Persistence will help Peace Prevail One Day!
What is the REAL State of the Union?
Drone Murder, Wars for Profit, Jailing Whistleblowers, No Jobs, Police Terror and more!
After 10 defendants were denied the right to put drone killing on trial, and their arraignment and charges were dismissed, they still showed up at the Sacramento Federal Courthouse on Tuesday, January 12 with about 2 dozen supporters. A very dramatic mock drone attack was staged with sound effects and “body parts” flying. Several mourning mothers gathered to dramatize the post-strike trauma, and the truth about drone killing: 9 of 10 killed are “unintended targets.”
[Video of Mock drone strike at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_ShUcpu_l8&feature=youtu.be]
Activists then staged several similar attacks at the courthouse and at Sacramento City Hall, where they also participated in a support rally for an ongoing homeless advocate protest and hunger strike to defend the people’s RIGHT TO REST! Homes Not Drones! Food Not Bombs!
Then on to Senator Barbara Boxer’s office to deliver a letter signed by all. Only thing is, Sen. Boxer’s staff locked us out of her 7th fl. office in the courthouse. They would not even open up the door to accept the letter from us, even though Jackie Barshak had scheduled an 11:30 a.m. appointment. That’s what democracy looks like in Amerikkka! The security guard said he would deliver the letter himself. No worries; some of us faxed the letter to her D.C. office the night before. (see letter below).
Then on to Beale Air Force Base for our monthly 2 day resistance to drone killing and global warfare. Since Obama was going to give his State of the Union Address that day, filled with the usual half truths and lies, we decided to bring the real state of the union message to the base. The photo tells all! Midway through the vigil, 5 activists marched down S. Beale Rd. toward the Wheatland gate, blocking incoming traffic during commute time for about 15 minutes, and were arrested while delivering a letter to Col. Lee, the base commander. Mauro Oliveira, Fred Bialy, Shirley Osgood, Denise Marks and Toby Blome were detained for nearly 2 hours, cited and released. Interestingly, the body pat downs were more thorough than in past times, and we were even asked to open our mouths for the first time during the search. Who knows what they were looking for?
In the morning, for an hour or so, four of us braved the rainy weather and gusty winds to demonstrate our commitment to stopping these barbaric and destructive policies. We will be back!
Next month (Mark your calendars):
Occupy Beale AFB to Stop Drone Killing and Global Warfare
February 22-23: Theme: YES to Tolerance, NO to Islamaphobia,
“We Are All Muslim,” “We are all Earthlings”
Monday, 3-5pm vigil, and 5pm potluck and encampment.
Tuesday, 6-8am vigil, and breakfast to debrief & plan
New Plan: Trial vigil at ALL 3 GATES at the same time! (Main, Wheatland and Doolittle)
LETTER TO BARBARA BOXER
United Sates Senator for California
501 I Street, Suite 7-600 Sacramento, CA 95814
January 12, 2016
Dear Senator Boxer,
Ten of your constituents would have been arraigned today for trespassing onto Beale Air Force base, protesting the Drone Warfare program of the United States. Though charges were dismissed Friday afternoon, your constituents are here today in your office to ask: What, precisely, is your position regarding the use of drones as weapons?
You have said that diplomacy is the first resort; war is the last resort. As our representative in the Senate, in the Foreign Relations Committee, please explain where diplomacy fits into the drone warfare program, as the first resort.
The Global Hawk, the one adorning your office in a photograph, flown out of Beale AFB to surveil foreign nations and individuals for the purpose of acquiring targets for a “War on Terror”, is essential to and complicit with the Predator and Reaper assassin drones. The American people have spoken out loudly, clearly and constantly that this type of warfare is not justifiable, not least because these drones are killing thousands of innocent civilians, including children. They are destroying property – homes, businesses, infrastructure. Yet terrorism continues, increasingly targeting U.S. residents, and U.S allies.
Information from the Drone Papers, leaked by an anonymous whistleblower from Obama’s intelligence community and published on The Intercept, has verified what critics, victims, human rights observers, demonstrators and activists have been saying for over ten years: the killing of innocent civilians far outweighs the military goal of killing terrorists. There is overwhelming evidence to support that the drone weapons program is a recruiting tool for extremist groups, ultimately making the entire world less safe. Four courageous drone whistleblowers, three of whom are former drone operators, stated in a public letter to President Obama that the U.S. Drone Program “is one of the most devastating driving forces for terrorism and destabilization around the world.”
Surely you realize your culpability in the deadly business of working with defense contractors such as Northrop Grumman which profits from the production of the Global Hawk? We are asking for your reasoning and for an explanation for why you, a fierce fighter for human rights, and environmental protection, would support the Drone Warfare of the United States.
Att: Open Letter to the President
Eagerly awaiting your timely response,
The Beale Ten, and many other Constituents:
The Reverend Sharon Delgado
LETTER TO COLONEL LEE
Colonel Douglas E. Lee Beale A.F.B.
Dear Colonel Lee:
We have been protesting monthly at Beale A.F.B. since November 2010, to express our grievances about the secret and illegal U.S. drone assassination program. In recent months, four courageous whistle blowers, three of whom were former drone operators, voiced the failures and wrongfulness of the U.S. drone program. Please read their letter to President Obama included here. In addition, shocking new details of U.S. drone assassination practices were revealed by leaked military documents in the Intercept report. These important leaks and truth-telling efforts confirm what we have known all along through independent studies. We are compelled today to deliver this letter to you, as the Base Commander.
The Global Hawk controlled at Beale A.F.B. is directly involved in the targeted killing program. This makes you, Colonel Lee, complicit in the wrongful assassinations.
Do you realize that the “targeted killing” strikes facilitated by your base are actually war crimes against civilians? You must know that the recent leaks of the secret military documents reveal numerous horrendous facts such as: in one six month period in Afghanistan, nine out of ten drone casualties were not the intended target.
Colonel Lee, you have an obligation to abide by the U.S. Constitution and International Law and to uphold the Geneva Convention. We call on you to publicly acknowledge the inherent injustice of the targeted killing program detailed in the Intercept report. We demand that you call for an immediate moratorium on all drone assassinations or that you resign and stop participating in any further illegal activities.
January 12, 2016
Once we became aware of the total consequences of drone warfare, we have not been able to get it out of our psyche. It requires action.
Today, 10 of us were supposed to be arraigned in the U.S. Federal Court in Sacramento for previous protests at Beale AFB. Many of us were disappointed that the charges were dismissed and that we were not able to put drone assassination and those complicit in these crimes to trial, as we had hoped. We are returning today to Beale AFB to continue our resistance to this barbaric activity. The drone killings are making the entire world unsafe, as was evident in the recent Paris bombings. We are compelled to stop business as usual on this base whenever we are able, and continue these monthly protests until drone killing is stopped for good.
Colonel Lee, we beg of you to act also! The “protective coating” around the illegal drone program is beginning to burst. Please join us and come on the side of peace!