Syracuse, N.Y. Four anti-drone resisters were sentenced last night in Judge Joseph J. Zavaglia’s DeWitt (NY) Town Court for alleged trespass at a “die-in” on April 28, 2013 at Hancock Air Base, home to the 174th Attack Wing of the NY National Guard, just north of Syracuse, NY. At their four-day trial this past June trial the six-person jury acquitted the four of disorderly conduct and obstruction of government administration.
The four are members of Upstate Drone Action Coalition – a scrupulously nonviolent, loosely-knit grassroots network which, since 2009 has actively opposed the Hancock Reaper drones flying missions over Afghanistan. The Reaper, an unmanned robot, is notorious for violating international law by killing, maiming and terrorizing civilians in several U.S. undeclared wars.
By now, most people know there are 13 Greenpeace activists hanging from the St. Johns Bridge spanning the Willamette River that connects Portland to the small town of St. Johns. They are protesting Shell Oil's drilling in the Arctic. The icebreaker Fennica arrived in Portland last week for repairs. The ship is now repaired, and there is a cat and mouse game being played out for its departure to the Arctic.
It’s way too easy for you and me, living our daily lives, to overlook the personal hardships whistleblowers are going through everyday just so we can keep America a true democracy.
Edward Snowden is still living in exile. Thomas Drake was indicted, lost his job and his pension. Franz Gayle is the target of ongoing investigations and lost the career he loved.
Next Thursday, July 30th is National Whistleblower Appreciation Day - a time to honor whistleblowers and push for the de-criminalization of truth telling.
On Tuesday, July 14, the U.S. and other world powers finalized a comprehensive nuclear agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI).
This is a major event. The agreement was hammered out over many months of often sharply contentious negotiations. The deal’s focus is Iran’s nuclear program, but it also represents a big strategic move—and gamble—by the U.S. and Iran to address the mounting challenges they each face on many fronts in a rapidly changing region and world. (The other world powers that have been part of the negotiations—China, Russia, Germany, France, and Britain—each has its own varying reasons for supporting the agreement.)