Six blockaders of main gate at Holloman drone base arrested

April 24 blockade of the West Gate at Holloman Air Force Base

Six activists were arrested while blocking the main gate to Holloman Air Force Base on the morning of April 24 in a protest against the use of killer military drones. Denise Sellers (San Diego, CA), John Reese (High Rolls/Mtn. Park, NM), Natasha Robinson (Berkeley, CA), Toby Blomé (El Cerrito, CA), Virginia Hauflaire (Phoenix, AZ) and Ray Cage (Tucson, AZ) were released that afternoon after being arraigned.

The group released a statement: 

“This morning the West then Main Gate to Holloman Air Force Base were blocked during the morning commute. Initially five peace activists blocked entry for 20 minutes to the West Gate of Holloman Air Force Base using banners and signs stating: ‘U.S. Drone Warfare is Terrorism’; ‘Holloman: Stop Training Drone Assassins!!!’; ‘No Tax $$ for Genocide’.  Some of the blocked cars crossed the highway to go back to the Main Gate. Otero County Sheriff officers arrived. The activists went to the Main Gate.

“At the Main Gate, six activists blocked the roadway just feet away from the entrance into Holloman Air Force Base using signage stating: ‘Drone Pilots Refuse to Fly’; ‘Free Palestine’; ‘Honor our Vets, End War’; ‘No More War’. The activists chanted: ‘We will not be complicit; Stop the drone killing; Stop the genocide.’ Within 10 minutes, Otero County Sheriff officers arrived and arrested the six that were blocking the roadway.”

The actions that morning were part of a week of focused nonviolent actions outside Holloman Air Force Base, a U.S. military drone base near Alamogordo, New Mexico. The week was organized by the Shut Down Drone Warfare coalition, and co-sponsored by CODEPINK, Veterans for Peace and Ban Killer Drones. 

Activists from four different states participated in the week of protest, including daily peace vigils during the morning and afternoon commute hours. Participants were there to educate Air Force personnel about the full effects of U.S. globalized militarization, and in particular the failings of the U.S. drone program and to urge those training to reconsider their participation, which often leads to significant psychic trauma. 

Holloman Air Force Base, on Hwy 70 in southern New Mexico, has become the largest drone training program in the U.S., graduating over 700 pilots and operators annually. 

Alamogordo resident Scott Thompson said, “Our government primarily serves an elite class that profits from wars and is unconcerned with the suffering we inflict on other humans. It is the duty of every good citizen to look beyond the headlines and understand the inhumane waste of resources making unconstitutional wars on others. Via public outreach and thoughtful actions we hope to get the attention of the misinformed.”

Organizer Toby Blomé, said, “In spite of 14 years of persistent opposition to the U.S. drone program and the terror it brings to vulnerable communities, the Pentagon and the drone industry profiteers are plowing forward, creating an ever more destabilized world of weaponized drones. We will not be silent while young recruits continue to be trained in these heinous acts of remotely controlled killing, ultimately becoming victims themselves due to the consequences of severe moral injury. This is not the world we want for our grandchildren, nor for the generations that follow them.”

For more information, visit


Peaceful Interruption of Illegal Drone Training Activity at Holloman’s Main Gate HERE. (1 min.)  

Fred Bialy’s Short Video of Action at West Gate HERE