Wednesday, April 30, 2014


We, the people, charge the US President, Barak Obama, and the full military chain of command, to Beale Air Force Base Commander Colonel Col. Phil Stewart, 9th Reconnaissance Wing commander, every drone crew, and service members at Beale Air Force Base, and every other U.S. base involved directly or indirectly with the U.S. drone program with crimes against humanity, with violations of part of the Supreme Law of the Land, extrajudicial killings, violation of due process, wars of aggression, violation national sovereignty, and killing of innocent civilians.
US military and CIA Drone attacks have killed thousands of innocent civilians, including women and children, in the Middle East,  Somalia, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.  In the name of combating terrorism against the U.S. we are terrorizing innocent people, and creating many more enemies and potential terrorists in the process.
Our government has become lawless powers, acting as judge, jury and executioner, just because it can.  The U.S. uses remote-controlled drones to kill women in their kitchens, elders meeting in their jirgas, mourners at funerals, and rescuers who try to help the wounded.  By most independent studies, the vast majority of those killed are civilians.
We therefore, demand:
(1) An immediate ban on the use of all drones for extrajudicial killing
(2) A halt all drone surveillance that assaults basic freedoms and inalienable rights and terrorizes domestic life in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and Somalia
 (3) A prohibition on the sale, and distribution of drones and drone technology to foreign countries in order to prevent the proliferation of this menacing threat to world peace, freedom and security and
(4) An immediate end to  this lawless behavior of drone warfare that violates many international laws and treaties.

"Veterans Oppose US Troop Deployments near Ukraine"

Ukraine: Target for fascist coup [link]

2014-04-30 from "Veterans for Peace" []:
SAINT LOUIS - The deployment of U.S. troops to Poland and the Baltics is causing alarm among U.S. military veterans, who fear that ratcheting up military tensions near conflicted Ukraine could lead to a war between the U.S. and Russia, two nuclear-armed powers. Veterans For Peace is warning against further escalation of the conflict.
“Wars are all too easy to start, even by accident, but they are very hard to stop,” said Michael McPhearson, Executive Director of Veterans For Peace.* “It is time for cooler heads to prevail, and for honest diplomacy leading to a just and nonviolent outcome for the Ukrainian people.”
The veterans are reacting to a decision by the Obama administration to send US troops to Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as the crisis in Ukraine heats up and Russia conducts military exercises on its border with Ukraine.
Only six hundred U.S. troops are being deployed at this time. But NATO's top military commander, U.S. General Philip M. Breedlove, said a 4,500-member American combat brigade from Fort Hood, Texas could be deployed to Europe.
The first contingent of U.S. troops to arrive in Poland last week were 150 soldiers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team based in Vicenza, Italy. The 173rd Airborne is a rapid response team that played a key role in the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 and saw major combat in Afghanistan.
“Ukraine is not a member of NATO but that could change if the U.S. has its way,” said Michael Prysner, a member of the Board of Directors of Veterans For Peace who participated in the invasion of Iraq with the 173rd Airborne Brigade. “The U.S. media is portraying Russia as the aggressor in Ukraine, while ignoring the major role the U.S. government has played in overthrowing the elected government of Ukraine and installing a government more to its liking.”
“Clearly the U.S. government has a dog in this fight,” said Gerry Condon, Vice President of Veterans For Peace. “The State Department was involved in February's regime change in Ukraine and the CIA Director made a 'secret' visit there two weeks ago, followed by Vice President Joe Biden last week. Billions of U.S. tax dollars are being promised to prop up a shaky government that came to power via a violent coup. And now U.S. troops are being deployed to the region.
"Some political forces in the U.S. are irresponsibly pressing President Obama to be more aggressive with Russia," said Condon. "Veterans who have experienced the horror and futility of war have a different message for the president: scale down the rhetoric and pursue a diplomatic outcome.
“Veterans For Peace understands that Russia has reason to feel threatened by aggressive NATO expansion right up to its borders,” said Condon. “Even so, we urge Russia also to take steps to ease tensions and avoid war.”
In a statement released today, Veterans For Peace called for diplomacy and a nonviolent resolution to the crisis in Ukraine:
“We will work to understand the varying interests of different national groups and regions within Ukraine, and encourage a nonviolent, diplomatic outcome to this dangerous crisis.
“Washington and its European allies ought to reverse course and turn Ukraine into a field of cooperation with Russia through a jointly supported bailout devoid of geopolitical motivation.
“Good relations with both Russia and the European Union are in the best interests of all the Ukrainian people. A just and peaceful resolution that averts the threat of war is in the interests of all the world's people.”
Veterans For Peace is a national organization founded in 1985. It is structured around a national office in Saint Louis, MO and comprised of members across the country organized in chapters or as at-large members. The organization includes men and women veterans of all eras and duty stations including from the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), World War II, the Korean, Vietnam, Gulf and current Iraq wars as well as other conflicts. Our collective experience tells us wars are easy to start and hard to stop and that those hurt are often the innocent. Thus, other means of problem solving are necessary.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Occupy Beale AFB Update: 13 arrested on April 28, "The ultimate right is the right to life!"

More photos and updated info on the Beale AFB Facebook page:   []
Drone resistance is blooming with spring all across the nation. At Beale AFB on Tuesday, we successfully shut down, simultaneously, the two main arteries into the base for the first time during rush hour commute.
13 were arrested, 6 were veterans and 3 others had never done civil resistance before! Big thanks to arrestees:
* Veterans for Peace: Barry Binks, Michael Kerr, John Rieger, Cres Velluci, Richard Gilchrist, Ted Sexaur
* Non-veterans: Devan Phenix, Bev Fitzpatrick, Fred Bialy, Shirley Osgood, Pamela Osgood, Catherine Hourcade and Cathy Webster
In New York, 300 march with Cornell West to Resist Drones at Hancock AFB:
13 Protestors, Including 6 Veterans, Arrested Protesting Drones at Beale AFB Tuesday; Tried to Deliver Letter Charging Obama, Beale Base Commander with 'Crimes Against Humanity'
Main Gate: 7 arrested -
Wheatland Gate:  6 arrested -
MARYSVILLE/BEALE AFB – Six military veterans were among 13 people arrested at Beale Air Force Base here early Tuesday morning as they attempted to deliver an "indictment" charging President Obama, the Beale base commander, drone pilots and others with "crimes against peace and crimes against humanity."
 All 13 demonstrators – who were handcuffed about 8 a.m. – were released after about two hours with misdemeanor charges. They are to appear in U.S. District Court. They face up to six months in prison.
The "Veterans Spring Days Drone Action" temporarily blocked traffic at the two busiest gates entering Beale AFB, the home to Global Hawk (Surveillance drone), the U2 and the MC12 Liberty aircraft, all participants in the so-called  "war on terror." They have been complicit in the deaths and injuries thousands of innocent civilians.
This is the most people arrested in a single action at Beale AFB. Dozens have been arrested protesting drones at Beale AFB in the past year, including more than a dozen people and members of the clergy on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday this year. Three federal trials have been held – and earlier this month a lone protester was found not guilty in U.S. Court in Sacramento.
The Indictment delivered Tuesday says, in part:

