Saturday, May 24, 2014

"Let us not become the evil that we deplore" ; Two Arrested at Volk Field Protesting Drone Terrorism

Last weekend, May 17th, protestors infiltrated Volk Field in Highland, WI. Volk Field is well known as a training site for drone pilots, working to instill them with skills likely to later be applied to the infliction of death and terror on innocent people in Pakistan, Yemen, and elsewhere in the world. The demonstrators managed to gain entry to the base during an open house and were arrested for seeking to spread awareness of the consequences of drone warfare to other visitors.
"DRONE WARFARE STARTS HERE". Spreading awareness
 of the drone pilot training happening at Volk
.
 From Bonnie Block of Madison, who along with Father Jim Murphy was one of those arrested:

"We boarded the bus for Volk Field. (no ID checks there or at the gate house). National Guardsmen drove the bus and narrated the tour all over the base...We drove by the TUAS facility where the drones are apparently housed but there was no word about what they did there other than "they can use remotely controlled cameras to triangulate where ordnance has landed" or words to that effect.  Not a word about their being used in drone warfare."
"The final stop was at the National Guard Museum where we could get off the bus.  Jim and I were in the front seat so we got off first and I opened my jacket so the t-shirt was visible and we offered our handout to people getting off the bus...One of the Guardsmen quickly said we couldn't do that on the base and that we had to stop handing out "propaganda."  They hadn't read the handout so I gave two of them to one of the men and said it was just a series of questions they should read." 
 
"Let us NOT become the
 evil that we deplore."
"One of them then called base security--five arrived within minutes (the guys in the dark blue uniforms) so we had nine people in uniforms surrounding us.  They said we couldn't leaflet and had to leave.  Jim said we wanted to see the museum and would continue to leaflet so they called the Sheriff.  Two squad cars arrived within minutes and we were handcuffed and taken to Mauston in separate vehicles..."
"We were processed fairly promptly at the Jail and released on a signature bond.  The charges are criminal misdeamenors-- trespassing and disorderly conduct again and we have the initial hearing on June 18 at 9 am. "
"Special thanks to Mary Beth, Kathy, and Cassandra for support and for picking us up from the Jail and getting Jim's car from Volk Field to Mauston.  We then went to the park along the river behind the Mauston library and had lunch and some of Kathy's delicious birthday cake."
Standing strongly together against
 drone terrorism in Wisconsin.
There is a long, proud history of Wisconsinites standing up to the criminal activities at Volk. Many came out last April, and many, including Bonnie Block, have engaged in civil disobedience there before, as reported by the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice.
The Spring Days of Drone Action continue nationwide.
 CLICK HERE for more information!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Spring Days of Drone Action Continue throughout Wisconsin

In the wake of a powerful demonstration at Volk Field, Wisconsinites are not resting on their laurels, but instead have planned several more events in conjunction with anti-drone actions happening nationwide in the next few weeks.
A united front against drone terror.


May 8 at 7 pm in Madison.  There will be a showing of Robert Greenwald's film  "Unmanned:  America's Drone Wars" at The Fountain, 122 State Street, just off the  Capitol Square.  It is also available to stream for free at Warcosts.com. 
May 17 all day -- We will maintain a presence at the Volk Field Open House.  [Note: this will replace our normal 4th Tuesday vigil at the gates of Volk Field]
Schedule of Events:
6:30-10:00 am 5K on the Runway/1 Mile Walk
6:30 am Gate opens for 5K Registration
7:30 am 5K Start
8:00-10:00 am Pancake Breakfast  for 5K Participants
10:00 am to 2:30 pm Bus Tours (Pick-up/Drop-off in Nelson Park in the town of Camp Douglas with a stop at Volk Field Museum)
12:00-1:00 pm Camp Douglas Armed  Forces Day Parade 
Contact Bonnie Block (cell: 608-320-0569) or Jim  Murphy (cell: 608-617-7379) about helping the Wisconsin Coalition to Ground the  Drones have a presence at the Open House events beginning at 10 am.  We'll meet at the usual location -- the wayside to your right after your take Exit 55 right off  I-90/94 at the town of Camp Douglas to finalize our plans. 
- We'll have t-shirts for sale for $10 (with a graphic of a Predator Drone and the word NOPE!)
-We hope to "Fly Kites, Not  Drones."
-We'll have a handout with info on drone warfare to pass out and, at the end of the day we'll have a birthday cake to celebrate Kathy Walsh's birthday.  BUT we can only do this with your help so please let us know if you can come.  
May 23, Noon to 1 pm at Hatch Public Library located at 111 State Street in Mauston.  Join us after the last trial and hear Five Grandmothers Speak Out Against Drone Warfare.  We will gather and read the names of children  killed by US drone warfare as we place a stone of remembrance in a small  "coffin." At the end of this ceremoney we'll talk about why we're taking action to "ground the donres" and discuss ways to make the future more safe for all the world's children and  grandchildren.  Refreshments will be served.
  CONTACTS:   Bonnie Block 608 256-5088 orblbb24@att.net
                     Joy First 608 239-4327 orjoyfirst5@gmail.com 

