Friday, May 3, 2013

Beale AFB: OCCUPIED

Five people were eventually arrested around 8 a.m. Tuesday morning after dozens of anti-drone demonstrators blocked the entrance to Beale Air Force Base for hours, resulting in hundreds of vehicles being prevented from entering the base.
Blocking the entry to the base was a tapestry of images of children
 killed by American drones flown from places like Beale AFB.
"STOP KILLER DRONES"
The CHP had to be called in to clear traffic which had lines of hundreds of cars in several directions after peace advocates from Sacramento, San Francisco, Nevada City and as far away as Fresno protested President Obama's U.S. killer drone program. 

Those arrested were briefly held on misdemeanor charges, which could result in six months in jail if convicted in federal court. In a similar action, 31 people were arrested at Hancock Air Base in Syracuse, NY on Sunday, 4/28


Police begin to arrest demonstrators as a line of waiting drivers looks on.


Last October, nine people were arrested at Beale during protests – and five are facing months in prison if convicted in a trial set for Sacramento Federal Court this summer (August 12).

Beale AFB is home to the U2 and the Global Hawk, the unmanned surveillance drone that is an "accomplice" in drone killings. Activists arrested attempted to deliver a letter to the Beale AFB commander that demanded:
(1) An immediate ban on the use of all drones for extrajudicial killing (2) A halt all drone surveillance that assaults basic freedoms and  inalienable rights and terrorizes domestic life in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and Somalia (3) A prohibition on the sale, and distribution of drones and drone technology to foreign countries in order to prevent the proliferation of this menacing threat to world peace, freedom and security and (4) The U.S. must immediately stop this lawless behavior of drone warfare that violates many international laws and treaties.



"US military and CIA Drone attacks have killed thousands of innocent civilians, including women and children, in the Middle East, Somalia, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. In the name of combating terrorism against the U.S. we are terrorizing innocent people, and creating many more enemies and potential terrorists in the process," said a statement issued by Veterans for Peace, Code Pink, Chico Peace and Justice Center, Nevada County Peace Center, Peace Fresno, WILPF and World Can't Wait.



See video of the demonstration here: 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cfMk6O9NG4&feature=youtu.be
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5P3wed9mJHs&feature=youtu.be
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ul4BKJly_2Q&feature=youtu.be

Get involved in the nationwide movement against  illegal drone killing!

April Days of Action Against Drones in CALIFORNIA

California has a full slate of actions scheduled during the nationwide April Days of Action Against Drones.

Coming up on April 29-30:
OCCUPY BEALE AFB

Highlights so far include:




SACRAMENTO On Monday April 15th, activists filled the streets in front of the state courthouse, broadcasting images of children killed by drones to passing bureacrats and politicians. They also made their way into the offices of Sen. Barbara Boxer and Congresswoman Doris Matsui. In Matsui's office they were received attentively and given a pledge to take action. Though denied a hearing in Boxer's office, they succeeded in leaving behind images of the many innocent victims of drone warfare.



SAN FRANCISCO On Wednesday, April 3, 2013, dozens of anti-war activists rallied with hundreds of disgruntled environmentalists in the streets around the cordoned-off home of Ann and Gordon Getty Wednesday, where the President was visiting with loyal benefactors, during World Can't Wait's protest against U.S. drone assassination program.



(On April 13, San Francisco will be the site of another drones protest: the ANSWER Coalition U.S. Drones Out of Africa, Middle East, Asia and Here! event.)

SAN DIEGO - The weekly protest at General Atomics headquarters on March 23 foreshadowed the multi-day anti-drones protest on April 4-6. (See coverage in The San Diego Free Press.)

The protests in San Diego are provoking questions about the U.S. drone program and U.S. dependence on arms production for jobs in the media. "With the U.S. drone industry contributing billions to their city, residents of San Diego must reconcile their politics with the need to keep their economy humming." (The Daily Beast: San Diego, Hub of the U.S. Drone Industry. )

JOIN the Facebook event page for all the updates on the multi-day anti-drones protest in San Diego.

