Jefferson City, MO— On December 10, a federal magistrate found Georgia Walker, of Kansas City, MO and Chicagoan Kathy Kelly guilty of criminal trespass to a military installation as a result of their June 1 effort to deliver a loaf of bread and a citizens’ indictment of drone warfare to authorities at Whiteman AFB. Judge Matt Whitworth sentenced Kelly to three months in prison and Walker to one year of supervised probation.
In testimony, Kelly, who recently returned from Afghanistan, recounted her conversation with an Afghan mother whose son, a recent police academy graduate, was killed by a drone as he sat with colleagues in a garden. “I’m educated and humbled by experiences talking with people who’ve been trapped and impoverished by U.S. warfare,” said Kelly. “The U.S. prison system also traps and impoverishes people. In coming months, I’ll surely learn more about who goes to prison and why.”
For immediate release: Dec. 5, 2014
‘Drones on Trial’ at federal court in Jefferson City Dec. 10
On International Human Rights Day, Dec. 10, two peace activists, charged with criminal trespass, will be tried in Jefferson City, Mo. The charge is based on an action at Whiteman Air Force Base last June 1st protesting U.S. use of weaponized drones which are remotely piloted from the base. The trial testimony is expected to reflect a Nov. 24, 2014, report that for every intended target of a U.S. drone strike, 28 unidentified persons are also killed. Drones change the nature of warfare, turning whole regions into battlefields where merely suspected militants, often uninvolved in combat, are identified and executed, without trial, from obscuring distances and with no chance to surrender.
Kathy Kelly, left, and Georgia Walker on June 1 offer Whiteman AFB guards “the bread of peace” and an indictment of all U.S. drone warfare. The guards took the bread, not the indictment, and took Kelly and Walker into custody for about an hour.
Having lived through the 1991 Desert Storm bombing and the 2003 Shock and Awe bombing in Iraq, I tread carefully when speaking about any danger greater than war that children in our world might face. I won’t forget children in Baghdadi hospitals whose bodies I have seen, wounded and maimed, after bombing campaigns ordered by U.S. leaders. I think also of children in Lebanon and Gaza and Afghanistan, children I’ve sat with in cities under heavy bombardments while their frightened parents tried to distract and calm them.
Even so, it seems the greatest danger – the greatest violence – that any of us face is contained in our attacks on our environment. Today’s children and generations to follow them face nightmares of scarcity, disease, mass displacement, social chaos, and war, due to our patterns of consumption and pollution.
_Aired on 11/24/14 on Democracy Now. Transcript from democracynow.org.
…I think it is import for people in the United States, just to try and imagine if people break into your home while helicopters are hovering overhead and suddenly the women in the household are locked up and the men are subjected to brutality, and maybe a crossfire does break out, maybe there are Taliban people that are going to attack while the forces are there and civilians are killed, and you can’t get them to the hospital, and this utter nightmare is taking place. Your home is being torn apart. Some people are going to be taken away and disappeared for months and months under interrogation and possible torture…
News agencies reported this morning that weeks ago President Obama signed an order, kept secret until now, to authorize continuation of the Afghan war for at least another year. The order authorizes U.S. airstrikes “to support Afghan military operations in the country” and U.S. ground troops to continue normal operations, which is to say, to “occasionally accompany Afghan troops” on operations against the Taliban.
by IRIN, humanitarian news and analysis, a service of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
JALALABAD, 11 November 2014 (IRIN) - Abdullah’s wails of pain are punctuated only by his rasping cough. His arms bound to his body, he is five months old but weighs just 3.2kg, lighter than some newborns. In the next bed, three-month old Shukoria looks withered and worn, her face wrinkled and pained.
Both are suffering from malnutrition, which affects more than 40 percent of Afghan children, killing thousands every year and leaving millions with permanent disabilities.
Reproduced from Amnesty International
Thousands of Afghan civilians have been killed since 2001 by international forces, and thousands more have been injured. This report examines the record of accountability for civilian deaths caused by international military operations in the five-year period from 2009 to 2013. In particular, it focuses on the performance of the US government in investigating possible war crimes and in prosecuting those suspected of criminal responsibility for such crimes. Its overall finding is that the record is poor.
by Dr. Hakim
Imal, a 7 year old Afghan student in the 2nd grade, came to visit us in Kabul.
As Imal grew up, he kept asking his mother where his father was. His mother finally told Imal that his father had been killed by a drone when he was still a baby.
If you could see Imal in this video, you would want to hug Imal immediately.
If Imal were a white American kid, this tragedy would not have befallen his father. Which American would allow any U.S. citizen to be killed by a foreign drone?
Six of the Afghan Peace Volunteers went to Delhi for an International Youth Camp on Nonviolence. They also visited and stayed at the Gandhian ashram called Ekta Parishad. Read the photo-journal here.
World Peace Gong: New Delhi