Monday, April 21, 2014

"Good Friday 2014 Vigil Arrests at Beale AFB; Kathy Kelly Arrested with Ten Others at Beale Air Force Base on Good Friday, April 18"

More info about Kathy Kelly []:

On April 18, Internationally recognized peace activist Kathy Kelly was detained with ten other anti-drone demonstrators at Beale Air Force Base following a Good Friday prayer service. The following clergy, who led the service, were also detained:   
* The Reverend Dr. Gerald O. (Jerry) Pedersen [], former U.S. Marine, present as part of theHonor Guard on the U.S.S. Missouri during the surrender of the Japanese at the end of World War II, retired Lutheran pastor, Sacramento, author of Unfinished Journey: From War to Peace, From Violence to Wholeness, member Veterans for Peace.
* The Reverend Elizabeth Griswold [], pastor of Parkside Community Church, UCC, in Sacramento.
* The Reverend John Auer [], retired United Methodist Pastor, Wesley UMC, Fresno, California.
* The Reverend Sharon Delgado [], retired United Methodist Pastor, founding director of Earth Justice Ministries, author of Shaking the Gates of Hell:  Faith-Led Resistance to Corporate Globalization, in Nevada City, California [].
Organizers said that they gathered at Beale, "in the shadow of killer drones, modern day equivalents of the cross, to pray, to act, and to build a community of peace." There have been frequent anti-drone demonstrations at Beale, home of the Global Hawk Drone, a surveillance drone that assists in finding targets for armed Predator and Reaper drones. Over fifty people attended the service, which included prayers, songs, Holy Communion, and reflections by Kathy Kelly. 

Following the service, some demonstrators crossed the demarcation line onto Beale property in an attempt to deliver a letter to the base commander, along with two statements about drones from religious groups: The World Council of Churches' Statement on the Use of Drones and the Right to Life [] and "A Call from the Faith Based Community to Stop Drone Killings" [], signed by religious leaders from around the country. 
Others who were arrested on Good Friday were Michael Kerr from Bay Point/Pittsburg, Rodger  Stall from San Rafael, Arthur (Buff) Whitman-Bradley, Nancy Reiner from the Bay Area, Bob Russell from Pleasant Hill, and Pamela Osgood from Grass Valley.  
The Reverends Pedersen, Griswold, and Delgado, and Michael Kerr were also detained on March 5, Ash Wednesday, for crossing the demarcation line. 
Kathy Kelly is coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, a campaign to end U.S. military and economic warfare.  In 2011, Kathy Kelly was a passenger on "The Audacity of Hope," the U.S. boat in the international flotilla to break the illegal occupation of Gaza.  She has taken nine trips to Afghanistan, where she has lived alongside ordinary Afghan people in Kabul.  She has joined activists in the United States to protest drone warfare outside of military bases in Nevada, upstate New York, and Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri.
Kathy formerly coordinated Voices in the Wilderness.  From 1996 to 2003, the organization formed 70 delegations that openly defied economic sanctions by bringing medicines to children and families in Iraq.  Kathy and other members lived in Baghdad throughout the 2003 "shock and awe" bombing.  They have also lived alongside people in war zones in Gaza, Lebanon, Bosnia, and Nicaragua.  She has spend time in prison for planting corn on nuclear missile silo sites and for crossing the line at Fort Benning' s military training school. She is a war tax refuser.
She has twice been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Good Friday protest at Livermore Lab

"Livermore lab security arrests 40 in annual Good Friday anti-nuke protest"2014-04-17 by Jeremy Thomas from "Bay Area News Group"
David McPhail, of Kensington, and other protesters block an entrance guarded by the National Nuclear Security Administration protective force at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in Livermore, Calif., on Friday, April 18, 2014. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)

LIVERMORE -- A group of 40 anti-nuclear activists, including a Dominican nun, were peacefully arrested at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory at the conclusion of an annual Good Friday protest organized by local interfaith groups.
An estimated 115 protesters gathered at Vasco and Patterson Pass roads for a worship service and speeches on nuclear weapons, proceeding to the lab's west gate at 8:30 a.m., where those who chose to do so were arrested by lab security. Those arrested were cited for obstructing a public roadway and released.
"The arrests were routine and peaceful and were handled well by all law enforcement involved," said Livermore lab spokesman Steve Wampler.
The Alameda County Sheriff's Department, California Highway Patrol and Livermore Police Department assisted in the arrests. According to lab officials, the west gate was closed for two hours.
The annual Good Friday protest is organized by the Ecumenical Peace Institute of Berkeley and the Livermore Conversion Project in Oakland. It has been held for about the past 30 years.
"The message of today's event is that we've got to stop devoting our valuable resources, our energy, our money, and our intelligence in the service of killing people, and turn it toward creating things that give life," said Ecumenical Peace Institute program coordinator Carolyn Scarr, who was among those arrested.
At the gathering, keynote speaker Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, talked about the impacts of military intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan. Members of Livermore-based Tri-Valley Communities Against A Radioactive Environment (CAREs) also spoke, giving an update on the Department of Energy's annual budget request for the lab.