UPDATE: The April Days of Action are in full swing in San Diego!


OTHER UPCOMING CALIFORNIA EVENTS

BEALE AIR FORCE BASE - Monday, April 29, 2013 - Beginning of 2-day encampment to Occupy Beale AFB. (Read about past Beale occupations here.)

STUDIO CITY - Friday, April 5, and Friday, April 12, 2013 - Join us at our weekly peace vigil on two consecutive Fridays from 6:30 to 7:30 PM. to protest the use of drones in warfare by the US government and their possible use domestically by law enforcement agencies.

SACRAMENTO - Monday, April 15, 2013 - Tax Day Rally in support of the Beale 5. (Read more about the Beale trial here.)

SAN FRANCISCO - Saturday, April 13, 2013 - ANSWER Coalition - PROTEST: U.S. Drones Out of Africa, Middle East, Asia and Here!

(Add additional California events to the master list of national April Days of Action actions.)




Read about ALL the ways YOU can be involved 


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Town Hall on Drones: Informing Policy in BERKELEY


Town Hall On Drones: Informing Policy in Berkeley will be held Wednesday, May 1, 2013 from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM (in the Multi-Purpose Room of the North Berkeley Senior Center, 1901 Hearst Avenue at the corner of Martin Luther King, Jr. Way in Berkeley)

On December 18, 2012, the Berkeley City Council reviewed a recommendation by the Berkeley Peace & Justice Commission entitled, “Resolution to Proclaim Berkeley A No Drone Zone and Enact an Ordinance to that Effect.”  The Council referred the issue of a drone policy back to the Peace and Justice Commission and also to the Berkeley Police Review Commission and the Berkeley Disaster and Fire Safety Commission.  The Council indicated that it will hold a Council workshop on drone policy after receiving further recommendations from these Commissions.
Image from a recent anti-drone demonstration in Sacramento
In the wake of the April Days of Action Against Drones, which saw anti-drone activism sprout up across the nation, The Town Hall on Drones will provide opportunities for individuals and organizations to address the Commissions and the public on various aspects of drone usage and the Commissions will have the opportunity to consider this information before making their final recommendations to the Council. The Town Hall will focus on (1) Technical Aspects and Limitations of Drones; (2) Public Safety (what might drones be good for?); (3) Civil Liberties Concerns; and (4) Moral and Political Consequences of Drones.
Numerous other cities and 31 states are now considering legislation to regulate the use of drones. Seattle’s City Council had its police department get rid of its drones, Charlottesville, Virginia recently became the first city in the United States to ban drones, and Berkeley must decide what its policy on drones will be. 
Berkeley could also be affected by any drones obtained and used as a result of Sheriff Gregory Ahern’s desire to acquire them for the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department. Activists have pointed out that there are safety, civil liberties, and privacy concerns and that drone technology is currently ahead of safeguards for the civil liberties of people they would affect.  It is hoped that all perspectives on drones will be aired and shared at the Town Hall on Drones in order to better inform any local policy making on the issue.


Contact: Bob Meola, Chairperson, Peace and Justice Commission Subcommittee on Drones:

510-644-1102 or bobmeola@mindspring.com  
Contact: Veena Dubal, Chairperson, Police Review Commission Subcommittee on Drones:

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

April Days of Action Against Drones: Occupy Beale Air Force Base, April 29-30


NON-VIOLENT DIRECT ACTION TO GROUND THE DRONES!

Last October, 60 activists from Northern California gathered to take a strong stance against the brutality of Obama's secret drone wars and U.S. global warring.  After blocking the main gate of Beale AFB for 5 hours, nine activists were arrested. 
Blocking the entrance for peace:   Beale AFB, October  2012
 This month we will gather again in defiance of U.S. militarism that causes so much suffering and pollution around the planet.  This will be our second direct action against drones at Beale AFB, after 2 and 1/2 years of continuous monthly vigils.  Won't you join us?  If not now, when?  Bring friends and family! 
World Can't Wait supporting us last October!
This will be the culmination of a month long national call to action against drone warfare.  Help us end it with a humongous SURGE for PEACE!


