Two activists arrested crossing onto Beale AFB with “Let Venezuela Live” sign

Photo by Janie Kesselman

Report Back:  Occupy Beale AFB

February 28 – March 1, 2019 

by Toby Blomé

“STANDING WITH VENEZUELA at Beale Drone Base!

2 Activists Arrested While Trespassing onto Beale AFB

On Thursday, February 28 and Friday, March 1, fed up with 17 years of endless wars, we were determined to bring our strong messages of solidarity with the people of Venezuela to one of the most important U.S. drone bases, Beale Air Force Base, home of the Global Hawk Drone and U2 spy plane, in Marysville, California.

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Sixteen activists, including Members of European Parliament, arrested at air base in Belgium where U.S. nuclear weapons are stored

Agir pour la Paix photo

Three Green Party politicians from Luxembourg, England and France were arrested with four Agir pour la Paix activists on February 20 in Belgium after climbing a fence to enter a military base where U.S. nuclear weapons are stored. After entering the Kleine Brogel base, they blocked the runway of F-16 fighter jets. The Members of European Parliament – Molly Scott Cato, Tilly Metz and Michele Rivasi – held a banner which read, “Europe Free of Nuclear Weapons”. The group was soon detained and taken into custody.

Nine supporters standing outside the base were also arrested, and authorities erased photos and videos from their cameras and phones.

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BOP moves elder Muslim philanthropist from prison medical center to freezing Brooklyn detention center

[Update: Power and heat was restored to MDC Brooklyn the evening of February 3. By the end of February, Rafil Dhafir was moved to FCI Allenwood Low in White Deer, Pennsylvania.]
Within days of his last contact with supporters on January 29, the federal Bureau of Prisons moved Dr. Rafil Dhafir, 70, from the medical center for federal prisoners in Massachusetts, into the Metropolitan Detention Center [MDC] in Brooklyn, New York.

The move comes just after a fire at MDC Brooklyn cut off electricity and heat to the facility as temperatures plunged below freezing to record lows, leaving prisoners and staff freezing in dark cells and corridors only dimly lit by emergency lights. Demonstrators braved the cold overnight on Saturday, February 2 in front of the 14-story prison, where officials have refused outside support. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted that “New York City is sending trucks with hundreds of blankets and hand warmers to the Metropolitan Detention Center NOW and generators are being readied for transport. We’ve told the Federal Bureau of Prisons the supplies are coming – whether they like it or not.”

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During Fast for Yemen, 11 activists were arrested at the U.S. Mission to the U.N.

Photo by George De Castro Day

from Voices for Creative Nonviolence

On January 2, 2019, eleven people including Voices for Creative Nonviolence organizers Kathy Kelly and Brian Terrell were arrested blocking the entrance to the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York City, part of an on ongoing two-week “Fast for Yemen” in New York and Washington D.C.  The group and their supporters held signs and banners reading, “Food, Fuel, Medicine for Yemen” and “Stop U.S./Saudi War Crimes in Yemen”.  The eleven activists were taken to One Police Plaza for processing, charged with disorderly conduct and released 5:30 that afternoon with a court date of Monday, February 25.  

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Witness Against Torture activists arrested for sit-in at Senator Mitch McConnell’s office

Photo by Steve Pavey

from Witness Against Torture

Activists call on McConnell to schedule a vote on the War Powers Act, allowing discussion in the Senate regarding the war on Yemen, and to fully support closure of Guantanamo prison

Four human rights activists were arrested on January 10 and charged with unlawfully demonstrating inside Senate office buildings after sitting-in at the office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. They were among a group of about twenty-five Witness Against Torture activists who entered the office at 3:00 p.m. Many were clad in orange jumpsuits resembling those worn by prisoners in Guantanamo. They delivered a letter requesting McConnell’s assistance on two matters concerning human rights violations.

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Five activists arrested for bannering on the Supreme Court steps as part of “Stop Torture” protest

Photo by Steve Pavey, Hope In Focus with Witness Against Torture

from Witness Against Torture

Activists participate in weeklong fast calling on the U.S. to stop support for the murderous war in Yemen and close the prison camp at Guantanamo

On January 9, 2019, five human rights activists protesting all forms of torture were arrested while bannering on the Supreme Court steps. Their banner stated: “We Target. We Torture. We Terrify,” followed by the question “Who Are We?” 

Joining them were dozens of protesters who formed a tableau to denounce U.S.-backed war on Yemen and call for closure of Guantanamo.

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Four arrests at Pentagon during Holy Innocents witness

from Art Laffin, Dorothy Day Catholic Worker

From December 27-28, about 20 members from the Atlantic and Southern Life communities, and other peacemaking friends, gathered for a retreat at St. Stephen and the Incarnation Church in Washington, D.C., and a nonviolent witness at the Pentagon to commemorate the Massacre of the Holy Innocents – past and present.  

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Update on the Kings Bay Plowshares

from the Kings Bay Plowshares Support Group

December 22, 2018

Friends, 

We are waiting for the decision on the Religious Freedom motions, fitting in this Advent season of waiting. A decision is expected by the end of January and then a trial date may be set. A memo from lead attorney Bill Quigley follows, explaining in more detail how he expects the legal process to proceed. There is also a note about Mark Colville’s decision to go back to jail after his successful cancer surgery.  As the season of giving comes upon us, we also come to you to ask for more donations.  

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Protests and arrests at arms fairs in Belgium and New Zealand

BRUSSELS

The European Defence Agency’s 2018 Annual Conference in Brussels was devoted to unmanned and autonomous systems, a subject high on the European decision makers’ agendas.

As part of the ongoing I Stop the Arms Trade campaign, the Belgian group Vredesactie (Peace Action) organized nonviolent direct actions at the conference. While dozens demonstrated outside on opening day, November 29, nineteen European citizens entered the conference hall with the delegates. When they continued to protest, police roughly evicted and arrested them. They were held for seven hours and had their identities registered before being released.

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Case dismissed in Kansas City court against five nuclear disarmament activists

In court after his case was dismissed, Tom Fox used the metaphor of the burning building to convey the urgency for opposing nuclear weapons: “This is our planet on fire. We must stand up and rescue the children and grandchildren!”—Photo by Jeremy Ruzich

Nukes on trial: tables are turned
After prosecution no-show, defendants speak;
verdict — nukes guilty of crimes against humanity

by Jim Hannah

The December 7 hearing at Kansas City Municipal Court was dubbed “Nukes on Trial,” but there was no trial because the lone witness for the prosecution did not come to court; no witness appeared to testify against the five defendants’ act of civil disobedience.

Nonetheless, nuclear weapons were tried and found guilty as the defendants held their own court following Judge Martina Peterson’s dismissal of charges. The five civil resisters spoke forcefully about why they had risked arrest for “crossing the line” at the new nuclear weapons parts plant in south Kansas City on May 28, 2018, during PeaceWorks-KC’s annual Memorial Day resistance.

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