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Ban Killer Drones Calls for Release of Kabul Drone Attack Files

Press Release from Ban Killer Drones

The Pentagon must be called upon by people around the world and by the U.S. Congress to make public all of the communications and logs, including communications with the White House, pertaining to the August 29, 2021 drone attack that killed 10 members of the Ahmadi family in Kabul, including seven children, say representatives of the anti-drone war organization BanKillerDrones.org.

“The Pentagon’s assertion that no one did anything illegal to cause the drone deaths of the Ahmadi family members is a shameful side-stepping and a further cover-up of who made what decisions and why in this horrible slaughter,”

said Nick Mottern, a co-coordinator of BanKillerDrones.org.

“We need to see all the records surrounding this incident, including those that may help us to know the role of President Biden, if any.”

Kathy Kelly, a peace advocate who has visited Afghanistan 28 times since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, and also a co-coordinator of BanKillerDrones.org, said:

“By recommending against any disciplinary action following the slaughter of 10 civilians, seven of whom were children, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is endorsing reckless cruelty waged through ghastly drone attacks.”

Mottern noted that a wide array of international human rights law experts have asserted that U.S. drone attacks violate international law and principles of war, so the use of an armed drone on August 29h was illegal.  Further, he said, Air Force veteran Daniel Hale was sent to federal prison in July at the hands of the Biden Administration for releasing government documents that addressed precisely the faulty intelligence and other problems with the U.S. drone program that led to the August 29th drone attack.  “The use of weaponized drones should have been shelved years ago,” Mottern said.

He and Kelly said also: “It is beyond outrageous that the Pentagon has yet to provide full reparations for the killing of Ahmadi family members and has failed to meet their need for speedy passage to the United States.”  BanKillerDrones.org has called for reparations of $3 million for each of the 10 Ahmadi family members killed.  The Washington Post reported that the Obama administration paid “nearly $3 million” to the family of Giovanni Lo Porto, who was mistakenly killed in a U.S. drone attack in Pakistan in 2015.

The U.S. ought to be aiding all the hundreds of thousands of Afghans suffering in the wreckage of the U.S. invasion and occupation,” they said, “rather than trying to shrug off the August 29th drone atrocity.”

The Ban Killer Drones network is comprised of concerned citizens, in local and national peace and justice organizations, many of them in communities in which there are killer drone control bases. Together they are organizing to achieve a United Nations conference to adopt and ratify an international treaty to ban weaponized drones and military and police drone surveillance.

 

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Five Witness Against Torture Activists Arrested In Washington DC

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release:

Contact:  Kathy Kelly  773 619 2418
Brian Terrell  773 853 1886

Five Witness Against Torture Activists Arrested for Bannering on the Supreme Court Steps as Part of “Stop Torture” protest

January 9, 2019   ~Activists Participate in week long fast calling on the U.S. to Stop Support for the Murderous War in Yemen and Close the Prison Camp at Guantanamo

On January 9, 2019, five human rights activists protesting all forms of torture were arrested while bannering on the Supreme Court steps. Their banner stated:

“We Target. We Torture. We Terrify,” followed by the question “Who Are We?”

Joining them were dozens of protesters who formed a tableau to denounce US-backed war on Yemen and call for closure of Guantanamo.

Alongside the banner, children’s bookbags were scattered atop bloodied shrouds. Each backpack bore the name of a Yemeni child killed on August 9, 2019 when a Saudi warplane fired a Lockheed 500 lb. missile at a school bus. Remembering nine prisoners who died in Guantanamo, activists clad in jumpsuits and hoods laid down on bloodied shrouds, across from the backpacks.

While Supreme Court security guards handcuffed those holding the banner, supporters sang:

“Know where you stand. No more war. Know where you stand and stand there.”

Explaining why she chose to risk arrest, Ellen Graves, a social worker from Western Massachusetts said she is troubled by grotesque practices that have starved, maimed, dismembered and traumatized Yemeni children. Graves and many of the other activists have gathered for a week of fasting and action that marks January 11, the seventeenth year since Muslim men have been imprisoned in Guantanamo. “The misery of Muslim people continues,” said Dr. Maha Hilal, after reading the names of the Yemeni children being commemorated along with the names of nine Muslim men who have died in Guantanamo.

