Above photo: SF Area CODEPINK.
Las Vegas/Creech Air ForceBase – Demonstrators – after blocking two entrances to the drone base here Monday – will hold a “DRONE MASSACRE MEMORIAL TUESDAY FROM 6:30 A.M. TO 8:30 A.M. – Activists, will display a long series of banners, stretched along the highway, each highlighting details of past U.S. drone massacres, including statistics on civilian deaths.
Anti-drone protestors used large banners in the early morning Monday/4-5-21 to nonviolently block two entrances into Creech Air Force Base, a key U.S. Drone Base. It was the first day of a weeklong protest to oppose the illegal U.S. remote targeted killing program.
All of the participants participated in the first blockade at the main gate, impeding dozens of cars, while continuously chanting: “Arrest Col. Jones for War Crimes, Not Daniel Hale for Whistleblowing.” and “Stop the killing, stop the terror, stop the drones!” Col. Stephen R. Jones is the drone base commander, and the highest level of command responsible for the alleged war crimes that take place at the base. “By national and international laws, assassination is illegal,” says Toby Blomé, one of the organizers, “but it has become more normalized, rationalized and justified in American culture, politics and the media, as drone warfare has rapidly expanded. It’s an utterly barbaric and cowardly form of violence that should never have been tolerated, and has made killing way too easy,” she said. After the first entrance was successfully blocked, three of the participants drove to a second gate. where the commute traffic had been diverted; Using another large banner they blocked the second gate as well. In all, military traffic was held up for over 45 minutes, which caused dozens of cars to be re-diverted back to the main gate, causing an extended traffic jam.
Blockaders held their blockade for as long as they could, without risking arrest, to avoid the higher health risks that exist with jail detainment during the COVID pandemic. The protesters’ afternoon vigil will support Air Force Veteran, Daniel Hale, the U.S. Drone Whistleblower who currently faces sentencing in July after pleading guilty for secretly exposing war crimes in the U.S. drone targeted killing program. Some of the signs protesters will hold include: Free Daniel Hale, Exposing War Crimes is NOT a crime / Prosecute Col. Jones for War Crimes. The protests will continue throughout the week, with changing themes to express the protesters outrage and intolerance of the remotely executed violence that takes place daily at Creech AFB, just north of Las Vegas, Nevada.
At Creech, U.S. Air Force personnel, coordinating with C.I.A. officials, are, regularly and secretly, killing people remotely using unmanned armed drone planes, primarily the MQ-9 Reaper drones. Thousands of civilians have been killed and injured, in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, and elsewhere, since 2001, according to the activists.
In the aftermath of the recent and tragic U.S. massacres by lone gunmen in Georgia and Boulder, activists will hold daily two hour vigils between 6:30-8:30 a.m. and 3:30-5:30 p.m., during commute hours to underline the connection between mass violence at home and the “normalized” mass violence of the U.S. covert drone program and U.S. military.
Following the recent mass shootings in the U.S., Vice President Kamala Harris said “Everyone has the right to go to work, to go to school, to walk down the street and be safe…..a harm against anyone of us is a harm to all of us.”
Over the last 20 years, U.S. armed drones have been used to commit horrible atrocities that have included strikes on weddings, funerals, schools, mosques, homes, farm laborers, and in January, 2020, included direct hits on high level foreign military and government officials from Iran and Iraq.
“Participants in this week’s nonviolent protest at Creech AFB believe that people around the world have the right to go to school, attend weddings and funerals, drive a car or walk down the street and be safe. U.S. foreign policy that rationalizes the right to sacrifice the lives of civilians by remote controlled killing is unconscionable and inherently racist,” said organizers.
These drone massacres have, at times, resulted in the deaths of dozens of civilians with a single drone attack. No U.S. official has ever been held accountable for these ongoing atrocities, yet, an important drone whistleblower, Daniel Hale, who leaked truths about these atrocities faces potentially harsh sentencing in July.
The protest includes daily vigils during commute hours, with different themes each time.
“It is our hope,” said Blomé, “that the military personnel that drive into the base everyday will reflect deeply about their role in this criminal activity that causes innumerable deaths and untold suffering around the globe, and that just maybe some of them will make the difficult but ethical choice to not participate.
“Militarized drones are expanding at an unbelievable rate, replacing conventional warfare, without any meaningful public debate. It is therefore the obligation of the military personnel to embrace their own individual responsibilities.”
AM: We had an amazing non-violent direct action during the first morning vigil during commute hours, where peaceful, anti-drone protesters, made up mostly of CODEPINK and Veterans For Peace members, totally surprised law enforcement, BLOCKING BOTH GATES and causing a chaotic traffic jam and delay that lasted about 45 minutes. “Time to break the silence amidst so much violence!” Activists blocked the entrances for as long as they could, through the “riot act readings” by police, and just until the 2 and 3 min. warnings expired. Arrests were avoided by all due to health risks from the pandemic. No one wants to take great risks and end up in jail right now.
PM: Support Vigil for Daniel Hale, Drone Whistleblower, who currently faces unjust sentencing in July for leaking military documents in 2015 that exposed horrendous drone war crimes. Sadly, the wind was blowing about 40 mph during our vigil, taking a huge toll on our reserve energy. We held large PINK posters to support Daniel and honor his courage and the great risks he took to expose these war crimes. FREE DANIEL HALE!
We also made signs that read: PROSECUTE COL. JONES for WAR CRIMES. (The current commander of Creech AFB) and DANIEL HALE EXPOSED WAR CRIMES!
AM & PM: DRONE MASSACRE MEMORIAL vigils. Scroll down for photos: “A picture tells a thousand words!” We will not forget the horrendous and cowardly mass violence committed at Creech AFB with our tax dollars on a daily base and we honor the lives of all the victims of these barbaric crimes against humanity committed with U.S. Armed Drones.
We also visited the “official gate” (non-commute gate) prior to our PM vigil, to again support Daniel Hale, holding our signs of solidarity and chanting:
“Arrest Col. Jones, the war criminal, not Daniel Hale, the Drone Whistleblower.”
“Arrest Col. Jones, Free Daniel Hale.”