A protestor is processed and arrested after blocking an entrance guarded by the National Nuclear Security Administration protective force at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in Livermore, Calif., on Friday, April 18, 2014. More than 100 protesters marched to the laboratory on Good Friday. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Bay Area CodePink Protests Drone Warfare at Creech AFB

Also see:
* Statement on use of drones and denial of the right to life, 2014-02-12 from World Council of Churches Executive Committee, at Bossey, Switzerland [link]
* A Call from the Faith-Based Community to Stop Drone Killings, to be delivered to Airforce Commander at Beale AFB [link]

Creech Brief Report Back, from Toby Blome of Bay Area CodePink:
7 CodePink activists, from Washington State, California and Arizona, including Martha Hubert, Edwina Vogan, Lisa Marcus, Catherine Houricade, Maggie Huntington, Renay Davis and Toby Blome were arrested on April 11th, while trying to deliver a letter to the commander of the base.
9 more Western state activists, as part of the NDE Sacred Peace Walk, were arrested yesterday while attempting to deliver a letter of indictment to President Obama, the commander of the base, Col. Jim Cluff, and other Pentagon officials.
* Vera Anderson, Las Vegas, NV
* Barry Bink Sacramento, CA
* Darcy Ike, San Diego, CA
* Seamus Knight, Los Angeles, CA
* Robert Majors, las Vegas, NV
* Margaret McChesney, Phoenix, AZ
* Marcus Page, Sheep Ranch, CA
* Dan Shay, Santa Rosa, CA
* Brian Terrell, Maloy, Iowa
We are successfully putting sustained pressure on the U.S. government to stop this brutal and illegal activity and to uphold to the highest laws of this country and international laws.  We need to continue this sustained pressure for global peace.
Vera Anderson, a 26 year old woman did her first civil resistance in her life yesterday at Creech AFB.  We need all of those who can, to now step forward to the plate and join us.  We have the power to stop the violence, we just need to use it…..we hope you will join us!
John Amidon's beautiful video of our direct action/arrests on Friday:
* []
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Report Back from Shirley’s Trial, April 16, 2014:
Pamela, Devan, Flora and I arrived at the courthouse in Sac. at about 7:45 AM.  As we drove toward the parking lot, there were already several people gathered holding banners.  I rolled down my window and cheered, and then realized that none of the banner holders were regulars.  The banners had negative comments about the federal judges, calling them liars.  The messages were mainly in support of the US Constitution.
After parking we decided to proceed to a different corner of the intersection with our banners, which we unfurled.  Shortly thereafter, several demonstrators, now holding American flags, crossed the intersection to join us.  Someone in our group asked if they were counter-protesters, and they said, “no”, that they were there to support Shirley Osgood.  At least one identified himself as a Tea Party person.
While we were standing there a group of about 20 German students came out of the AMTRAK station with their teachers.  Pamela explained the purpose of our protest (and the fact that the flag flyers were with a different group), and I invited them to my trial.
I had an opportunity to speak with the man holding the banner which referred to the federal judges as liars.  I asked him what he thought of drone warfare, and he said he didn’t really have an opinion, so I had an opportunity give a summary of some of the issues.  I was wearing a skirt covered with child victim names, and referred to that as a big issue.
There was a lot of court support, including, Pamela, Devan, Flora, John R., Eleanor and Bob, Sharon and Guari, Cres, Michael K., Jerry.  Also present were about 3 legal students not directly involved in my trial, 6 or 7  of the protesters from the street earlier (they filtered out gradually during the morning), a couple of extra security people, Ben from Beale security (sitting in the far back corner on the prosecution side).
The trial started as usual, with the government witness, Anissa Williams, the Beale Community Planner, talking about base boundaries.  The surprise factor, which I had discovered on Monday, April 14th, when I met with my attorneys at the Wheatland Gate was as follows:  my attorneys had discovered two survey posts which, when connected with rope, showed a diagonal line across S. Beale Rd. at the white demarcation line, crossing at an angle on the left side of the road (facing the base), basically indicating that the part of the shoulder on which we were standing when we crossed the “imaginary line” was not part of the base property.  Annisa Williams admitted that it was possible that someone could be standing where we said we were, and not be on base property.
The only other witness for the prosecution was Staff Sgt. Ashley Hall.  She had taken a video of us, but it ended just prior to us crossing the imaginary line to the left of the demarcation line.  It showed that we were on the shoulder of the road, but Sgt. Hall testified that we crossed the demarcation line on the paved road (where the base boundary was not in question).  I knew that I was never in the road after we left the Ostrom/Beale corner, and Michael and Flora testified to the same.  But Sgt. Hall stuck with her story.  Our attorneys entered a photograph showing us being handcuffed on the side of the road, and Sgt. Hall testified that we crossed the demarcation line in the road and Beale staff moved us off the road, and handcuffed us on the shoulder.  It was strange to hear this untruth insisted on, as I remembered very clearly that I was never in the road anywhere near the demarcation line.  I think perhaps Sgt. Hall confused our arrest with the previous action involving Toby, Martha, Robin, Barry and Bill, as I believe that event did occur in the road.  This is my only explanation for the untruth that Sgt. Hall testified to.
During my testimony, I was able to get a few words in about the war crimes being committed at Beale, but most of the trial focused, unfortunately, on the base property lines, and exactly where we crossed the line.
Judge Drozd was stumped at the discrepancies in the testimonies, and processed his thoughts out loud in the courtroom for what seemed like forever, maybe 30 minutes.  (It was getting to 1PM and there had been only a short break).  I wanted to hold up a sign with “Guilty” written on it, but restrained myself.  Finally, he came out with a not guilty verdict, though he didn’t call it that exactly.
After the verdict he spoke to me directly.  I don’t remember the exact words, but he talked about the trouble and expense I was putting the federal court system through with this choice of protest.  There was a question for me in there somewhere, but I was not allowed to answer it.  I felt a little like I had been scolded by a parent for bad choices.  When I raised my hand, he shook his head and indicated that I would not be allowed to speak, and he got up and left the courtroom.
At that time, in the courtroom, I gave a brief statement, quoting the words of Heather Linebaugh, drone analyst from Beale:  “I may not have been on the ground in Afghanistan, but I watched parts of the conflict in great detail on a screen for days on end.  I know the feeling you experience when you see someone die.  Horrifying barely covers it.  And when you are exposed to it over and over again it becomes like a small video, embedded in your head, forever on repeat, causing psychological pain and suffering that many people will hopefully never experience.  UAV troops are victim to not only the haunting memories of this work that they carry with them, but also the guilt of always being a little unsure of how accurate their confirmations of weapons or identification of hostile individuals were…….The UAVs in the Middle East are used as a weapon, not as protection, and as long as our public remains ignorant to this, this serious threat to the sanctity of human life-at home and abroad-will continue.”
My attorneys were thrilled to have won the case.  It was Kate’s first trial, and she and Michael did a fine job.  I had mixed feelings, as I was not allowed to give my prepared statement in front of the judge, though I did get a little bit in on the stand, and with those who remained in the courtroom after the judge exited. I am a little freer to proceed with life, so that is nice.
Cres hurried off to get a report in to the news.  A small group of us gathered on the first floor and sang “Circle Round for Freedom” in the wonderful acoustic lobby, with no interruption by the security presence at the entrance.

