Prior to our court appearance on November 1, the defendants who were in town had a Demonstration on the plaza in front of the Federal Building in Syracuse, which played more like a press conference. We set up our tableau, which represents a drone strike in Afghanistan. We have a drone mounted about 7 or 8 feet in the air, with a uniformed pilot sitting behind a computer terminal at a desk. Beside a house reduced to rubble, a mother dressed in black sits with her child wrapped in a bloodied sheet, and at her feet, more bodies lie under bloodied shrouds. Beside them, a young man is recruited by the insurgency.
Numerous representatives of the press mingled with activists on the sunny plaza. A half hour later, about 15 of the defendants met with Senator Gillibrand’s Aide in a conference room inside the Federal Building. We explained the same concerns to Senator Gillibrand’s Aide, that we had brought to the Base Commander on the day we were arrested in April. The lethal MQ9 Reapers piloted over Afghanistan from Hancock Air National Guard Base, violate international law. The targeted assassinations they implement violate the U.S. Constitution. The general death and mayhem caused by drones, commonly known as collateral damage, is grossly immoral and inhumane. Furthermore, he drones also constitute a local threat in so far as they are being flown in civilian airspace, and insofar as their local controllers bring the wars to the center of our own community, making us legal and logical targets for retaliation.
Later, most of the defendants joined the bimonthly protest outside the Front Gate of Hancock Air National Guard Base, the local home of the Reaper Drone Maintenance and Pilots.
Below are some photos of our tableau and the protest in the plaza.