For Immediate Release
Toby Blomé: 510-501-5412 or Eleanor Levine: (510) 290-7071
Anti-drone Activists Converge at Creech Drone Base for Week of Protests to Oppose Ever-Expanding Deadly Remote-Controlled U.S. Killer Drone Program that Sacrifices Civilian Lives Around World
CREECH AFB, NV - Creech Air Force Base Drone Center here is the target of five days of protests, Monday/April 1 through April 5: Anti-war activists, including military veterans, from throughout the U.S. will hold twice daily actions – 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. during commute hours in and out of the Southeast gate.
Arrests are expected.
The Drone Center at Creech Air Force Base is a key control center in the covert U.S targeted assassination program, using unmanned, remotely controlled drones. At Creech, both the Pentagon and the CIA use the U.S. Air Force to execute their targeted assassinations around the globe.
Under President Trump’s Administration, the use of drones to kill military targets has tripled in frequency according to some estimates, but caution has decreased. Just this year President Trump has loosened the oversight of these secret killings by eliminating the requirement placed by the Obama Administration to account for civilian deaths in drone attacks.
The Pentagon and CIA continue to deny any significant civilian deaths from most drone attacks, and often do not even distinguish the use of drones in most of their air strikes. However, a just released Amnesty International Investigative Report on drone killings in Somalia alone indicates that, in fact, significant civilian casualties are occurring. At least 14 civilians were in killed in only five strikes, and the U.S. has engaged in more than 100 drone strikes since 2017.
Anti-drone commercials are appearing periodically on CNN, MSNBC, FoxNews and other networks:
Activists will halt the “Killing Business as Usual” for as long as possible, at Creech Air Force Base, in order to make a strong stance against the immoral and illegal remote killing. (Details to be announced).
Anti-drone peace activists are arriving from as far away as Wisconsin, New Jersey, Arizona, New Mexico, Washington, Oregon, California and Utah to unite and make an ethical stance all week long against these deadly weapons.
This will be the 5th annual twice-yearly national mobilization against drone warfare at Creech, and the 10th Anniversary year that San Francisco CODEPINK has been organizing protests against these inhumane remote killings that are controlled from Creech Air Force Base.
Daily Vigil Themes:
Mon. (4/1) AM: SHUT DOWN CREECH! STOP KILLER DRONES! Protestors will demand base conversion to a facility that serves people and supports human needs. Put an end to cyber warfare! “Drones Make Enemies!” “End the terror of U.S. Drone Attacks.” “Drone Attacks are War Crimes.”
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Tues. (4/2) AM: Funeral Procession with coffins to mourn the deaths of victims of US drone strikes and all U.S. air strikes around the globe. A somber funeral procession along highway 95 at the entrance to Creech: Dressed in black, with white masks, carrying coffins with labels of each of the 7 + countries the US is bombing. "Victims of Terror" Altar: with candles, flowers and names and photos of some of the child and adult victims of U.S. drone attacks, including Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, the 16 yr old American boy killed by a U.S. drone missile in Yemen in 2011.
Wed. (4/3) AM: ARRESTS EXPECTED. Nonviolent Civil Resistance, where activists will risk arrest in order to temporarily halt the “killing business as usual” at Creech AFB. The action will also be a solidarity action for Venezuela, which is currently being threatened by a possible U.S. Coup. Messages: “U.S. Bloody Hands OFF Venezuela!” “Let Venezuela Live.” “Not One More War, Not One More Regime Change.” In November of last year, Venezuelan President, Juan Maduro, narrowly missed an attempted drone attack on his life. Many suspect the U.S. was involved in that failed assassination attack.
Thurs. (4/4) AM: NO to NATO, YES to PEACE. On the 70th Anniversary year of the founding of NATO, peace activists are calling for worldwide actions against the western military conglomerate known as NATO, that has led aggressive wars on numerous countries around the world, causing immeasurable suffering and death for too many years. This vigil will be a solidarity action in support of this worldwide call to action.
Fri. (4/5) FLY A KITE, NOT A DRONE. In honor of the people of Afghanistan who have suffered horribly from nearly 17 years of U.S. occupation. The western world has not reasonably kept track of the number of lives lost, and number of injuries caused by U.S. drones and conventional weapons used in Afghanistan. However, Afghanistan is “The most droned place in the world.” Since kite-flying is a favorite past-time in their culture, our last morning vigil will fill the skies near Creech Air Force Base with color and joy, reminding U.S. troops that the way of peace is one that builds community and love, and joy. There is a better way than the way of war….one that is best for all of us.
“Even our U.S. soldiers are suffering terribly under the ongoing barrage of U.S. drone strikes,” says Toby Blomé, one of the organizers. “The drone operators return home each day to greet their families after killing remotely all day during their work shifts. This inhuman disconnect leads to untold trauma on their lives as well, causing PTSD, high suicide rates, divorce and other psychological problems amongst them.”
Daily afternoon vigils are less structured, except for April 4, when activists will honor Martin Luther King Jr., on the anniversary of his assassination: “The greatest purveyor of violence in the world is my own government.” (MLK, 1968)
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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.