Trial Begins For Drone War Crimes Resisters Near Syracuse, NY

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Above: MQ-9 Reaper Drone at Hancock Air Base

Sixteen Accused Served a War Crimes Indictment to Hancock Air Base Where the MQ9 Reaper Drones are Piloted

Press Conferences: Fri. Jan 3,  5pm  & Sat. Jan 4,  9am with US Former Attorney General Ramsey Clark

DEWITT, N.Y. December 27, 2013 On Friday, January 3rd at 5pm, sixteen people will begin trial in the DeWitt Town Court for protesting the piloting of MQ9 Reaper Drones at Hancock Air Base. They will defend themselves against charges of Trespass and Disorderly Conduct. The defendants will hold a press conference January 3rd at 4pm and US Former Attorney General Ramsey Clark will join them for the second press conference on January 4th at 9am at the DeWitt Town Court. The trial will follow at 10am. The court is located at 5400 Butternut Drive, East Syracuse, NY.

On October 25, 2012, the sixteen served a War Crimes Indictment to Hancock Air Base, home of the 174th Attack Wing of the NY Air National Guard, and were arrested. The base is located on the backside of Syracuse Airport. Base personnel fly MQ9 Reaper drones in Afghanistan, train operators and maintain MQ9 Reaper drones for domestic use. In violation of international law, these drones kill and terrorize Afghan civilians.

The defendants are apart of Upstate NY Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars. Their intention was to uphold the US Constitution and international law, including the UN Charter, ratified by the United States.

Defendant Andrea Levine says, “My grandfather survived the Holocaust and lost his entire family.  He later testified against a Nazi in a war crimes trial that followed the Nuremberg Trials. If more people had resisted the Holocaust while it was happening, would my family have been protected?  My family history moves me to call a halt to the killing and be a part of this movement. How can we all resist militarism and systemic racism? We’ve got a lot of work to do both at home and abroad.”

After hearing first hand accounts from people living under drones, three defendants, James Ricks, Judy Bello, and Paki Weiland, protested on behalf of the drone victims they met in Pakistan.

“There is hope for a better world when we resist killing done in our name. We invite the community to bear witness at Hancock to say no to the killer drones” said defendant Mike Perry.

About Upstate NY Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars:

Founded in 2010, the Upstate NY Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars is a decentralized, grassroots organization that represents diverse peace and justice organizations from different cities. We seek to educate the public and Hancock Air Base personnel about the war crimes perpetrated in Afghanistan with the MQ9 Reaper Drone piloted from Hancock Air National Guard Base on the outskirts of Syracuse.

Trial dates- Friday, January 3rd 5 pm  and Saturday, January 4th 10 am


Elliott Adams: Sharon Springs, NY 518) 441-2697

Judy Bello:     Rochester, NY  585) 733-4058

Daniel Burgevin:  Trumansburg, NY  607) 387-7532

Mark Colville:  New Haven, CT   203) 415-5896

Paul Frazier: Syracuse & Rochester, NY 585) 775-9135

Clare Grady: Ithaca, NY  607) 273-6257                      

Mary Anne Grady Flores: Ithaca, NY 607) 280-8797

Martha Hennessy: New York, NY  212) 777-9617

Brian Hynes: Bronx, NY    718) 838-2636                      

Ed Kinane: Syracuse, NY  315) 478-4571                      

Rae Kramer: Syracuse, NY 315) 445-2840

Andrea Levine: Trumansburg, NY 908) 461-8491

Michael Perry: Trumansburg, NY 585) 402-0658

James Ricks: Trumansburg, NY  607) 220-8988

Mark Scibilia-Carver: Trumansburg, NY 607) 387-3916

Patricia Weiland: Northhampton, MA  413) 695-1877

  • NOTgaltHouse

    It is indeed a screwed up world. It is our government that should be ot trial.