Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Are you doing a drone action?


It was great to get so many responses to my query—Are you planning a drone action? See the list below, and make any additions and corrections. Joe Scarry can post your action.

The Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore is going to Johns Hopkins University’s Homewood Campus during Parents Day on Thursday, August 30. We want to inform the parents and new students about the drone research undertaken by JHU’s Applied Physics Laboratory. Let me know if you would be able to join us? Does anyone have a drone replica which could be brought to the campus on Thursday?

We will meet at 5 PM on August 30 at the Homewood Friends Meetinghouse, 3107 N.Charles St., 21218. Then we will march together and cross the street to go to Shriver Hall for about on hour. Let me know of your interest.



Joe Scarry, Chicago, is setting up by state simple sites (blogs) to highlight the resistance to drones. He also complements the blog postings with Twitter and Facebook activity. For example, he set up a Know Drones appearance in MD:

Paul Frazier is suggesting setting up a website calendar of anti-drone events.

We may well have some events in Portland. Trying to collaborate with Hood River folks. Ann

Thursday, August 2 -- If there's another opportunity for people to sign Obama letter, please add my name: Art Laffin

Aug. 2-- Yes, I'd join in a White House action. Our local group (North Manhattan Neighbors for Peace and Justice) is hoping to do some street vigils- maybe a petition and wrote a letter to Obama which we will try to get into our local paper [Alice Sutter]

Aug. 4 --Lars Prip and David Soumis, with a model reaper drone from Nick Mottern, have been doing weekly outreach work in Wisconsin.

They did the second Madison on the Square farmers market, went to EAA Air Venture in Oshkosh last Saturday, and are planning on being at the gate to the Wisconsin State Fair next Saturday.

So far, we have been pretty much on our own, other than friends that show up to talk, but it would be very good to have more anti-drone people there with us. We have spoken to a lot of people, have had a ton of people take pictures, and have handed out a lot of literature. The word is getting out. David Soumis, NoDronesWisconsin, Veterans for Peace

Aug. 12 -- CODEPINK Monthly Golden Gate Bridge focused on educating the public about the disastrous drone warfare that our government is propagating in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, and elsewhere, that is destabilizing the world and making more enemies. Toby Blome at or 510-215-5974.

Aug. 23 - Seventy-five protesters, many dressed in pink, gathered outside the local production plant, Largo, FL, of Raytheon on Thursday, denouncing the defense contractor for its role in drone warfare. The demonstration, organized by the groups CodePink and St. Pete for Peace, marked the unofficial start of protests surrounding the Republican National Convention, set to kick off Monday in Tampa.

Aug. 30--Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore plans to protest drone research at Johns Hopkins U during Parents Day on late August and plans to go there to vigil against drone warfare on Thur. Aug 30. Several in the group are barred from campus after spring occupation of JHU President’s office, and threatened with arrest if they go on campus.

NCNR Fall Action –Max sent email inviting others to join NCNR fall action against drones or to organize action in their area and share plans. NCNR is considering going back to Johns Hopkins. We are also considering going to White House with letter that was recently sent to Obama since we have not gotten a response.

Brian Terrell is urging people to come to Missouri on September 10 to Put the Drones on Trial! Some of the experts who will attend are Ramsey Clark, Kathy Kelly, Ann Wright and Bill Quigley will argue Constitutional and International Law to support activists in the first Anti-Drone Trial Heard in Federal Court.

Former Attorney General of the United States Ramsey Clark will be called as an expert witness in defense of two anti-drone activists on trial in United States District Court in Jefferson City, Missouri, on September 10. Bill Quigley, associate director of the Center for Constitutional Rights and a law professor at Loyola University New Orleans, & Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, will be called to witness to the effects of drone warfare on its civilian victims she has met while visiting Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The defendants, Ron Faust of Kansas City and Brian Terrell of Maloy, Iowa, participated in the April 15 “Trifecta Resista” protest at Missouri’s Whiteman Air Force Base, from where killer drones engage in combat in Afghanistan by remote control. They were arrested for trespass as they attempted to deliver an “indictment” to Brigadier General Scott A. Vander Hamm, the base’s commander. The indictment charges the chain of command, from President Obama to General Vander Hamm to the drone crews at Whiteman “with the following crimes; extrajudicial killings, violation of due process, wars of aggression, violation of national sovereignty, and the killing of innocent civilians” and demands that these crimes immediately cease. Arrested with Faust and Terrell was Mark Kenney of Omaha, who is now serving a four month federal prison sentence after pleading guilty to charges at a June 6 arraignment.

