Above photo: Upstate Drone Action Coalition.
On April 28, 2022, in DeWitt, NY night court, Judge David Gideon presiding, pro se defendants Mark Scibilia-Carver and Tom Joyce of the Ithaca Catholic Worker and the Upstate Drone Action Coalition, had their 2019 violation charges for blocking, with several others, the main entrance of Hancock drone base, home of the 174th Attack Wing of the NYS Air National Guard. dismissed “in the interests of justice.”
According to Sujata Gibson, stand-by counsel and Cornell Law School faculty, the dismissal “was significant, not just to this movement but to our collective conversation about the role of non-violent peaceful action in our democracy.” Gibson continued, “It was an honor to witness the thought that Judge Gideon put into his decision and deeply moving to hear the words of those who put themselves on the line to bring attention to these issues.”
Mark Scibilia-Carver, addressing the court, noted that, as we warned in court several years ago, “The US has developed ‘low-yield’ nuclear weapons that can be delivered by MQ-9 drones” like those piloted robotically from Hancock AFB. According to drone pilot whistle-blower, Daniel Hale, serving 4 years in prison for revealing truths about US drone warfare, 90% of drone kills were not the intended targets. On August 29, 2021, 10 Ahmadi family members were killed after the father was mistakenly targeted as a Taliban operative. A recent NYT article about the PTSD suicide of drone pilot Kevin Larson noted that ‘Drone crews have launched more missiles and killed more people than nearly anyone else in the military in the last decade.’ There have been well over 30,000 cases of PTSD suicide in the US military since 9/11/01.”
Longtime Hancock drone resister Ed Kinane, declared, “After his ruling, Judge Gideon, talked about how his views have changed regarding our civil resistance campaign at Hancock. Given the increasing perilousness of the world these days, he acknowledged that he had ‘learned from Upstate Drone Action’s decade-long series of DeWitt court trials.” During Upstate Drone Action’s 13-year civil resistance campaign to expose Hancock’s lethal role in drone terrorism in Afghanistan and elsewhere, 148+ have been arrested with scores of trials and many jail sentences.