FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
23 December 2016
Contact: Ann Tiffany (315) 478-4571 home- Syracuse, NY
Mary Anne Grady Flores (607) 280-8797 Ithaca
FOUR ARRESTED ENACTING NATIVITY SCENE AT HANCOCK DRONE BASE
Syracuse, NY – On Friday, December 23, four activists were arrested at the main entrance of Hancock Air National Guard Base as many throughout the world prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus, the Prince of Peace from Palestine. The base is located on East Molloy Road in the town of DeWitt, E. Syracuse New York.
Upstate Drone Action members engaged in civil resistance by setting up a traditional Christmas nativity scene at the main entrance of Hancock Reaper Drone Base. Mary, Joseph and the infant Jesus were attended by a shepherd and a wise man. Angels and carolers played a supporting role from across the street.
While being handcuffed, Mary (Bev Rice) noted that, “If Herod had a Reaper, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph would have been been incinerated.” Joseph (John Amidon), also arrested, said “The indiscriminate and illegal killings of so many holy families in the Middle East must stop!”
Hancock hosts the 174th Attack Wing of the NY Air National Guard – the MQ9 Reaper drone hub. Hancock is also the national Reaper maintenance training center.
The MQ9 Reaper is a robotic, satellite-linked, remote assassin drone. Hancock drone pilots fly unmanned missions over Afghanistan and other Middle Eastern, African and West Asian nations. The CIA uses Reapers for its illegal lethal missions over Northwest Pakistan.
According to “LIVING UNDER DRONES: Death, Injury and Trauma to Civilians from US Drone Practices in Pakistan,” published by Stanford University and New York University Law Schools, such missions are responsible in that region for the deaths of hundreds of noncombatants, including women and children, and for the terrorizing of thousands more.
Today’s civil resistance action is one chapter in Upstate Drone Action’s Gandhian Wave, a six-year scrupulously nonviolent campaign to expose the Hancock AFB war crime. Since 2010 there have been over 170 anti-Reaper arrests at Hancock.
- John Amidon, Albany, NY, (518) 312-6442 cell
- Ed Kinane, Syracuse, NY, (315) 478-4571 home
- Jules Orkin, Bergenfield, NJ, (201)566-8403 cell
- Bev Rice, New York, NY., (646) 335-2404 cell
They were charged with Trespass, 2 Counts of Disorderly Conduct and Obstructing Governmental Activities. Their next hearing will be in late January.