21 activists arrested, some in U.S. Senate chamber, calling for accountability for police murder and U.S. torture

Photo by Justin Norman

Photo by Justin Norman

From Ferguson to Guantánamo: White Silence Equals State Violence
Demonstrators Interrupt U.S. Senate; Block D.C. Central Cell Block Entrance

from Witness Against Torture

Witness Against Torture held one action at two locations on January 12 in Washington, D.C. condemning domestic racism and the violation of human rights in the War on Terror.

Inside the United States Senate chamber at 2:30 pm, eleven demonstrators interrupted Senate proceedings to call for prosecutions of those who committed torture, as detailed in the U.S. Senate report on CIA interrogations. Chanting “Torture, It’s Official, Prosecute Now!” the protestors addressed the Senate before being arrested by Capitol Police. In the Senate Visitors Center, another group held banners with such slogans as “Accountability for Police Murder, Accountability for Torture.” Nine [or ten?] were arrested in the Visitors Center.

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Two activists arrested during torture protest at Dick Cheney’s house

B6_6ZSRCMAIZkMvWitness Against Torture and Code Pink mark 14th anniversary of opening of Guantanamo prison with torture protest on Dick Cheney’s lawn

WASHINGTON, Jan 10 (Reuters) – Two protesters were arrested at the McLean, Virginia, home of former Vice President Dick Cheney on Saturday after 20 demonstrators, some in orange prison jumpsuits, walked onto his property to mark the 14th anniversary of the opening of Guantanamo Bay prison.

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~ from MDC Brooklyn by Sr. Megan Rice, imprisoned nuclear disarmament activist

page1image400December 10, 2014

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Following Thanksgiving time, and preparing to celebrate the gifting time, I again find a shared response to all our faithful correspondents most appropriate. Once again, especially moved by a passage from Matthew 11, for today, speaking clearly of gifts treasured by prophets everywhere. I quote Jesus’ own in: “Take upon you my yoke (I give you these gifts); I am gentle and humble of heart, and you’ll find rest…” Surely gifts relevant to many in the daily reports of activity stirred by events in Ferguson, Staten Island and Cleveland. Both the nonviolent responses nightly to police brutality, and on Democracy Now! today to Diane Feinstein’s reportage on the long-standing use of torture by the CIA; along with the Nobel Peace Prize committee choosing Malala* at 17 for her activism for education for girls, along with 60-year-old teacher Kailash Satyarthi’s struggle for the rights of children in India as elsewhere. Surely gifts to us all, and to be practiced along with the gentleness and humility they imply if we are able to receive with the truths they expose.

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Security breach by protesters at UK drone base; four arrested

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photo by Chris Cole

Peacemakers open gateway for peace at drone base

On January 5, four protesters were arrested inside RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire protesting the continuing use of armed drones. The protesters cut through the fence creating a “New Year gateway for peace” at the base and made their way towards the Reaper Ground Control Station from which RAF pilots are remotely operating armed drones over Iraq. They carried banners as well as reports of civilian casualties arising from recent UK, NATO and coalition airstrikes in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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Ten arrested at Feast of the Holy Innocents witness at Pentagon

A Free Speech Line.dibby Art Laffin

On December 29, over 50 people from the Atlantic and Southern Life Communities held a nonviolent witness at the Pentagon to commemorate the feast of the Massacre of the Holy Innocents (the actual feast was on Sunday, December 28). The noon-time witness began with a procession in which participants carried banners and signs from Army Navy Drive to the designated “protest” area located near the Pentagon south metro entrance. The lead banner, carried by young adults, read: “Peace To All Children of the Earth.”

Upon our arrival we encountered a sizable Pentagon police presence who directed everyone to go into the fenced off designated protest area. Ten did not comply and proceeded farther along the building side of the sidewalk holding a large banner that said “Wage Peace–Practice Nonviolence.” I also held a sign which said “Love Your Neighbor Means Don’t Bomb, Occupy and Kill Them!” At first, it appeared the ten of us would be stopped. But surprisingly, we were able to move farther down the sidewalk so that we could face the rest of the community who were directly across from us behind the fence in the police designated protest area.

