Wednesday, August 27, 2014

September 10: Des Moines Rally Against Drones with Medea Benjamin



Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Code Pink, is known world-wide as a tireless campaigner for peace and justice. She will be a presenter at the Drones Symposium at Grinnell College on Wednesday, September 10th at 4:15 PM. Prior to that, she will lead a rally at 10:00AM at the gates of the 132nd Iowa Air National Guard at the north side of the Des Moines airport.

The 132nd is being converted to a piloting and control center for Reaper Drones. Armed with Hellfire missiles, these drones may be used to assassinate people, combatants and civilians alike, in countries with whom the US is not at war.

Medea is the author of Drone Warfare: Killing By Remote Control

Iowa Must Not Pilot Reaper Drones
Rally at the Iowa Air National Guard 132nd Base
3100 McKinley Ave, Des Moines
Wednesday, September 10th
10AM – 10:45 AM

Speaker: Medea Benjamin


Related posts

Iowa is resisting the establishment of a drone command center, too. As reported via a well-crafted video report in the Des Moines Register, over 100 Catholic Workers and members of Veterans for Peace, among other Iowans, arose on St. Patrick's day at the 132nd Air National Guard base to bear witness to those killed by drone warfare and to deliver an indictment to base commanders in protest of the base's conversion to one that will be used to pilot drones.

(See 7 Arrested delivering powerful indictment of drone warfare at 132nd division Air National Guard Base )


On September 25, 2014, in Cedar Rapids, Brian Terrell of the Strangers and Guests Catholic Worker Farm will share about his experience in working towards nonviolence. Brian is one of the leading activists in the movement to end drone warfare.

(See September 25 - Catholic Worker Presentation with Brian Terrell)












Five big realizations I'm taking away from the 2013 CODEPINK Drone Summit "Drones Around the Globe: Proliferation and Resistance" in Washington, DC.

(See The 2013 DC Drones Conference: 5 Big Takeaways )

Friday, August 22, 2014

September 25 - Catholic Worker Presentation with Brian Terrell

Brian Terrell of the Strangers and Guests Catholic Worker Farm will share about his experience in working towards nonviolence.

September 25, 2014
12:45  – 2:00 p.m.
Mount Mercy University
1330 Elmhurst Dr NE
Cedar Rapids, IA

Contact: Marianne Comfort: mcomfort [at] sistersofmercy.org


This event is one of the dozens of Campaign Nonviolence actions
taking place nationwide during September, 2014, many of them
organized by groups with a strong history of protesting drones
killings and drone surveillance.
See the full list of actions nationwide.


Related posts

Perhaps the single most significant consequence of the advent of killer drones is that they allow the state to efficiently separate war-making from the emotional involvement of the people of the country using them. In other words, with the coming of drone warfare, we have been denied the opportunity for empathy with those affected by our (direct and indirect) actions.

(See Why is "Ending the military drone program" a pillar of Campaign Nonviolence?)


"There seems to be in these last weeks a new openness to speaking about the issue of the drones. It is as if with the dreadful distraction of the presidential election over, people are wiping the sleep from their eyes and are shocked to see the evil that had been festering while they were not looking."

(See Brian Terrell: "I go in solidarity with prisoners every place")











The defendants, Ron Faust of Kansas City and Brian Terrell of Maloy, Iowa, participated in the April 15 “Trifecta Resista” protest at Missouri’s Whiteman Air Force Base, from where killer drones engage in combat in Afghanistan by remote control. They were arrested for trespass as they attempted to deliver an “indictment” to Brigadier General Scott A. Vander Hamm, the base’s commander. The indictment charges the chain of command, from President Obama to General Vander Hamm to the drone crews at Whiteman “with the following crimes; extrajudicial killings, violation of due process, wars of aggression, violation of national sovereignty, and the killing of innocent civilians” and demands that these crimes immediately cease.

(See Put the Drones on Trial! Join Ramsey Clark, Kathy Kelly, Ann Wright and Bill Quigley )


In Pennsylvania, demonstrations to stop the establishment of the Drone War Command Center at the Horsham Air Guard Station, outside of Philadelphia, have been going on monthly. There will be a protest on September 27, 2014, in conjunction with the Campaign Nonviolence week of actions.

(See September 27 - Stop Drone War Command Center at Horsham )



Monday, August 11, 2014

Rep. David Loebsack: Support the "Come Clean on Drones Killing" Bill!

Rep. Loebsack at a Rock Island Arsenal Joint
Manufacturing and Technology Center (RIA-JMTC)
event.
Rep. David Loebsack, representing Iowa's second congressional district, has strong progressive credentials.

He is reputed to have called for more scrutiny over military drones. (See "Congress examining non-military use of drones," in The Gazette, March 20, 2013)

A bill is pending in Congress -- the The Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act (HR 4372) -- also known as the "Come Clean on Drone Killing" Act. At this writing, quite a few of Rep. Loebsack's fellow progressive caucus members have become co-sponsors for the bill. So where is Rep. Loebsack?

Rep. Loebsack's constituents need to contact him and urge him to co-sponsor the bill today.

Additional resources to help:

Identify your member of Congress

Example letter to a member of Congress in support of HR 4372: the Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act (the "come clean on drone killings" act)


Related posts

First Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN) called the U.S. on the carpet for dodging the call from the international community to come clean about its drone killings. Then Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Walter Jones (R-NC) submitted a bill calling for drone transparency. So ... are we finally going to get the truth?

