SF Bay Area

8 Anti-drone Activists Block Main Beale Drone Base for 1 Hour, No Arrests!

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REPORT BACK: OCCUPY BEALE AFB. Jan. 26 & 27

1/27/15  Blockade at Wheatland Gate,  Photo by Chris Nelson

On Tuesday during early morning commute, 8 Anti-Drone activists blockaded Wheatland road into Beale Air Force Base for 1 hour and 20 minutes, during the morning commute.  The majority of military personnel and non-military personnel enter through this gate each morning, totaling hundreds of vehicles.

 In a continuing 4 year long monthly resistance to illegal drone assassinations and perpetual war, these activists refused to get out of the road when a very polite highway patrol officer arrived after the first half hour of blockade.  After much initial discussion between the officer and the activists, the officer radioed into his supervisor, who gave him the order not to arrest.  Within 10 minutes another officer arrived on the scene, and the two officers proceeded to use their patrol cars to create a barrier between the peace activists and the commute cars, creating a second layer of blockade.  All drivers trying to get into the base that morning were forced to take a long detour to other gates, significantly delaying their arrival to the base.

Photos Here:
Occupy Beale Air Force Base activists were motivated by the recent continued escalation of illegal drone attacks by the Obama Administration in Pakistan and Yemen, as well as in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and elsewhere.  Just on Monday a 12 year old boy, Mohammed Saleh Qayed Taeiman, was killed by a U.S. drone attack in Yemen, along with 2 adults, while driving on a roadway.  Mohammed had lost his father and 17 year old brother by a U.S. drone attack in 2011.
Connecting the dots to the rampant police violence against black and brown people of color, activists brought the “Black LIves Matter” theme to Beale this month.   “From Ferguson to Pakistan, Oakland to Aghanistan, STOP THE RACIST KILLING.”   A flyer (see below) distributed to Beale personnel,Image The Washington Times explained the extreme racism that exists both in U.S. global warfare, drone killing and in law enforcement practices, where lives of people of color and people of other cultures are so easily expendable.   Occupy Beale activists refuse to be complicit in the dehumanization of other peoples’ lives.  The one hour-plus blockade was very successful in stopping “business as usual” at Beale Air Force Base and demanding that these policies change.
Interestingly, on Mon. afternoon, when activists had gathered for a vigil at the Doolittle gate, where much less traffic enters and exits the gate, a CHP officer arrived mid-way, and was very aggressive in trying to intimidate Toby, who was standing at her “usual spot”, passing out flyers.  Toby left the “gore” divider in the roadway when the intimidation continued to escalate, but returned back to the gore to distribute flyers after the officer left.  Michael Kerr was a tremendous support, by continuing to cross back and forth at the intersection with his Veterans For Peace flag, which greatly de-escalated the situation.  Fox 40, a Sacramento based tv news cameraman was on the scene on Monday, and a story of our protest was aired, which included a interview with Barry Binks, who helped get the truth out about drones to the public.
Many thanks to all who came!
Hope some of you reading this report will consider joining us at  Beale or Creech drone bases soon.
In Solidarity for Peace,  Occupy Beale AFB
Upcoming Events:
Mar. 4-6:   SHUT DOWN CREECH!  
Mass Mobilization to Stop Drone Wars
Creech AFB , the heart of U.S. drone warfare in southern Nevada, will see the largest ever drone protest in the country.  Bring Affinity groups, invite friends and help us Shut Down the very base where CIA drone killing is executed!
 
Feb. 18:  Ash Wednesday Anti-Drone Action
 
Feb. 23-24:  Occupy Beale AFB monthly 2 day vigil and encampment
Theme:  Love conquers all,  Resist global militarization with love!
Using heart shaped signs and other visuals we will demonstrate that love and nonviolence is always the solution to conflict.  (details later).
Dear Beale AFB military personnel and friends.                             January 16, 2015

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In the spirit of Martin Luther King, we stand outside Beale Air Force Base today to bring this message:

From Ferguson to Pakistan, New York to Afghanistan, Black & Brown Lives Matter.

Dr. King and many others worked tirelessly to end the social injustice and racist policies inherent in American society during the civil rights era.   After years of social unrest, organized resistance, and civil disobedience, many of the most racist laws that were the norm at the time were eventually abolished.  However, American racism still raises it’s ugly head, as is evident in the ongoing occurrence of police violence in our cities, in which the lives of unarmed black men are regularly taken without just cause.  With the Black Lives Matter movement, people are uniting across the country against this injustice.  Triggered by the lack of indictments and accountability in regards to the officers who killed two unarmed black men, Michael Brown and Eric Garner in Ferguson and New York, people are demanding justice and an end to racist police killings.

We stand here today to ask you to think about the injustice and racism inherent in the perpetual wars that the U.S. is waging around the world:

-Are the lives of people in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere as valuable and precious as your own life and those of your family?

-Some of these wars have caused the displacement of hundreds of thousands, and even millions of people, forcing them into refugee camps, and across foreign borders, ill-equipped to fully manage their needs.  Do the civilians in these countries have an equal right to feel safe and protected in their own homes?  Are there other better options that the U.S. could consider besides the perpetual wars that seem to have no end in sight? Would other options result in less pain, death and suffering on both sides?

3b9f4a90aAfgan Mikaki Reguee Camp; Image Zohreh

Afghan Mikaki Refugee Camp.  Images Zhoreh Solemani

-Do the people living under 24 hour drone surveillance, who are being terrorized by the threat of a drone attack at any time, have a right to live without such a threat?  Over 200 children in Pakistan alone have been killed by U.S. drones.  Do Pakistani children have a right to feel safe?

20140402-yemen-x600-1396472983Youth are prey for radical groups whose family members have been killed by drones. Morath Ali Al-Qawly a 11 year old boy in the blue ball cap father was killed by an American drone.

 

 

20140407-yemen-x600-1396892803

On Abdullah Mabkhut wedding day to Waida al Sormi his relatives were blown to pieces by four hell fire missiles during the wedding procession. Images Vivian Salhma: How American Drone Strikes Are Devastating Yemen; Rolling Stone Magazine April 14, 2014.

 

U.S. General Petraeus, in an unusually frank press interview, once declared that “Afghanistan is blessed with trillions of dollars worth of minerals, and that’s trillions with an ‘s.’ “ And he then proceeded to explain what the U.S. needed to do to “secure” those minerals so they can be taken out of Afghanistan.  Might there be many other hidden reasons that drive these perpetual wars forward, that really have nothing to do with national security, and have everything to do with greed and profit?

Are the lives of people in other lands, those with different beliefs and cultures, are they as valuable and precious as our own?   Or are their lives more expendable?  Should fewer precautions be taken to guarantee their safety?  A study by Reprieve, a British organization, indicated that, on average, the identities of 28 out of 29 people killed by U.S. drones are unknown.  This conflicts greatly with the government’s stance that drone killing is precision killing.  We at Occupy Beale AFB ask you to consider the very nature of the racism inherent in our wars, and the serious threat that it poses to world peace.

 

For A More Peaceful World, Occupy Beale AFBnodrones

 

www.OccupyBealeAFB.org             www.DemocracyNow.org                            www.CourageToResist.org

 

 

www.GIRightsHotline.org :   Learn about your rights, get assistance

 

 

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CodePink is a women's grassroots-initiated, worldwide organization of women and men working for peace, social justice and a green economy. CodePink SF serves the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.


 

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