Mary Anne Grady Flores, Catholic Worker, Ithaca, NY, (607) 280-8797
Ed Kinane, Upstate Drone Action, Syracuse, NY, (315) 478-4571
Elliott Adams, Past Pres. Veterans for Peace, Sharon Springs, NY, (518) 441-2697
Trial Begins for Drone War Crimes Resisters near Syracuse, NY
Press Conferences: Fri. Jan 3, 4pm & Sat. Jan 4, 9am with US Former Attorney General Ramsey Clark
DEWITT, N.Y. December 27, 2013 On Friday, January 3rd at 5pm, sixteen people will begin trial in the DeWitt Town Court for protesting the piloting of MQ9 Reaper Drones at Hancock Air Base. They will defend themselves against charges of Trespass and Disorderly Conduct. The defendants will hold a press conference January 3rd at 4pm and US Former Attorney General Ramsey Clark will join them for the second press conference on January 4th at 9:00 am at the DeWitt Town Court. The trial will follow at 10:00 am. The court is located at 5400 Butternut Drive, East Syracuse, NY.
On October 25, 2012, the sixteen served a War Crimes Indictment to Hancock Air Base, home of the 174th Attack Wing of the NY Air National Guard, and were arrested. The base is located on the backside of Syracuse Airport. Base personnel fly MQ9 Reaper drones in Afghanistan, train operators and maintain MQ9 Reaper drones for domestic use.
In violation of international law, these drones kill and terrorize Afghan civilians. The defendants are a part of Upstate NY Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars. Their intention was to uphold the US Constitution and international law, including the UN Charter, ratified by the United States.
Defendant Andrea Levine says, “My grandfather survived the Holocaust and lost his entire family. He later testified against a Nazi in a war crimes trial that followed the Nuremberg Trials. If more people had resisted the Holocaust while it was happening, would my family have been protected? My family history moves me to call a halt to the killing and be a part of this movement. How can we all resist militarism and systemic racism? We’ve got a lot of work to do both at home and abroad.”
After hearing first hand accounts from people living under drones, three defendants, James Ricks, Judy Bello, and Paki Weiland, protested on behalf of the drone victims they met in Pakistan.
“There is hope for a better world when we resist killing done in our name. We invite the community to bear witness at Hancock to say no to the killer drones” said defendant Mike Perry.
About Upstate NY Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars:
Founded in 2010, the Upstate NY Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars is a decentralized, grassroots organization that represents diverse peace and justice organizations from different cities. We seek to educate the public and Hancock Air Base personnel about the war crimes perpetrated in Afghanistan with the MQ9 Reaper Drone piloted from Hancock Air National Guard Base on the outskirts of Syracuse.
Friday, January 3rd 5:00 PM
Saturday, January 4th 10:00 AM
DeWitt Town Court 5400 Butternut Drive, East Syracuse, NY.
Elliott Adams: Sharon Springs, NY
Judy Bello: Rochester, NY
Daniel Burgevin: Trumansburg, NY
Mark Colville: New Haven, CT
Paul Frazier: Syracuse & Rochester, NY
Clare Grady: Ithaca, NY
Mary Anne Grady Flores: Ithaca, NY
Martha Hennessy: New York, NY
Brian Hynes: Bronx, NY
Ed Kinane: Syracuse, NY
Rae Kramer: Syracuse, NY
Andrea Levine: Trumansburg, NY
Michael Perry: Trumansburg, NY
James Ricks: Trumansburg, NY
Mark Scibilia-Carver: Trumansburg, NY
Patricia Weiland: Northhampton, MA