UPDATE: 17 arrested, 4 released, 13 held on bail from $200 to $1000, and all 17 given a restraining order by Earl A Evans, base commander, banning them from the base. The "temporary order of protection" is for a year "protecting" the base commander from nonviolent protesters with posters. The 17 have been charged with trespass and disorderly conduct.
Once again nonviolent protesters of U.S. drone wars have been arrested at the gates of Hancock Air Field in New York State. Thursday morning, 19 people blocked the three gates to the base for a period of hours beginning at 8 a.m. Eventually, the front gate was opened after 11 people were arrested, including Elliott Adams of Veterans For Peace, as well as James Ricks, Bonny Mahoney, Paul Frazier, Ed Kinane, Mike Perry, Judy Bello, Andrea Levine, Dan Vergevin, Paki Weiland, and one other.
Signs held up to block the gates said: "Drone war crimes: extrajudicial killing," "Drone war crimes: killing civilians," "Drone war crimes: wars of aggression," "Drone war crimes: violations of national sovereignty," and "We will not be complicit in our government's war crimes."
Eight people continued to block two other gates after the first 11 arrests. Four of them were arrested at around 10:15 a.m., including Brian Hynes, Clare Grady, Mary Anne Grady, and Martha Henessy. Henessy is Dorothy Day's granddaughter. Adams is a descendant of Sam Adams, as well as being Past President of Veterans For Peace, and current Nonviolent Training Coordinator. Adams has been arrested repeatedly at Hancock. Adams told a judge earlier this year:
"I am proud to accept the consequences of my acts and any jail time. I do not want any suspended sentence. If you give me one, also please let me know how I can violate it before I leave the courtroom."
"It is outrageous," Adams remarked upon one of his arrests last April, "that on the other side of this fence people are being murdered, albeit at long distance, and the Sheriff will not even investigate. On this side of the fence we are arrested for a 'violation of permit requirement.'"
Present on Thursday were the Onondaga County Sheriff's Department, the DeWitt Police, and the New York State Police.
Veterans For Peace Members Arrested Protesting Drones
Veterans For Peace Among 33 Arrested Outside Drone Base in New York State
Veterans For Peace was founded in 1985 and has approximately 5,000 members in 150 chapters located in every U.S. state and several countries. It is a 501(c)3 non-profit educational organization recognized as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) by the United Nations, and is the only national veterans' organization calling for the abolishment of war.