Saturday, March 8, 2014

Stop the Drone War Command Center at Horsham Air Guard Station, in Horsham, Montgomery County, PA


Joining events on the same day in places as diverse as Iowa and California, there will be a demonstration on Friday, March 14 from 4p.m.- 5p.m. Demonstrators will hold banners and signs and distribute leaflets outside of the Bellevue hotel (200 S Broad St, Phila.), where the SE PA office of Governor Corbett is located. We will demand that, in his capacity as the head of the PA Air National Guard, Governor Corbett pull the plug on the Drone War Command Center planned for Horsham Air National Guard base outside the city. Bring whistles and other noisemakers that will get Gov. Corbett's attention.
Yo, Gov. Corbett! Pull the Plug on the Drone War Command
 Center...
Not In Our Backyard (or anyone else's)!

These Philadelphia demonstrations, on the second Sunday of every month, alternate in location between the Bellevue Hotel and the SEPTA entrance at 15th & Market St.

The last Saturday demonstrations at the Horsham Air Guard Station (Rte 611/Easton & County Line Roads, Horsham, PA) will resume on Saturday, 3/29.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Successful vigil against drone death on 3/1 in Philadelphia

A silent death walk and anti-drone vigil took place outside of the Philadelphia Convention Center last Saturday, during a well-attended flower show. Members of the Resister Sisters of Philadelphia, along with others, came out wearing black clothing and white masks to bear witness to extrajudicial drone killing happening now in Pakistan, Yemen, and many other countries. Such killing will soon be directed in part from the Horsham Air Guard Station near Philadelphia. 
STOP U.S. Drones. They Kill Innocent Civilians

Visitors to the flower show were greeted by
 eerie white faces arrayed against the walls

"Drones are controlled by human operators", a fact that belies the claims that drones are a sterile or clean method of killing.
Educating the public with some harsh truths.
This event was part of a tradition of First Saturday Vigils against drones in Philadelphia. Visit Brandywine Peace Action Community  or e-mail Marge Van Cleef at mvc@igc.org for more information about future such events, including regular demonstrations at Horsham Air Guard Station


CLICK HERE for more information about the upcoming nationwide Spring Days of Action against drones.

Friday, February 28, 2014

TOMORROW: Silent Anti-Drone Death Walk and Vigil in Philadelphia

The Brandywine Peace Community is continuing the First Saturday tradition of holding a death walk and vigil in the center of Philadelphia with signs, banners, and leaflets to oppose U.S. Drone Warfare. 
"...Drone war is the most extreme terrorist war in history" - Noam Chomsky, September 2013

U.S. drone strikes have killed thousands of civilians, many of whom are children, terrorizing people daily in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Somalia. “Extra-judicial assassinations,” “targeted killings,” the “global war on terror,” U.S. Drones (UAVs, or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) — armed with Lockheed Martin Hellfire missiles — are remotely controlled, via satellites also produced by Lockheed Martin, from command centers in the continental United States, such as the one planned for the Horsham Air Guard Station outside of Philadelphia.
WHEN: Tomorrow, March 1st, from 12pm-1pm

WHERE: Meet at 12th and Arch Streets, across from the Philadelphia Convention Center where the Flower Show will be opening.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:  Wear BLACK, white masks will be available. If you will be arriving late please call Marge so you know where people will be walking. We will hold signs and banners, opposing U.S. DRONE WARFARE and TERRORISM, and the killing of civilians, and the continuing US/NATO war in Afghanistan We will walk or stand silently in the manner of a DEATH WALK or VIGIL to bring attention to the wars and the victims in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and other countries where drones are used. This is street theater, thus we keep to the form of single file, silence, masks and black clothing.


