At the most heavily used eastern
gate, a total of 13 people were arrested in four separate actions. After military
personnel re-opened the main base gate in the later morning after the 1st action
there, three more waves of blockades occurred. The 3rd and 4th waves breached a
barricade near the gate and continued to block the road, ultimately stalling
gate operations for nearly an hour totally, counting all actions at that gate.
Another four were arrested at a second gate.
The first incident at the eastern gate occurred at approximately 7:00 AM
when a group of six children and eight adults all dressed as angels, performed a
mock drone attack on a funeral. The activists were demonstrating the gruesome
U.S. practice of firing drone missiles into funerals for victims previously
killed by U.S. drone attacks, with hopes that militants might also be killed.
A ballerina led the procession, laying red roses on the entry road of the main
gate, followed by the other children carrying a casket. The funeral procession
was interrupted by a simulated drone attack that killed and injured many of the
mourners. Ultimately seven adults were arrested after they refused to leave
the roadway after a five-minute warning.
At approximately the same time, actions took place at the other base
gates, leading to more arrests. The blockade at the second gate focused on the
criminal aspects of the U.S. drone assassination program. Activists stretched
yellow crime scene tape around the base sign and across the entrance to the
gate, preventing vehicles from entering. One protester lay down across the roadway
to portray a drone victim. And at the seldom used most western gate a small
group held a silent meditation vigil for peace. Activists successfully delayed
Air Force personnel (and presumably some drone pilots and technicians) from
entering the base throughout the morning.
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"Many Creech personnel arrived to the base before the normal 6-8am rush
hour on Friday, presumably to avoid the protest. Activists who participated in
this collective effort consider even that a success because the protest is
having a direct impact on daily drone operations.
"These sustained actions are
forcing the military to change their daily routines, and potentially stimulating
more discussion about the drone policies in question and the growing national
opposition to drone killing," says Toby Blome, one of the organizers. "We
deeply hope that our voices will one day soon be heard, and the expanding use of
these deadly and destabilizing weapons against the most vulnerable people in the
world will cease."
On Thursday, the day before Friday's gate blockades, eight activists, including
seven veterans were arrested in a earlier blockade at the heavily used eastern gate,
blocking morning traffic as well.
The two days of actions were part of a week-long protest at the base,
culminating in a total of 25 arrests during the 2nd Annual National Mass
Mobilization against Drone Warfare known as SHUT DOWN CREECH. Activists from
over 20 states converged at "Camp Justice," the peace camp directly across from
Creech AFB, for daily rush hour vigils, nonviolence training workshops, and strategizing meetings to prepare for
these nonviolent blockades to impede drone killing.
See more here.
These activities were
done to highlight the Obama administration's drone killing program that leads to
many civilian deaths and violates international law.