Peace activists in Syracuse, New York held an action this morning against the illegal and immoral drone strikes the U.S. have been conducting overseas. Near Hancock Airfield the peace activists commemorated “Good Friday”, the crucification of Jesus, by conducting an act of nonviolent civil disobedience against military drones. The group is part of both the Upstate Drone Action team and the Know Drones organization.
Watch the video of their action:
They set up military drone aircraft models upright, in the shape of a Christian cross, and several of them stood tied down to the drones in the representation of Jesus on the crucifix. As you can see from the photos, it is an excellent statement and great example of nonviolent civil disobedience. They wanted to remind Americans, who 70% are Christian, of Jesus and his nonviolent ways who opposed the Roman Empire. Just like the Roman Empire, today the U.S. War Machine has been in a state of endless war since 2001 (some say even before that). And just to remind folks, the U.S. and NATO forces dropped over 26,000 bombs in just 2016 alone. That’s 72 bombs per day, or 3 bombs per hour! In total, the U.S. bombed 7 countries: Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, Yemen, & Pakistan. With the new Trump Administration in power, drones strikes have increased 432%. If 2016 has 26K bombs dropped, what will 2017 look like with Trump?
As you can see from the photos, the peace activists blocked the front gate of Hancock AFB with their nonviolent act. Many of them were arrested, but released after a few hours. One of the peace activists, Ray McGovern, said “It is Good Friday; thanks to those imaginative Catholic Workers and gutsy friends, it was a Good Witness; we had Good Luck. We were released more quickly than usual.”
Just a few months ago on December 23rd, 2016, the same group exercised a similar action against U.S. drone strikes. They recreated the Nativity Scene where four of the peace activists were arrested. You can watch the video here: https://youtu.be/49TacC1iwYI
Here is the press release of the “Good Friday” action statement:
April 14, 2017
GOOD FRIDAY HANCOCK DRONE ACTION STATEMENT
Good Friday commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus. Recognizing that 70% of our nation identify as Christian, we come to the gates of the Hancock drone base to make real the crucifixion today. As Jesus and others were crucified by the Roman Empire, drones are used by the U. S. Empire in a similar fashion. In Roman times, crosses loomed over a community to warn people that they could be killed whenever the Empire decided. So, too, our drones fly over many countries threatening extrajudicial killings of whoever happens to be in the vicinity.
On this Good Friday, we recall Jesus’ call to love and nonviolence. We’re asking this air force base and this nation to turn away from a policy which amounts to a modern-day crucifixion. Let’s embrace Jesus call to build the Kingdom of God on Earth instead of killing suspected enemies and innocents, including children. In the process, we are also crucifying Children, Families, Love, Peace, Community, Diplomacy, Rule of Law, US Constitution, UN Charter, US Treaties and Due Process.
What if our country were constantly being spied upon by drones, with some of us killed by drones? What if many bystanders, including children, were killed in the process? If that were happening, we would hope that some people in that attacking country would speak up and try to stop the killing. We’re speaking up to try and stop the illegal and immoral drone attacks on countries against which Congress has not declared war. Those arrested today: Ex-CIA analyst of 32 yrs. Ray McGovern, Jessica Stewart, Ed Kinane, Tom Joyce, James Ricks, Joan Pleune, Mark Colville, John Amidon, Brian Hynes.
Upstate Drone Action: www.upstatedroneaction.org
Know Drones: https://www.knowdrones.com/