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Jury Finds Four Hancock Anti-Drone Activists Guilty of Trespass, but Acquits on All Other Charges

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.

Headlines Notwithstanding, Support for Drones Drops Slightly

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.

When Kathy Went to Jail

by Gary Corseri

(and everyone else for that matter!).(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.

Charges Dismissed for Four Hancock Protesters at Pretrial Hearing

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.”

Machines of War

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).

TV Ad Airing in Las Vegas Asks Drone Pilots to Refuse to Fly

review by David Swanson

This advertisement does a number of things in 15 seconds that U.S. television has not done before. It presents a moral case against drone murders (the U.S. government’s terminology, and strictly accurate). It opposes drone murders as illegal. It shows victims. It provides the name and website of an organization opposing drone murders. And it directly asks drone “pilots” to refuse to continue. It also makes the Nuremberg argument that an illegal order need not (in fact must not) be obeyed.

The Front Page Rule

photo courtesy of CSPANphoto courtesy of CSPAN

As drone warfare proliferates, as the stings of the drone become more lethal and terrifying, the peace activists hold a newsworthy message. I’m glad Code Pink members continually interrupt high level hearings. I hope their essential questioning will plant seeds that germinate, take root and gather underground strength.

COUNTDOWN TO CREECH

Outside Creech AFBOutside Creech AFB

Since 2009 dozens of activists have been arrested for allegedly trespassing at Creech, in attempts to stop the indiscriminate killing and burning of innocent people by drones. This year will be the largest turnout yet, and we want you to sign on!

The Ghastly, Remotely Piloted, Robotic Reaper Drone

Summing up, the Reaper is tactically clever, but strategically stupid. The Pentagon is surely aware of this insufficiency. But the Pentagon doesn’t necessarily seek to “win” its wars. The US military machine seeks to multiply enemies and keep the pot boiling, thereby devouring the national budget and perpetuating mega-profits for its corporate allies. The corporados laugh all the way to the bank.An MQ-9 Reaper: An MQ-9 Reaper sits on the flight line at Hurlburt Field Fla., April 24, 2014. (Photo: Staff Sgt. John Bainter/US Air Force)An MQ-9 Reaper: An MQ-9 Reaper sits on the flight line at Hurlburt Field Fla., April 24, 2014. (Photo: Staff Sgt. John Bainter/US Air Force)


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