SF Bay Area

Report Back:  Occupy Beale AFB

“STANDING WITH VENEZUELA at Beale Drone Base!
2 Activists Arrested While Trespassing onto Beale AFB:
February 28 – March 1, 2019 – by Toby Blomé
On Thursday and Friday, fed up with 17 years of endless wars, we were determined to bring our strong messages of solidarity with the people of Venezuela to one of the most important U.S. Drone Bases, Beale AFB, Home of the Global Hawk Drone and U2 spy plane, in Marysville, CA. As the Trump Administration and Congressional leadership from both parties continue to openly threaten Venezuela with illegal U.S. regime change and military intervention, activists gathered for a 2 day protest at Beale AFB in Marysville to say enough war:  “U.S. Bloody Hands Off Venezuela!”   On Thursday afternoon we held vigils at two gates, Wheatland and Doolittle, passing out flyers to educate the U.S. military about the truth about Venezuela in order to counter the U.S. government’s massive misinformation campaign to market a U.S. coup.  Dozens accepted our leaflets.
 
Early Friday morning, we concentrated our efforts near the Wheatland gate, the main commute artery into the base. The first banner to greet the airmen arriving said:  “VENEZUELA?  HELL NO, DON’T GO!”

As military personnel continued down the road, they passed another large banner that read:  “WAR IS A LIE.”    We held individual signs stretched down the roadway that explained:   “PRESIDENTS LIE, CONGRESS LIES, GENERALS LIE, MEDIA LIES, and, CIA LIES.”  The last sign to be read simply said:  “PEOPLE DIE,” a reminder of the tragic human cost of military “solutions.”

Later in the morning, 2 activists, Fred Bialy and Toby Blomé, carrying a sign that said,  “LET VENEZUELA LIVE,” crossed the white line over the roadway, to bring their grievances to the Beale commander about the imminent U.S. coup and possible war on Venezuela.  In prior actions at Beale, military security forces are usually hovering on the base side of the white line, ready to read the riot act and quickly arrest any protester who crosses over.  But this time the military police car had left shortly before, and there was no military personnel in sight.  Fred & Toby proceeded to carry their sign down the remaining half mile roadway toward the official security entrance gate.   Walking backwards, in order to face the oncoming traffic into the pace, they held up peace signs and waved to the dozens of drivers entering the base.  What was extraordinary was that many, including those in uniform, flashed us peace signs and waved to us as they entered.  We believe that this was a positive sign that many of the military are themselves getting tired of endless warfare. Many have had fellow comrades injured or killed in deployments.  For what?

Fred & Toby nearly reached the entrance security gate by the time the first military police car arrived.  With it’s flashing lights on, a security officer got out to ask questions and begin to read us the “riot act,”  reminding us that we were trespassing and illegally on military property. Toby chose to sit on the roadway with her sign, “LET VENEZUELA LIVE,” temporarily blocking the oncoming traffic into the base.  Fred soon joined her.  Within a few minutes, 2 more security cars arrived.  One officer approached Toby and ordered her on her feet.  Toby informed him that, out of conscience, this time, she could not do that, not after 17 years of endless U.S. warring, and one more country imminently threatened to be devastated by U.S. military intervention.” 
Ultimately 2 security officers carried Toby to the other side of the roadway.  Fred & Toby were handcuffed. Only Fred was subjected to a “pat down,” that included having his pants pulled down to below his hips, (a rare occurrence at Beale).  Ultimately they were detained on the spot for about an hour, otherwise treated professionally and later cited and released.  Their sign was also returned to them. 
 
Under the Trump Administration and the latter years of the Obama regime, peace activists arrested on Beale property have only been detained for 2 hrs or less, then cited and released.  No trial, no jail.  The Sacramento U.S. DA has chosen NOT to prosecute.  
 
“Our only hope for peaceful solutions in today’s world is to win over the hearts and minds of the lower ranks of the U.S. military,” said Toby Blomé, one of the organizers.  “The U.S. War Machine cannot function without troops. There is overwhelming evidence that the Vietnam War came to a dramatic halt largely because the troops were resisting the war at home and in Vietnam.  “There is no war without the warriors.”  
Downtown Marysville
All of the activists present at Beale on Friday ultimately took their banners and signs in support of Venezuela to a downtown Marysville street (Hwy 70), holding a peace vigil for nearly an hour, that included some meaningful dialogue with passersby.
 
“Occupy Beale Air Force Base” is a group of Northern California activists who bring their anti-militarism and anti-drone messages to Beale AFB monthly.  We sense that we are having immeasurable impact on the hearts of minds of many of the troops stationed there, through flyers, dialogue, and other means.  Beale AFB is a key player in the illegal U.S. drone targeted killing.  Home of the Global Hawk surveillance drone and U2 spy planes, it is a critical U.S. base used for ISTR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance).
 
