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Nonviolent Resistance in the U.S. to Drone Warfare

category international | anti-war / imperialism | press release author Sunday February 17, 2013 22:52author by Solidarity Report this post to the editors

VID Brian Terrell, Catholic Worker presently serving 6 months in U.S.prison for nonviolent resistance to drone warfare...
*Write solidarity letters or postcards to
Brian Terrell 06125-026 ,FPC Yankton, POB 700, Yankton, SD 57078. U.S.A.
(Convicted of trespass at drone protest, Whiteman AFB, Missouri U.S.A.)


Around 3:30pm today (Ash Wednesday Feb. 13th. 2013), 9 individuals were arrested by DeWitt Police and Onondaga County Sheriffs for peaceably blocking the main entrance to Hancock Air Base on East Molloy Rd in the town of DeWitt, a Syracuse, NY suburb. Hancock is the regional hub for the hunter/killer Reaper drone deployed over Afghanistan, Pakistan and, increasingly, elsewhere.

This nonviolent civil resistance is the most recent in a series of actions at Hancock meant to expose and deter the Reaper war crimes originating there. Over the last two years dozens of Upstate Drone Action members have been arrested as we sought to communicate our concerns to the Base Command and personnel by delivering to them a Citizens’ War Crimes Indictment [see attached]. Ironically, at a base bristling with lethal weaponry, the bases Mission Support Group Commander, Col. Earl A. Evans, once again, requested and received from the Dewitt Town Court an order of protection against the nonviolent activists. The activists are bewildered by the request and the Courts acquiescence to it, not merely for its demeaning implications but for its as yet unknown legal ramifications. Currently, 20 non-violent citizens have received this order.

According to Upstate Drone Action member, Jim Clune,
“The Reaper strikes and the United States’ killer drone policies have taken the lives of thousands in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere. These strikes are illegal and immoral. Under international agreements, which the US has signed, the killing of civilians, extra-judicial murder, violation of national sovereignty, and violation of due process are all illegal acts.”

Father Bill Pickard , member of Pax Christi, further noted:
“We came to Hancock Air Base this Ash Wednesday to repent for the actions of our government and to ask God’s forgiveness and the forgiveness of the people we daily terrorize with these weaponized drones.”

Those arrested today include:
Bill Frankel-Streit, Trevilians, VA…. Nancy Gowen, Richmond, VA…. Ellen Grady, Ithaca, NY….
Linda LeTendre, Saratoga Springs, NY….Rev. Bill Pickard, Scranton, PA…. Matt Ryan, Ithaca...
Mary Anne Grady, Ithaca, NY…. Carmen Trotta, New York, NY, Jim Clune, Binghamton.###

Statement of the Defendants
We come to Hancock Airfield, home of the National Reaper Drone Maintainence and Training center, this Ash Wednesday -- to remember the victims of our drone strikes and to ask God's forgiveness for the killing of other human beings, most especially children.
The killer drone strikes and the US's killer drone policies have taken the lives of thousands in a number of countries, such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. These strikes are illegal and immoral. Under international agreements, which the US has signed, the killing of civilians, extra-judicial murders, violations of national sovereignty, and violations of due process are ALL illegal acts.
We come to Hancock Airfield this Ash Wednesday to repent for the actions of our government and to ask God's forgiveness and the forgiveness of the people we daily terrorize with these drones.
We remind ourselves that our lives are brief and mysterious, and that "from dust we were created and to dust we shall return!" The significance of our brief animation is the degree to which we love one another.
Lent is a time to repent--literally, to change our minds. It is a time to REMIND ourselves of Jesus' command to love our neighbors and our enemies. It is a time to REMIND ourselves of Jesus' radical, non-violent message love.
Stop the Killing. Ground the Drones. STOP the Wars.

author by Letterpublication date Sun Feb 17, 2013 22:57Report this post to the editors

Dear Friends,

Greetings from the Federal Prison Camp in Yankton, South Dakota! As of this writing, I am two months into a six month sentence imposed due to my protest of war crimes committed by remote control from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri against the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Betsy accompanied me here to Yankton on November 29, and that evening the Emmaus House Catholic Worker community, Beth Preheim, Michael Sprong and Dagmar Hoxie, hosted an evening of music, good food and good company to see me off. Activists from around the Midwest attended, including some sisters from the Benedictine monastery here.

In the morning after a great breakfast and Gospel prayer, Betsy and Dagmar and Michael, along with Renee Espeland and Elton Davis, Catholic Workers from Des Moines, and Jerry Ebner, a Catholic Worker from Omaha, walked a “last mile” with me to the gate of the prison where I expect to remain until the end of May.

An article in that morning’s Yankton Daily Press and Dakotan, “Terrell: American Drone Strikes Must Stop”, based on an interview from the previous day, was widely read by prisoners and keepers alike and made for an interesting reception. It helped to have a sympathetic introduction to the local paper with a clear explanation of the issues that led me to Whiteman and then to Yankton.
While I have been in prison camps like this on several occasions before, most of my experience of incarceration has been in county and city jails, crowded, dank, airless, filthy, windowless boxes of concrete and steel, with hideous acoustics and where weeks can go by without a breath of fresh air. Yankton is not like this.

This prison camp occupies the derelict shell of Yankton College founded in 1881. For more than a century Yankton College operated under the motto, “Christ for the world.” A federal prison since 1988, this place retains the appearance of the small, private, liberal arts college in a small Mid-American town that it once was. Most buildings are on the historical register and still bear the names of alumni and benefactors. The class of 1938 is still memorialized in a marble tablet set in the sidewalk that hundreds of convicts walk each day.

author by JoeMcpublication date Mon Apr 29, 2013 00:32Report this post to the editors

Around 600 UK demonstrators marched yesterday from Lincoln to the RAF base Waddington where control of British drone use in Afghanistan moved to earlier in the week. All UK Reaper drones had up until this week been operated from a USAF base in Nevada. March organisers said that the switching of control of flights to the UK from Nevada marked a "critical expansion in the UK’s drones programme". The protesters from the Drone Campaign Network, Stop the War Coalition, CND and War on Wants called on the UK government to abandon the use of drones,

Read more:

A child handles a Lego model of a Reaper Drone in this Youtube clip

How drone manufacturer BAE uses LEGO to groom children

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