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Prison for Protesting Drones

My name is Brian Terrell. I’m co-coordinator of a group called Voices for Creative Nonviolence. We support the petition to ban drones organized by RootsAction.  On November 30th I report for six months in a federal prison in Yankton, S.D., as a result of protesting drones.

The appearance of war being made easy by drones is resulting in more war. In Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and in places we don’t know about, in places where we are not at war, we’re sending these unmanned pilotless airplanes into foreign air space to hunt down people who’ve been accused of crimes only in the private court of the administration. They’re hunted down and killed along with anybody who might be in the immediate vicinity.

Drones are creating new wars rather than scaling down old ones. Drone pilots in Afghanistan have been targeted and killed. Drone pilots in the United States suffer PTSD at higher rates than real pilots.

Drone victims are 98% innocent civilians according to the recent Stanford/NYU study. The other 2% are targeted victims of murder without charge, trial, due process, or in many cases even knowing the target’s name.

Drones buzzing over houses traumatize children before they kill them. That those children are (in most cases) not American hardly diminishes the immorality.

Drones are rapidly being developed and deployed by other nations. Would you support the equal right of other nations to kill with drones in this country? And if not, why not?  And how can that thinking not apply to U.S. policy as well?

As I head to prison I urge you to add your name to the petition to ban drones and to ask others to do so.

Back on April 15th, about 40 people, mostly from the Kansas City area, went to Whiteman Air Force Base and held a short rally outside the gates on a public right of way. We had a petition — an indictment we called it — that listed the laws that drones are violating and the damage they are doing. We took that to the gate and were stopped. Three of us asked directions to deliver the petition and were immediately put in handcuffs.  About 40 military police in full riot gear appeared (video) and did a choreographed dance including high kicks and grunts and beating their shields, two steps forward and one step back, to get rid of the rest of the U.S. citizens, who were acting legally under the First Amendment.

At my sentencing I told the judge:

“Each of the government’s witnesses, all of them Air Force police personnel, testified that participants in this protest were nonviolent, respectful and peaceable in assembling at Whiteman Air Force Base, a government installation, to petition that government for redress of a grievance, demanding that the remote control killing carried out daily from Whiteman cease. They testified that at no time, before or during our protest, did they perceive us as a threat.

“Our expert witnesses testified that our behavior was consistent with the activities that the drafters of the First Amendment intended to be protected, not persecuted, by the government. The order and security of the base would not have been compromised had the security police allowed us to proceed to the headquarters to deliver our petition. No testimony to the contrary was offered this court.

“Instead of planning to accommodate a constitutionally protected peaceable assembly, however, the Air Force chose intimidation and conspired to deprive us of the rights they are sworn to protect. We learned from government witnesses that the phalanx of goose-stepping riot police is a ‘Confrontation Management Team,’ deployed only in the case of preannounced events. Whiteman security did not call out the Team to defend the base but to intimidate citizens engaged in lawful activities.”

Sign the petition to ban militarized drones now, before it is delivered to government officials.

–Brian Terrell for RootsAction.org

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9 Responses to Prison for Protesting Drones

  1. NC says:

    Petitions Petitions Petitions. When will the sheeple just give up signing these worthless pieces of paper? They accomplish absolutely nothing. Get up off your DAMN ASSES and fight!!! If you are going to protest be prepared to FIGHT OR BE LABELED A COWARD!!!! SCREW THE PETITIONS!!!!

    Oh and by the way, what happened to all that fuss about the Petraeus scandal and the secession movement? Could it be that the Bilderberg meeting in Europe is over and so there is no need for the MSM to distract the people by reporting on it anymore, just as they had done with the John Edwards scandal, as I had said before?

    I THINK SO!!!!

    • NC says:

      No offense, Angel, if this guy is your friend. But I’m just sick of this crap. Americans have lost their balls. Maybe they’d have better luck petitioning to move a deer crossing sign. I don’t know.

      • Angel-NYC says:

        Every once in a while, a Petition DOES make a difference. They are NOT all “worthless pieces of paper.” However, you are entitled to your opinion (as we all are). No offense taken, even if you did infer that I’m a “sheeple.” Regardless, the point is that this poor guy is going to Federal Prison for exercising his rights of peaceful protest and freedom of speech. There’s something wrong with that, petition or no petition.

        • NC says:

          I was in no way referring to you as a sheeple, Angel. You are nothing of the sort. I love your articles of Bloominidiot and so on as well as your input and your suggestions for a good place to eat in Austin, TX. lol

          You even helped me out a couple of times and I appreciate it. Don’t ever forget that. You’re awesome, Angel!

          I’m just fed up with petitions that eventually go nowhere.

  2. Mark Schumacher - NV says:

    Two million more people are about to fall off of unemployment benefits. Things should start to heat up.

  3. NC says:

    They probably just charged them with “trespassing on government property” as an excuse to arrest them. Ridiculous.

  4. Drutch says:

    The Bill of Rights also garuntees the right to bare arms. Next time you use the first back it up with the second and it won’t end in your arrest. You may be six feet under but that is the price we must all pay for liberty. If you aren’t prepared to enforce the law don’t cry about someone breaking it.

  5. # 1 NWO Hatr says:

    Here in CA I don’t think you can do less than a year in prison. That’s county jail or honor farm time, unless you’ve got massive priors. First, second, even third offense, almost never, in the vast majority of cases.
    But I’m not saying it NEVER happens, just rarely.

    I wonder if this guy has a criminal past, to get nailed with Federal prison time

    • diggerdan says:

      Yea #1, I know that it was a minimum of 1 year in the seventies for prison time and any thing less was jail time here in Wi. too. I think though that in the last few years or so that they increased the amount of time for prison was 2 years but I might be mistaken, but I do know that it used to be 1 year for sure for a minimum time in prison.

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