The defendants intend to prove in court that their protest was protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and also was a response to more egregious crimes committed on the base. “Drones inherently violate the laws of the United States and international law,” says Clark. “They are associated with the concept of assassination and murder.” In terms of the crimes the accused are charged with, Clark says the defendants are being denied their constitutional rights of free speech and the freedom to assemble. And their “crimes,” he says, pale in comparison to what the defendants are trying to stop.

The protest at Whiteman is one of many in response to the US government’s increasing use of drones in recent years, but the trial in Jefferson City is the first time that charges have been filed not in local courts but in US District Court. The prosecution will be handled directly by a commissioned officer in the Air Force Judge Advocate General Corps, acting as a Special Assistant United States Attorney.

On the evening before the trial, Sunday, September 9, at 6:30, the defendants, attorneys and witnesses will hold a public meeting at Community Christian Church, 4601 Main Street, in Kansas City, MO. On Monday at noon there will be a press conference and rally at the US District Court House, 80 Lafayette Street in Jefferson City, followed by the trial at 1:30 (photo ID required, no cell phones allowed in US Courthouse). Go to Brian Terrell can be contacted at or 773-853-1886.

VFP is in the process of doing something this looks like early September possibly revolving around the trial of Brian Terrell on September 10th ... but we also need to get going on general weaponized drone protests. The thrust now is to get all VFP chapters involved in protests, vigils, and public education. We want to work closely with all other activist groups against the drones. [David Soumis]

Unmanned Aircraft Systems East Conference

11 September, 2012 - 13 September, 2012

Washington, DC, United States

David Swanson/ How about if on Sept 11 there was a big drone-profiteer event at a hotel at one end of the Key Bridge in Washington, and some pretend drones happened to block the bridge and fly into the hotel nonviolently shutting the event down?

Arms Bazaar coming to D.C. Sept. 17,18 & 19.

Paki Weiland is going to Pakistan. Activists in Western Mass are planning an action at L-3 KOL. L3 is part of the Assoc. for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International ( L3 has been perhaps the biggest beneficiary of the post-9/11 militarism boom and is a spin-off of Lockheed Martin.

L-3 has headquarters in NYC. Maybe our NYC WRL group can help get something going. Anyone else on this list in NYC? Will follow emails and see about doing something on the same date as others.

Ruth Benn, Coordinator

National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee


Three members of the United National Antiwar Coalition Administrative Committee will be travelling to Pakistan in late September with a delegation of U.S. anti-war and anti-drone activists. The trip is being organized by CodePink. The UNAC AC members are Leah Bolger, president of Veterans for Peace, Judy Bello, Upstate New York anti-drone activist and Joe Lombardo. They will meet with victims of drone raids and Pakistani activists and be part of a rally against drones being organized by Pakistanis in Islamabad. Go to

Joy First reported that there will be a fall action at Camp Williams where they are doing drone training. She also suggested that it would be good to do some research and see what kind of research occurring at UW- Madison related to drones.

Bob Smith reported that Brandywine will host an Oct. 7-9 speaking tour in Philadelphia with Bruce Gagnon during the “Keep Space for Peace” week and anniversary of Afghanistan war. At the end of the week they are looking at going to Lockheed Martin for a cd action and also to return to University of Pennsylvania where they had daylong drone presence last April. Go back to try to engage the engineering dept.- which is steeped in drone research – trying to mix the two or see how to combine etc. making connections between Lockheed Martin and UPenn.

Know Drones will participate in a public education event about drones in Charlottesville, VA in connection with the Southern Life conference to be held there October 5-7. Know Drones will display a 1/5 actual size replica of a Reaper drone (8' length, 11' wingspan), elevated on a lifter, and include video displays showing various aspects of drone operations as well as simulation of drone targeting. David Swanson

United national Antiwar Coalition is calling for Protest of the wars at home and abroad, the threats to Iran and Syria, and U.S. drone warfare on the weekend of October 5-7.

