here is a report from The Onion, thanks to Dave Lambert

http://www.theonion.com/articles/obama-spends-afternoon-in-garage-restoring-classic,35505/

In solidarity,

Nick

 


ATTACHMENT A

TALKS, TEARS HIGHLIGHT RALLY VS. DRONES AT WHITEMAN AFB

By Jane Stoever

Bearing witness against remote control of reaper drones from U.S. military bases, about 20 protesters rallied Sunday, April 6, at the Spirit Gate entry to Whiteman Air Force Base near Knob Noster, Mo.

Noting the name Whiteman Air Force Base, former CIA intelligence analyst Ray McGovern in his talk said, "When B2 bombers flew out of here to Afghanistan and Iraq, they weren't killing people who looked like us (white), but who were what the airmen were taught to call 'sand niggers' or 'towel-heads.' White-man is killing brown, black, and other men, women, and children who don't look like us. White-man Air Force Base is a reflection of the American original sin, racism."

McGovern recalled that President Obama on May 17, 2013, said he wished he could stop drone strikes. "Gimme a break," said McGovern. "The president could stop the strikes if he had the backbone." Acknowledging that he was in the Bible Belt, McGovern assailed the silence of the churches about drones. "If the church does not speak out against this wanton slaughter against black and brown people, then the church is the same institution Jesus spoke out against and got killed for doing it."

McGovern, after being introduced by Brian Terrell, said, "It's not often I'm introduced by a prophet!" McGovern thanked Terrell for serving six months in a federal prison camp for his 2012 protest at Whiteman AFB--the longest sentence any drone resister has received.

Terrell, a co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, speaking during the rally, asked whether the resisters knew what "Spirit Gate" meant. The name evokes not the third person of the Holy Trinity--the Holy Spirit, not a "higher power," not a spirit that animates and gives life, nor even the Higgs-Bosson particle. "Spirit Gate" and, even more pointedly, the "Spirit Chapel" that can be seen just inside the gate, are named for the nickname the Air Force gives to the B2 Stealth Bomber nestled at Whiteman AFB. The Air Force calls these weapons of mass destruction "Spirit Stealth Bombers."

"This is the 'spirit' that is evoked and worshiped here at Whiteman," said Terrell, co-founder of Strangers and Guests Catholic Worker Farm in Maloy, Iowa. "When we were here for the first Trifecta Resista action in 2012, Whiteman personnel were using Predator drones. Now we have Reaper drones--think Grim Reaper--and they are armed with 'Hellfire' missiles. These terms--Spirit, Reaper, Hellfire--are theological terms and, as used here at Whiteman, are shear blasphemy!"

Terrell noted his best times during his six-months imprisonment in South Dakota were spent walking a large circle path outside in the cold, even in minus-40-degree wind chill, times when no one else was out walking, unlike warm days when the path became Grand Central Station. He called his prison time "highly productive" for thinking/praying/planning. He later asked whether any locals had come forward to say they will do civil resistance during the May 30-June 1 Trifecta Resista that will return to Whiteman AFB. The answer: not yet. For info on that resistance weekend, see www.PeaceWorksKC.org.

Rally organizer Jeff Stack of Columbia, Mo., head of the Mid-MO Fellowship of Reconciliation, asked protester Jo Ann Witt of Kansas City to say a few words about why she came to the rally. "Because so many innocent civilians have been killed by the drones," said Witt, moved to tears.

McGovern thanked Witt for her tears, noting they were the humane response to the horror of drone warfare that the U.S. has unleashed.

Tamara Severns of PeaceWorks-KC arrested by surprise at drone protest

Tamara Severns of Kansas City, Mo., was arrested unexpectedly during an April 6 protest of drone warfare at Whiteman Air Force Base, near Knob Noster, Mo. A member of the PeaceWorks, Kansas City, Board of Directors and a Co-member of the Loretto Community, Tamara was walking toward the Visitors' Center to use the bathroom. She and other resisters had used those facilities with no problem during about five earlier protests. On April 6, Tamara and several others had arrived at the base entry after authorities had warned the resisters not to step across the white line on the entry road. Unaware that "the rules" had changed, Tamara crossed the line to go toward the Visitors' Center, was taken into custody with no warning, and was handcuffed, searched, and detained on the base about an hour.

