Monday, July 14, 2014

"No Drones in LA!" Meets July 15

See the Stop LAPD Spying website for more info.
The Stop LAPD Spying Coalition invites you to our monthly General Coalition Meeting. Join us in planning the “No Drones in LA!” campaign. Communities across the world are speaking out and taking action against Drones. They spy, they kill, they crash.

We say No to Drones in LA and need to stop LAPD’s recent acquisition of drones and make sure these drones never get off the ground in our town! Join us Tuesday July 15th at 6:30pm at the Downtown UCLA Labor Center at 675 S. Park View Ave., Los Angeles - adjacent to MacArthur Park.

Will We Sleep Or Will We Fight!??!

Join the Facebook event and invite others!

Draganflyer X6 drone


Nearly a year ago,the Seattle Police Department acquired two 3.5lbs Draganflyer X6 drones through a grant from the Department of Homeland Security. The community of Seattle actively resisted the city’s attempt to use drones in a highly fueled public hearing at the Seattle City Council with community residents chanting “No Drones!” and ”Murderers!” The public uproar over privacy rights and police spying compelled the mayor to scrap the program permanently before the drones got off the ground. However, the Canadian manufacturer who built the drones refused to take them back. This prompted Seattle to “gift” them to our Los Angeles Police Department.

It comes as no surprise that LAPD was given these drones. In fact, this is not the first time LAPD has talked about drones. Earlier in February LAPD was in Israel during their “Big Data” conference looking at drones called “Hovermast”. “Hovermast” drones can be used for spying and even crowd control.

The acquisition of these drones in the larger context of the LAPD Architecture of surveillance, spying and infiltration demonstrates the continued militarization of the LAPD. Embedded within this infrastructure is an enormous array of electronic and human surveillance programs and devices such as - Trapwire, Stingray, Hi Definition Cameras, Automatic License Plate Readers, Suspicious Activity Reporting, Special Order 1, iWATCH, Predictive Policing, and the Safer Cities Initiative.

Along with violating our basic human rights, the potential for destruction of lives and property remains high. As reported on June 23, 2014 by the Washington Post: “When Drones Fall From The Sky - more than 400 large US military drones have crashed in major accidents around the world since 2001,” highlighting “a record of calamity that exposes the potential dangers of throwing open [our] skies to drone traffic.”  [See: California: Is the Sky Falling?]

Though Chief Beck is publicly stating he is seeking community input, he never sought community input while LAPD was at the Big Data Convention in Israel admiring the use of Hovermast. Chief Beck went public claiming to arrange a meeting with the American Civil Liberties Union to quell public shock in regards to privacy violation. In an article released by L.A. Times ACLU is quoted stating they never agreed to such a formal meeting with LAPD.

The people of Los Angeles say NO! to drones too - We can’t let LA be the dumping ground for other cities. We are the community and we are not going to wait for a public hearing or for Chief Beck to speak to advocacy groups. We say: No Drones Here or Anywhere!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

California: Is the Sky Falling?

On June 22, 2014, the Washington Post published the results of a far-reaching investigation into crashes that have occurred in the U.S. drone program.

Shockingly, of the 194 major ("Class A") crashes that the Washington Post was able to document, 47  occurred within the United States.

Below is information on ten (10) drone crashes that occurred in the state of California alone between the years 2004 and 2011. (The listed incidents are Air Force-related, unless otherwise indicated.)

(See the full online database of crashes on the Washington Post website for full details of these and other drone crashes.)

Victorville crash: July 28, 2010


Date: October 13, 2004
Location: Palmdale
Estimated damage: $1,721,973
Details: A brand-new Predator crashed . . . .


Date: October 21, 2005
Location: Palmdale
Estimated damage: $6,796,497
Details: A Reaper on a training flight crashed . . . .


Date: September 9, 2008
Location: undisclosed CA location
Estimated damage: N/A
Details: Reaper crash

Date: November 17, 2008
Location: undisclosed CA location
Estimated damage: N/A
Details: A Warrior (MQ-1C) owned by the Army crashed


Fort Irwin crash: March 20, 2009
Date: March 20, 2009
Location: Fort Irwin
Estimated damage: $3,929,647
Details: A Reaper crashed . . . .

Date: May 28, 2009
Location: Rogers Dry Lake bed, adjacent to airfield at Edwards Air Force Base
Estimated damage: N/A
Details: Emergency landing by Global Hawk . . . .


Date: July 28, 2010
Location: Victorville
Estimated damage: $5,000,000
Details: A Hummingbird (A160T Hummingbird) owned by the Army crashed . . . .

Victorville crash: April 20, 2010
Date: April 20, 2010
Location: Victorville
Estimated damage: $3,742,211
Details: A Predator crashed . . . .