CREECH AFB Report Back, (Part One) by Martha Hubert:
On Sunday, April 6th, Toby, Fred and I drove to Creech AFB via Fresno, where we visited the artist installation of a life size drone model.
We were greeted by Joseph DeLappe (the artist from Reno), Beverly and later, Teresa (both Fresno Activist friends).
We watched as the artist and his student assistants added the final wing to the Drone.

The point of this installation is to draw attention to drone warfare, and that it isn’t just another computer game.
Drone warfare is TERROR.  We said our goodbyes and were on our way.
There were a lot of miles to cover before we reached Creech.  We arrived at the Goddess Temple in Cactus Springs, a short drive from Creech AFB, at 10:00 p.m. Sunday night, glad to get out of the car.
Monday morning our friend John (VFP Albany) joined the three of us from the Bay Area to protest at the base entry.
Our numbers were small, but our messages were many (and STRONG), thanks to Toby’s obsession with banner making.
Between protests on Monday, we visited the wild horses at Cold Creek, not far from Creech at a higher elevation (cooler too).

On Monday night we were joined by our friend Barry (VFP Sacramento).
He was especially popular with some of us since he brought Coffee for Tuesday morning.
It’s wonderful being back here on the Goddess Temple property.
The huge Cottonwood trees provide shade and a great place to work on making new banners.
Barry picked up Catherine at the Las Vegas Tuesday afternoon, while some of us stayed behind.
We had banners to make!
It was nice to have both Catherine and Barry back with us for Tuesday afternoon's commute.
Was it ever HOT out there!  Those cold beers that we got at the Oasis Bar in the tiny town of Indian Springs were exceptionally good!
The desolate landscape in this part of the country is a rock hound’s dream come true.
The Goddess Temple and grounds are evolving in a beautiful way, thanks to Candace Ross, the Temple Priestess.
We’re fortunate to have the Temple Guest House for a place to stay, a place filled with love and creative energy.
Each day we greet the commuters in and out of the base with our signs and banners.
We’re out at the most busy entrance to the base 6-8 am and 3-5 pm, sometimes longer.
Wednesday morning we dressed in black with white masks, carried tiny coffins, a baby (doll), and the huge banner saying DRONE WARFARE IS TERROR, as well as another saying MOTHERS SAY NO TO WAR.

The five of us had a funeral procession down the highway next to the base.
We were back at the base entrance Wednesday afternoon, focusing on Justice for Chelsea Manning and all whistleblowers.
Wednesday evening we brought our messages to Las Vegas, and had dinner at Bacco, Lt. Ehren Watada’s restaurant there.
Edwina, Lisa, John, Mark, Ming and others joined us for dinner.
While waiting for our meal, we kept busy cutting out paper drones for an upcoming action.
It was very fitting to show our support of the restaurant owned and managed by the brave veteran
who stood up to the lies of our government leading us to the war in Iraq.  It was an excellent meal, enjoyed by all.
After dinner we split into two cars: one for grocery and hardware shopping and the other to pick up Renay and Peggy at the airport.
None of us got much sleep that night.  Barry’s coffee was essential Thursday morning.
We were all up bright (well, it was actually dark) and early Thursday morning (with five new participants!)
We gathered at the entrance to Creech wearing white clothing and white masks.
We wore blue scarves in solidarity with the Blue Scarf Movement (
"The Blue Scarf represents the expansive blue sky we all share and has become a global symbol for togetherness.

It was set in motion by a very brave group of women in Afghanistan ready to be heard and is now being worn around the world as a way for people to express their solidarity as global citizens for a better world."
Every day we’re joined by more protesters!
There’s one nut of a counter protestor, on his huge motorcycle with a big American flag.  More on him later.
We’re having a blast.  Let’s hope we’re having an impact!

Good Friday Letter to be delivered to Beale AFB Commander:April 18, 2014
Colonel Phillip A. Stewart
Commander, 9th Reconnaissance Wing
General Delivery at PSC Box 5000
Beale Air Force Base, CA 95903
Dear Colonel Stewart:
We are writing because of our concerns about US drone attacks in countries around the world.  As you know, some of us have been demonstrating regularly at Beale for the past few years because Global Hawk Drones are an integral part of the U.S. drone warfare program.
We call on you and your superiors up the chain of command to immediately halt drone strikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and all other countries. We ask that you order an immediate halt to any and all operations by the 9th Reconnaissance Wing that in any way support drone attacks or involve surveillance of individuals and or groups.
We further demand that you and your superiors undertake full and independent investigations into all drone attacks and make public information on these attacks including, but not limited to, where these attacks have been and are being conducted, all casualty reports, video tapes of attacks, evaluations of the attacks and orders and authorizations for these attacks.
Several of us are hoping to deliver this letter to you in person, along with a copy of the World Council of Churches' "Statement on use of drones and denial of the right to life" and "A Call from the Faith Community to Stop Drone Warfare," which has been signed by religious leaders from around the country.  Since you represent the leadership of the U.S. Air Force at Beale, we want to meet with you personally to explain our concerns.
We look forward to speaking with you.
In Peace,

Kathy Kelly to Join Demonstrators at Beale Air Force Base on Good Friday, April 18, 3 p.m.