For signs and masks, please RSVP to Marge Van Cleef at 267-763-1644 or e-mail: mvc@igc.org. In the event of severe weather, call Marge Van Cleef for the status of the walk.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

April Days of Action Against Drones Concludes at Horsham Air National Guard Base

50 demonstrators of all political stripes marched in front of Horsham's Air National Guard Base on Saturday 4/28, in protest of its upcoming conversion to a drone command center. The event, which received coverage by local media, was organized by Horsham native Sean Miller, who reported that he was motivated to action by learning that drones would be piloted from the area in which he grew up.
"DRONES KILL PEOPLE LIKE YOU."
"DRONES CREATE TERRORISM"
Protestors made a powerful statement about the reckless killing of
civilians inherent in drone warfare, but also raised concerns about
 their potential for domestic use.

As the news report notes, the plans to convert Horsham to a drone base have been generally lauded by local officials as a boost to the economy. Protesters served as a needed counter to this blithe outlook, raising awareness both about the unseen suffering caused by drone strikes halfway across the globe and about the enemies they create.

The demonstration in Horsham was joined by many across the state as well as the nation last weekend, including a protest at Hancock AFB in Syracuse, NY which brought out hundreds and resulted in dozens of arrests. Thus, the April Days of Action Against Drones were brought to a resounding conclusion that promises to galvanize future anti-drone activism.

Don't just sit there- GET INVOLVED IN YOUR STATE!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

April Days of Action Against Drones in PENNSYLVANIA

Before Easter, Good Friday.

Good Friday Stations of 
Justice, Peace, and Nonviolent Resistance
to Lockheed Martin, King of Prussia, PA
March 29, 2013

In one of the initial events in the nationwide April Days of Action Against Drones, about forty people gathered at Lockheed Martin for the Brandywine Peace Community's annual Good Friday Peace Demonstration and service modeled on the traditional stations of the cross, however with readings, poetry, recordings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and music paralleling Jesus' last steps and crucifixion with the suffering of humanity through war, social injustice, and the violation of the earth, as well as signs of hope and expressions of radical peacemaking - people facing arrest for nonviolent resistance to the criminal authority of Lockheed Martin, the world's largest war profiteer. (Read full details of Good Friday protest against Lockheed below.)


OTHER UPCOMING PENNSYLVANIA EVENTS

PHILADELPHIA - Thursday, April 4, 2013 - Anniversary of the Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 4p.m. - 5:30p.m. - Banner & Sound Display, Phila. Federal Building, 601 Market Street

Saturday, April 6, 2013 - 12:00 Noon, University of Pennsylvania, 34th and Walnut - Drone Death Walk and Kite Flying for Peace.

Saturday, April 20, 2013, 2 p.m.Philly Against War Anti-Drone Forum at Tabernacle Church, 3700 Chestnut Street

Thursday, April 27, through Saturday, April 29, 2013 - Saying NO to Drones during Penn Relays at University of Pennsylvania. Protests around campus as thousands of people from around the country and the world descend on the campus.

(Add additional events to the master list of national April Days of Action actions.)



Read about ALL the ways YOU can be involved 




More on MARCH 29, 2013 LOCKHEED PROTEST

The emphasis at this year's Good Friday demonstration was the multi-billion dollar role in this new era of robotic warfare and state repression by bringing something of the humanity of the victims of U.S. drone strikes to one of the largest corporations profiting from drone weapons technology and use. After reading each station and its commentary reading or piece of poetry or music (with original songs by Tom Mullian), participants would would partake in the Good Friday litany as a cross four-plus foot high cross, each with Lockheed Martin logos at the crucifixion nail points, would be hammered into the ground by the main entrance to Lockheed Martin main driveway. A much larger cross stood behind a large wooden sign with Lockheed Martin logo, reading "We're Making A Killing".

At the 12th station - Jesus dies on the Cross - the tolling of our large peace bell accompanied a period of silence and the reading of names - all civilians, mostly children - of drone strikes victims in Pakistan. A group of people then with crosses, signs, and a long banner reading - Lockheed Martin War & Weapons Christ Crucified - walked into the crosswalk of the company's wide main driveway entrance and stood as the names continued to be read. The eleven people blocking the entrance way turned and began walking, with copies of the drone strike victims, toward the main doorway. There, they had planned to read the names. As people were stopped by company security and Upper Merion police, the names of the victims could be heard as they were arrested transported to the Upper Merion police station.