Date: August 31, 2010
Location: two miles north of Gray Butte Airfield, Palmdale
Estimated damage: $10,300,000
Details: A brand-new Reaper crashed on private property . . . .


Date: March 16, 2011
Location: undisclosed CA location
Estimated damage: N/A
Details: A Gray Eagle (MQ-1C) owned by the Army crashed . . . .

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Say "War is Not Green!" this June at Beale AFB

OCCUPY BEALE AFBMonthly NO DRONES PEACE ENCAMPMENT: Join CodePinkVFP, and activists from throughout Northern California:
-June 23, Monday, 3pm-5pm,  Wheatland Gate, S. Beale Rd. and Ostrom Rd.
-Mon. Night Encampment, Main Gate, N. Beale Rd.
-June 24Tuesday, 6-8am, Main Gate, N. Beale Rd.


Message from CODEPINK for Peace:

Dear Friends,

While we vigil at Beale to protest drone warfare, we also occupy Beale AFB every month to oppose militarism and global militarization.  This month please join us as we try to underline the threat militarism has on the health of our mother earth and say "WAR IS NOT GREEN!"

Depleted uranium, nuclear weapons, agent orange, toxic waste dumps, white phosphorous, napalm....the list is endless.....not to mention the grossly excessive use of fossil fuel that contributes to climate change.  The U.S. military uses more fossil fuel than any other institution on the planet!  And our soldiers suffer too.....high cancer rates, birth defects in their children, sterility, etc., etc.

Dress yourself up in GREEN clothing to emphasize the point, or come as you are....but we welcome large signs and banners to help with the messaging.  

We will also be honoring and welcoming home:  Bowe Bergdahl....
one more soldier who had the courage to listen to his conscience and act!

Join us in uniting for Peace,
Shirley, Flora, Barry, Michael, Pamela, Janie, Fred, John, Catherine, and Toby
For more info./carpooling, 
Nevada/Yuba County:  Shirley  941-320-0291
Sacramento Area:  Barry  916-284-0944,

Directions To Wheatland Gate (PM & AM vigils),  
At intersection of So. Beale Rd. and Ostrom Rd.:

From the North  (Chico/Marysville):
Take Hwy. 70 south from Marysville, merge to left onto Hwy. 65.
Take Ostrom Rd. to left until it meets So. Beale Rd.  Turn left on So. Beale Rd. and park car to side of Rd.  If you miss the Ostrom Rd. turn off, continue south on Hwy 65, and turn left on So. Beale Rd. (marked with Beale AFB sign).

From the South (Sacramento/SF Bay Area)
Please check out these directions on pdf below, as getting onto Ostrom Rd. is a bit tricky from Hwy 70.

Directions to Main Gate (Mon. nite encampment area) :  
Take I-5 north of Sacramento, just north of I-80, take exit 525B to transfer to Hwy 99, continue  12.5. mi. and stay right to transfer onto Hwy 70, continue about 20 miles, exit at Feather River Blvd., just after the Erle Rd. exit. Do not take the 1st Feather River Blvd. which is about 10 miles earlier!  (note sign to Beale AFB)  Turn right at ramp, You’ll be facing Burger King, across the street, a good bathroom stop.  If you don’t cross the intersection, turn immediately right at the light (Lindhurst Ave.) and left at 2nd light to get on N. Beale Rd.   Continue on N. Beale Rd. for over 6 miles.  It dead ends at the Gate Entrance.  Plenty of parking on left side of Rd. near the gate.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Walk to Peace Arrives at Gates of Beale AFB Bearing Memories of Drone Warfare Victims

The Walk to Peace arrived at the Gates of Beale
 Air Force Base, from which the Global Hawk
 Surveillance Drones are piloted, on Tuesday 5/27.
They bore with them the stories of the many innocents
 killed and terrorized by U.S. drone warfare.
They left white chalk outlines on the ground in
 front of the gates, recreating the scene of a drone
 massacre as testaments to the dead.
Veterans for Peace was a major sponsor of the Walk to Peace,
 which was planned by Occupy Beale AFB
A posture of submission emphasized the helplessness
 of those made victims of U.S. imperial might.

Killed shamelessly by hellfire missiles while trying to flee.
The Peace Walkers appeared formidable as, standing at the
 gates, they took up a cry of righteous anger.