Photo caption: Witness Against Torture activists demonstrate at Supreme Court
Photo credit: Steve Pavey

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Note: The five who were arrested (Joanne Lingle, Manijeh Saba, Ellen Graves, Sherrill Hogen and Charley Bowman) will likely be held overnight and appear in court tomorrow. (Arraignments tend to happen at 1:00 p.m.) All best, Kathy




Hancock Nativity Tableau Charges Dismissed

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                 contact: Ed Kinane  315) 478-4571 home

10 March 2017                                                  John Amidon 518) 312-6442 cell

CHARGES DISMISSED AGAINST 12/23 “NATIVITY FOUR” HANCOCK REAPER DRONE PROTESTERS FOLLOWING LAST WEEK’S JURY ACQUITTAL OF THE “BIG BOOKS” HANCOCK DRONE PROTESTERS

In a surprise move, DeWitt Town Court Judge David Gideon dismissed charges against all four* Upstate Drone Action activists protesting the hunter/killer MQ9 Reaper drones piloted over Afghanistan by the 174th Attack Wing of the NY National Guard at Hancock AFB just north of Syracuse NY.

The four had staged a December 23, 2016 “Nativity tableau” in front of Hancock’s main gate, at 6001 East Molloy Road in the Town of DeWitt. The four protesters were charged with trespass, disorderly conduct and obstruction of government administration. (OGA).   OGA is a misdemeanor requiring a jury and carrying up to a year’s sentence.

Judge Gideon explained last night’s dismissal by noting that the accusatory documents provided by Hancock repeatedly referred to the 12/23 “Nativity” arrests as occurring  on Federal property – which the Judge declared outside his  jurisdiction.

In a three-day trial culminating on March 2, 2017, also before Judge Gideon, a six-person jury, after deliberating about a half hour, acquitted all defendants of the same charges for their “Big Books” action at Hancock on March 19, 2015

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[[nativity acquittal press release]]
UpstateDroneAction.org




Veterans and Activists Arrested Protesting Drone Terror at Creech AFB

 Veterans and Activists Arrested Protesting Drone Terror
at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada

Veterans For Peace national President Barry Ladendorf, Board member Tarak Kauff, and Advisory Board member Ann Wright were among eight peace activists who were arrested early Thursday morning, after physically blocking the main gate to Creech Air Force Base near Las Vegas, Nevada.

Also arrested were VFP members Barry Binks (long time, often arrested drone protester),Ken Mayers, Chris Kundson and Leslie Harris, along with Joan Pleume of the New York Granny Peace Brigade.

Drone pilots based at Creech AFB, directed by the CIA and the Pentagon, regularly carry out drone strikes against targets in Afghanistan and Pakistan, killing many civilians and terrorizing the population.

A larger civil disobedience action is planned for Friday.

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March 31, 2016 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Robert Majors 702-646-4814 rmajors@mail.com

Military Veterans Arrested at Creech Air Force Base Trying to Stop Drone Warfare 

Indian Springs, NV – During peak rush hour traffic on Thursday March 31st at Creech AFB, military veterans and friends were arrested while waving Veterans for Peace (VFP) flags and nonviolently blocking traffic at the East Gate on Hwy. 95, the primary commuter gate into the base. As the traffic was impeded, Las Vegas Police diverted cars up the highway to less used, alternative gates.

At the same time, 20 people held vigil between the frontage road and US Highway 95 as four other peace and justice activists greeted the diverted traffic with a second peaceful anti-drone blockade expressed as a sitting silent meditation in front of the second gate.

The arrests at 7:50 AM today were part of a week-long orchestrated effort by over 100 activists from over 20 states in the country, mobilized to oppose the U.S. drone program that uses remotely controlled planes controlled at Creech to indiscriminately drop missiles on some of the most vulnerable populations in the world. Thursday’s traffic was delayed for fifteen minutes, as Creech employees and contractors were diverted to the 2nd gate, and then to the 3rd gate once demonstrators blocked the 2nd gate. The prayer-activists at the 2nd gate were not arrested.

