Peace Activists Also Tied Migrant Crisis to U.S. Global Wars
MARYSVILLE/BEALE AFB – Nine anti-drone protestors were arrested here early Tuesday morning at the gates to Beale Air Force Base… those arrested were from Redding to Sacramento, Stockton, Bay Area to Nevada City and were released with pending federal court appearances…
Crossing the line at Beale AFB
…A giant cardboard boat was used to show solidarity with refugees fleeing war, and also signs with images of people drowning, gasping for air, calling out: “I CAN’T BREATHE!!!”
The protests was a solidarity action for global refugees. Activists publicly read tragic stories of refugees fleeing war in Syria, Yemen, Libya. They were arrested while demonstrating the urgency for a reverse in U.S. policy, calling for diplomacy, humanitarian aid, and money for human needs to solve conflicts.
This article originally appeared on openDemocracy
Although I was oblivious, in those days war clouds were gathering over Vietnam. I’m not sure why, but I signed up for the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) for college students, a program operating on many U.S. campuses. Around six weeks into my freshman year, we cadets gathered on the football field for bayonet training. There, for 40 or 50 minutes, we lunged at the air with imaginary weapons. With each lunge, we screamed, ‘Kill! Kill!’
At some moment in time I was gobsmacked by the absurdity of it all—struck by the contradiction between this exercise in the de-sensitization and normalization of murder, and the so-called Christian schooling I thought I had chosen. The next morning I told the ROTC commander that I was resigning. “You can’t resign, Kinane, he sputtered. “You’re fired!”
Members of the upstate Drone Action Coalition outside the Hancock Air Force base, New York: Ed Kinane is on the far left. Photo Credit: Upstate Drone Action
by Joy First In the first part of September, we mailed a letter to Ryan asking for a meeting on September 22 to discuss the issues of war, poverty, and the climate crisis. With a copy of that letter in hand we approached his office and noticed the sign outside the door said, “Welcome. Come In.” This was a metal sign permanently attached on the wall beside the door of every congressperson in the building. However, taped to the door was a temporary sign that read, “Entry restricted to those with an appointment.” We tried to open the door, but it was locked.
We were shocked that the door was locked. Ellen Taylor, a member of Code Pink who has been visiting members of Congress for years, said that this was the first time she had ever been locked out of a congressional office. We had posted information about going to Ryan’s office on a number of websites and so they knew we were coming, and obviously they were not interested in meeting with us.
Fatima in her mud house compound, with Ali, an Afghan Peace Volunteer teacher who helped Fatima get a proper medical assessment: photo credit- Dr Hakim
Jamila met the Afghan Peace Volunteers when Hadisa and Abdulhai visited her home in April this year as part of a survey designed to identify children who could participate in the Street Kids School. When Ali, a volunteer teacher at the Street Kids School, learned about Fatima’s illness, he introduced Jamila to Hakim, the mentor for the Afghan Peace Volunteers. Hakim is a medical doctor from Singapore. Since 2004, when he first began working in Afghanistan, Hakim has recognized that the country’s health care system is riddled by pervasively corrupt practices. Appalled by the massive doses of antibiotics prescribed for Fatima, Hakim recommended a stool sample analysis which could be done through the lab of a local hospital. The lab report showed that Fatima no longer needed the antibiotics, that her medical condition was normal.
The medical system in Afghanistan failed to help Jamila and Fatima. Lack of oversight allowed corrupt doctors and pharmacists to over-prescribe antibiotics, and Jamila had nowhere to turn for a second opinion or for any assistance. Greedy predators, purportedly delivering health care, have steadily taken money from desperate people, like Jamila, in payment for useless or even murderous treatments.
For immediate release
June 27, 2015
FOUR HANCOCK ANTI-DRONE ACTIVISTS GUILTY OF TRESPASS, BUT ACQUITTED OF DISORDERLY CONDUCT AND OF OBSTRUCTING GOVERNMENT ADMINISTRATION (OGA), A MISDEMEANOR.
SENTENCING WILL BE IN THE DE WITT (NY) TOWN COURT 6:30 P.M. JULY 8.
This afternoon (6/27), after deliberating a couple hours, a six-person jury found the four not guilty of obstructing government administration (OGA) at Hancock Air Base near Syracuse, New York, but guilty of trespass, a violation carrying a maximum 15-day imprisonment.
Today was the last day of the four-day trial presided over by Judge Joseph Zavaglia, a corporate attorney. The four were represented by Atty. Lew Oliver of Albany. They were among 31 arrested in the driveway to Hancock’s main gate on East Molloy Rd on April 28, 2013 for “dieing-in” with bloody shrouds or for attempting to read aloud to the military personnel behind Hancock’s barbed wire fence a list of children killed by U.S. drones. The activists said they sought to “prick the conscience” of base personnel and the chain of command responsible for the war crime originating there.
A new survey just released by the Pew Research Center (www.pewresearch.org) found that respondents have become much more likely to voice their disapproval over the U.S. drone assassination program. In a phone survey conducted from May 12-18, 2015, Pew found that 35 of every 100 respondents said they disapproved “of the United States conducting [drone strikes] to target extremists in countries such as Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.” The complete report of Pew’s methodology indicates that the last time they asked this particular question was from February 7-10, 2013. In that survey, only 26 of every 100 respondents disapproved, so in the span of two years the disapproval rate shot up by 9 points, constituting a 34% increase.
by Gary Corseri
(and everyone else for that matter!).
When Kathy Kelly went to jail,
the land of the free, home of the brave
bent out of shape over deflated footballs;
O’Reilly railed at one of his guests
who dared to suggest that “American Sniper”
was not a really, really good show;
“black ice” blanketed Texas to New England
as 16-wheelers careened and caromed,
haphazardly killing all the way home.
DeWitt, NY This afternoon in the DeWitt Town Court, after hearing about 90 minutes of motions, judge Robert Jokl dismissed all charges against four defendants charged following protests at Hancock Air National Guard Base “in the interest of justice.”
by Eric Vincent
When many of us think of robotic warfare, we imagine Skynet from The Terminator or the machines from The Matrix. While these films may have been the mere dreams of science fiction authors, our future may be headed in that very direction. Military drones have become a widely used tool in the Global War on Terrorism and the U.S. War in Afghanistan in particular. General Atomics, the major manufacturer of armed drones in the U.S., “has produced some 700 aircraft to date” and production continues each month (“Predator/Gray Eagle”). Although the use of drones has been marketed to the public as a surgical method of eliminating high-threat targets with minimal risk to friendly troops and civilians, the reality is drastically different. During the Obama administration, “attempts to kill 41 men [by drone strikes] resulted in the deaths of an estimated 1,147 people” and many of these collateral deaths were women and children (Ackerman).