Published on
Common Dreams

Calling Out 'Crimes' of Obama, 31 Arrested Blockading NY Drone Base

Unusually high bail rates seem to indicate desire by courts to discourage continued protest at Hancock Drone Base

Jacob Chamberlain, staff writer

Thirty-one people were arrested at the Hancock Air Force Base in Syracuse, N.Y. on Sunday after protesting against the deadly U.S. drone program that has killed thousands of innocent civilians around the world.

About 250 activists took part in the anti-drone protest. Sunday's rally was part of a three-day weekend event titled: ‘Resisting Drones, Global War and Empire: A Convergence to Action.'

Those arrested had blockaded the front entrance to the military base by lying down in front of the main gate.

As Democracy Now! reports:

The [Hancock Air Force Base] is a departure point for U.S. drones. Roughly 300 people held a funeral procession to condemn the use of drones in Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The protesters were members of the Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars.

The protesters attempted to deliver a war crimes indictment to the base, charging President Obama, the military and service members at Hancock Air Base with crimes against humanity.

The letter states:

We, the people, charge the US President, Barak Obama, and the full military chain of command, to Commander Colonel Greg Semmel, every drone crew, and service members at Hancock Air Base, with crimes against humanity, with violations of part of the Supreme Law of the Land, extrajudicial killings, violation of due process, wars of aggression, violation national sovereignty, and killing of innocent civilians.

According to the Syracuse Peace Council (part of the Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars), bail amounts for those arrested have been set at unusually high rates, ranging from from $500 to $3500, with a total of $34,000 for the 31 people. Though some of those arrested posted bail and have been released, others are refusing to do so and will be held in jail until the next available court dates. Those dates, reportedly, are not until either May 7th or 8th.


This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do.

Share This Article

More in: