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37 Arrested Protesting Drones at Hancock Air Base

By Tom Keogh
Member of the Brooklyn for Peace Anti Militarism Committee
(Note – this article is slightly edited from an email we received from Tom Keogh)

On Friday, April 22, activists held an anti -war, anti- drone protest at the Hancock Air National Guard base near Syracuse. There was also a protest at a drone base in Nevada yesterday.

People from Staten Island, the Bronx, Manhattan and Brooklyn were there. Some were arrested. 37 people were arrested including Jerome Berrigan , 91, brother of Fr. Dan Berrigan and the late Phillip Berrigan. One TV station says that 200 were arrested which was not accurate.
 
There are so many protests these days. This one was very well organized. People from the Syracuse Peace Council, Ithaca Catholic Worker, Art Rage, the World Can't Wait, Vets For Peace and other groups did a great job. We marched through Syracuse 6 miles in the afternoon. In the morning the group marched and protested at several locations in downtown Syracuse such as the Federal Building. Some protesters had been marching all week having started in Ithaca and another group had started in Rochester.

Earlier in the week Obama announced the use of drones in Libya. The previous week they announced that they can use nuclear weapons on drones if they want to. So far in 2011, drones are killing large numbers of civilians in Iraq, Pakistan , Afghanistan , Yemen , and now in the escalating war in Libya. On Monday April 11, the US military admitted that they killed U .S. soldiers in Afghanistan with a drone. The military explanation is that drones have a mechanism that detects the body heat of people. In a combat area, 2 warm bodies were detected and killed. Those drones and drone operators can not see who they are killing. They can not tell the difference between a civilian or a soldier or the nationality of that soldier according to the official press releases on the April 11 killings.

This site has a nice photo of Veronica and David from Brooklyn For Peace with a Brooklyn banner.

http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2011/04/war_protestors_arrested_at_han.html

ABC Channel 9 has a good video and article with the names of all the arrested people.

http://www.9wsyr.com/content/news/breakingnews/37-anti-drone-protesters-arrested-near-Hancock/BtPwDH7mxkKEh8rJPRI7XA.cspx

Please watch these videos so that channel 9 and the other news companies see that people are interested in this issue. They count the hits.

USA Today had 3 reports - 2 with unexpected comments.

U.S. Predator Strike in Libya Leads to Syracuse Protest

( Actually the anti-drone  protests at Hancock were started before the war in Libya. These protests have been held weekly in the spring , fall and summer and monthly in the winter since 2009 )

http://fingerlakes.ynn.com/content/top_stories/540989/u-s--predator-strike-in-libya-leads-to-syracuse-protest/

Protesting in Syracuse and Christian Persecution in Pakistan over drones.

This report quotes FOX News saying that US drone killings in Pakistan have led to attacks on Pakistan's Christians by Pakistan's non Christians. I never heard of that before.

http://www.examiner.com/christian-living-in-syracuse/protesting-syracuse-and-christian-persecution-pakistan-over-drones

This is another video of this, "some came from as far away as Brooklyn"

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xicuro_anti-drone-protesters-arrested-near-hancock-air-base-4-22-11_news

There are other news sources that also covered the event. If you would like more information or would like photos from the protest for your news letter or web site I can send it to you.


Tom Keough 
member
Brooklyn For Peace
Anti Militarism Committee

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