Friday 16 October 2009

Nevada Desert Experience

Few if any in Indian Springs expected up to 100 Anti-War Activists to brave
the heat of the desert and the wrath of Pro-War forces, to descend last
week upon Creech AFB located on the eastern edge of their town.

Several activists though felt so strongly about halting the military’s use
of the drones, they did expect to risk arrest Monday as they attempted to
meet with the base commander to dialogue about their abhorrence to the
military’s – and that base’s in particular – use of unmanned aerial
vehicles to hunt down, track, and kill human beings 7000 miles away: i.e.
drones against people in Pakistan, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

“Soldiers kiss their families good-bye in the morning, come to Creech, sit
behind a computer console, grab their joy stick, and click the mouse to
unfurl bombs on people” Leeza Vinograv, a CodePINK spokesperson, states

Activists from various groups as CodePINK:Women for Peace, Pace e Bene,
WILPF (Women’s International League of Peace and Freedom), and Progressive
Democrats came from around the country to Creech to partake in this second
“Take 5 Days of Action Against the Drones”. The first 5 Days took place the
beginning of July and another 5 Days is tentatively planned for the end of

“All weapons of war are horrific” Marie Bravo from CodePINK asserts,
“Drones are not merely yet another, and the latest, appalling weapon: they
are as odiousness and unconscionable as dropping nuclear weapons on human
beings, killing 50 civilians for every 1 ‘bad guy’ targeted by the CIA
and/or the military.”

Activists came to Indian Springs to participate in non-violent direct
actions against the drones. On Sunday over 30 activists were arrested for
civil disobedience at the old nuclear test site.

On Monday, 5:00am activists donned white apparel and face paint and held a
funeral march down highway 95 passed the north entrance to the AFB, through
Indian Springs to end up at the southern end of the AFB.

Several were then arrested and charged with such misdemeanors as
"Pedestrian on the Highway", "Obstructing the Police", and "Walking on the
wrong side of the Highway".

Other protesters continued the demonstration with a wailing where women
carrying small caskets and photos of war devastation, mourned the lives
destroyed, especially the lives of the children.

A huge banner declaring "DRONES: Making Enemies Faster Than We Can Kill
Them" was held by several demonstrators. Other signs included: "Kill
Drones, Not People" and "War is NOT a Video Game".

Later that evening, 8 activists were arrested for civil disobedience,
“Disturbing the War” Father Louis Vitale, one of the arrested and a Pace e
Bene spokesperson quips, as state patrol officer Symansky, the arresting
officer, mutters “They are non-violent and non-compliant.”

5 other arrests were made for various charges as “Pedestrian on the
Highway”, “Obstructing the Police”, and “Obedience to a Police Officer”. In
addition traffic citations were issued for honking the horn and failure to
use a left-turn signal as well as driving with a crack in the windshield.

The police often outnumbered protestors, especially on the last day of
protests when only 4 activists were still in town attempting to hold a
large “Peace” banner and a picture of the real face of war for soldiers
entering the base.

“Pilots of Drones and manned bombers as well do not get to smell the stench
of war or see the pain and suffering their click of a button reeks on human
beings” CodePINK says. “We are attempting to bring the Real Face of War to
these pilots. They need to know the truth of their actions.”

The four demonstrators that last day were met by at least 20 police
officers from three different agencies, as well as 4 mounted police on
horseback, and several military observers. One demonstrator was arrested
for “obstructing the police” as she attempted to video the police officer
50 yards away citing another demonstrator for honking her horn in support
of peace.

“I feel sorry for these soldiers who are going blindly to another country,
risking their lives and limbs, killing innocent people for my right to
protest – and here they have to watch me being arrested for attempting to
exercise that very right” says the arrested member of CodePINK Xan Joi.

- A dispatch from the Nevada Desert Experience.