On April 18 at 3 p.m., Internationally recognized peace activist Kathy Kelly will join anti-drone demonstrators at the Schneider (Main) Gate of Beale Air Force Base at a Good Friday prayer service followed by nonviolent action.  Organizers say that they are gathering at Beale, "in the shadow of killer drones, modern day equivalents of the cross, to pray, to act, and to build a community of peace."  There have been frequent anti-drone demonstrations at Beale, home of the Global Hawk Drone, a  surveillance drone that assists in finding targets for armed Predator and Reaper drones. 
The prayer service will include songs, prayer, Holy Communion, and reflections by Kathy Kelly.   The following clergy will lead the service: 
* The Reverend Dr. Gerald O. (Jerry) Pedersen, former U.S. Marine,present as part of theHonor Guard on the U.S.S. Missouri during the surrender of the Japanese at the end of World War II, retired Lutheran pastor, Sacramento, author of Unfinished Journey:  From War to Peace, From Violence to Wholeness, member Veterans for Peace.
* The Reverend Elizabeth Griswold, pastor of Parkside Community Church, UCC, in Sacramento.
* The Reverend John Auer, retired United Methodist Pastor, Wesley UMC, Fresno, California.
* The Reverend Sharon Delgado, retired United Methodist Pastor, founding director of Earth Justice Ministries, author of Shaking the Gates of Hell:  Faith-Led Resistance to Corporate Globalization, in Nevada City, California.
Following the service, some demonstrators may cross the demarcation line onto Beale property in an attempt to deliver a letter and attached statement,   "A Call from the Faith Based Community to Stop Drone Killings," to the base commander.  
The Reverends Pedersen, Griswold, and Delgado were detained on March 5, Ash Wednesday, for crossing the demarcation line.  Also arrested were Flora Rodgers of Linda and Michael Kerr, a member of Veterans for Peace from Bay View/Pittsburg.  The demonstrators carried crosses and sprinkled ashes representing children killed by U.S. drones.   See a video of the arrests here.
Kathy Kelly is coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, a campaign to end U.S. military and economic warfare.  In 2011, Kathy Kelly was apassenger on "The Audacity of Hope," the U.S. boat in the international flotilla to break the illegal occupation of Gaza.  She has taken nine trips to Afghanistan, where she has lived alongside ordinary Afghan people in Kabul.  She has joined activists in the United States to protest drone warfare outside of military bases in Nevada, upstate New York, and Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri.
Kathy formerly coordinated Voices in the Wilderness.  From 1996 to 2003, the organization formed 70 delegations that openly defied economic sanctions by bringing medicines to children and families in Iraq.  Kathy and other members lived in Baghdad throughout the 2003 "shock and awe" bombing.  They have also lived alongside people in war zones in Gaza, Lebanon, Bosnia, and Nicaragua.  She has spend time in prison for planting corn on nuclear missile silo sites and for crossing the line at Fort Benning' s military training school. She is a war tax refuser.
She has twice been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Kathy Kelly will also be speaking in Grass Valley the following day, April 19, at 1 p.m. at Sierra Mountain Coffee Roasters, Tomes, at 671 Maltmann Drive in Grass Valley. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

USA uses fake military satellite images to convince public for war with Russia

"NATO's images of Russian troops allegedly deployed on Ukrainian borders were taken in August 2013 - Russian Military", 2014-04-10 from "Voice of Russia"
NATO wants to justify it’s existence and what better way than to show a big build up of Russian troops on Ukraine’s border. Fact is that the pictures are from August 2013. The military adventures of recent years by NATO, shows that it likes to use fake pictures and videos in order to justify invasions and gaining support at home for unpopular wars
“Satellite imagery of Russian troops allegedly amassed at present on the border with Ukraine dates back to August 2013, a high-ranking source in Russia,” General Staff said Thursday.NATO’s Headquarters of Allied Command Operations released earlier on Thursday a series of satellite photos showing large contingents of tanks, artillery, attack helicopters and war planes purportedly being observed by the Alliance in specific locations along the Ukrainian border.
“In reality, the images released by NATO show units of Russia’s Southern Military District taking part in various exercises last summer, including near the borders with Ukraine,” the source said.
The Southern Military District hosted a number of military drills last summer, including parts of large-scale Combat Commonwealth-2013 air defense exercise, which involved units from a joint air defense system of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
NATO is actively building its naval presence in the Black Sea in view of sharp aggravation of the Ukraine crisis, a Russian Defence Ministry source told the Russian news agency TASS on Thursday.
“Destroyer USS Donald Cook equipped with the Aegis combat missile defense system has just entered the Black Sea. According to our information, it is going to be joined by French reconnaissance ship Dupuy de Lome by April 11. French Navy’s destroyer Dupleix is expected to enter the Black Sea on April 14,” the source went on to say.
“Considering the presence of the French Navy’s rescue vessel Alize in the south-eastern part of the Black Sea since late March, we can say that NATO is building a naval grouping in the Black Sea in the vicinity of the Russian border for the first time since 2008,” the Russian Defence Ministry source said.

Further analysis from the Solano Peace, Freedom and Justice Coalition:
The website "" is accepted by the young and liberal urban professionals as a source for factual news. Upon review, though, the website's analysis of the military satellite images actually omits in mid-sentence, in the final line of the article archived here [link], a reference the RT news investigation, which is archived here [link] for you to review, describing the NATO images as showing Russia's war games being conducted during August, 2013.
The Huffington Post, no less than an authority for educated “liberals” in the USA, [link], not only reproduced the false military satellite images, but also placed anti-Putin story links next to each false image, an example of these stories is archived here [link].