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Five protesters arrested for painting nuclear abolition message on fence of Scotland’s Trident base

fence painting best picfrom Trident Ploughshares

Scrap Trident Message Painted on Faslane Fence

Five protesters from the campaign group Trident Ploughshares were arrested on December 17 after painting on the Faslane fence a demand for the abolition of all nuclear weapons and for the UK’s Trident sytem to be scrapped.

One of the protesters, Brian Quail said “Trident Ploughshares warmly welcomes Nicola Sturgeon’s pledge made yesterday with Leanne Wood of Plaid Cymru and Natalie Bennet of the Greens never to work with any Westminster party that supports Trident replacement and calls on the UK government to disarm its nuclear weapons without delay. ”

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Dr. Shakir Hamoodi, in prison for violating Iraq sanctions, released to halfway house

548bdddc04df9.imagefrom the Support Dr. Shakir Hamoodi Facebook community

Dr. Shakir Hamoodi was released from the Federal Prison Camp in Leavenworth, Kansas this week, and transferred to a halfway house in Columbia, Missouri. He will stay there for an undetermined time, then transfer to house arrest (in his home) until the end of his sentence. Although the halfway house is not ideal, this is one step closer to the time he completes his sentence – a sentence he is serving because he paid for food, medicines, clothing, and shelter for his own poor family members who were suffering under the brutal sanctions on Iraq from 1991-2003.   His final release date is April 7, 2015.

You can read background information here.

DECEMBER 27 UPDATE – Dr. Hamoodi is now under house arrest.  Read more here.

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Drones and Discrimination: Kick the Habit

kathy_kellyby Kathy Kelly, Voices for Creative Nonviolence

On December 10, International Human Rights Day, federal Magistrate Matt Whitworth sentenced me to three months in prison for having crossed the line at a military base that wages drone warfare. The punishment for our attempt to speak on behalf of trapped and desperate people, abroad, will be an opportunity to speak with people trapped by prisons and impoverishment here in the U.S.

Our trial was based on a trespass charge incurred on June 1, 2014. Georgia Walker and I were immediately arrested when we stepped onto Missouri’s Whiteman Air Force where pilots fly weaponized drones over Afghanistan and other countries. We carried a loaf of bread and a letter for Brig Gen. Glen D. Van Herck.

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Kathy Kelly receives 3 month prison sentence for drone protest

Kathy and Georgia after court. Photo by Jane Stoever

Kathy and Georgia after court. Photo by Jane Stoever

Two peace activists sentenced for drone warfare protest at Whiteman Air Force Base

from Voices for Creative Nonviolence

On December 10, Human Rights Day, a federal magistrate found Georgia Walker of Kansas City, Missouri and Kathy Kelly of Chicago, Illinois guilty of criminal trespass to a military installation. On June 1, the women attempted to deliver a loaf of bread and a citizens’ indictment of drone warfare to authorities at Whiteman Air Force Base. Judge Matt Whitworth sentenced Kelly to three months in prison and Walker to one year of supervised probation. Kelly will begin her prison sentence in January.

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Supporters celebrate when drone protester didn’t receive jail time at sentencing; a year or more was expected

Mark Colville with his family before sentencing.

Mark Colville with his family before sentencing.

Surprise Conditional Discharge for Hancock Drone Resister Mark Colville

Mark Colville, a Catholic Worker from New Haven, Connecticut, was sentenced on December 3 in DeWitt Town Court on 5 charges stemming from a protest at Hancock Air National Guard Base on December 9 of last year, when he and two Yale Divinity School students presented flowers and a People’s Order of Protection for the children of Afghanistan and their families at the guard gate. In a surprise decision, Judge Robert Jokl sentenced Colville to a 1 year Conditional Discharge and $1000 fine. He said that sending Colville to prison would not serve justice, nor would parole serve any good purpose, and he did not issue a permanent Order of Protection.

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