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Drones of death arrests

Extract from Peace News

On 9 April, 14 peace and social justice activists were arrested at Creech US Air Force Base in Indian Springs, Nevada, in what is believed to be the first act of mass nonviolent civil disobedience against the military use of pilotless drones. “Predator” and “Reaper” drones have reportedly killed hundreds of civilians in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The Creech 14, including Nobel Peace Prize nominee Kathy Kelly, were arrested after entering the open main gates of USAF Creech seeking a dialogue with those inside who operate Predator and Reaper drones thousands of miles away in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The arrests occurred after the annual Sacred Peace Walk (organized by Nevada Desert Experience), en route to the Nevada nuclear test site, reached USAF Creech, to join a 10-day “Ground the Drones” vigil organised by Voices for Creative Nonviolence, based in Chicago.

Those taking part in the vigil wrote an open letter to US president Barack Obama, explaining: “We are protesting the development and use of drone hunter-killer aircraft in particular, and, in general, the use of military force in Afghanistan and Pakistan…. We believe that drone aircraft are immoral, dehumanising, will result in the deaths of thousands of innocent people, and will generate such hatred for the US that our security will be substantially diminished, rather than increased.” The protesters argued that: “creating weapons that kill at long range, placing their users almost entirely out of immediate harm’s way, will have the effect of so angering those we attack that we will risk the most desperate, devastating, and merciless retaliation.”

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