Monday, April 29th:
3:00-5:00 pm,  Wheatland Gate, South Beale Rd. 
Vigil and bannering rush hour traffic.  Bring banners and signs....plenty extra available! 
5:30pm,  Main Gate:  North Beale Rd. 
Potluck, final planning for Tuesdays nonviolent direct action.  Campout at the main gate, or stay in local hotel.  Other overnight arrangements possible. Nonviolence training available if needed.
  

Tuesday, April 30th:
6:00-8:30am:   GROUND THE DRONES NOW!   
Join or support the non-violent direct action at the gate of Beale AFB. 
Legal observers and legal team available.  

Join us for one or both days. We need support folk, as well as those who can risk arrest.  Sign up on facebook and invite friends! 
Standing firm against militarism-
a peaceful world is possible!  (Beale AFB, February 2013)
See video from last October's direct action:


More Info at www.occupybealeafb.org
For Questions and Carpooling:  
Nevada County-Shirley-941-320-0291
Sacramento-John-916-456-4595

CLICK HERE to learn more about events around the country during the April Days of Action Against Drones!

Monday, April 15, 2013

April Days of Action Against Drones in SACRAMENTO:


Over 50 activists from Chico to Grass Valley to Bay Area and Sacramento showed up on Tax Day at the Sacramento Federal Courthouse to demonstrate as part of the April Days of Action Against DronesBanners and signs galore colored the street around the courthouse, in the shadow of downtown Sacramento's high-rises.
Imposing Predator Drone model hovers among the
 "clean" corporate office-scape

"DRONES CREATE ENEMIES" was the message broadcast
 to the bureacrats and politicians working in California's capitol.

A tapestry depicting children dead as a result of U.S. drone strikes.


Eerie white faces highlight the deaths resulting from drone warfare,
 while the message: "Schools and Homes, not Bombs and
 Drones" reminds viewers of the tradeoffs necessary to support military research.
"Is it really OK if Obama does it?"
Singing for Peace
"I HATE WAR as only a soldier who has lived it can, as only one
 who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity."
-General Dwight Eisenhower
www.veteransforpeace.org

"DRONES CREATE ENEMIES"
"DRONE WARFARE FOSTERS HATE"


Protestors also report having made their way into the offices of Congresswoman Doris Matsui and Senator Barbara Boxer. In Matsui's office: "Her staff person, Chris, spent an extended time with us, though we didn't have an appt.  He even looked genuinely saddened when we read off the victim's names that we each held.   Chris promises to follow up in a way that didn't happen the last time."

"These next 2 pictures were taken in Sen. Boxer's office, and we only could air our complaints to the receptionist.  But we left a couple of bloody hands and child victim names behind.......as a visual display of the cost of these drone wars........"

Message on photo to Sen. Boxer from the Global Hawk drone team
 and Commander of Beale Air Force Base: "Thank you for all your 
support!" Demonstrators decided to leave a message for Barbara from 
Shafiq, a one year old victim of a U.S. Drone strike."
The demonstration was planned and executed by Sacramento Area Peace Action. More photos can be found here.

April Days of Action Against Drones continue. Get involved in your state!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

April Days of Action Against Drones in SAN DIEGO

Aprils Days of Action Against Drones receives worldwide media coverage:





April Days of Action Against Drones in SAN DIEGO: Sunday, 4/7 Update
This just in: a video showing the evocative die-in demonstration at General Atomics Headquarters on Friday, 4/5. Speaking in the video is Medea Benjamin of Code Pink, discussing the perverse incentives of war profiteers such as General Atomics.



Day 2 demonstrations led by CodePink at the La Jolla home of General Atomics CEO Neil Blue (coverage by local media here), at GA HQs in Torrey Pines (featured on NBC) and at Northrup Grumman’s plant in Kearny Mesa continued to shine the light on their war profiteering, the civilians killed and maimed by their products, and the invasion of Americans’ privacy. They emphasized the need for Congress to set the rules for this unbridled technology NOW. 

The early-morning demonstration at the home of Neil Blue shed 
a light on the intimate relationship between Washington politicians 
and the drone-industrial complex, which makes fabulous wealth 
from the profits of drone warfare possible.
Northrop Grumman, another war-profiteer dependent on drone warfare
 to protect its bottom line, was targeted in day 2 of the demonstrations.

Day 2's protests also highlighted civilian fatalities
 as a result of drone warfare.

An evocative display of what murder by drone looks
 like, brought to the drone industry's doorstep.



END THE EMPIRE

            "The US government has lost its moral compass," said Carol Jahnkow, Director Emerita, Peace Resource Center of San Diego. "Over 4,000 lives have been lost to American Drones made right here in San Diego, yet only 2% of those hit were considered high-level targets. The deaths of these innocent people is reprehensible.  And, the deaths of the other 2% without due process of law makes a sham of international law."

 Day 3 of the San Diego Anti-Drone Days of Action saw the unveiling of “Children At Play” on the grass in front of the U.S.S. Midway Museum in downtown San Diego, with music by the socially-conscious youth rap/hip-hop band, Vibe, as well as Women Occupy San Diego’s acapella chorus, the Occupellas, with brief speeches by local artist and activist, Doris Bittar, and Faith Leaders for Peace co-founder, Rev. Beth Johnson.   

The "Children at Play" display delivered a stark message: the illusory 
economic benefits of the drone industry in San Diego are delivered at
The Occupellas chorus paid further tribute to children killed by drone strikes.

Day 3  concluded with a forum featuring Medea Benjamin, author of Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control (2012) and co-founder of Global Exchange and CodePink, Pedro Rios of the American Friends Service Committee, U.S/Mexico Border Project, personal testimony from a former worker in the drone military-national security-indusrial complex, and other speakers on what drones mean for the U.S. and the world. Throughout the evenings, the Overpass Light Brigade continued to propagate the anti-drone message to the people of San Diego:



  Our San Diego Anti-Drone Days of Action concluded on Sunday, April 7, 2013, with a General Assembly and Workshops:
Topics included "Using New Media for Protest," "The Changing Face
of Empire," and"Drones in the Middle East and Africa."




April Days of Action Against Drones in SAN DIEGO: Day 2 Update

La Jolla- Code Pink led another demonstration at the General Atomics Headquarters this morning, April 5th, at 10 AM.



The demonstration featured a graphic simulation of the effects of a fatal drone strike on U.S. soil, implicating General Atomics and other war-profiteering corporations in similar carnage happening abroad.
Medea Benjamin leading reenactment of civilian and rescue
 worker kills by General Atomics Predator and Reaper drones. 
This protest followed an early morning demonstration in which 50 people showed up at the La Jolla home of General Atomics CEO Neal Blue.

CodePinkers performed a billionaire cocktail party skit/street theater at which Blue and his buddies chatted about why it is sooo good for their class to have drones making money for them and it only affects terrorists anyway.


Get involved in San Diego or in your state!



More images of yesterday's demonstration at General Atomics were just posted here :

Code Pink and San Diego Veterans for Peace came together to
protest at the headquarters of General Atomics 
Media was there in force to cover the demonstration.


Realistic model Predator Drones simulate the experience of drones 
flying overhead, targeting families and children.



The weekend-long event is still in full swing! Click here for a description of today's program, and here for a full schedule of the weekend's demonstrations.




