Four arrests during road blockade into Beale drone base

4 Arrested on October 30 While Blocking Military Drone Base; 
Traffic Blocked at Beale Air Force Base Entrance for Nearly an Hour

BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, near Wheatland, California – Four demonstrators were arrested early in the morning of Tuesday, October 30 during a protest in opposition of the ongoing 17-year U.S. bombing campaign in Afghanistan and U.S. occupation of one of the poorest countries in the world. 

For nearly an hour, traffic was backed up for a half mile or more down two merging roads as protesters – arriving in the dark of early morning – blocked the main entrance road into Beale Air Force Base, near Wheatland, California. 

Shirley Osgood distributed flyers of the Nuremberg Principles to people in their cars.

Activists stretched a large banner across the road that said: “STOP DRONING AFGHANISTAN;  17 YEARS ENOUGH!”  

One of the banner holders noticed a young airman in uniform flashing them the peace sign as he followed other cars driving onto the shoulder to get around the blockade and into the base.

Four protesters were arrested, and held for 2.5 hours in military jail cells on the base. They face misdemeanor trespassing charges in U.S. Court with a maximum penalty of six months in federal prison. Those arrested were Michael Kerr, Bay Point, California; Mauro Oliveira, Montgomery Creek, California; Shirley Osgood, Grass Valley, California and Toby Blomé, El Cerrito, California.

Afghanistan, referred to as “the most droned country on earth,” has over 40,000 foreign troops, including U.S. military, allied forces and private mercenaries. “Mission Accomplished” was declared by two previous U.S. administrations, Bush and Obama, yet, after October 7, the 17th anniversary of the U.S. invasion, the bombing campaign continues under President Trump with no end in sight. 

Beale Air Force Base is intimately involved in the U.S. drone assassination program.  Airmen at Beale who are in the covert unit that controls the U.S. Global Hawk surveillance drone work cooperatively with armed drone operators elsewhere to surveil, target, and execute drone strikes remotely in foreign countries. Thousands of civilians have been killed, and funerals, wedding parties, mosques, schools and other public gatherings have been attacked by U.S. remotely controlled planes, known as drones.  

Just two weeks ago, on October 12, over 75 Somali new young “recruits” with Al-Shabaab were killed by a single U.S. drone attack. “We oppose the use of armed drones in all killing attempts. This type of remotely controlled aggressive violence, without any imminent threat, has become normalized in U.S. foreign policy. “To whose benefit?” asks Toby Blomé, one of the arrestees.  “What world is being created?”  

Most often these strikes occur unannounced, without any warning.  Bodies are often charred beyond recognition.  “The relatives of the dead, the sons, fathers, cousins and even friends of the killed, could easily become the next recruits for any militant organization. This is no solution, and only further destabilizes any community,” says Ms. Blomé.

Activists arrested said they are committed to continue their ongoing anti-drone campaign at Beale Air Force Base, Creech Air Force Base and other U.S. drone bases until the cruel, illegal and immoral practice of drone killing ceases.
From Mauro Oliveira:
We had an exciting action at Beale Air Force Base. Four of us were arrested on Tuesday morning before the sun came out. I personally have not ever seen that many cars backed up and we could see in four directions. The primary route to the base had cars backed up out of site and into the distance. There were miles of cars. Although we were treated well by our captors, we engaged heavily with the truth to their propaganda. Shirley had been handing out the Nuremberg principals to drivers who had the respect and courage to roll down their windows to their Elder. Shirley is amazing in her tenacity and joyous nature. I think we really conveyed our joy today, a key component of our activism. We were motivated to attend this action today to commemorate the 17 year war in Afghanistan, the most droned place on planet earth.