Our Next Beale Action:   March 18 & 19, Monday & Tuesday
Join Us!
 
PLEASE read this important flyer that we distributed at Beale to those who would accept, about the poisoning of military base land and ground water with fire retardent foam used by the U.S. Air Force on bases at home and abroad.  The flyer was prepared for our Beale protest by Pat Elder, who has done in depth research about this shocking topic.  Pat has been on a tour this week at multiple US. Air Force Bases across the country, holding press conferences at each one, to alert the public about this extremely hazardous situation that threatens our communities.  We will continue to pass these flyers out at Beale each month to alert the military personnel, who are coming down with high rates of miscarriages and cancer, as a result of this horrendous poisoning of our mother earth.  More on this later.  Please read Pat’s flyer here:                    (www.CivilianExposure.org)
URGENT NEWS ADVISORY

Friday, March 1, 2019
Contact:  Toby Blomé, 510-501-5412;   Shirley Osgood, 941-320-0291


2 ARRESTED AT BEALE AIR FORCE BASE ‘PRE-EMPTIVE
PEACE ATTACK’ FRIDAY OPPOSING U.S. INTERVENTION IN 
VENEZUELA; NOW: PROTEST MOVES TO DOWNTOWN MARYSVILLE   

MARYSVILLE, CA (8:30 a.m.)– Two peace activists were arrested for trespassing by military police about 8 a.m. Friday as they held a “pre-emptive peace attack” by entering Beale Air Force Base to protest U.S. intervention in Venezuela – other protestors held banners near the Wheatland Gate. 

Demonstrators just announced they are moving to downtown Marysville (3rd and E Streets) to continue the protests, starting around 11 a.m. 

There have been protests at Beale AFB since Thursday in an effort to discourage the U.S. from attacking Venezuela.

Details:

Activists gathered this week at Beale AFB, urging the airmen to not participate in yet one more U.S. invasion of a sovereign nation. Flyers distributed were meant to educate Beale Airmen on the truth about U.S. Intervention in Venezuela. Large Banners and signs will include  U.S. HANDS OFF VENEZUELA & LET VENEZUELA LIVE.  NOT ONE MORE DEATH, NOT ONE MORE WAR!

A large WAR IS A LIE banner will be explained with signs:  The President Lies, Congress Lies, Generals Lie, etc.

Protesters will hold up assorted civilian shoes strung on a rope to dramatize the real cost of war that comes with a violent U.S. military intervention.

A “Pre-emptive Peace Strike”/peaceful nonviolent resistance to a potential U.S. war on Venezuela will take place on Friday, during the morning commute to Beale AFB, at the Wheatland Gate, the largest commute artery into the base.

Activists realize the U.S. government is hell bent on war-making and global domination and bullying.  We now have 17 years of warring with no end in sight.

“Our only hope for peaceful solutions in today’s world is to win over the hearts and minds of the lower ranks of the U.S. military,” said Toby Blomé, one of the organizers.  “The U.S. War Machine cannot function without troops. There is overwhelming evidence that the Vietnam War came to a dramatic halt largely because the troops were resisting the war at home and in Vietnam.  “There is no war without the warriors.”

Organizers are calling on U.S. troops to:  DISARM, REFUSE, RESIST.

Background: The U.S. is openly threatening to topple the elected president of Venezuela, using a massive misinformation campaign to garner public support.  President Trump is  verbally threatening military intervention, while gathering US troops at the Venezuela/Columbia border.   U.S. military intervention has been a complete failure.  Through 3 consecutive administrations, Republican and Democratic, the U.S. has continually expanded military aggression around the globe in the last 17  years, bombing more countries with each new president.

This has wreaked havoc and destabilized the countries of Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere.  The US ongoing bombing campaigns in these countries with drone missiles and conventional military aircraft has led to immeasurable suffering, death, destruction, and economic and humanitarian crises and more.  Each of these countries are worse off than before U.S. intervention began.  In addition, the cost to the taxpayer is in the trillions, money that should be spent on human needs and diplomacy.  Activists call on all U.S. troops:  “HANDS OF VENEZUELA, NOT ONE MORE WAR!”  “All Troops Home Now!”

Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world.  President Trump, John Bolton, and other U.S. officials have talked openly about the U.S. economic wins to be made, as they contemplate getting their hands on Venezuelan oil.  In the guise of attempting to deliver “so called”  humanitarian aid, the war propaganda machine is plowing forward.  But even the U.N. and International Red Cross refuse to participate in this insincere ploy, declaring it is motivated by political not humanitarian purposes.  WAR IS A LIE!  NO BLOOD FOR OIL!

Note:  Beale Air Force Base is a key control center for the US Global Hawk Surveillance Drone, which is a key player in the ongoing illegal US global Drone Assassination Program.  Beale is one of the most important ISTAR military bases in the country.  ISTAR = Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance.

 

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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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