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.

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