 11 people were arrested and cited for disorderly conduct, and released from the police station. They are: Carroll and Joe Clay, Mary Ellen Norpel, Bernadette Cronin-Geller, Fr. Patrick Sieber, OFM, and Robert M. Smith, all from Philadelphia; Tom Mullian and Teresa Camerota, from Wyncote, PA; Paul Sheldon and Annie Geers , from Media, PA, and Tyler Sheaffer, from Sunbury, PA.

If you wish a copy of the Good Friday Stations of Justice, Peace, Nonviolent Resistance, return this e-mail with note: Send Good Friday Stations and they will be sent to you in attachment.

The Good Friday Stations of Justice, Peace, and Nonviolent Resistance to Lockheed Martin this year were dedicated to Mary Jo McArthur who died just days before. It was the first time in more than three decades that Mary Jo's name hasn't appeared on a Brandywine Peace Community list of those arrested for peace and the works of justice.


Presente: Mary Jo McArthur
Memorial, Saturday, April 13, at 11A.M.
St. Francis de Sales Roman Catholic Church,
4625 Springfield Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19143 (47th Street and Springfield Avenue) located on the 900 block of south 47th St.,

9th Station: Jesus Falls the 3rd Time (Stations of the Cross)

Daniel Berrigan once described the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German pastor and martyred resister to Nazi Germany, this way: "He said his prayers, he told the truth, and then he died."

Anyone who has over the past four decades been at Lockheed Martin or elsewhere with the Brandywine Peace Community or any number of other groups from Philadelphia to Washington, DC would have seen Mary Jo McArthur -- holding a sign, gripping a banner, standing, walking, getting arrested, doing what was just a matter of fact for her - quietly standing up for justice, saying her prayers, doing peace, caring about and serving others.

Last Saturday, March 23, Mary Jo McArthur died. Her passing was with the same peace in which she acted over and over and over and over, again and again, without bluster, or argument, with just a matter of fact-ness that says, in effect, this is where I am, I know what happens here, and this is what I do…knowing full well what would happen.

Mary Jo is still with us here today, in the prayer of St Ignatius that she said daily and she asked Bernadette Cronin-Geller to bring here today.

“ Take Lord and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will, all that I have and possess. You have given all to me. To You, O Lord, I return it. Everything is yours, do with it what You will. Give me only Your Love and Your grace, for this is enough for me.”

Resist "the evil triplets of American society: racism, extreme materialism, and militarism"
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence,
Riverside Church, New York City, April 4, 1967



Friday, April 19, 2013

April Days of Action Against Drones in PHILADELPHIA

Saturday, April 20, 2 p.m.
A Free Public Forum on Drone Warfare...
and Why We Must Oppose It
Tabernacle Church, 3700 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (located near University of Pennsylvania at the corner of 37th & Chestnut Street, enter on 37th Street; easily accessible by SEPTA bus #23, and Market Street subway.  See www.septa.org )


U.S. unmanned drones, remotely controlled from command centers throughout the U.S. and through space  by satellites built by Lockheed Martin, firing Lockheed Martin produced Hellfire missiles, have killed thousands of civilians in Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen.This month, demonstrations have taken place around the nation in protest of this imperialistic killing and the industry that makes it possible.
Demonstration in front of the White House on Saturday, 4/13 as
 part of the April Days of Action Against Drones.
 More killing awaits in this new era of robotic warfare, and the Philadelphia region is poised to be complicit in this.There are now plans to open a new command center at the Horsham Air Guard Station (formerly the Willow Grove Naval Air Station), outside of Philadelphia, from which to conduct drone warfare from the continental U.S. to targets on the other side of the world.  Meanwhile, drone research and technology application continues at UPenn and Drexel.

