Syracuse, N.Y. – About 30 people were arrested outside the Hancock Field Air National Guard Base this afternoon during a protest against the use of unmanned aerial drones.
The arrests came at the end of a series of workshops and rallies held in Syracuse this weekend and organized by the Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars.
Today’s rally attracted more than 250 people who gathered on the grounds of OCM BOCES on Thompson Road, then marched in a funeral like process to the gates of the base, home to the 174th Attack Wing of the New York Air National Guard. The unit operates unmanned, armed drones thousands of miles away. The drones are used for intelligence gathering and bombing ground targets.
About 250 activists took part in an Anti-Drone Protest, outside the NY Air National Guard Base on East Malloy Road on Sunday April 28, 2013.
The protest started in front of the Thompson Road entrance to the base. After several speeches, the protestors marched down East Malloy Road to the baseâs main entrance, where several were arrested by Onondaga County Sheriffâs Deputies. Sundaysâ rally was part of the three-day weekend event âResisting Drones, Global War and Empire: A Convergence to Actionâ. The protesters march down East Malloy Road on their way to the baseâs main entrance. Stephen D. Cannerelli | email@example.com
Protesters pounded drums, chanted and carried mock coffins. A baby doll smeared with fake blood was suspended from a tall pole carried by one protestor.
A sheriff’s deputy speaking through a bullhorn warned protesters lying on the driveway in front of the gate to get up off the ground or face arrest for disorderly conduct. After they refused, the protesters were handcuffed and escorted to a Sheriff’s Department van.
Protesters were arrested on a variety of charges including disorderly conduct, obstructing governmental administration and loitering. Their names were not immediately available.
DeWitt town judges granted an order of protection last fall against peace activists who were showing up unannounced at the base and blocking its gate. That order didn’t deter protestors today.
Elliott Adams of Sharon Springs, one of the rally organizers, called the order of protection “absurd.”
“It is a flagrant effort to deny us our first amendment rights,” he said.
Adams said when he participated in anti-drone protests three years ago many people did not know what drones were. Since then opposition to using drones has grown, he said.
“It’s a cowardly way to fight a war,” he said.
People came from all over the country to attend the rally.
Larry Center, 61, of Charleston, S.C., said he came because “ … this is ground zero for peace.” Center, who uses a walker, attends war protests across the country.
“I’m not going to shut up until we have an honest country again,” Center said.
Several peace activists addressed the crowd, including Bruce Gagnon of Florida, a coordinator of Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space.
Gagnon said using drones is a terrorist act no different than the recent terrorist bombing at the Boston Marathon.
“Isn’t it equally wrong for us to do the same thing in Afghanistan and Pakistan?” he asked.
A total of 31 people were charged from the protests.
The following were arrested on charges of misdemeanor obstructing governmental administration and disorderly conduct, a violation:
Ellen Barfield, 56, of 814 Powers St., Baltimore, Md.
Caithraoine Demott Grady, 24, of 133 Sheffield Road, Ithaca
Max Farhi, 36, of 861 Bostwick Road, Ithaca
Sandra Fessler, 65, of 2781 Parker Road, Palmyra
Daniel Finlay, 72, of 211 Westview Lane, Ithaca
Bruce Gagnon, 60, of 212 Centre St., Bath, Maine
John Gilroy, 77, of 2716 Hamilton Drive, Endwell
Charles Heyn, 66, of 88 Rock Run Road, Damascus, Pa.
John Honeck, 52, of 575 Bankside Road, Hamlin
Rae Kramer, 66, of 401 Scotholm Blvd, Syracuse
JoAnne Lingle, 76, of 3016 N. Arlington Ave., Indianapolis
Mary Loehr, 54, of 133 Cheffield Road, Ithaca
Bonny Mahoney, 55, of 35 Bucyrus Drive, Amherst
Harry Murray, 61, of 49 Reservoir Ave., Rochester
Valerie Niederhoffer, 69, of 85 West Ave., Buffalo
Julienne Oldfield, 76, of 300 Berkeley Dr., Syracuse
Julius Orkin, 74, of 148 E. Main St., Burgenfield, N.J.
Elizabeth Pappalardo, 70, of 1610 Broadway Ave., Crystal Lake, Il.
Grace Ritter, 31, of 438 N. Geneva St., Ithaca
Matthew Ryan, 49, of 825 Aurora St., Ithaca
Mary Snyder, 88, of 16 First St., Johnson City
Andrew Sohoerke, 79, of 212 Middle Road, Shaftsbury, Vt.
Eve Tetaz, 81, of 2551 17 St., Washington, D.C.
The following person was arrested on the above charges, as well as misdemeanor criminal contempt:
Patricia Wieland, 69, of 3 Langworthy Road, Northampton, Mass.
The following were charged with misdemeanor obstructing governmental administration and disorderly conduct, a violation, as well as a warrant charging disorderly conduct from a previous incident:
Elizabeth Adams, 67, of 72 Juggler Meadow Road, Leverett, Mass.
Cynthia Banas, 83, of 4905 state Route 26, Vernon
Joan Pleune, 54, of 30 Third Ave., New York
Beverly Rice, 75, of 3 E. 85th St., New York
The following person was charged with misdemeanor criminal contempt and loitering, a violation:
John Amidon, 65, of 25 Melrose Ave., Albany
The following person was charged with loitering:
Beatrice Dewing, 61, of 3333 Broadway, New York
The following person was charged with disorderly conduct, a violation:
Russell Brown, 66, of 168 Richmond Ave., Buffalo