15 Arrested Delivering a Message of Peace.
Yesterday I was arrested once again at Beale Air Force Base, along with seven others, and charged with trespassing. A video was filmed after we crossed the line onto the base. In it I begin to explain the connections between US military policy and climate change. The letter that we attempted to deliver to the base commander gives a more detailed explanation of our concerns and our reasons for demonstrating. (see below)
As many of you know, I have been arrested at Beale several times for protesting against the Global Hawk drones that are operated from Beale and against the U.S. drone warfare program. Far more civilians than terrorists are killed by U.S. drones, including many children. Terrorists use anti-drone sentiment to recruit more terrorists, creating an escalating cycle of violence and the rationale for endless war. There have been regular anti-drone protests at Beale and at drone bases around the country for several years now, and we aren’t going away. Seven more arrests were made today.
The demonstrations yesterday and today were timed to coincide with the conclusion of the Paris Climate talks. These past few days there have been “red line actions” in Paris and around the world, demonstrating that our leaders must not cross the many red lines that will lead to climate chaos and that people will continue to demand action for climate justice.
I am a person of faith and a follower of Jesus. I pray for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven, and I am sure that the divine will is for peace, for justice, and for the flourishing of creation. I know that the Spirit, called by so many names, is at work in the world even now, in people who haven’t succumbed to the greed, violence, and despair of our times. I have hope that the world can change, that another world is possible. But for that to happen, we the people will have to rise up and work together fearlessly, regardless of our spiritual or philosophical beliefs, to make real what is possible.
Rise up. Live in hope.
December 14, 2015
Dear Colonel Douglas J. Lee:
We are here today to demonstrate at Beale because of the links between the US military and the grave threat of climate change. World leaders who met in Paris have reached a global climate agreement, but it fails to take account of greenhouse gases generated by the military. The US military is the single largest user of petroleum in the world, emitting a massive amount of greenhouse gases, and is the main enforcer of the global oil economy. Yet the Pentagon has a blanket exemption in all international climate agreements.
A Pentagon report asserts that climate change poses an immediate treat to national security, with increased risks from terrorism, infectious disease, global poverty, and food shortages. It also predicts rising demand for military disaster responses as extreme weather creates more global humanitarian crises. According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, climate change will soon become the biggest factor driving population displacements. This, too, creates the potential for humanitarian disaster, population upheaval, and an increase in anti-immigrant hysteria.
In spite of these security risks, the U.S. military is not working to mitigate the release of greenhouses gases. Instead, it is beefing up its fossil-fuel intensive infrastructure and using drone warfare and other attacks to respond to problems militarily, fueling hate and creating more terrorists. Violence breeds violence.
We oppose the Global Hawk Drones that are housed here, which provide surveillance that help identify targets for attacks by the US military, including killer drone attacks. We oppose the Pentagon plan to increase its drone fleet and double its number of drone pilots. We oppose all offensive US military action, and are especially outraged by the US attack on the Doctors without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. We join with people around the world in calling for an impartial investigation on this matter.
With the recent disclosures by new whistleblowers and former drone operators, we know that drone strikes are 1) not as effective as our government claims they are, 2) killing thousands of innocent civilians, 3) creating more enemies than they are killing, and 4) damaging the health & morale of our military personnel.
Colonel Lee, we challenge you and your military and civilian superiors to begin the conversion of all military assets to peacetime use and to spend most of the bloated military budget to develop alternatives to fossil fuels and to work for goodwill and a just peace among all nations and peoples. The only way to create the will for peaceful solutions to global problems like climate change and terrorism is to simultaneously work for justice and peace. Another world is possible, but waging wars of domination will not get us there.
We are attempting to deliver this letter to you in person. Since you represent the leadership of the US. Air Force at Beale, we request to meet with you personally to explain our concerns.
Sharon Delgado Mauro Oliviera Shirley Osgood
Flora Rodgers Susan Pelican Pamela Osgood
Barry Binks Jane Kesselman.”
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