Published on Monday, April 29, 2013 by Common Dreams
Calling Out 'Crimes' of Obama, 31 Arrested Blockading NY Drone Base
Unusually high bail rates seem to indicate desire by courts to discourage continued protest at Hancock Drone Base
- Jacob Chamberlain, staff writer
Thirty-one people were arrested at the Hancock Air Force Base in Syracuse, N.Y. on Sunday after protesting against the deadly U.S. drone program that has killed thousands of innocent civilians around the world.
About 250 activists took part in the anti-drone protest. Sunday's rally was part of a three-day weekend event titled: ‘Resisting Drones, Global War and Empire: A Convergence to Action.'
Those arrested had blockaded the front entrance to the military base by lying down in front of the main gate.
As Democracy Now! reports:
The [Hancock Air Force Base] is a departure point for U.S. drones. Roughly 300 people held a funeral procession to condemn the use of drones in Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The protesters were members of the Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars.
The protesters attempted to deliver a war crimes indictment to the base, charging President Obama, the military and service members at Hancock Air Base with crimes against humanity.
The letter states:
We, the people, charge the US President, Barak Obama, and the full military chain of command, to Commander Colonel Greg Semmel, every drone crew, and service members at Hancock Air Base, with crimes against humanity, with violations of part of the Supreme Law of the Land, extrajudicial killings, violation of due process, wars of aggression, violation national sovereignty, and killing of innocent civilians.
According to the Syracuse Peace Council (part of the Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars), bail amounts for those arrested have been set at unusually high rates, ranging from from $500 to $3500, with a total of $34,000 for the 31 people. Though some of those arrested posted bail and have been released, others are refusing to do so and will be held in jail until the next available court dates. Those dates, reportedly, are not until either May 7th or 8th.
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Update on the "Hancock 31"
As of 9 pm Monday, almost everyone is out of jail!
Twenty-one people had been arraigned on Sunday, most charged with disorderly conduct and obstruction of governmental administration second degree. All were given orders of protection and their bails ranged from $500-$3500. Everyone was bailed out today with the exception of three people. Two will be bailed out tomorrow and one is hoping for a bail reduction (and will be bailed out if that doesn't happen).
The total "bail bill" was $34,000. We are starting a revolving bail fund for future bail needs. To donate to the fund, send a check made out to the Syracuse Peace Council, 2013 E. Genesee St., Syracuse, NY 13210. Be sure to note that it is for the revolving bail fund.
The next court dates for those arraigned are split between among May 7 and May 8.
The remaining ten received appearance tickets and will be arraigned on May 1 (that's the only date we know about, but we didn't hear from everybody).
Cait Demott Grady
People with appearance tickets
Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/
"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