Seven Arrested at Hancock Base held on Outrageous Bail
23 July 2014
Syracuse July 23, 2014 Earlier today eight Atlantic Life Community activists joined with Upstate Drone Action at the main gate of Hancock Air Base, in Syracuse, New York. Hancock is the home of the 174th Attack Wing of the New York State Air National Guard. The 174th Attack Wing pilots weaponized MQ9 Reaper drones over Afghanistan – killing and terrorizing an uncountable number of civilians.
The eight delivered a People’s War Crimes Indictment to the Hancock chain of command by affixing it to the fence after being refused by the base personnel. Also delivered was an Order of Protection on behalf of the children of the world who are subject to U.S. drone surveillance and attack.
The eight issued a statement that began with a list of names of persons who have been killed by drone strikes; “Syed Wali Shah, 7 years old, killed by an American drone strike. Momina Bibi, mother and midwife, killed by an American drone strike. Tarik Aziz, 16, killed by an American drone strike… This Must Stop! We are a community of peacemakers who resist war, racism and greed. We stand … in solidarity with men, women and children being terrorized by US military aggression.” Continue reading
Reprinted from TeleSUR, English
Kabul– On July 10, 2014, in New York State, Judge David Gideon sentenced Mary Anne Grady Flores to a year in prison and fined her $1,000 for photographing a peaceful demonstration at the U.S. Air National Guard’s 174th Attack Wing at Hancock Field (near Syracuse) where weaponized Reaper drones are remotely piloted in lethal flights over Afghanistan. Dozens have been sentenced, previously, for peaceful protest there. But uniquely, the court convicted her under laws meant to punish stalkers, deciding that by taking pictures outside the heavily guarded base she violated a previous order of protection not to stalk or harass the commanding officer.
Mary Anne is a 58 year-old grandmother of three, from Ithaca, New York, where she is part of the Upstate Drone Action.
Since late 2009 this grassroots group has persistently raised awareness about the consequences of drone attacks in Afghanistan, the global epicenter of U.S. drone warfare. In December 2012, the U.S. Air Force revealed that U.S. drones had struck targets in Afghanistan 477 times during just the preceding year. Continue reading
Eight protesters, including three grandmothers, two already subject to Orders of Protection, protecting Col Earl Evans and Col Greg Semmel, the commanding officers on the base, are standing outside Hancock Air National Guard Base today. They have come to witness the violence done to peoples around the world by U.S. armed missions against defenseless populations, and in particular the use of remote controlled drones to commit murder in places where ordinary weapons cannot go, and where ordinary soldiers would not kill.
Here is their witness:
Syed Wali Shah 7 years old, killed by an American Drone strike. Momina Bibi, mother and midwife, killed by an American drone strike. Tairk Aziz, 16, killed by an American drone strike… This Must Stop! Continue reading
This is an urgent request for financial support needed to challenge the growing misuse of orders of protection to stifle dissent, and to fund the mounting legal costs of the many drone resisters at Hancock Air Base who have been served with these orders of protection. Legal proceedings are expensive, and like other public services, they are most burdensome for those with small incomes from Social Security, pensions and low paying or part time employment.
Orders of protection, typically used to protect victims of domestic violence, have been issued to over 50 people participating since 2012 in nonviolent resistance actions at Hancock Air Base, where weaponized drones are remotely piloted. The stated purpose of all these orders is, astonishingly, to “protect” a Hancock base commander from these nonviolent protesters. Their real intent is to keep resisters away from the base. Continue reading
In a post called “The Hancock Show Trials: Quashing Dissent Against America’s Criminal Drone Killing Program” on the blog of No Drones New York State, anti-drone activist Joe Scary says:
What is particularly significant about the upcoming trials is that they are part of a government plan to put a chill, once and for all, on citizens’ exercise of Constitutional rights. The citizens rely on Bill of Rights protections, Constitutional provisions about civilian control over the military, and the international treaties covering conduct of war and human rights, to which the United States is a party. The position of the government is that no dissent will be tolerated, and that the severity of the penalties for expression will be rapidly escalated, until the point where dissent is cut off entirely.
Drone Activist Mary Anne Grady Flores
Released on Appeal of Violation of Order of Protection
July 18, 2014, Syracuse, NY Last night Mary Anne Grady Flores was released on $5,000 bail from the Syracuse Justice Center after appearing before County Court Judge Thomas J. Miller who granted a stay of execution of her one year sentence, pending appeal of the Order of Protection granted to Col. Earl A. Evans by the DeWitt Town Court judges requiring drone protesters to stay away from the Hancock Airbase. Continue reading
Another Hancock Anti-Drone Protester Convicted of a Misdemeanor
Jack Gilroy of Binghamton, NY was convicted after a two-day jury trial in DeWitt Town Court of charges stemming from his arrest during a nonviolent protest at Hancock Air National Guard Base on April 28, 2013. Jack was convicted of Trespass, a violation, and Obstructing Governmental Administration, a misdemeanor by a jury of five women and one man. He will be sentenced by Judge Robert Jokl on October 1st, a year and a half after his arrest. The sentence for the latter charge may be up to one year in jail and a fine of $1000. Jack’s Order of Protection was also reissued today as a 2 year Permanent Order protecting Commander Greg Semmel, the commanding officer at Hancock Base. Continue reading
This is an excerpt from Mary Anne Grady Flores Sentencing Statement that was written with the assistance of Doug Noble:
“Your honor, a series of judicial perversions brings me here before you tonight.”
First, I was convicted of violating an order of protection that represents a perversion of its intended use to protect victims of domestic violence. This order allegedly protects the commander of a military base who said himself under oath that he neither knows me nor needs protection from me. The real purpose of this order is to stifle dissent at the base. Continue reading
Reprinted from the Syracuse Peace Council Newsletter.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the above defendant, [name] observe the following conditions of behavior:
Stay away from Earl A. Evans; the home of Earl A. Evans; the school of Earl A. Evans; the business of Earl A. Evans; the place of employment of Earl A. Evans;
Refrain from communication or any other contact by mail, telephone, e-mail, voice-mail, or other electronic or any other means with Earl A. Evans;
Refrain from assault, stalking, harassment, aggravated harassment, menacing, reckless endangerment, strangulation, criminal obstruction of breathing or circulation, disorderly conduct, criminal mischief, sexual abuse, sexual misconduct, forcible touching, intimidation, threats or any criminal offense or interference with the victim…
From the order of protection issued by Town of DeWitt Justices to all nonviolent civil resisters arrested at Hancock Air Base since October, 2012. Beginning in May, 2014, new language was added to allow those with orders to participate in legally permitted activities at the base. About 50 activists are currently subject to orders of protection. Col. Evans was Hancock’s mission support group commander. Continue reading
Video provided by Cris McConkey Productions
Mary Anne Grady Flores Sentencing Hearing following her conviction on the charge of ‘Contempt’ by a 6 person jury in DeWitt Town Court before Judge David S. Gideon. Mary Anne was charged for walking in the highway in front of the access road leading to the guard shack, taking pictures of protesters who were protesting the piloting of MQ-9 Reaper drones from Hancock Air National Guard Base. These drones fly over Afghanistan where they target and execute people on the ground. Targets often include civilians in their homes and cars going about the business of daily life.
Click the times below to see specific segments of the video. Continue reading