Join us as the Spring Days of Drone Action
continue! CLICK HERE for more information.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

VIGILING AGAINST DRONES AT VOLK FIELD


Wisconsin citizens, organizing under the Wisconsin Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars, are joining other activists nationwide in Spring Days of Drone Action.  Actions, vigils, protests, lobbying, and educational efforts are taking place across the country to call attention to the illegal and immoral killer drone assassination program in which our government is engaged.
 
Wisconsinites have braved all sorts of weather to
 stand up against the injustice happening at Volk Field.
On Tuesday April 22, 2014 twelve Wisconsin residents converged at Volk Field, an Air National Guard base near Camp Douglas, WI where we have been vigiling monthly since December 2011. 

Volk Field plays an important role in the killer drone program by training pilots to fly the Shadow Drone used for surveillance and target acquisition.  The illegal drone program in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, and other places around the world continues to terrorize and kill thousands of innocent people.  
 
While those demonstrating
 were blocked from entry by a fence...
Soaring kites made their presence known
 to all within the base's boundaries



As we stood at the gate to the base, we read a criminal complaint against President Obama, Volk Field Commander Colonel Dave Romuald, and others at the base who are involved in the training of drone pilots.  Everyone present then signed the complaint.  We will be gathering more signatures on the complaint and then it will be brought to the U.S. Attorney’s office in Madison, WI and we will call for an investigation into war crimes taking place on the base.
 
"Do Not Follow Illegal Orders." The
 responsibility for drone terror lies
 with all those who make it possible,
 including us, if we stand by and
let it happen.
Other events in Wisconsin during Spring Days of Action against Drones include:
·         April 29 – All day – Lobby day against drones – Contacting members of Congress.
·         May 8 – 7:00 pm-9:30 pm – The Fountain, 122 State St., Screening of the film Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars followed by discussion.
·         May 17 – Protesting at Volk Field Open House.
·         April 28May 5May 9, May 19, and May 23 – Trials for five grandmothers who were arrested for peacefully attempting to deliver a letter to the commander of Volk Field in April 2013.  Trials will take place at Juneau County Courthouse in Mauston, WI.
·         Date to be determined – Delivery of criminal complaint against Obama and personnel at Volk Field who are engaged in drone program to US Attorney’s office in Madison.

For information on what is happening in Wisconsin, contact Joy at joyfirst5@gmail.com or Bonnie at blbb24@att.net

The Spring Days of Drone
 Action continue nationwide!





Monday, April 14, 2014

Vigil Against the Drones coming to Volk Field

JOIN NATIONWIDE SPRING DAYS OF ACTION AGAINST KILLER DRONES

VIGIL AGAINST THE DRONES
OUTSIDE THE GATES OF CAMP WILLIAMS/VOLK FIELD
TUESDAY APRIL 22, 2014      3:30-4:30 pm

Dear Friends,

People across the country are coming together and speaking out against the killer drones in April and May as part of the SPRING DAYS OF ACTION AGAINST DRONES.
 
Recent vigil against drone terror at Volk Field
We have been vigiling monthly at Volk Field for more than two years.  As reported by Medea Benjamin of Code Pink, the work that we, and other activists around the country are doing, is having an impact. 

Without our continued dedication, these developments would not have taken place. 

WE NEED YOU NOW TO JOIN IN THE CONTINUING STRUGGLE, putting pressure on the Obama Administration to end this targeted assassination program.

If you can’t make the vigil at Camp Williams/Volk Field every month, please try to make the April 22 vigil and so we can show the country that Wisconsin says NO to drone warfare.

This is a legal vigil where we will be standing on public property.  As always, it will be solemn, remembering the victims of US government drone attacks. 

Other upcoming events here in Wisconsin for Spring Days of Action against Drones:
  • Thursday May 8 – 7::00-9:30 pm – Fountain – 122 State St. Madison – Screening of the film “Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars”.  Discussion to follow.
  • Saturday May 17 – Time to be announced – Volk Field – Open house at Volk Field will give us a chance to be there and educate the public.
  • Look for information on filing a criminal complaint against Obama and personnel at Volk Field involved in the drone program with the US Attorney’s office in Madison.
  • Look for information on lobbying our members of Congress to end drone warfare.
Fly kites, not drones!

To get to Volk Field, take the Camp Douglas exit off Interstate 90/94 between Mauston and Tomah.  When you exit take County Rd. C to the northeast.  You will see the base straight ahead, but follow County Rd. C to the right and within a few blocks is a picnic wayside.  Since the wayside is closed for the winter, we will park on the side of the road.

We will gather at the wayside between 3:00-3:15 for introductions and to review the plan for the vigil, and then process together to the gates of the base where we will hold a solemn vigil for one hour to remember those killed by drones.  It is important that the voices of the victims be brought to the gates of Volk Field.

Bring posters if you can.  Bring a kite if you want to and FLY KITES NOT DRONES.

Please try to carpool.  If you’re in the Madison area, we will meet in the parking lot of East Towne Mall between JC Penney and the Firestone Auto Care Store.   Be there around 1:20 so we can take as few cars as possible and be on the road by 1:30.

We hope to see you at the vigil on Tuesday April 22.  If you can’t come this time, mark your calendar for the 4th Tuesday of every month and join us when you can.  If you have any questions please call or email Joy at 608 239-4327 or joyfirst5@gmail.com or Bonnie at 608-256-5088 or bblock@charter.net .

The nationwide Spring Days
of Drone Action continue!
CLICK HERE to learn more
 about actions in your state!



Friday, April 11, 2014

Write or Call Your Member of Congress Today: Make the U.S. Come Clean on Drone Killings

Wisconsin has been a hotbed of in-the-streets vigils, marchs, die-ins, and other protests against drone killings -- as can clearly be seen in the posts on this blog.

Today, people protesting drones are contacting their representatives to encourage support for H.R.4372: the Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act. If passed, the bill will require the Obama administration to come clean about the killings it has carried out using drones -- killings that, up until now, the administration has been able to pretend don't exist.

So now's the time: write or call your member of Congress today. 

To determine what district you live in, go to http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

To see an example of a constituent letter, see An Open Letter to Congressman Mike Quigley on H.R.4372: the Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act


Wisconsin Congressional Delegation

(Members of the Progressive Caucus are presumed to lean in favor of the bill and are marked Progressive Caucus.)

WI01 - Paul Ryan - (202) 225-3031 email
WI02 - Mark Pocan - 202-225-2906 email (Progressive Caucus)
WI03 - Ron Kind - 202) 225-5506 email
WI04 - Gwen Moore - (202) 225-4572 email (Progressive Caucus)
WI05 - James Sensenbrenner - (202) 225-5101 email
WI06 - Thomas Petri - (202) 225-2476 email
WI07 - Sean Duffy - (202) 225-3365 email
WI08 - Reid Ribble - (202) 225-5665 email

[SEE: hub page for all Resources to SUPPORT the "Come Clean on Drone Killings" Act (Schiff/Jones HR 4372: the Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act)]

Related posts

First Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN) called the U.S. on the carpet for dodging the call from the international community to come clean about its drone killings. Then Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Walter Jones (R-NC) submitted a bill calling for drone transparency. So ... are we finally going to get the truth?

(See REAL Progressives Demand that the U.S. Come Clean on Drone Killings)



A 2013 U.N. report makes it clear that the U.S. has to report fully on all its drone attacks.

(See 2014: The Year of Transparency (for U.S. Drone Use)?)









The reason the Administration is hiding truth about drones is that they don't have a satisfactory answer for how decisions about drone strikes are made.  As we have known all along, we need the public to think about how crummy the whole drone program is, and then they will be ready to be on our side. The best way to get them really thinking is to shine a spotlight on the secrecy, evasiveness, and deceit involved in the U.S. drone program.

(See Drone Killings: Come Clean )

Friday, March 21, 2014

VIGIL AGAINST THE DRONES OUTSIDE THE GATES OF VOLK FIELD

4th TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014  FROM  3:30-4:30 pm

A past vigil at Volk Field drew an enthusiastic crowd
 to speak out against drone killing and surveillance.

Dear Friends,
WHY WE MUST CONTINUE TO VIGIL 
Recent reports show how our government's policy of  "remote control killing" continues and what the results are.  On March 10, the United Nations expert overseeing the use of armed drones  demanded greater accountability and transparency by those states using them – including public investigations into allegations of civilian casualties.

A March 6 article reports that as the  United States steps up covert drone strikes on Yemen, with three suspected U.S. drone attacks killing at least four people in Yemen early this week, campaigners on the ground say the accumulated years spent living under constant threat of death from above are sowing tragedy, "psychological torture," and resistance across the country.  

To get to the vigil, take the Camp Douglas exit off Interstate 90/94 between Mauston and Tomah.  When you exit turn right on County Rd. C to the northeast.  You will see the base straight ahead, but follow County Rd. C to the right and within a few blocks is a picnic wayside.  Since the wayside is closed for the winter, we will park on the side of the road.

We will gather at the wayside between 3:00-3:15 for introductions and to review the plan for the vigil, and then process together to the gates of the base where we will hold a solemn vigil for one hour to remember those killed by drones.  Participants can stand in silence or read poems and stories about the effects of drone warfare.  It is important that the voices of the victims be brought to the gates of Volk Field.

Bring posters if you can.  This is a legal vigil on public property outside the gates. We'll also be standing in solidarity with Joy who will be part of an action in Washington D.C. 

A WORD ABOUT THE WEATHER 
It could be very cold so dress warm with extra layers.  If the wind chill is really low or if there is a winter storm warning, please check with Bonnie (608-256-5088 or 608-230-0569) to see if the vigil will be canceled because of weather.

CARPOOLING
Please try to carpool.  If you’re in the Madison area, we will meet in the parking lot of East Towne Mall between JC Penney and the Firestone Auto Care Store.   Be there around 1:20 so we can take as few cars as possible and be on the road by 1:30.  Thanks.

HOPE YOU CAN COME
We hope to see you at the vigil on Tuesday, March 25th, 2014.  If you can’t come this time, mark your calendar for the 4th Tuesday of every month and join us when you can.  And watch for an e-mail on special plans for April as part of a  nationwide campaign to ground the drones.  If you have any questions please email Joy joyfirst5@gmail.com or Bonnie at blbb24@att.net
Peace,
Joy and Bonnie

Spring Days of Drone Action 2014




Tuesday, January 21, 2014

VIGIL AGAINST THE DRONES - TUESDAY JANUARY 28, 2014 3:30-4:30 pm

DRONES KILL INNOCENT PEOPLE

VIGIL AGAINST THE DRONES
OUTSIDE THE GATES OF CAMP WILLIAMS/VOLK FIELD
TUESDAY JANUARY 28, 2014      3:30-4:30 pm

Dear Friends,

As our government tries to cover up what is going on with the drones and tries to distract us from the crimes they are committing, it is important that we continue to stand up and speak truth to power.  Though President Obama says that drones provide provision strikes  only used as a last resort and are only used to kill terrorists, we know that is not true.  For more on Obama’s hypocrisy on drones check out

And so it is important that we continue our monthly vigil outside the gates of Volk Field, continuing to strengthen and grow the resistance. 

This is a legal vigil where we will be standing on public property.  As always, it will be solemn, remembering the victims of US government drone attacks

WORD ABOUT THE WEATHER - It could be very cold so dress warm with extra layers.  If the wind chill is really low or if there is snow coming please check with Joy (608 239-4327) or Bonnie (608 256-5088) to see if the vigil will be canceled because of weather.

To get to the vigil, take the Camp Douglas exit off Interstate 90/94 between Mauston and Tomah.  When you exit take County Rd. C to the northeast.  You will see the base straight ahead, but follow County Rd. C to the right and within a few blocks is a picnic wayside.  Since the wayside is closed for the winter, we will park on the side of the road.

We will gather at the wayside between 3:00-3:15 for introductions and to review the plan for the vigil, and then process together to the gates of the base where we will hold a solemn vigil for one hour to remember those killed by drones.  Participants can stand in silence or read poems and stories about the effects of drone warfare.  It is important that the voices of the victims be brought to the gates of Volk Field.

Bring posters if you can. 

Please try to carpool.  If you’re in the Madison area, we will meet in the parking lot of East Towne Mall between JC Penney and the Firestone Auto Care Store.   Be there around 1:20 so we can take as few cars as possible and be on the road by 1:30.

We hope to see you at the vigil on Tuesday January 28.  If you can’t come this time, mark your calendar for the 4th Tuesday of every month and join us when you can.  If you have any questions please call or email Joy at 608 239-4327 or joyfirst5@gmail.com or Bonnie at 608-256-5088 or bblock@charter.net .

Peace,

Joy and Bonnie