Forum will include:
• Hamzah Saif, Pakistan-Afghanistan Editor at Ajam Media Collective; authors the Pakistan column at the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs; frequent contributor to political commentary journals.
• Peter Lems, American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)

• Marjorie Van Cleef, Womens’ International League for Peace and Freedom

Sponsored by Philly Against War.  Endorsers: Brandywine Peace Community, Philadelphia International Action Center, Philadelphia Green Party, Socialist Action, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
For more information: (610) 544-1818 or (856) 220-7188

Upcoming Anti-Drone War Action:
Thursday - Saturday, April 25 - 27, UPenn drone research protest display and leafleting during the Penn Relays at University of Pennsylvania. Noon - 2p.m., each day( 34th & Walnut Streets in University City/West Phila., PA 19104.) 
Thousands of people from around the country and the world each year come to the celebrated Penn Relays.  Let them know about about the drone side of UPenn.


April Days of Action Against Drones continue! Learn more about events going on around the country!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Call for "No Drones" in Pennsylvania Colleges, Universities, and Research Institutions

Friends,

A national call has been made for “April Days of Action” to focus on three key components of U.S. drone work: Drone Manufacturers, Drone Bases in the U.S., and Drone Research. (See the list about nationwide actions and post your own planned actions for April.)

Given the fact that drones are now the primary weapons of warfare used by the US, and for surveillance both domestic and abroad, the research and development of this warfare is growing rapidly at academic institutions, in our towns and neighborhoods. Drones are the perfect instrument for endless war that kills civilians, even as they target “militants” in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Afghanistan.

Academic institutions often receive large grants from the U.S. Department of Defense, enabling them to build labs within schools of engineering, for instance. We are well aware that without this research in robotics, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), and the accompanying accessories, these drone warfare projects would probably not take place. So there is an interdependent relationship between the universities and the U.S. government and or its Department of Defense and CIA. (CIA drones are used in countries with which the U.S. is not “at war”, ie Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, Mali, and others.)

While universities tend to publicize some information on their respective websites regarding the drone work, it is most often said to be for non-military purposes. And there are students working in the labs who are convinced that all the research is for humanitarian purposes. However, history has told us that non-military can quickly and easily become military. Moreover research has shown drones make mistakes on recognizing their targets.

We are therefore asking organizations and individuals, nationwide, to explore any drone research that might be going on at their local university. We are calling for local actions between April 16 and 18, 2013 (Suggested actions are listed below) Our limited research into University and Academic UAV programs indicates that research centers are operating in Pennsylvania:
Carnegia Mellon Institute of Robotics - Pittsburgh
Drexel University - Philadelphia
Lehigh University - Bethlehem
University of Pennsylvania – GRASP Lab, Philadelphia
Before those dates in April we will need to know what information you have acquired about the research and what actions and events your group is planning.This will be shared among groups in the Network. You can send this information to us at notodrone@gmail.com.

We will have a press committee that will receive your press release and any articles you are able to publish before or after the event.

This project will complement other outreach, education and action projects that will be launched in April, focusing on drone bases, April 27-28 and drone manufacturers , April 4-6.

Suggested actions:
  1. Learn what research is being done by searching on a university website. Look especially at the Engineering Dept. 
  2. Organize a forum, preferably on campus, with speakers and discussion. Be sure to publicize in campus newspapers, and possibly include a professor as one of the speakers. Also include local activists.
  3. Plan a small meeting with the appropriate persons in the department working on drone research, both professors and students.
  4. Hold vigils and leaflet on or close to the campus, as well as in town.
  5. Let us know if you need further tools for your research.
Thanks in advance for your reply to notodrone@gmail.com.

With all good wishes,

Marge Van Cleef, WILPF, Philadelphia
Leila Zand, For USA
Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator, Voices for Creative Nonviolence