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