Eight Arrested At Beale Air Force Drone Base

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Dozens of Anti-Drone, Climate Activists Try to Deliver Letter to Base Commander

BEALE AFB (Marysville) – Eight peace advocates opposed to U.S. drone killing were arrested here about 3:45 p.m. Monday / Dec. 14 as they walked onto Beale Air Force Base at the Wheatland Gate to deliver a letter to the base commander calling for an end to drone warfare, and explaining how the military contributes to climate change. The full letter is reprinted below.

Hundreds of peace activists have been arrested at Beale AFB over the past four years protesting the use of U.S. drones, which have killed thousands of women and children around the world.

Protestors Monday held a 36 foot “red line” in sympathy with climate change activists around the world participating in “red line actions.” See more on their Facebook page.

Beale Air Force Base redline 12-14-15

Demonstrators called for “Peace for the World, Healing for the Climate” and an end to drone attacks and all wars for oil that cause death, suffering, and environmental devastation, including climate change.

Those arrested were from Sacramento, Marysville, Grass Valley, Nevada City, Camptonville, and Montgomery Creek in Shasta County.  They included Barry Binks, Flora Rogers, Pamela Osgood, Shirley Osgood, Sharon Delgado, Susan Pelican, Jane Kesselman and Mauro Oliviera.

In the letter to the base commander, activists charge the “US military is the single largest user of petroleum in the world, emitting a massive amount of greenhouse gases, and is the main enforcer of the global oil economy. Yet the Pentagon has a blanket exemption in all international climate agreements.”

In the letter, activists note:

“We oppose the Global Hawk Drones that are housed here, which provide surveillance that help identify targets for attacks by the US military, including killer drone attacks.  We oppose the Pentagon plan to increase its drone fleet and double its number of drone pilots.  We oppose all offensive US military action, and are especially outraged by the US attack on the Doctors without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan.  We join with people around the world in calling for an impartial investigation on this matter.

“With the recent disclosures by new whistleblowers and former drone operators, we know that drone strikes are 1) not as effective as our government claims they are, 2) killing thousands of innocent civilians, 3) creating more enemies than they are killing, and 4) damaging the health & morale of our military personnel.”

Actions at Beale will continue on Tuesday.

The full letter delivered to Beale Air Force Base by anti-drone protesters

December 14, 2015

Colonel Douglas J. Lee
Commander, 9th Reconnaissance Wing
General Delivery at PSC Box 5000
Beale Air Force Base, CA 95903

Dear Colonel Lee:

We are here today to demonstrate at Beale because of the links between the US military and the grave threat of climate change. World leaders meeting in Paris have reached a global climate agreement, but it fails to take account of greenhouse gases generated by the military. The US military is the single largest user of petroleum in the world, emitting a massive amount of greenhouse gases, and is the main enforcer of the global oil economy. Yet the Pentagon has a blanket exemption in all international climate agreements.

A Pentagon report asserts that climate change poses an immediate threat to national security, with increased risks from terrorism, infectious disease, global poverty, and food shortages. It also predicts rising demand for military disaster responses as extreme weather creates more global humanitarian crises. According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, climate change will soon become the biggest factor driving population displacements. This, too, creates the potential for humanitarian disaster, population upheaval, and an increase in anti-immigrant hysteria.

In spite of these security risks, the U.S. military is not working to mitigate the release of greenhouses gases. Instead, it is beefing up its fossil-fuel intensive infrastructure and using drone warfare and other attacks to respond to problems militarily, fueling hate and creating more terrorists. Violence breeds violence.

We oppose the Global Hawk Drones that are housed here, which provide surveillance that help identify targets for attacks by the US military, including killer drone attacks. We oppose the Pentagon plan to increase its drone fleet and double its number of drone pilots. We oppose all offensive US military action, and are especially outraged by the US attack on the Doctors without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. We join with people around the world in calling for an impartial investigation on this matter.

With the recent disclosures by new whistleblowers and former drone operators, we know that drone strikes are 1) not as effective as our government claims they are, 2) killing thousands of innocent civilians, 3) creating more enemies than they are killing, and 4) damaging the health & morale of our military personnel.

Colonel Lee, we challenge you and your military and civilian superiors to begin the conversion of all military assets to peacetime use and to spend most of the bloated military budget to develop alternatives to fossil fuels and to work for goodwill and a just peace among all nations and peoples. The only way to create the will for peaceful solutions to global problems like climate change and terrorism is to simultaneously work for justice and peace. Another world is possible, but waging wars of domination will not get us there.

We are attempting to deliver this letter to you in person. Since you represent the leadership of the U.S. Air Force at Beale, we request to meet with you personally to explain our concerns.