by Tobey Blome
Amazing week resisting killer drones at Shut Down Creech, culminating in a blockade and a 30 minute delay of commute traffic into the base early Friday morning, October 2nd, and no arrests.Ground the Drones!Toby, Maggie and all of earth’s Creechers!
Contacts: Toby Blomé, 510-501-5412; Maggie Huntington, (602) 459-5257
Peaceful Anti-drone protestors block entrance to U.S. Assassin Drone Base;
Military traffic unable to enter base for half an hour.
A group of 15 peaceful protesters from Nevada, California, and Arizona converged for a weeklong protest at Creech Air Force Base to oppose the remote-controlled killing that takes place in the desert just north of Las Vegas. Organized by CODEPINK and Veterans For Peace, the bi-annual protest known as “Shut Down Creech” was different due to the concerns and constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic, and especially because many of the regular activists are elders, and are at higher risk of complications and death. The event included both social distancing and mask wearing at the twice daily commute hour protests at the base. Precautions were also followed during their entire stay at their base camp, “Camp Justice,” down the road from the base. In spite of the risks, these activists were compelled to participate and take a strong and determined stance against the illegal and inhumane remote killing by U.S. drones that occurs daily at the Nevada air base.
Most of the activists were reluctant to engage in civil disobedience, as they often do, because of the risk of COVID-exposure during a possible jail detention. However, 2 activists, Maggie Huntington from Flagstaff, Arizona, and Toby Blomé from El Cerrito, California ultimately participated in a “soft blockade” to impede commute traffic into the base for as long as they possibly could up until the point that the time limit expired that the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police gave to warn blockaders of impending arrest. Because the activists unexpectedly chose Friday morning for their blockade of resistance, the military and law enforcement officers were caught off guard. In the early morning rush hour traffic, the women, aged 65 and 76 years old, stretched a large banner, “Stop Droning Afghanistan, 19 years ENOUGH!” across the entrance road into the killer drone base. They also placed in the road several small “coffins,” with names of other countries that are targets by U.S. drones, to impede traffic. They then read into a megaphone the names and ages of some of the victims of U.S. drone attacks memorialized on small pink paper drones. The activists were able to remove themselves from the road in time to avoid arrest and simultaneously communicate a clear message of objection and noncompliance to the intolerable U.S. practice of remote killing, where hundreds of children have already died as “collateral damage.” Due to the element of surprise, the alternative northerly gate, a mile up the roadway from the commuter gate, was closed, and it took significant time to open and receive traffic. As a result military traffic was backed up all the way down highway 95, to the site of the blockade. Dozens, if not hundreds, of cars were delayed into the base, for about a half hour. Activists considered the action a very successful achievement toward their goal: To shut down Creech Air Force Base for as long as possible to halt the criminal activity taking place. www.ShutDownCreech.blogspot.com
“I’m motivated to participate in this resistance, with the hope that we will teach the soldiers that they must take control of and understand the consequences of their actions,” said Maggie Huntington, one of the blockaders. According to one Chinese Proverb, “To know and not to act is not to know.”
Other Shut Down Creech demonstrations during the weeklong anti-drone protest included: a solemn “funeral procession” along the highway with black clothing, white masks and small coffins; LED light board letters in the dark of the early morning, declaring: “NO DRONES”;
–Observation…..without judgement….is the Highest Form……of Human Intelligence
–Drone Attacks are……COWARDLY, BARBARIC, RACIST, WRONG, SHAMEFUL, UNJUST, IMMORAL……
Other commute vigil themes included:
–War is Not Green/End War for Climate Justice (The U.S. Military is the #1 Global User of Fossil Fuel)
–WAR IS A LIE: PRESIDENTS LIE, CONGRESS LIES, GENERALS LIE, CIA LIES, etc.