Six peace activists arrested blocking Creech drone base’s front gate 

Photo by John Amidon

from Shut Down Creech

Week-long Actions Protest Killing of Civilians in Expanding U.S. Killer Drone Program
CREECH Air Force Base, Nevada – Six people – holding up bloody hands to illustrate everyone’s complicity in war crimes – were arrested at Creech drone base about 7:50 a.m. on Wednesday, April 3 as they stood at the entrance to Creech Air Force Base drone center in an attempt to stop the killing of civilians in the ever-expanding, worldwide U.S. killer drone program.

Two women and four men – two of whom are military veterans – were arrested and taken to the Clark County Jail on misdemeanor counts. When arrested they were holding a banner reading:  “Drones = Blood on our Hands.” The theme of the protest was “No more blood on our hands. Stop the terror. Stop the drone wars.”

About two dozen activists from all over the U.S. protested at Creech that day. The drone base has been the target of five days of protests which started on April 1. Anti-war activists from throughout the U.S. are holding twice daily actions – 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. during commute hours in and out of the Southeast gate.

This was the 5th annual twice-yearly national mobilization against drone warfare at Creech, and the 10th anniversary year that San Francisco CODEPINK has been organizing protests against these inhumane remote killings that are controlled from Creech Air Force Base.

Photo by John Amidon

The drone center at Creech Air Force Base is a key control center in the covert U.S targeted assassination program, using unmanned, remotely controlled drones.  At Creech, both the Pentagon and the CIA use the U.S. Air Force to execute their targeted assassinations around the globe. 

Under President Trump’s administration, the use of drones to kill military targets has tripled in frequency according to some estimates, but caution has decreased.  Just this year President Trump has loosened the oversight of these secret killings by eliminating the requirement placed by the Obama administration to account for civilian deaths in drone attacks. 

The Pentagon and CIA continue to deny any significant civilian deaths from most drone attacks, and often do not even distinguish the use of drones in most of their air strikes. However, a just released Amnesty International Investigative Report on drone killings in Somalia alone indicates that, in fact, significant civilian casualties are occurring. At least 14 civilians were killed in only five strikes, and the U.S. has engaged in more than 100 drone strikes since 2017.

Anti-drone commercials are appearing periodically on CNN, MSNBC, FoxNews and other networks:

 Daily Vigil Themes:

Mon. (4/1) AM:  SHUT DOWN CREECH!   STOP KILLER DRONES!  Protestors will demand base conversion to a facility that serves people and supports human needs. Put an end to cyber warfare!   “Drones Make Enemies!”  “End the terror of U.S. Drone Attacks.” “Drone Attacks are War Crimes.”

Tues. (4/2) AM Funeral Procession with coffins to mourn the deaths of victims of US drone strikes and all U.S. air strikes around the globe.  A somber funeral procession along highway 95 at the entrance to Creech:  Dressed in black, with white masks, carrying coffins with labels of each of the 7 + countries the US is bombing. “Victims of Terror” Altar:  with candles, flowers and names and photos of some of the child and adult victims of U.S. drone attacks, including Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, the 16 yr old American boy killed by a U.S. drone missile in Yemen in 2011.

Wed. (4/3) AM: ARRESTS EXPECTED. Nonviolent Civil Resistance, where activists will risk arrest in order to temporarily halt the “killing business as usual” at Creech AFB.  The action will also be a solidarity action for Venezuela, which is currently being threatened by a possible U.S. Coup.  Messages: “U.S. Bloody Hands OFF Venezuela!”  “Let Venezuela Live.” “Not One More War, Not One More Regime Change.”  In November of last year, Venezuelan President, Juan Maduro, narrowly missed an attempted drone attack on his life.  Many suspect the U.S. was involved in that failed assassination attack.

Thurs. (4/4) AM:   NO to NATO, YES to PEACE.   On the 70th Anniversary year of the founding of NATO, peace activists are calling for worldwide actions against the western military conglomerate known as NATO, that has led aggressive wars on numerous countries around the world, causing immeasurable suffering and death for too many years.  This vigil will be a solidarity action in support of this worldwide call to action.

Fri. (4/5)  FLY A KITE, NOT A DRONE.  In honor of the people of Afghanistan who have suffered horribly from nearly 17 years of U.S. occupation.  The western world has not reasonably kept track of the number of lives lost, and number of injuries caused by U.S. drones and conventional weapons used in Afghanistan.  However, Afghanistan is “The most droned place in the world.”  Since kite-flying is a favorite past-time in their culture, our last morning vigil will fill the skies near Creech Air Force Base with color and joy, reminding U.S. troops that the way of peace is one that builds community and love, and joy. There is a better way than the way of war….one that is best for all of us. 

“Even our U.S. soldiers are suffering terribly under the ongoing barrage of U.S. drone strikes,” says Toby Blomé, one of the organizers.  “The drone operators return home each day to greet their families after killing remotely all day during their work shifts.  This inhuman disconnect leads to untold trauma on their lives as well, causing PTSD, high suicide rates, divorce and other psychological problems amongst them.”

Daily afternoon vigils are less structured, except for April 4, when activists will honor Martin Luther King Jr., on the anniversary of his assassination:  “The greatest purveyor of violence in the world is my own government.”   (MLK, 1968)