Friday, April 11, 2014

A Call from the Faith-Based Community to Stop Drone Killings, to be delivered to Airforce Commander at Beale AFB

As representatives of faith-based communities, we are deeply concerned about the proliferation of lethal unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly known as drones. The United States is leading the way in this new form of warfare where pilots in US bases kill people, by remote control, thousands of miles away. Drones have become the preferred weapons to conduct war due to the lack of direct risk to the lives of U.S. soldiers, but these drone strikes have led to the death of hundreds of innocent civilians in countries where we are not at war, including Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.  Some aspects that we find particularly disturbing include:
The President and his aides draw up a Kill List in which they play the role of prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner. People on this secret Kill List have never been charged, tried or convicted in a court of law, and are given no opportunity to surrender;
The labeling of all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants, thus justifying their murder, is an extreme and macabre form of profiling;
-Drone strikes kill not only their intended targets, but innocent people, including children, violating the sanctity of human life;
-Drone strikes violate other nations’ sovereignty (Pakistan’s elected leaders, for example, have repeatedly called for an end to the strikes);
-Drones in the hands the CIA and the Joint Special Operations Command keep the program veiled in secrecy. The lack of transparency and accountability violate the basic tenets of a democratic society;
-Drones make killing more abstract, impersonal, antiseptic, convenient and “easy”;
The Administration insists that because drones do not risk American lives, Congress need not be consulted, leading to a dangerous abuse of executive power;
-Drone strikes have replaced Guantanamo as the recruiting tool of choice for militants. They fuel anti-American sentiment, radicalize local populations and perpetuate an endless cycle of violence.
-The example being set by the United States that a nation can go anywhere it wants and kill anyone it wants on the basis of secret information is leading to a world of chaos and lawlessness.
The world’s great religions teach us to cherish human life. This impersonal, risk-free killing of people on the other side of the globe runs counter to religious belief and the teachings of our traditions.
We urge our government to put an end to this secretive, remote-controlled killing and instead promote foreign policies that are consistent with the values of a democratic and humane society. We call on the United Nations to regulate the international use of lethal drones in a fashion that promotes a just and peaceful world community, based on the rule of law, with full dignity and freedom for every human being.
* Signatories
Rev. John Auer, United Methodist Church, retired, Wesley UMC, Fresno, CA
Reverend Sharon Delgado, retired United Methodist pastor, Earth Justice Ministries
Linda Kuruhara, Diaconal Minister of the United Methodist Church, Lincoln, CA
Reverend Elizabeth Griswold, Parkside Community Church, United Church of Christ, Sacramento, CA
Reverend Dr. Gerald O. Pederson, Retired Lutheran Pastor, member Veterans for Peace, Sacramento, CA.
* Additional Signatories
Reverend Lesley Adams, Chaplain, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Episcopal Priest
Reverend Dr. Eileen Altman, Associate Pastor, First Congregational Church, UCC, Palo Alto, CA
Reverend Dr. Israel Alvaran, United Methodist Church, San Francisco, CA
James Atwood, Retired, Presbyterian Church USA, Springfield, VA
Hussam Ayloush, Executive Director, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Los Angeles, CA
Jean Barker, Interfaith Community Organizer, Kennett Square, PA
Andra Baylus, Interfaith Bridge-Builder, Co-Founder of the DC Interfaith Peace Initiative
Rabbi Joseph Berman, Jamaica Plain, MA
Zahra Billoo, Executive Director, Council on American-Islamic Relations, San Francisco, CA
Reverend Roy Birchard, San Francisco Fellowship of Reconciliation
Tsukina Blessing, Co-Founder Occupy Chaplains, Seattle, WA
Reverend Beth Bostrom, Wesley Foundation Director, United Methodist Minister, Miami, FL
Pastor Dale Bracey, Presbyterian Church
Reverend Dr. Matthew Braddock, Sr. Minister, Christ Congregational Church, Silver Spring, MD
Reverend Mary Karen Brown, Retired United Methodist Minister, North Bend, WA
Reverend Geoff Browning, Peacemaking Advocate Presbytery, San Jose
Patricia Bruno, Order of Preachers, Dominican Sisters, San Rafael, CA
Betty Campbell, Religious Sisters of Mercy
Reverend Sally Carlson, Deacon, Episcopal Church, Diocese of Olympia
Reverend Ewing W. Carroll, Jr., Retired, United Methodist Clergy and Missionary, Hong Kong
Pastor John Chamberlin, United Methodist Church, National Coordinator, East Timor Religious Outreach
Marilyn Chilcote, Pastor, Beacon Presbyterian Fellowship, Oakland, CA
Rabbi Aryeh Cohen, Ph.D., Professor of Rabbinic Literature, American Jewish University
Reverend Bill Coop, National Committee of the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship
Reverend Ben Daniel, Pastor, Foothill Presbyterian Church, San Jose, CA
Cantor Michael Davis, Rabbinical Council, Jewish Voices for Peace
Reverend Richard Deats, Pastor, Nyack, NY
Reverend Sandra Decker, Interfaith Community Minister, San Francisco, CA
Marie Dennis, Co-President, Pax Christi International
Reverend Maureen A. Dickmann, Pastor, Rock Bridge Christian Church Columbia, MO
Reverend John P. Donovan, St. James Church, Johnson City, NY, Diocese of Syracuse
Reverend Dr. Frank Dunn, Senior Priest, St. Stephen Episcopal Church, Washington, DC