"The officer said, 'Turn around. You're being arrested,' and clamped the metal handcuffs on my wrists," Tamara said after her release. "They gave me no warning to leave the property." Her wrists still showed red marks two hours after the handcuffs were removed. A male officer twisted the chain between her handcuffs to direct her where to walk and to hurt her, Tamara said. "I was scared because he was being so rough."

Tamara received a U.S. District Court Violation Notice for "trespassing on military installation" and expects to be summoned to court. Brian Terrell of Maloy, Iowa, a speaker at the rally, said later he hoped Tamara would not be taken to court because no date or location was listed on the notice. Tamara fears she will receive a court date because the officers told her she would, and it says it on the ticket.

One complicating factor: Officer John Sullivan, who was debriefing the protesters, had gotten inaccurate information from someone else, said Tamara. Sullivan told protest organizer Jeff Stack that another security officer said Tamara had tried to go around the driver's side of the police car toward the Visitor's Center after being advised not to. The truth, said Tamara, was that she never left the sidewalk on the right side of the car and no one said anything except "You're being arrested."

Protester Vicke Hooper Kepling, on her Facebook page April 7, wrote this about Tamara: "She walked to the bathrooms ... like she had done at other protests ... AND GOT TICKETED (detained, felt up, the works). I said "ticketed," but I believe she was actually arrested. I woke up thinking about it. She may face the same fate as the three who intentionally crossed two years ago. One actually did six months in federal prison, and the other got five years probation (reduced to one). I wasn't putting the same weight on it because of her intention (and that she and others had used the restrooms before). But after reconsideration, I bet it's the same."

Former CIA intelligence analyst Ray McGovern, who spoke during the rally, said afterwards, "It's so obvious Tamara's civil rights under the First Amendment have been violated. Somebody said to this officer, 'Make an example of Tamara and brutalize her,' and he did."

 


ATTACHMENT B

THE U.S. KILLER DRONE PROGRAM IS GROWING

 By Nick Mottern

1. Numbers of Drone Attacks.

This week a counter-drone war https://notabugsplat.com poster project went viral, and reports about the project said that people in the Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa region of Pakistan, where the poster was laid out, “say attacks by the pilotless aircraft are a part of daily life.” http://news.yahoo.com/girl-pakistan-drone-installation-not-a-bug-splat-140003715.html

If this report on the frequency of drone attacks in Pakistan is accurate, we are confronted with the question of what we really know about the level of U.S. drone activity.

So far, many of us have been looking to reports from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism to gauge the level of U.S. drone attacks and the intensive, constant surveillance that goes with them.  The Bureau has reported just reported a 96- day lull in drone attacks in Pakistan, and an increase in drone attacks in Yemen.  (No organizaton is even attempting to report accurately on drone attacks in Afghanistan, apparently because drone killing there is viewed by some as more legally acceptable there under international law than elsewhere.)

http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2014/04/01/march-2014-update-us-covert-actions-in-pakistan-yemen-and-somalia/

The 2012 report of the Columbia University Law School, http://web.law.columbia.edu/human-rights-institute/counterterrorism/drone-strikes/counting-drone-strike-deaths

points out that all organizations reporting on drone attacks are up against the basic reality of not having accurate on-the-ground accounts of each and every drone attack.  The report calls for more information from the U.S. government, but it also offers this EXTREMELY important observation:

“The estimates provide a dangerous assurance: the human toll is something we have identified, debated and considered.  If we know who and how many people we have killed, calls to examine and deliberate on the drone program – and calls to end it – lose their urgency.”

2. Drone Attack Cover-up.

There is the real possibility, if not likelihood, that the U.S. is responding to international and domestic criticism of its drone attacks by clamping down harder on any information about the attacks. 

It is also appears that, in Yemen and probably elsewhere, there will be assassination from the air by the U.S. using “piloted” aircraft in company with drones to conceal just how much killing is being done by drones.  I put “piloted” in quotes because it appears that the crop duster planes referred to in this linked article may amount, effectively, to drones with Yemeni pilots strapped on board for show.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/aramroston/exclusive-for-a-new-type-of-targeted-killing-yemenis-and-ame

3. Numbers of Hunter - Killer Drone Control Bases Increasing Inside the U.S.

A 2012 War Department report showed 24 existing or planned drone control or training bases for MQ-9 Reaper and/or MQ-1 Predator drones within the U.S. http://www.fas.org/irp/program/collect/uas-future.pdf   The Reaper and Predator drones, termed by the military as hunter-killers, are the only operational attack drones being used by the U.S. at the moment.

