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.)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

April Days of Action Against Drones: Resolution to Prevent Domestic Drone Use in Iowa

April Days of Action Against Drones has taken the form of dozens of anti-drone demonstrations nationwide, including in Chicago, San Diego, and Washington, D.C.

In response to this grassroots national movement, The Burlington, Iowa city council has sent the following resolution to the Iowa state General Assembly:


A RESOLUTION
To encourage the General Assembly of Iowa to provide for limitations on the use of evidence obtained from the domestic use of drones and to preclude the domestic use of drones equipped with anti-personnel devices.
WHEREAS, the rapid implementation of drone technology throughout the United States poses a serious threat to the privacy and constitutional rights of the American people, including the residents of Burlington; and
WHEREAS, the federal government and the State of Iowa have thus far failed to provide reasonable legal restrictions on the use of drones within the United States; and
WHEREAS, police departments throughout the country have begun implementing drone technology absent any guidance or guidelines from law makers;
NOW, THEREFORE, LET IT BE RESOLVED, that the City Council of Burlington,Iowa, calls on the United States Congress and the General Assembly of the State of Iowa, to adopt legislation 
prohibiting information obtained from the domestic use of drones from being introduced into a Federal or State court, and precluding the domestic use of drones equipped with anti-personnel devices, meaning any projectile, chemical, electrical, directed-energy (visible or invisible), or other device designed to harm, incapacitate, or otherwise negatively impact a human being.



To get involved in the movement in Iowa, join the group Drone wars Iowa.

Check out other events nationwide!


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Call for "No Drones" in Iowa Colleges, Universities, and Research Institutions

Friends,

A national call has been made for “April Days of Action” to focus on three key components of U.S. drone work: Drone Manufacturers, Drone Bases in the U.S., and Drone Research. (See the list about nationwide actions and post your own planned actions for April.)

Given the fact that drones are now the primary weapons of warfare used by the US, and for surveillance both domestic and abroad, the research and development of this warfare is growing rapidly at academic institutions, in our towns and neighborhoods. Drones are the perfect instrument for endless war that kills civilians, even as they target “militants” in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Afghanistan.

Academic institutions often receive large grants from the U.S. Department of Defense, enabling them to build labs within schools of engineering, for instance. We are well aware that without this research in robotics, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), and the accompanying accessories, these drone warfare projects would probably not take place. So there is an interdependent relationship between the universities and the U.S. government and or its Department of Defense and CIA. (CIA drones are used in countries with which the U.S. is not “at war”, ie Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, Mali, and others.)

While universities tend to publicize some information on their respective websites regarding the drone work, it is most often said to be for non-military purposes. And there are students working in the labs who are convinced that all the research is for humanitarian purposes. However, history has told us that non-military can quickly and easily become military. Moreover research has shown drones make mistakes on recognizing their targets.

We are therefore asking organizations and individuals, nationwide, to explore any drone research that might be going on at their local university. We are calling for local actions between April 16 and 18, 2013 (Suggested actions are listed below) Our limited research into University and Academic UAV programs indicates that at least one research center is operating in Iowa:
Iowa State University - Ames
Before those dates in April we will need to know what information you have acquired about the research and what actions and events your group is planning.This will be shared among groups in the Network. You can send this information to us at notodrone@gmail.com.

We will have a press committee that will receive your press release and any articles you are able to publish before or after the event.

This project will complement other outreach, education and action projects that will be launched in April, focusing on drone bases, April 27-28 and drone manufacturers , April 4-6.

Suggested actions:
  1. Learn what research is being done by searching on a university website. Look especially at the Engineering Dept. 
  2. Organize a forum, preferably on campus, with speakers and discussion. Be sure to publicize in campus newspapers, and possibly include a professor as one of the speakers. Also include local activists.
  3. Plan a small meeting with the appropriate persons in the department working on drone research, both professors and students.
  4. Hold vigils and leaflet on or close to the campus, as well as in town.
  5. Let us know if you need further tools for your research.
Thanks in advance for your reply to notodrone@gmail.com.

With all good wishes,

Marge Van Cleef, WILPF, Philadelphia
Leila Zand, For USA
Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator, Voices for Creative Nonviolence

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Des Moines Events Jan22, Jan23 as Iowa Joins National Anti-Drone Movement

Two events in Des Moines in coming days are sure to galvanize the resistance to killer drones there as Iowa joins the nationwide movement of resistance and protest:

A Report Back From Pakistan

With Leah Bolger, Pres. National Veterans for Peace. Leah Bolger is national president of Veterans for Peace. A commander in the US Navy, she retired in 2000 after a 20 year career. She recently returned from a trip to Pakistan, where she was part of a delegation of peace activists that joined a march with thousands of Pakistanis against the US/NATO drone attacks.
Date: Tuesday, Jan 22, 2013
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Place: Franklin Ave Library, 5000 Franklin Ave. Des Moines,IA
A Catholic Peace Ministry and Des Moines Veterans for Peace (VFP) #163 sponsored event.

For more info contact:

Jeffrey J Weiss
Catholic Peace Ministry
Phone: 515-255-8114
Email: jjwcpm@yahoo.com

Gilbert E. Landolt
President, Veterans for Peace (VFP) #163
Phone: 515-333-2180
Email: peacevet@hotmail.com



Kick Off of Iowa Unmanned Drone Campaign Vigil and News Conference

With Leah Bolger, Pres. National Veterans for Peace
Date: Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Time: 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Place: Main entrance of the Iowa Air National Guard’s 132nd Fighter
Wing Headquarters, located at Des Moines International Airport

For more info contact:

Gilbert E. Landolt
President, Veterans for Peace (VFP) #163
Phone: 515-333-2180
Email: peacevet@hotmail.com