Reverend Deborah Espen, Director, Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East, Boise, ID Samina Faheem, Executive Director, American Muslim Voice
Reverend David Farley, Pastor, Echo Park Methodist Church, Los Angeles, CA
Dr. Anisa Abd el Fattah, Chairwoman, National Association of Muslim American Women
Reverend John M. Fife, Former Moderator, Presbyterian Church (USA)
Reverend Therese Fitzgerald, Buddhist Minister, Dharma Friends, Hana, HI
Reverend Dr. Jerrold L. Foltz, Wellspring United Church of Christ, Centreville, VA
Reverend John L. Freesemann, Pastor, Holy Redeemer Lutheran Church, San Jose, CA
Ronald Fujiyoshi, Retired Missionary of the United Church of Christ, Hilo, HI
JoAnn Yoon Fukumoto, Cal-Pac Conference, United Methodist Church
Dr. Linda Gaither, Chair, National Executive Council, Episcopal Peace Fellowship
Sister Bernie Galvin, Congregation of Divine Providence
Reverend Dr. Diana C. Gibson, Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice, Presbyterian Pastor
Sister Carol Gilbert, Order of Preachers, Jonah House, Baltimore, MD
Reverend David W. Good, Minister Emeritus, The First Congregational Church, Old Lyme,CT
Reverend Charlotte P. Gosselink, Kennett Square, PA
Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, Co-Founder Shomer Shalom Network for Jewish Nonviolence
Pastor Donald F. Guest, Easter Hill United Methodist Church, Richmond, CA
Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton, Archdiocese of Detroit
Reverend Fritz Gutwein, Associate Director, Presbyterian Peace Fellowship, Washington, DC
Reverend Graylan Scott Hagler, Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ, Washington, DC
Naqi Haider, Community Organizer/Executive Director of Muslims for Peace
Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, Director School for Conversion, Baptist Minister, Durham, NC
Dr. John Heidel, Past-President, Interfaith Alliance of Hawaii
Reverend Peter Hinde, Order of Carmelites, Doctor of Divinity
Reverend M. Lara Hoke, Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Andover, MA
Reverend Joyce Hollyday, Co-Pastor, Circle of Mercy, Asheville, NC
Mark Johnson, Executive Director, Fellowship of Reconciliation
Reverend Alan Jones, Chair, Committee on Advocacy and Justice,Conference, United Methodist Church
Reverend Dave Grishaw-Jones, Senior Minister, First Congregational Church, Santa Cruz, CA
Reverend Stephen Kelly, S.J., Murray Jesuit Residence, Oakland, CA
Reverend Edwin Keener, Presbyterian Church USA, Honorable Retired
Elder Derrick Kikuchi, First Presbyterian Church of Palo Alto, CA
Rabbi Jonathan Klein, Executive Director, Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice, Los Angeles
Reverend Dr. Jonipher Kupono Kwong, Minister, First Unitarian Church, Honolulu, HI
Reverend Nicole Lamarche, Silicon, Valley United Church of Christ
Reverend Rich Lang, University Temple, United Methodist Church, Seattle, WA
Reverend Phil Lawson, Retired United Methodist
Reverend Deborah Lee, United Church of Christ, Director of Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights
Rabbi Michael Lerner, Chair, The Network of Spiritual Progressives, Editor, Tikkun
Reverend John R.Long, First Presbyterian Church, Buffalo, NY
Reverend Kyle Lovett, Pastor, Crossroads UCC
Reverend Dr. Linda M. Maloney, Episcopal Priest, Diocese of Vermont
Dr. Wayne Martin, First Congregational Church, Eugene, OR
Reverend Bob Matthews, United Church of Christ, Alameda, CA
Cyrus McGoldrick, Civil Rights Manager, Council on American Islamic Relations, NY
Robert McKenzie, Parish Associate, St. John’s Presbyterian Church, Berkeley, CA
Kathy McNeely, Director, Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns
Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid, Muslim Peace Coalition USA; Chairperson, Parliament of World Religions
Robert S. More, Chairperson, Pax Christi Metro DC-Baltimore
Michael Nagler, Founder, Metta Center for Nonviolence
Reverend Shannan Vance-Ocampo, Pastor, Presbyterian Church, North Plainfield, NJ
Imam Rashid Patch, Oakland, CA
Blair Pettyjohn, Ahimsa Christi, Peace Group of Dayspring Church
Father Bill Pickard, Vice President, Pax Christi of North Eastern PA
Sister Ardeth Platte, Order of Preachers, Jonah House, Baltimore, MD
Reverend Charles W. Rawlings, Los Gatos, CA
Shafi Refai, President, United Muslims of America, Fremont, CA
Reverend George Regis, Episcopal Church, Los Angeles, CA
Sister Megan Rice, Sisters of Holy Child Jesus
Imam Zaid Shakir, Lighthouse Mosque, Oakland, CA
Suzanne Shanley, Agape Community, Hardwick, MA
Reverend Dr. Timonthy F. Simpson, Editor, Political Theology, Presbyterian Church USA
Pastor John F. Steinbruck, Retired Lutheran Pastor, Retired Captain U.S. Navy
Jean Stokan, Director, Institute Justice Team, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas
Nobuko Miyake-Stoner, Harris United Methodist Church, Honolulu, HI
Reverend Robert Miyake-Stoner, Pastor, Trinity United Methodist Church, Pearl City, HI
Dr. Susan Stouffer, Director, Peace Center, United University Church, Los Angeles, CA
Father Tim Taugher, Pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Church, Binghamton, NY
Reverend Don Timmerman, Casa Maria Catholic Worker, Milwaukee, WI
Barbara DiTommaso, Director, Commission on Peace and Justice, Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany
Father Louie Vitale, Franciscan priest, Pace e Bene
Reverend Edward A. White, Presbyterian Minister, Washington, DC
Reverend Harry Williams, Oakland, CA
Pastor John Wimberly, Western Presbyterian Church, Washington, DC
Jim Winkler, General Secretary, United Methodist General Board of Church and Society
Rabbi Wirtschafter
Reverend Michael Yoshii, Buena Vista United Methodist Church, Alameda, CA
Father Jerry Zawada, Nevada Desert Experience