(See REAL Progressives Demand that the U.S. Come Clean on Drone Killings)



In June 2013, Voices for Creative Nonviolence conducted a walk of about 190 miles from the Rock Island Arsenal (where drone and bomb parts are made and stored) to the Iowa Air National Guard Facility at Des Moines Airport, planned site of a new drone command center.

(See Summer Days: Covering Ground to Ground the Drones in Iowa with VCNV )












A 2013 U.N. report makes it clear that the U.S. has to report fully on all its drone attacks.

(See 2014: The Year of Transparency (for U.S. Drone Use)?)








Tuesday, March 18, 2014

7 Arrested delivering powerful indictment of drone warfare at 132nd division Air National Guard Base


As reported via a well-crafted video report in the Des Moines Register, over 100 Catholic Workers and members of Veterans for Peace, among other Iowans, arose on St. Patrick's day at the 132nd Air National Guard base to bear witness to those killed by drone warfare and to deliver an indictment to base commanders in protest of the base's conversion to one that will be used to pilot drones.
The last F-16 flew from the 132nd ANG base in 2013.

7 were arrested and charged with criminal trespass as they delivered this indictment. Their statement:
Approaching the gates of the 132nd Air National Guard base.
"We come to the Des Moines Air National Guard base, today, as members of faith based and Catholic Worker communities and the Veterans for Peace who annually join for a week of nonviolent resistance to war and injustice.   This week, we aim to raise a call against the use of remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) commonly known as drones.  We recognize that the slaughter of war always requires war makers to dehumanize the victims.  Reliance on drones exacerbates the dehumanization because the technology allows war makers to kill a target without identifying clearly who the person is or what the person has done or is doing.

Therefore today we bring to this base the faces of several who have been killed as well as the desire of a young Afghan friend who says, 'We want to live without war.'"


Demonstrators bore arresting images of the
 victims of drone warfare, many of them children.

The 7 arrested delivering this statement were Ruthie Cole, Eddie Bloomer, Elliot Adams, Julie Brown, Michelle Naar-Obed, Chet Guinn, Steve Clemens.


 Members of the broader faith community were present as well. Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel said:

 "In a free society, few are guilty but all are responsible.  If weaponized drones are flown from this base, we, along with RPA crews, share responsibility for consequences including death of targeted victims and whatever trauma is sustained by those who operate the drones."

"These people here today would say that our use of weaponized drone warfare has been
 illegal and immoral. In addition it has been stupid, because it has created more enemies
 for the United States."-Ed Flaherty, President of the Iowa City chapter of Veterans for Peace

"Iowa Must Not Pilot Reaper Drones"


"Drones fly, children die." A sea of signs and flags surrounded the
 132nd ANG base in Des Moines on Monday.




This was just the beginning in a series of demonstrations and events throughout the country as part of the Spring Days of Drone Action. Click here to learn more.

Monday, February 24, 2014

St. Patrick's Day Rally at 132nd Attack Wing facility in Des Moines


St Patrick banishes the
 snakes from Ireland.
An even worse blight: Iowan complicity in drone strikes that kill civilians and
 perpetuate hatred against the U.S.
Over 100 Catholic Workers from throughout the Midwest, along with members of Veterans for Peace and other activists, will rally at the facility on Saturday, March 15 (10 - 11:15 am). This will be part of a St. Patrick’s Day weekend program that will include as speakers famous activists like Kathy Kelly, Elliott Adams and Daniel Hale. The theme will be “Chasing the snakes and drones out of Iowa…” 

For more information and to get involved, contact frank.cordaro@gmail.com

Friday, May 10, 2013

Summer Days: Covering Ground to Ground the Drones in Iowa with VCNV

Voices for Creative Nonviolence is organizing a walk of about 190 miles from the Rock Island Arsenal (where drone and bomb parts are made and stored) to the Iowa Air National Guard Facility at Des Moines Airport, planned site of a new drone command center. The walk will take place between June 8 and June 24, 2013.

Participants will spend time with Brian Terrell, a Voices activist from Iowa, who will have just completed 6 months in prison for nonviolent civil resistance at a drone base, and Kathy Kelly, who will have just returned from Afghanistan, where U.S. drones have tragically impacted so many lives.

Read the full description of Covering Ground to Ground the Drones -- including details about how you can get involved as a walker and/or a local sponsor -- on the VCNV website.



Sunday, May 5, 2013

Des Moines: May 1, 2013, Protest Against Drones

The Iowa Air National Guard has a new mission: drones.

The grim reaper is thrilled.

The grim reaper in Iowa: "I LOVE DRONES"
On May 1, 2013, protests against drones were help outside the Iowa Air National Guard’s 132nd Fighter Wing:
Holding signs with phrases like, "Drones are for bagpipes," and "No more video game warfare," members of the Des Moines chapter of Veterans for Peace, the Des Moines Catholic Worker and Catholic Peace Ministry gathered to hear Robert Naiman, a Huffington Post columnist and policy director at Just Foreign Policy speak about the impending mission, which is intended to replace the current F-16 program.

"The military is trying to convince people in our community that this is just another business," Naiman said. "This is not just, well we lost manufacturing, now we have the military. This is a special kind of business that's about killing innocent people in other countries."

(Full story in the Des Moines Register, May 1, 2013: "Protesters hold anti-drone rally at Iowa's 132nd Fighter Wing" and Video: "Drone protest at Iowa Air National Guard Base")

For more information on upcoming protests against drones in Iowa, see: Summer Days: Covering Ground to Ground the Drones in Iowa with VCNV.


(Photos by Frank Coradaro and the Phil Berrigan CW House. View full photo gallery here.)