For Immediate Release
Veterans For Peace Supports Conscientious Objection to Drones
WASHINGTON - Two conscientious nonviolent activists, Brian Terrell and Ron Faust, were convicted on Monday of trespassing, for having attempted to deliver a document listing concerns about drones to the commander of Whiteman Air Force Base near Jefferson City, Mo., last April. A third protester, Mark Kenney of Omaha, Neb., is serving a four-month sentence after having pled guilty in June to trespassing.
Veterans For Peace members were among those participating in a demonstration last April, and again on Monday, in support of Faust and Terrell, who will be sentenced in the coming weeks. Veterans For Peace applauds nonviolent resistance to the illegal and immoral use of drones, and stands in solidarity with those taking these risks to serve their country and the world.
Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark was not permitted by the court to testify on the illegality of drone killings. VFP member and retired colonel Ann Wright was permitted to testify, and said afterwards, "The most dangerous trespass is of heavily weaponized assassin drones from the United States into Pakistani, Yemeni and Somali sovereign land, not of three unarmed civilians giving notice to bring a letter filled with words onto heavily protected federal property asking for drone strikes to end."
Judge Magistrate Matt J. Whitworth's ruling disagreed.
The Associated Press reports:
"We were there not to commit a crime, but to prevent one," Terrell said [in court], describing seeing in person a 9-year-old girl in an Afghani refugee camp missing an arm from what he said was a wayward drone strike. . . . Faust compared drone strikes to 'premeditated murder' that cheapen the value of human life by allowing shooters to be as detached from their targets as video game players."
Veterans For Peace is a national organization founded in 1985. It is structured around a national office in Saint Louis, MO and comprised of members across the country organized in chapters or as at-large members. The organization includes men and women veterans of all eras and duty stations including from the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), World War II, the Korean, Vietnam, Gulf and current Iraq wars as well as other conflicts. Our collective experience tells us wars are easy to start and hard to stop and that those hurt are often the innocent. Thus, other means of problem solving are necessary.