Sunday, April 6, 2014


THIS SPRING:  Worldwide actions planned against Drone Warfare, Surveillance and Global Militarization.
Please join us at upcoming spring actions at Beale AFB, Creech AFB, or plan your own action at a drone base, research facility, test site or manufacturer in your area.
Hope to see you somewhere! 
Watch for updates at

Spring Days of Action to End Drone Killing, Drone Surveillance, Global Militarization, a coordinated campaign in April and May to End Drone Killing, Drone Surveillance and Global Militarization!
The campaign will focus on drone bases, drone research facilities and test sites and drone manufacturers.
The campaign will provide information on:

1. The suffering of tens of thousands of people in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Gaza who are under drone attack, documenting the killing, the wounding and the devastating impact of constant drone surveillance on community life.

2. How attack and surveillance drones have become a key element in a massive wave of surveillance, clandestine military attacks and militarization generated by the United States to protect a global system of manufacture and oil and mineral exploitation that is creating unemployment and poverty, accelerating the waste of nonrenewable resources and contributing to environmental destruction and global warming. In addition to cases in the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia, we will examine President Obama's "pivot" into the Asia-Pacific, where the United States has already sold and deployed drones in the vanguard of a shift of 60% of its military forces to try to control China and to enforce the planned Trans-Pacific Partnership.  We will show, among other things, how this surge of "pivot" forces, greatly enabled by drones, and supported by the US military-industrial complex, will hit every American community with even deeper cuts in the already fragile social programs on which people rely for survival.  In short, we will connect drones and militarization with "austerity" in America.

3. How drone attacks have effectively destroyed international and domestic legal protection of the rights to life, privacy, freedom of assembly and free speech and have opened the way for new levels of surveillance and repression around the world, and how, in the United States, increasing drone surveillance, added to surveillance by the National Security Agency and police, provides a new weapon to repress black, Hispanic, immigrant and low-income communities and to intimidate Americans who are increasingly unsettled by lack of jobs, economic inequality, corporate control of politics and the prospect of
endless war. We will discuss how the United States government and corporations conspire secretly to monitor US citizens and particularly how the Administration is accelerating drone surveillance operations and surveillance inside the United States with the same disregard for transparency and law that it applies to other countries, all with the cooperation of the Congress.

The campaign will encourage activists around the world to win passage of local laws that prohibit weaponized drones and drone surveillance from being used in their communities as well as seeking national laws to bar the use of weaponized drones and drone surveillance.
The campaign will draw attention to the call for a ban on weaponized drones by that has generated a petition with over 80,000 signers
and to efforts by the Granny Peace Brigade (New York City), and others to achieve an international ban on both weaponized drones and drone surveillance.
The campaign will also urge participation in the World Beyond War movement.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

"Global Hawk Expands Satellite Communications Capability"

2014-04-04 []:

Beale AFB, CA -
The U.S. Air Force RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system (UAS) has completed a series of ground and air demonstrations at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., expanding the adaptability of the Global Hawk system to use an additional Satellite Communications (SATCOM) link to improve the transfer of mission data.
At the request of the U.S. Air Force Air Combat Command, Northrop Grumman worked with Air Force partners to demonstrate that Global Hawk is compatible with different SATCOM architectures with no changes to the aircraft's hardware, software or payload.
Taking place from Jan. 13-15, the demonstration highlighted a unique split link capability for Global Hawk that allows it to send mission data through a satellite link that is independent of the link used for command and control.
"This powerful demonstration illustrates Global Hawk's unique versatility," said Alfredo Ramirez, director and chief architect of Northrop Grumman's HALE Enterprise. "We're ecstatic with Global Hawk's ability to provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance products to operational end-users via multiple paths."
The combat-proven Global Hawk has logged more than 110,000 flight hours and carries a variety of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance sensor payloads to allow military commanders to gather near real-time images and uses radar to detect moving or stationary targets on the ground or at sea.
The system supports antiterrorism, antipiracy, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, airborne communications and information sharing missions.

10 Ideas for Spring Days of Actions Against Drones

from "Veterans for Peace (VFP)" []:

Expanding on last year’s “April Days of Action,” this year anti-drone activists across the country are organizing “Spring Days of Action” throughout the months of April and May. VFP members and chapters that are near drone bases or manufacturers have been doing a great job keeping up the pressure. But if you don’t live near a drone base or manufacturer, there are still lots of actions that you and your chapter can do to actively oppose drones.
More info on 2013 "April Days of Action" []

"10 Suggested Ideas for Spring Days of Actions Against Drones"

1. Sponsor a showing of the latest Robert Greenwald (Brave New Films) film, “Unmanned.” The film is available for free—contact Casey at the national office ( and a copy will be sent to you.
2. Host a performance of the 4-person play, “The Predator,” written by VFP member Jack Gilroy. Free download of the script available here: []. Kathy Kelly who has performed this play calls it "One of the best theatrical presentations to deal with the subject of drone warfare."
3. Get a group together to make quilt blocks for the Drones Quilt Project ( No abilities with sewing or quilting required, and this makes a great activity for children as well as adults. Contact Leah Bolger for more information:
4. Host a panel discussion, teach-in, or presentation about drones.
5. Hand out copies of VFP’s newly revised information brochure about drones. Contact Casey ( for copies.
6. Check the website [] to educate yourself about drones, find actions in your part of the country, and to find lots of resources about drones.
7. Participate in actions and activities already planned. Check the Know Drones calendar
8. Join the VFP Drones working group. Contact WG coordinator Leah Bolger
9. Write a letter to the editor about your concerns regarding drones. LTEs are the second-most read part of a newspaper after the front page, and can be very effective in getting your message out.
10. More action ideas, as well as resources are listed on the VFP website [].

Friday, April 4, 2014

"Former National President of Veterans For Peace Arrested at Beale"

2014-04-04 from "Veterans for Peace" []:
Find out more about Beale actions at OccupyBealeAir Force Base FaceBook Page [].

Elliott Adams, past National President of Veterans For Peace and international peace activist, was arrested during a nonviolent anti-drone action at Beale Air Force Base on Tuesday, April 1. Adams lives in New York and is currently on a nationwide tour, speaking out about the importance of banning drone attacks, stopping war, and building a culture of peace. He has also been conducting Unarmed Peacekeeping Skills Training & Strategy Sessions around the country with the Meta Peace Team, whose goal is "pursuing peace through active nonviolence."
Also arrested was Adam's friend and fellow Veteran for Peace Richard Gilchrist. Gilchrist served in the army in Vietnam and has also travelled around the country speaking and taking action for peace.
Adams and Gilchrist walked across a line onto base property and were detained for an hour. Other demonstrators, including several other Veterans for Peace, stood in a downpour until the two were released. Later that evening Adams spoke in Grass Valley about "International Law, Drone Warfare, and Strategies for Peace."
Beale is home of the Global Hawk Drone, a surveillance drone that demonstrators claim helps in the targeting of Predator and Reaper armed drones. Increasing numbers of demonstrators have been arrested at Beale over the past several months. On March 5, Ash Wednesday, arrests included several members of the clergy. Other actions are scheduled for later this month.