Charges Dismissed For Four Hancock Drone Protesters

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Above: About 250 activists took part in an Anti-Drone Protest, outside the NY Air National Guard Base on East Molloy Road on Sunday April 28, 2013. The protest started in front of the Thompson Road entrance to the base. After several speeches, the protestors marched to the base’s main entrance, where several were arrested by Onondaga County Sheriff’s Deputies. Sundays’ rally was part of the three-day weekend event ‘Resisting Drones, Global War and Empire: A Convergence to Action’. Onondaga County Sheriff’s Deputies made several arrests at the base’s main entrance on East Molloy Road. Stephen D. Cannerelli, scannerelli@syracuse.com

At Pretrial Hearing Judge Dismisses Charges In The Interest Of Justice

 DeWitt, NY  On April 1, 2015 in the DeWitt   Town Court, after hearing about 90 minutes of motions, Judge Robert Jokl dismissed all charges against four defendants charged following protests at Hancock Air National Guard Base “in the interest of justice.”

Attorneys Jonathan Wallace, Kathy Manley and Kim Zimmer presented motions on behalf of John Honeck of Hamlin, NY, Julienne Oldfield of Syracuse, NY, Andrew Schoerke of Shaftsbury, Vermont and Mary Snyder of Vestal, NY, who were charged with trespass, two counts of disorderly conduct, and obstruction of government administration, a misdemeanor.

The four defendants were among 31 arrested in a nonviolent die-in at the front gate of Hancock Base on April 28, 2013 following a weekend drone conference in Syracuse.   Seventy nine year old Jack Gilroy, who was charged in the same protest, served three months in jail following a jury trial last summer. 

Other protesters will be tried on charges stemming from this same event in June.    This dismissal follows our march 19 “big books” action at Hancock’s main gate in which seven protesters were arrested with similar charges. They will be arraigned in late April.

Hancock Air National Guard Base is the home of the 174th Attack Wing.    It is the regional center for training Reaper Drone pilots and maintenance personnel.   Hancock Pilots fly Reaper Drones over Afghanistan and other international targets.   They also test Reapers out of Fort Drum over Lake Ontario.  For half a decade we have been charging Hancock Reaper Forces with war crimes and terrorism against the people of Afghanistan and elsewhere.

More visit UpstateDroneAction.org

  • Aquifer

    Hmm, different judge from the other guy who routinely threw the book at everybody, not “in the interests of justice”, but so, in his own words, “this (the protesting) has to stop!”…. Hopefully his abuse of discretion finally was recognized and he won’t be hearing those cases anymore …

  • kevinzeese

    Yes, different judge. I asked people involved in the protest about this judge. He has been inconsistent, sometimes throwing the book at people sometimes taking a just reaction as he did in this case. Things may be changing. It seems this judge has been wrestling with the issues being raised.

  • Aquifer

    Actually, I meant that this guy was literally a different judge – i don’t remember the name of the other guy who presided at the trials i attended – who came out with “This has to stop!” as he handed out the max sentences he could, along with the insane orders of protection for the base commander …