Where do you turn when the Commander in Chief keeps a "kill list";
orders targeted killing by drone on several continents;supports indefinite detention without trial;
Act Now to Put All of Humanity and the Planet First.
Flora Rogers, far left, a Yuba County, California resident, is arrested Tuesday for trespassing on Beale Air Force Base as part of protests against the U.S. Military's use of drones. Also arrested, from left to right, are: MacGregor Eddy, Shirley Osgood and Michael Kerr.
photo submitted by Guari Delgado to THE UNION
4 Arrested at Beale Air Force Base while resisting drone warfare
Report by Michael Kerr, Martha Hubert and Toby Blome
On November 25-26, we held our monthly vigil that included a surprise "pre-emptive peace response" direct action on Tuesday morning against drone warfare at Beale Air Force Base. We were wearing white clothes with blue scarves in solidarity with the people of Afghanistan who want peace.
www.TheBlueScarf.org "The Blue Scarf represents the expansive blue sky we all share and has become a global symbol for togetherness. It was set in motion by a brave group of women in Afghanistan ready to be heard and is now being worn around the world as a way for people to express their solidity as global citizens for a better world."
On Monday afternoon, four of us from the Bay area went to the Doolittle Gate. There were another 6 at the Wheatland gate. Meeting at the main gate at 5:30pm, in the dark and cold, we were visited by a security detail from the base during our potluck. They advised us of the nighttime cold. When Flora, a local activist, arrived with MacGregor, we gladly accepted an offer of her warm house for the night. After our potluck, we shared two birthday cakes to celebrate the completion of our 3rd year at Beale. Three years ago this month, Toby, Martha, Lisa and Eleanor dared to come to Beale AFB in the dark of the early November morning for the first drone warfare vigil. We have since had nearly 100 different people join the vigil, 4 road blockades and numerous arrests. These past 3 years, many more people in our country have become aware of the immoral use of drones against civilians, women and children in other lands. As more and more innocents are being slaughtered by drones the outrage is intensifying.
On Tuesday morning, shortly after 5am we headed out to the Wheatland gate on S. Beale Rd., a heavily used artery into the base. 12 of us were able to again block traffic into the base at the Wheatland gate for over 30 minutes. Traffic had backed up for nearly a mile. We held out large banners with messages of peace, including the beautiful drone victim quilt, with panels of paintings showing some of the many children who have been murdered by drone warfare. The large NO DRONES light brigade signs glowed brightly in the night. The vast majority of vehicles respected our blockade without physical confrontation, but several irate motorists forced their way through the vigil. One dragged our drone quilt and other visuals several hundred feet, and put one Veteran For Peace activist, John Reiger, at risk, though luckily he was unharmed. (This led to a length discussion and learning experience for how to deal with confrontational motorists: peacefully let them through). Not all of us were able to risk arrest, thus we moved aside after Highway patrolman, Dan Yeager, arrived and gave several warnings. It is our deepest hope that in that brief period of the morning, as the war machine was momentarily halted, that maybe a human life in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia or elsewhere was saved.
Four of us, Shirley, Flora, Michael and MacGregor then walked about ½ mile down the road to the waiting military police at the base boundary, McGregor handed over the vigil's signed letter she had prepared to the base commander demanding a halt in the base participation in the drone wars. Michael, as a military veteran, told the soldiers he was there to speak on their behalf to condemn the U.S. government for forcing our military personnel to be involved in war crimes against innocent civilians. After waiting over 15 minutes for a representative of the commander, who never came, the four of us walked onto the base and were immediately arrested. We were treated well and were processed out just after 9am to the greetings of many of our fellow vigilers who had braved the cold morning air another 2 hours to support us. We then closed our usual vigil with breakfast, debriefing and planning for future drone resistance at the Brick Coffeehouse in Marysville. We will be back and we hope you will join us the next time.
Occupy Beale Air Force Base -- STOP THE DRONES
"We will put pressure on America, and our protest will continue if drone attacks are not stopped" -- Imran Khan, the leader of the Pakistan Movement for Justice (PTI) that controls Pakistan's northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
New York City's top cop got stopped and dissed Tuesday by student protesters at Brown University.
Human rights supporters opposed to U.S., NATO or Israeli intervention in Syria rallied July 10 in San Francisco's Hallidie Plaza. The speakers and activists attending the rally organized by the ANSWER Coalition vigorously oppose the Obama administration's plan, as announced by the White House on June 13, to directly supply arms to Syrian opposition forces. Protesters also oppose any intervention in Syria by NATO or Israel and any imposition of a "no fly zone," which they fear could ultimately prolong the violence and further destabilize the country. Many believe Washington's real aim is to carry out a regime change as part of its drive to create a new Middle East.
"The main thing to understand is that no matter what the conflict is within Syria--and there are many factions--this is something that the Syrian people will have to solve on their own," Sharat G. Lin of the San Jose Peace and Justice Center told the crowd. "It is our responsibility as peace activists to support the Syrian people, but if the U.S. government plays any role, it will be destabilizing, will cause resentment among the Syrian people and it will not promote democracy, that's for sure. That is why we call for no U.S. or NATO intervention in Syria or anywhere in the Middle East. We should encourage a dialogue within Syria, and also in Egypt, so the people within these countries can, over a period of time, develop their democratic institutions and choose leaders that represent their interests alone, not the interests of world capitals or U.S. hegemony."