Day 1 update:

Day 1 saw a coalition of citizens representing San Diego Veterans for Peace and Code Pink come out to demonstrate at the headquarters of General Atomics.
That evening, the message was passed to San Diego at large with a demonstration by the Overpass Light Brigade

More details and a preview of Day 2 can be found here. A schedule for the full weekend can be found here.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

April Days of Action Against Drones: Report on Day 1 in San Diego


Dave Patterson of San Diego Vets for Peace reported on the first day of the multi-day demonstration leading the way in the April Days of Action Against Drones: "Today we had 75 people from San Diego San Fransisco, Fresno, LA, Albuquerque, Prescott Az, Washington DC and other places... Code Pink was there with their leader Medea Benjamin, as were many members of the press
San Diego Veterans for Peace and Code Pink demonstrate near the General Atomics Headquarters

We started in a cul-de-sac about 1,000 yards from General Atomics, not far from the place we have been demonstrating for 7 months. We marched along the 1 mile road past GA facility after GA facility, and eventually to a very busy intersection where thousands of car pass every hour. We had in tow our Reaper Drone model and made our presence known. The honks and thumbs up were frequent, giving the indication that our message is getting across. We are at the edge of a Tsunami of public anger regarding the misuse of this technology, and our message to Congress is fix it quickly!"
A tsunami of public anger regarding the misuse of drone technology.

Following the afternoon demonstration, the OverPass Light Brigade sent a clear message to Thursday's evening commuters heading south on I-5 at Clairemont Drive.





San Diego's answer to the drone industry has only begun.

Join us for Day 2 
Friday, April 5th will start with a demonstration by Code Pink at the home of General Atomics CEO Neal Blue, one of the most egregious of the industry's drone profiteers. 

Another rally at the General Atomics Headquarters will begin at 10 am. Northrop Grumman, a corporation that is in the process of expanding its foothold in the San Diego area, will be targeted between 4 and 6. And this evening will again see the Light brigade take to a San Diego overpass.

Schedule:
http://www.sdcpj.org
http://www.prcsd.org


Livestreaming of the action will continue on http://www.ustream.tv/occupysf

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

April Days of Action Against Drones are in full swing in San Diego

A weekend-long anti-drone event began today in San Diego. Based in the heartland of the high-tech drone industry, this banner event of the nationwide April Days of Action Against Drones (full nationwide schedule accessible at Knowdrones.com) focuses on San Diego-based corporation General Atomics. Continuing in to the evening with demonstrations at freeway overpasses, the event is making the voice of the nationwide anti-drone movement heard both in the mainstream media and internationally. Livestreams of the weekend's events, which will also include tributes to the victims of U.S. drone strikes worldwide, can be found at http://www.ustream.tv/occupysf.
A recent Overpass Light Brigade demonstration,
of which there will be several more this weekend in San Diego

Fox 5 San Diego recently featured San Diego Veterans for Peace member Dave Patterson discussing the way in which drones enable unconstitutional extrajudicial killing by decree. As highlighted by a recent article in the Daily Beast, however, San Diego is uniquely positioned, as a center of the U.S. drone industry, to grapple with the very real conflict of interest this burgeoning industry founded on the violation of constitutional liberties and the killing of foreigners in far-off lands presents.
A recent protest at General Atomics Corporation highlights the stark tradeoff implied
 in San Diego's embrace of the drone industry.


As is happening throughout the nation, a growing, vocal resistance in San Diego is eschewing the drone industry's and President Obama's attempts to make drone warfare the inevitable future of American foreign policy. Follow the livestream and check back here for frequent updates on the events of the weekend.


Sunday, March 31, 2013

National Anti-Drone Days of Action Kicks off April 4th in San Diego

The National Anti-Drone Days of action begins Friday in San Diego. Organized by the San Diego Coalition for Peace and Justice,  the event spans the weekend and features daily demonstrations at the headquarters of General Atomics, a prime player in the burgeoning drone-industrial complex.


Recent images from the weekly protest at the General Atomics Headquarters
 (See coverage in the  San Diego Free Press)




On Saturday, April 6th, demonstrators clad in black will assemble at the Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum. The event will focus on honoring the names of 178 of the children and youth who have been killed by U.S. drone strikes to date. Performances by Vibe, a socially conscious hip hop group, as well as by the Occupellas (Occupy SD's female a capella chorus) will honor the many victims of U.S. drone warfare.

 More information on locations of individual events can be found at the SDCPJ website. Updates on the weekend will be forthcoming as the events unfold.