Drone Resisters Acquitted, Juror Tells Them: ‘Keep Doing It’

| Resist!

Note: Let’s hope this is the beginning of a trend — jurors bringing the resistance into the courtroom. Four drone protesters were acquitted in NY, one juror said ‘keep doing it’ after the verdict. This is juror nullification. Jurors can acquit for any reason. The facts of the protest are not the only determining factor. Jurors can decide that the protest was necessary to stop a greater harm and no matter what the judge tells them, they can always say “Not Guilty.” Let’s hope jurors use their power to nullify a prosecutions of protests across the nation. That would be a great expansion of resistance. People should share this so jurors become aware of the power. KZ

The Washington Post reports: “The United States conducted a series of airstrikes on Al-Qaeda targets in Yemen on Thursday, the Pentagon said, in another sign of the Trump administration’s expanding counterterrorism campaign there.”

The group UpstateDroneAction.org released a statement Friday morning: “Four drone resisters, James Ricks, Daniel Burns, Brian Hynes, and Ed Kinane, from the 2015 big books action were found innocent of all charges at 11 p.m. at the Dewitt Town Court. After deliberating for only about a half hour, the jury returned with a verdict of not guilty on all charges. Applause erupted in the courtroom upon the jurors’ announcement of the verdict. The four were charged with obstruction of government administration, disorderly conduct, and trespass and faced a year in jail. Following the rendering of the verdict, a juror approached Brian Hynes and said ‘I really support what you are doing. Keep doing it.’

“During the trial, Brian Hynes told the jury, “This is not a case about contested facts, this is a case about contested meanings.” Hynes went on to explain to the jury that they could, in the words of the 4th Circuit of Appeals, acquit for any reason which appeals to their logic or passion.

In powerful testimony, James Ricks told the jury about meeting the families of drone victims and seeing the wreckage of hellfire missiles. Jurors were brought to tears several times.

Daniel Joseph Burns  said, ‘Would any of us deem it acceptable for our precious loved ones to be sacrificed for another nation’s anticipatory self defense. Of course not!  Moreover, if drones were being aimed at my children by another country, I would hope with all my might that the citizens of that country might try and stop their country’s illegal and immoral actions.’ Ed Kinane told the jury in clear and powerful language about his time living in Iraq during the war and about the terror sown by drones. …

“The trail resulted from an action on March 19, 2015. On the 12th anniversary of the U.S.’ illegal invasion of Iraq, seven members of the Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars shut the main gate of the Hancock Drone Base (near Syracuse, NY) with a giant copy of the UN Charter and three other giant books – Dirty Wars (Jeremy Scahill), ‘Living Under Drones’ (NYU and Stanford Law Schools), and ‘You Never Die Twice’ (Reprieve).

“The nonviolent activists also held a banner quoting Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution, stating that every treaty signed becomes the supreme law of the land. They brought the books to Hancock to remind everyone at the base of the signed treaties that prohibit the killing of civilians and assassinations of human beings. The group attempted yet again to deliver a citizens’ indictment for war crimes to the Hancock Air base chain of command.”

More and contact info

Visit Upstate Drone Action to learn more about this excellent long-term campaign against drones.

See from Micah Zenko of the Council on Foreign Relations: “The (Not-So) Peaceful Transition of Power: Trump’s Drone Strikes Outpace Obama.”

JAMES RICKS, chavoc32 [at] gmail.com
ED KINANE, edkinane [at] verizon.net
BRIAN HYNES, brianhynes [at] verizon.net

  • Aquifer

    Was at the trial – it was amazing …..

  • Jon

    Fantastic news! Next stage, implementation of citizen’s arrest! Jon

  • PRINCE4EVER O(->

    Great news, more people should also learn about jury nullification. Also, all U.S. courts are fraudulent as they do not abide The Constitution. They use Admiralty – Maritime / Uniform Commercial Codes “Law Of The Sea.”

  • PRINCE4EVER O(->

    Hopefully is spreads and continues!

  • PRINCE4EVER O(->

    We should be able to arrest police when we witness them committing crimes / breaking the law!

  • Aquifer

    But so far at a snails pace – those folks went through all that they went through – arrest, processing (and if you have ever been through that you know what a degrading, humiliating process it can be) multiple times in and out of court (not all of these folks were from Syracuse …) facing charges that could put them in jail for a year, just to make their case in front of a jury (thank God for the jury, if it had been just the judge, this particular judge, i can almost guarantee they would be sentenced to jail – he has already done that to one ..) – and so 6 more folks, that jury, heard and understood – and hopefully they will talk to their neighbors, etc – and hopefully those “Big Books” (which were trashed by the base) were seen by, and influenced, enough folks driving by that day …

    But until we put folks in office who will say NO to these drones and other egregious acts of warfare, those drones will keep indiscriminately killing more and more – so those folks will be back as long as the drones fall, as long as they can show up – most of them were older folks – and that was who was in the audience, as well – …. a couple of folks video taped some of the proceedings, but there was no press – you won’t see it on MSM, nor, I suspect, on most “prog” sites ….

    When trials like this happen – we have to show up en masse – we have to see and hear, bear witness – we have to let the court know that we give a damn about what they do to these folks ….

  • Aquifer

    But we must stick the Con. in their face again and again …..