Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Occupy Beale AFB! "Report Back: Jan. 8 Beale 9 Anti-Drone Hearing and Rally"

[], news archive for the Peace vigil and Occupy action at Beale AFB! [].
Contact information:
* Bay Area: Toby, 510-215-5974;
* Nevada County: Shirley, 941-320-0291;

2013-01-16 message from The "Beale 9": Shirley, Sharon, Janie, David, Jan, Louie, MacGregor, Barry and Toby:* 5 charged with Trespassing, 4 arrestees had charges dismissed.
* Next Occupy Beale Anti-drone Encampment: Jan. 30-31, Wed. 3pm to Thurs. 9am, Meet at Main Gate, N. Beale Rd.
* Guari Delgado's photos []:

Background:  On Oct. 31st,  60 peace activists gathered at Beale AFB to stand in unity against U.S. drone warfare.  The main gate was blocked for nearly 5 hours.  Utimately 9 activists were arrested.  There arraignment was Jan. 8th. in Sacramento.  Here's the report back on a most amazing day!

Phase 1:  Pre-hearing Rally and Arraignment -
   35-40 activists from Sacramento, Grass Valley, Chico, SF Bay Area and Salinas participated in a lively pre-hearing rally.  Large anti-drone banners and signs colored the sidewalks around the Federal courtroom for hours, before, during and after the rally.  (Guari's photos tell all)  Thanks to all who supported it! 
We had some media coverage, including the SacBee here: [] (More media coverage below).
The Arraignment:  Cres put together an awesome legal team of at least 9 lawyers to represent us all pro bono, the "Dream Team," as he calls it.  Attorneys Michael Hansen and Mark Reichel were there on our behalf at the arraignment. 
5 arrestees pled "not guilty" to trespassing charges.  The prosecution requested that 4 of the 9 arrestees have their charges dismissed due to "weak evidence," according to the SacBee news report.  No explanation was given in the courtroom. 
Trial date set for the April 15 for the "BEALE 5".  Their attorneys are likely to request a jury trial.
Details in Sharon's Blog: []
And Robin Ryan's blog: []

Phase 2:  Concerned Citizens appeal to Congress -
A serious effort was made to demand congressional oversight over the illegal and immoral extra-judiciary killings under the U.S. drone warfare program executed by Obama's lawless Administration.  Several dozen activists delivered signed letters to staff from the offices of Sen. Barbara Boxer and Rep. Doris Matsui.  We also delivered copies of revealing research studies on the negative effects of the U.S. drone program and civilian casualties. 
* []
* []
BOXER:  Two attempts in the morning to have a meeting with Sen. Boxer's staff were fruitless, even though contact was made days earlier to let them know there were constituents gathering that day from the greater N. Calif. area. However, a revealing photo was on the office wall revealing the Senator's priorities re: peace and war (see disturbing photo at end of this message).
MATSUI:  In contrast, though the visit was unscheduled, Ellie Longo, a staff member from Rep. Doris Matsui's office, did allow a large group of activists to meet with her informally and voice their complaints about U.S. drone killings in an extensive exchange.  She ultimately showed respect and concern for why we were there and promised to try to arrange a meeting with us with the Congresswoman and to give her our signed letters.

The letter: (please share the letter with others and deliver to your nearest Congressperson soon!)
Dear Senator/Representative:        
Last month, 20 of our precious and innocent children were killed in a barrage of bullets from weapons carried by someone unknown to them. Our country still reels from the numbing news. We mourn for them, for their families, and for our country.
In Yemen and in Pakistan, countries with which we are not at war, at least 178 precious and innocent children have been killed by U.S. drone strikes launched by someone unknown to them. As a people, why do we not respond with equal revulsion and sympathy?
Are the children of foreign lands any less precious? And is the government that is responsible for their deaths any less guilty of murder than the Newtown gunman?
You hold in your hands, by the power of your office, the capacity to stop the carnage. In the name of decency, and in memory of the innocent children the world over killed by our drones, I ask you to co-sponsor HR 819, directing the U.S. Attorney General to transmit to the House any and all legal documents and memoranda relating to the use of drones by the U.S. government.
I will look to you, as my elected representative, to sign on to HR 819 before the end of this month. Your failure to do so will announce to the world your complicity in the murder by assault weapons of children no less precious than our own.
Most sincerely, [your name]

Phase 3:  Afternoon Anti-Drone Protests at Military Bases -
Beale AFB:   11-12 people from Bay Area, Sacramento, Linda, Nevada County and Chico "caravaned" to the Main Gate for a lively and impassioned afternoon protest with banners for a couple of hours. Jeffrey led them all in uplifting peace songs.  Barry Binks from Sacramento VFP was courageous enough to go solo to the Wheatland/S. Beale Rd. gate where he reported there was lots of traffic.
Travis AFB:  2 activists stood vigil and held out 2 very large banners and flashed peace signs.  At both bases, large photos of a Pakistani child victim's face was displayed to show Americans the true face of drone warfare.  These often evoked angry responses, as they aroused uncomfortable feelings. But our purpose is to uncover the truth about our "sanitized" drone wars, no matter how difficult it is to face the reality.  A truth our mass media fails so terribly to reveal.
A bazillion thanks to all who came to support the amazing day.  Hope to see more of you participating as this movement grows!

Full Media Coverage:
* []
* []
* KCRA 3, local TV did a story [].
* This is a blog of U.S. Court cases that goes to lawyers, judges, etc. [].
* []

Does Sen. Boxer stand with Peace or War?????
Photo on the wall in Senator Boxer's the background is the Global Hawk, the surveillance drone flown at Beale, and an accomplice in the targeted killings.  

Of note,  a google search revealed Brig. General Polumbo now works at Langley AFB, right next to CIA headquarters........ummmmmmmmm!!!!!!    

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