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Protesters gather in DeWitt to push anti-drone message


Drone Protest at the Hancock Air Base Syracuse.com

Enlarge Left to right, Richard Weiskopf and Ed Kinane, both of Syracuse, are shown during The Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars demonstration at the Hancock Air Base Sunday to protest the use of drones that are operated out of the base. The protest coincides with the base's name change ceremony. It is changing its name from 174th Fighter Wing to Attack Wing.

Michelle Gabel/The Post-Standard The Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars Protests the Use of Drones Operated Out of the Hancock Air Base gallery (8 photos)

DeWitt, NY -- Forty-one people with signs, a drum and voices parked themselves across from the gate to the New York Air National Guard headquarters at Hancock Field Sunday to protest the United States' use of unmanned drones in Pakistan and other countries.

"Americans just don't understand what is happening over there," said Judy Bello, of Rochester.

"Using drone to target assassinations is against international law," said Jim Clune, of Binghamton.

The group Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drone and End the Wars chose Sunday for its event because the 174th Fighter Wing at Hancock was changing its name to 174th Attack Wing, which reflects the change in mission at the base from flying fighter aircraft to MQ-9 remotely piloted aircraft.

Although eight Onondaga County Sheriff's patrol cars and three town of DeWitt Police patrol cars were on hand, no one was arrested. The protesters stayed on the south side of Molloy Road during their 90-minute event.

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