In addition to calling for the U.S. to stay out of Syria, Stephanie Tang of World Can't Wait urged the crowd to support Edward Snowden for his courageous action in revealing the U.S. government's vast, unlawful surveillance programs. "Because of Edward Snowden, the entire world knows that the U.S. has an extensive, unbelievably universal system of political surveillance," she said. "It is intolerable; it is morally unacceptable and it's just a piece of the bigger problem--torture, drones, and the Bush Doctrine that has been expanded and refined by Obama."
Other speakers included Gloria La Riva of the Party for Socialism and Liberation and Richard Becker of ANSWER, among others.
1300 N Warehouse Rd
Ft Leavenworth KS 66027-2304
Tourists passing through Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco February 23rd were intrigued by a one-fifth-scale replica of a Reaper drone, created by knowdrones.com, which provides drone replicas and educational materials to support citizen action to achieve an international ban on weaponized and surveillance drones.
A 1/5 scale replica of an MQ-9 Reaper drone crafted by knowdrones.com, which provides drone replicas and educational materials to support citizen action to achieve an international ban on weaponized and surveillance drones. (photo Phil Pasquini)
see Decoding Drones
The Bureau's new study focused mainly on strikes around a single village in North Waziristan -- attacks that were aimed at one of al Qaeda's few remaining senior figures, Yahya al-Libi. He was finally killed by a CIA drone strike on June 4 2012.
Cenk Uygur breaks it down.
Hands off Edward Snowden and Julian Assange, Free Bradley Manning
Thanks to Army PFC Bradley Manning and press coverage of the court martial trial he has endured, we've witnessed the great lengths President Obama will go to silence the truth about U.S.-sanctioned murder across the globe.
Yesterday a crowd gathered at Powell/Market plaza to respond to the military verdict handed down earlier earlier in the day, rallying public support for reduced or suspended sentencing (Bradley is facing 130 years in prison if prosecutors get their way). New friends joined the Bradley Manning support network for a march around Union Square, taking it to the streets and disrupting cable car service for a brief period. Tourists and shoppers joined in chants of "Hey Bradley, we got your back!" and "Whistleblowing is not a crime... Bradley Manning is a Hero."
That same day, European Parliamentarians called on President Obama to free Manning:
"As Members of the European Parliament, who were elected to represent our constituents throughout Europe, we are writing to express our concerns about the ongoing persecution of Bradley Manning, the young U.S. soldier who released classified information revealing evidence of human rights abuses and apparent war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan... Army prosecutors closed their arguments in the case without having provided any real evidence that Bradley Manning aided the enemy."
It takes courage to expose the crimes of our government. The stakes, life imprisonment or death, couldn't be higher. Stand in support of those who have taken the leap.
More photos here.
The word "Guantanamo" came to mean torture & injustice. One of Obama's first acts as president in 2008 was an order to close Guantanamo within one year, leading most people to think the terrible violation of peoples' rights by indefinite detention without trial is over. But it isn't.
166 men remain imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay, most having never been charged with a crime.
Guantanamo hunger strikers are determined to free themselves from America's death camp -- one way or another. Lives are on the line.Prisoner lawyers describe worsening conditions, religious provocation, and the crushing reality of 11 years of indefinite detention. Forced feeding employed to keep the prisoners alive, to save face for the government, is itself a form of torture condemned by the United Nations Human Rights Commission.
Guantanamo: how will WE be judged?
Our government has done it's best to hide the torture practiced at the experimental prison camp of Guantanamo, and forestall any attempts at accountability for the perpetrators and enablers of those crimes. But thanks to the courageous actions of the prisoners held there we now know more details of continuing brutality and excuses of ignorance about what is transpiring, short of deliberate head-turning, are no longer plausible.
The U.S. engaged in torture and it is up to us to demand closure of the death camp and repudiation of the lawlessness exhibited there. The hunger strike by the Guantánamo prisoners is their cry to the world, which we must hear and support. Right now, today -- our voices and our actions can make a difference.
Don't let Obama get away with murder by attrition
There are moments in history that require a truly heroic transformation of consciousness. The prisoners' hunger strike represents a ghastly humanitarian crisis; but also presents an opportunity to raise the volume of resistance.
Anti-torture activists know that it will take a massive demonstration of support to stop the suffering and to save the lives of those who have not yet crossed the threshold beyond recovery (the body starts shutting down after 40 days of starvation; some of these men have denied food since early February).
As it stands now, the only way out of their hell-on-earth is in a coffin.
The Guantanamo hunger strikers are literally starving for your attention
Murder by neglect... is this the end of the line? Will Americans accept this version of history? Or will we step up to the task at hand and close down Guantanamo once and for all? When ignore -ance = death, silence is not an option.