Festooning the gates with pink garlands on
 which were written the names of drone victims.
The ten-day walk from San Francisco to Beale may have come
 to an end, but our collective Walk to Peace continues. Join us.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Drone Strike Kills 7 in San Diego

Last weekend, California was alive with anti-drone ferment. While the Walk to Peace, a 10 day sojourn to Beale Air Force Base, set off across the San Francisco Bay, activists in San Diego held a weekend of demonstrations in solidarity with the nationwide Spring Days of Drone Action. One feature of the weekend was an evocative and powerful street theatre performance in San Diego's Balboa park, simulating a drone attack on American soil like those that have been and continue to be deadly reality in Pakistan and Yemen. Click here to stream video of the event.
The simulated Hellfire missile
 was lowered from above.
Balboa Park soon became a grisly scene indeed.
When Drones Fly, Children Die. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism 
has documented over 200 children confirmed killed by U.S. drone strikes.
What if they were our children?
Nearly five thousand people have been confirmed killed by
 drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen alone.
Those killed by U.S. drone strikes leave behind families and
 communities that are traumatized by their absence and
 by the randomness and violence of their slaughter.
Photos by Cristie Ann Paris
Thank you for bringing the consequences of U.S. drone policy
 home so vividly in San Diego, the home of General Atomics
 and many other military contractors that profit from drone terrorism.
The Spring Days of Drone Action continue throughout
 California and nationwide! Click here for more information.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Walk to peace crosses the bay.

Report of Walk to Peace, Day 1:  

UPDATE: The day was featured in a fantastic article on Popular Resistance.

We met at the Golden Gate Bridge and walked to the center of with banners & flags. It was very crowded so a lot of people cheered our signs.

Symbolically beginning the march from the center of the Golden
Gate Bridge, to head south and east then cross the bay by ferry.
Toby Blomé of Code Pink, Braving the
winds to hold aloft our message.
The bridge looks like a utopian monument to peace in this context.

"One people, one Earth. Stop Drone Attacks."

Bearing the standards of Peace.

Devan Phenix

Walked through Fisherman's Wharf and on to the Ferry Building where members of World Can't Wait greeted us with a scale model of an armed Reaper Drone, the model that continues to torment and kill in Pakistan and Yemen.

We took the ferry to Vallejo for the first night of our journey. A wonderful activist, Barbara, put us up for the night, presenting a delicious vegetarian meal. Tomorrow, we set out for day 2, 15 miles to the west side of Fairfield.


The Walk to Peace continues, and the Spring Days of Drone
continue nationwide. Click here to
 find out about events in your state.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

"We Will Not Raise Our Children to Kill the Children of Other Mothers!"

      CODEPINK Monthly Golden Gate Bridge Walk 
                  Sunday, May 11, 2013, NOON
Mother's Day, 2013, Golden Gate Bridge

Reclaim the original meaning of the day:   
"We Will Not Raise Our Children to Kill the Children of Other Mothers!"  
Join us to reclaim the original meaning behind Mother's Day:
This Mother's Day please join us on the Golden Gate Bridge.  Bring your mothers and daughters, your sons and fathers, your grandchildren, friends and neighbors to honor our history, and celebrate our passion for PEACE!

Wear pink or come as you are, but come in the spirit of unity for nonviolence.

Bring signs ( 2x3 ft. or smaller)......wooden sticks/poles are now permitted.

Some Suggested Messages:  
-Mother's Day:  A Day for Peace 

-Mothers Say No War

-Mothers for Peace 

11:45 am:  Gather at the SF or Marin end of the eastern walkway of the Golden Gate Bridge.
                   Parking available on all 4 "corners",  just remember to take
                   the last exit on hwy 101 as you approach the bridge, or the
                   first exit after you leave the bridge.

Noon:          Walk on the eastern walkway from the north or south ends, 
                   to converge in the middle.  

1:30pm      Rally on SF side after the bridge walk:
   Mike Check, Reading of Julia's MOTHER'S DAY PROCLAMATION
Bring your children, your mothers, friends, relatives and your LOVE!
                  BE GREEN AND CARPOOL

grow in peace,
Toby  Blome
Contact me to arrange carpooling

Let us not forget:

Wedding Party Victims, Yemen, December 12, 2014

In response to the carnage of the Civil War, Julia Ward Howe's 1870 Mother's Day Proclamation declared:               

              Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
              All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
              We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country
              To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs........Disarm, Disarm!

Some creative readings of the full Mother's Day Proclamation:


Julia Ward Howe, the
 originator of Mother's Day

Howe called for women of all nations to work together for a more peaceful world.

In honor of Julia Ward Howe, and in solidarity with all the mothers of the world who are suffering today from the carnage of wars in Afghanistan, Palestine, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere in the world, we invite mothers and their loved ones to join us this Mother's Day to walk united against war.  We will read Howe's Mother's Day Proclamation, and sing and rally for peace following the march.  We will distribute flyers to educate the public about the history of Mother's Day. 

The Spring Days of Drone Action
 continue through May nationwide!
CLICK HERE for more information!