However, since then at least another six have been added that were not on the list.  They are located in: Des Moines, IA; Nashville, TN; Battle Creek, MI; Springfield, OH; Niagara Falls, NY; and Horsham, PA, all at Air National Guard (ANG) bases, and most replacing other types of air operations that are being phased out.  Dave Lambert, in Fort Wayne, IN, said there are rumors that drone training will replace operations of the A-10 Warthog ground support plane at the Fort Wayne ANG base.

The opening of these new bases, and this may not be a complete listing, suggests a decision within the Obama Administration to widen long-term use of U.S. hunter-killer drones around the world.  One can get a sense of the official energy behind this project from the ANG website linked below, forwarded by Bob Smith, Coordinator of the Brandywine Peace Community in Pennsylvania, which is fighting the establishment of a drone base in Horsham.

http://goang.com/About/Missions/SpecialOperations

Note that there has been no explanation for these or the other 24 bases coming from the Administration of the Congress.   Word from members of Congress has been limited to self-congratulation for supposedly saving jobs that would have otherwise been lost with the phasing out of  various air units.

The increase in bases may be related to the planned increase in the numbers of Reaper drones, which now number about 300, to a total of 400 by FY2021.  (The U.S. has about 200 Predator drones.)

4. Gray Eagle Units

As described in the article linked below, the Army intends to operate its own fleet of 152 Gray Eagle drones, giving each Army division its own drone company. This will be in addition to the Predator and Reaper drones now controlled by the CIA, the Air Force and the Air National Guard. http://www.militarytimes.com/article/20130203/NEWS/302030318/Army-equips-every-division-massive-UAV

The Gray Eagle is a more powerful version of the Predator that can carry four instead of two Hellfire missiles.   As the article says, the Army hopes to use these drones, flown by drone operators riding in helicopters, to conduct attacks while being far away from the battlefield.  It is highly likely, however, that the wide-ranging “eyes” of the Gray Eagles will fall on many civilians who will be seen as suspected combatants or combatants supporters.

The article says that Gray Eagles are being used in Afghanistan in a limited way, which appears to be experimental; it also says the program is encountering technical problems. 

Certainly these drones will be used in “counter-insurgency”, which practically speaking is a term for killing and terrorizing people who are fighting to control their own land and resources.

5. The Drone Operators

The poster mentioned in the first paragraph is, among other things, an appeal to drone operators to think about what they are doing, to think about the executions they are doing and to stop.  It is an appeal to conscience.

The appeal to conscience is implicit in our continuing protests, but the poster suggests that we should give consideration to ways in which we can systematically make explicit, direct appeals to the consciences of the women and men who are using drone cameras every day to intimately follow, to stalk, their fellow humans as prey and then, from time to time, kill them.

In making this appeal, it seems important to seek to educate not only the operators but the public on the nature of the war that is being fought, that it is not about “terrorism” but about control of resources. 

Key points for this education can be found in the still timely Beyond Viet Nam, the speech delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4, 1967 at a meeting in Riverside Church in New York, organized by Clergy and Laity Concerned, exactly one year before Dr. King was assassinated.  http://mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu/index.php/encyclopedia/documentsentry/doc_beyond_vietnam/

A point of moral reference is also provided in the sermon of El Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero, in which he called on Salvadoran soldiers to disobey orders to kill:

"Brothers, you came from our own people. You are killing your own brothers. Any human order to kill must be subordinate to the law of God, which says, 'Thou shalt not kill'. No soldier is obliged to obey an order contrary to the law of God. No one has to obey an immoral law. It is high time you obeyed your consciences rather than sinful orders. The church cannot remain silent before such an abomination. ...In the name of God, in the name of this suffering people whose cry rises to heaven more loudly each day, I implore you, I beg you, I order you: stop the repression."

The power of his words was underscored by his assassination a day later, March 24, 1980, while he was celebrating Mass.