Citizens join Global Action Day against drones at Hancock Air Base
Two of the 21 photos from Syracuse.com Photographer: Michael Greenlar
A die-in. Speak Out Against Drones at Hancock Air Base. October 5, 2014. Anti-drone demonstrators simulate being killed or injured by a drone strike.
This photo needs no caption.
Anti-drone activists, limited to ‘Free Speech Zone’ at Hancock Air Base, protest without incident
The protesters, led by Upstate Drone Action and the Syracuse Peace Council, obtained a permit from the town of DeWitt, which allowed them to demonstrate for about two and a half hours starting at 1 p.m. The protest was part of a Global Action Day against the use of drones for surveillance and killing.
The 174th Attack Wing at the Hancock Field Air National Guard Base designated a portion of the base for use by the protesters.
The participants unloaded signs, five-gallon buckets used for drumming, and a pulpit and speaker into the yellow “Free Speech Zone,” so-named by the organizers. Activists spoke out against military tactics that result in civilian deaths, sang songs and staged a “die-in,” suddenly falling to the ground as others yelled “The drones are coming!”
About a dozen sheriff’s deputies and another two dozen soldiers formed a half-circle around the protest. Yellow police tape surrounded the base.
Protesters were joined in that area by half a dozen military supporters, who held signs in support of the base and its actions.
Subscribe or “Follow” us on RiseUpTimes.org. Rise Up Times is also on Facebook! Check the Rise Up Times page for posts from this blog and more! “Like” our page today. Rise Up Times is also on Pinterest, Google+ and Tumblr. Find us on Twitter at Rise Up Times (@touchpeace).
Mark Colville, a 52-year-old Connecticut man convicted on a number of protest-related charges on Sept. 22, was a featured speaker at the demonstration. In December 2013, he walked up to the base’s gates with a poinsettia, a dozen roses, a “people’s order of protection” and a plea from an Afghan man who had lost family members in a drone strike.
For those actions, a jury found him guilty of five charges, including violating an order of protection which required him to stay away from the base commander, Col. Earl Evans.
The last charge didn’t keep him from joining the crowd; If anything, it motivated him to be there.
“It’s incredibly important to come back here and let them know just by my presence that they are not going to supervise my conscience with these judges who act inappropriately and use their power wrongly,” Colville said.
The protesters have drafted their own “people’s order of protection,” which demands the U.S. government keep drones and “500-pound bombs” away from the children of the world.
Colville and other protesters were pleased that the base designated an area for them to exercise their right to free speech.
“It’s about time that they started disarming themselves a little bit,” he said, “and opening themselves up to the people that supposedly this base is designed to protect.”
- Drone protest planned Sunday at Hancock Air Base for Global Action Day
- 79-year-old Hancock drone protester sentenced to 90 days in jail
- Are Syracuse’s drone pilots bombing Islamic State fighters in Syria?
- Drones for moviemaking win FAA approval
- FAA approves NUAIR’s second application for drone test flights in Central New York