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]

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)
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)?)