Lisa Savage, Code Pink Maine, is calling for drone actions on October 8 at Obama headquarters. The one she is organizing will be an anti-drone die in for Portland, Maine. Pink sisters in Massachusetts and California will do solidarity actions.

Oct. 25--Group of 14 going to trial in federal court in Baltimore facing three charges after an arrest at the National Security Agency. One of the issues to be raised at trial would be the NSA’s involvement in drone targetting.

Oct. 30--Toby Blome has a growing group doing monthly actions at Beale AFB that have evolved into overnight encampments on last Mon. and Tues. of each month. There is a plan to do direct action during encampment/vigil: October 29th-30th.

Upstatedroneaction, which includes several peace orgs from upstate NY (Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, and Binghamton, sometimes NYC, is planning a drones tribunal (teach-in type deal) for either Oct. or Nov., depending on availability of space (pref.@ SU), and speakers. We are also readying ourselves for latest round of court hearings resulting from third action @Hancock. The struggle goes on. Peace, George Homanich

Aug. 1--Friends,

The National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance is trying to determine what groups are planning to do drone actions in the fall. For example, NCNR is considering going back to protest drone research at Johns Hopkins University.

Also many of you signed on to the letter about drone attacks sent to President Obama. See the letter below. President Obama has never responded to the letter. Would you have any interest in going to the White House in the fall with the letter to seek a response?

Let me know your thoughts on organizing against killer drones. Can we organize some significant actions in September/October? Consider being on tonight’s NCNR conference call on August 1 at 9 PM EST. I look forward to your feedback. Best wishes.



July 11, 2012

President Barack Obama

The White House

Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

As members of peace and justice organizations opposed to your continuation of the Bush administration’s failed wars, we are writing to condemn your use of unmanned aerial vehicles (or drones) to kill citizens in at least five countries. Besides opposing your war policies, we have great concern for civilians caught in conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. The use of drones is wrong on many levels: the illegality of assassinations, the violation of international law and the Constitutional protection of due process, the targeting of civilian populations, and the disregard of sovereignty. We are especially troubled by your refusal to release the flawed document which purportedly gives you legal cover to determine who is on the kill list.

Your use of killer drones is and will continue to create more enmity toward the United States. Because of the lack of transparency, it remains unclear how many civilians are known to have suffered losses of life, limb or property as a result of strikes. The Bush administration did not seem to have any concern for the communities under attack. Sadly you have increased the use of drone strikes, and as a result there is rampant anti-U.S. sentiment throughout these areas in conflict.

Furthermore, we are also concerned that U.S. drones are used to eliminate political opponents of corrupt leaders. This happened in 2010 in Yemen, when a state governor who opposed President Ali Abdullah Saleh was labeled as a leader of Al Qaeda and killed.

We believe that you should issue a directive terminating the killer drone program. This would have a profound effect around the world, and could initiate a process of healing. As citizens, we do not see the people of Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen as enemies. These are our brothers and sisters. Instead of wasting billions of dollars on immoral drone strikes, take the money from the program and give it to non-governmental organizations working on providing jobs and incomes to people so that they do not join terrorist groups. There would be much support for such a program in these war-torn countries.

We believe U.S. wars and drone attacks have been demonstrable failures. Now is the time to take the risks of peace. Imagine leading a country which has denounced the madness of war, and instead wants to assist and make friendship with the people of the Middle East and Central Asia.

We look forward to your response. Should you agree to endorse a foreign policy with the goal of peace and justice, we will stand with you. Rejecting our proposal will mean more death and destruction. We will then continue to protest, risk arrest and denounce a foreign policy of endless wars.

We would be prepared to meet with members of your administration to discuss our proposal to immediately end killer drone strikes and to start a process of healing with the victims of U.S. wars. Please give serious consideration to our proposal of reconciliation and diplomacy rather than pernicious killer drone strikes.

In peace,

Max Obuszewski, Baltimore, National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance


Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] Go to

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

No comments: