Sunday, November 11, 2012

No Drones: Lars explains the upside down American flag

On Saturday, Novemeber 10, 2012, Lars Prip and myself, David Soumis,
held the Vietnam era burial flag on the square during the Farmer's Market.
This video is of Lars explaining the flag and what we're doing.

Credit for the video goes to Voice Newspaper Blog.
Thanks Bill. Great job


Related posts

Has the time come for Pennsylvanians to volunteer this potent symbol to be adopted once again ... as a symbol of liberation from the tyranny of drone killings and drone surveillance?

(See Time for Liberation ... from Drones? )

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Last Farmer's Market 2012 - Drone over Madison

LJ Prip, Brad Geyer, Steve Books, and I, members of Veterans for Peace,  spent a very good day on the capitol square in Madison Wisconsin today. The weather was gorgeous ... sun came out, the wind was gusting and blowing the oak leaves all around with many more floating down from the trees.

There were quite a few people attending the very last outdoor farmer's market for the year. We had the drone out and our signs. We got out the Vietnam War era burial flag with a Zinn quote on it,
“There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.”
and held it upside down as a distress signal... informing the passerbys that the USA is in crisis.
LJ Prip and David Soumis at the Farmers Market - Madison Wisconsin
There were the usual grimaces of people, especially older people, which could not accept we were holding the flag upside down. One 22 year veteran stopped and was pretty upset with us, but did state he was in the military to defend our right to speak out. He expressed his total disdain for what we were doing, rather vehemently.  I salute him for understanding that freedom of speech is important to this country. He disagreed with our flag display, but we shook hands and he walked on.

Overall, the crowd was very positive to us today. We had a lot of folks stop and give thanks to us, that we were standing out there informing and educating people on what our government is doing in our name. The wars, the use of drones in killing people, and so forth. There were hugs, a lot of peace signs, and even more thumbs up.

We also had a special visitor later in the day, Brian Terrell , who has been doing a LOT of work against the use of drones (serious understatement). He is here to do a talk at The Fountain, 122 State Street, in Madison at 8PM Sunday evening. Please try to stop by.

Brian was arrested at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri during an attempt, on behalf of a larger group of protestors, to deliver an "indictment" to Brigadier General Scott A. Vander Hamm, the base's commander. Their indictment charged the chain of command, from President Obama to General Vander Hamm to the drone crews at Whiteman, "with the following crimes; extrajudicial killings, violation of due process, wars of aggression, violation of national sovereignty, and the killing of innocent civilians." It noted the fact that "extrajudicial targeted killings by the use of unmanned aircraft drones by the United States of America are intentional, premeditated and deliberate use of lethal force in violation of US and international human rights law" and demanded that these crimes immediately cease.
(left to right) Mark Kenney, Brian Terrell, and Ron Faust outside the courthouse on June 6. Photo by Marc Saviano

Brian, along with retired minister Ron Faust went to court. Both were found guilty of “trespassing”. Brian sentenced to 6 months in federal prison. Faust was sentenced to five years of probation, while Terrell received the maximum sentence. A third protester, Mark Kenney of Omaha, Nebraska is serving a four-month sentence after pleading guilty in June to trespassing. His sentence begins on November 30.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Madison: Talk by Brian Terrell on Drone Warfare

Sunday, November 11, 2012 8:00pm
The Fountain
122 State Street, Madison, Wisconsin

Brian Terrell is a Wisconsin native who lives in Iowa who is a peace activist of many years. He is scheduled to report to a federal prison on November 30 to begin a six month sentence as a result of his nonviolent protests against assassinations and murder conducted by remotely controlled drones from bases in the United States. He has traveled to Afghanistan and met with victims of drone attacks. He is aco-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, and a Catholic Worker.

This is on of a series of events where Brian Terrell will talk about the need to end U.S. drone killings. See also:

Chicago, IL: Doing Time for Peace: Resistance, Family, and Community An Evening With Rosalie Riegle and Brian Terrell
Columbia, MO: Terrell at Wm. Woods, Mizzou: Ground the Drones!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Madison: "Care for a drone with that fresh produce?"

The video produced by David Soumis, of Veterans for Peace (VFP) Chapter 25 (Madison, WI) and producer of VFP Peace Time on WYOU TV Madison, about his group's anti-drones outreach to people at the local Farmer's Market, makes for must-see TV.

David gives an excellent overview of the whole drones problem. Moreover, as a colleague from VFP in Indiana commented:
It's interesting how there so many people shown in this video, and most walk nonchalantly by, completely ignoring the drone model and the signs. Reminds me of Harrington's "The Other America," in which he notes that most people will walk around poor people panhandling, even crossing the street to avoid seeing them. What is it that scares people off so much when we attempt to educate them, in this case, on the disastrous effects of drone warfare. Maybe if we had a sign saying "free donuts," or "free concert tickets" Or perhaps we dressed up in our Sunday finest? Or more creative street theater? A band, perhaps? Would that draw people in? Or have the American people been so brainwashed that they don't desire any new information?

David Soumis comments:
The walk by is one of the most interesting things. We see it every day that we display the drone. Majority of people do not see it. They are so tied up into themselves, I think. A lot of people sort of glance over, but then avert their eyes very fast. There are whispers between people as they try to hide the fact they are drawn to look but just can’t.

There are, however, other exciting things that happen. For instance, one afternoon, a mother , father, and young daughter were walking by. The parents looked straight ahead, however, the daughter, about 14, was looking over out of the corner of her eye.... as they walked past, the daughter looked at me and smiled, then flipped the peace sign kind of out of sight of her parents. That is HOPE brothers and sisters . . . !
Please watch the whole video, "Veterans for Peace: Chapter 25 -- STOP THE DRONES", on Youtube, and share it widely!

. . . and check out the pictures of the die-in to protest the use of weaponized drones by the United States done a couple of months back by David and colleagues in Madison!