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16 Arrested in Latest Anti-Drone Protest in Upstate NY

Common Dreams staff

Clare Grady (hands up) and her sister, Mary Anne Flores-Grady (on the left) are being arrested for protesting against drones, at the Thompson Road entrance to the New York Air National Guard. (Ellen M. Blalock / The Post-Standard)

Sixteen people were arrested outside the National Guard Hancock Field in Dewitt, New York Thursday morning after blocking the entrance to three gates leading into the airbase from which US predator drones are remotely controlled for overseas missions in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and elsewhere.

The individuals taken into custory will be charged with trespassing and disorderly conduct, Onondaga County Sheriff's Lt. Curt Dailey told local press reporters.  Protesters who were not risking arrest held signs up for passing cars, reading: "Bombing People Creates Terrorism"; “Drone war crimes: wars of aggression"; and “We will not be complicit in our government’s war crimes.”

One protester, a US army veteran who participated in the invasion of Iraq in 2003, interviewed at the scene gave his reasons why he is against the US drone program:

As the Syracuse Post-Standard reports:

Protesters arrived at the base at about 8 a.m. They blocked the main entrance, preventing cars and trucks from coming in while county deputies, DeWitt police and New York State Police conferred by a large sign marking the entrance to the base.

A second group of protesters stood across the street holding signs and yelling over the morning traffic.

A smaller number of protesters were at the other two entrances.

Hancock has been the target of several anti-drones protests in recent months and earlier, including:

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