This was the first of several civil resistance actions planned during the week-long National Mass Mobilization against Drone Warfare known as SHUT DOWN CREECH. All of the demonstrators who were arrested were taken to the Las Vegas Metropolitan County Jail.

Meanwhile the remaining activists at “Camp Justice” across from the base continue the regular schedule of nonviolence training and strategy sessions for creative and nonviolent ways to stop the illegal assassination program at Creech Air Force Base for as long as possible.

The 8 activists arrested were:

Barry Binks, VFP, California
Leslie Harris, VFP, Texas
Tarak Kauff, VFP, New York
Chris Knudsen, VFP, CA, California
Barry Ladendorf, VFP, California
Ken Mayers, VFP, New Mexico
Joan Pleune, NY Granny Peace Brigade, New York Col.
Ann Wright, VFP and retired 29 year army veteran, and former U.S. diplomat, Hawaii



Press Release: Drone Protesters’ Charges Dismissed

16 December 2015                                                                              contact: Ed Kinane, 315) 478-4571 home
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                info: www.upstatedroneaction.org

ANTI-REAPER DRONE PROTESTERS’
  CHARGES DISMISSED IN DEWITT TOWN COURT

This afternoon, December 16, town of DeWitt (NY) judge Robert Jokl dismissed the charges against the five anti-Reaper drone protesters arrested on September 21, 2015. The protesters had blocked the main entrance of Hancock Air Force Base near Syracuse with three long one-word banners reading DRONES  KILL  CHILDREN.

Hancock is the home of the 174th Attack Wing of the New York State National Guard.
The five Central New Yorkers  are from Syracuse and Ithaca, and are each active in the Upstate Drone Action Coalition.

That Coalition alleges that the 174th Attack Wing commits ongoing war crime for its weaponized Reaper drone missions over Afghanistan. The robotic unmanned Reapers operated by remote control notoriously kill many civilians both within and beyond war zones through the Middle East and West Asia.

Pro bono attorney Jonathan Wallace argued before Judge Jokl  that the prosecution’s paperwork was woefully inadequate. That the prosecutor failed to even appear in court probably did not help his case.

The five – along with many others — have each been arrested and incarcerated for previous nonviolent anti-drone protests at Hancock:

  • Dan Burgevin
  • Ed Kinane
  • Bonny Mahoney
  • Julienne Oldfield
  • James Ricks.

Since 2010 scores of Upstate Drone Action members have been arrested for their nonviolent rotests at Hancock.

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Prosecution Rests in Hancock Trial

June 25, 2015, DeWitt, NY: Four concerned citizens are on trial before Judge Joseph Zavaglia in the DeWitt Town Court for their action at Hancock Drone Base, a suburb of Syracuse, NY, on April 28, 2013. The four are Jules Orkin of Bergenfield, NJ,  Ellen Barfield of Baltimore, MD, Beverly Rice, and Joan Pleune of NYC.

Jury selection was yesterday. The jury of six and two alternates, were chosen from the Town of DeWitt. One of the jurors said he thinks Edward Snowden should be executed and that weaponized drones are good.

The Assistant District Attorney, Peter Hakes  started his case today, with only one witness taking the stand. After a full day of questioning of the witness, Chief Master Sergeant Ramsey, the prosecution rested their case.

The four defendants are facing four charges, Obstruction of Governmental Administration, Trespass, and two Disorderly Conducts. If found guilty the activists could be sentenced to a year.

On April 28, 2013,  31people were arrested as they tried to bring to the base an image of what a drone strike could look like. The defendants participated in the action.

The Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and Stop the Wars along with colleague organizations Veterans For Peace and the Granny Peace Brigade to which the defendants belong, believe the killing is immoral and illegal, violating the United Nations Charter, and international treaty laws which under Article 6 of the US Constitution are part of the supreme law of the United States and supercede local and Federal law.

Since 2010 anti-drone activists have experienced nearly 200 arrests and numerous jail sentences at Hancock for scrupulously-nonviolent protests, as part of a national campaign to resist drones at a number of bases. 

The trial will continue with the defense starting it’s case on Friday morning.  Please come support the defendants.

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