On April 7th, my Family and 20 or so other people protested drone warfare in front of the main gate of the Battle Creek Air National Guard base in Michigan. In 2013, the base was named a Reaper Drone Operating Station and should be operational any day, if not already. Weaponized drone operators are dropping bombs from my backyard.
Thanks Brandon Toy for quitting your job in the MIC, and leading your family in the pursuit of peace. May you be an inspiration to many others!
Who, what, where, when, how?
Who can detach themselves from their humanity to murder via a video game?
What does it take to create such monsters?
Where is this done? Are my neighbors involved?
When did we fall into this techno-dystopia?
How do we heal?
I do not think the problem is drones or even armed drones. The problem is this mem: “There is no us and them, only us.” attributed to President Obama but I think he is just speaking for the Washington establishment…
From an organizational accountability standpoint having the CIA run a worldwide fleet of armed drones, with secret hit lists, cannot help but create blowback. The armed drones need to be run by an organization that is far more open and accountable.
… preferably mothballed and consigned to junk yard to dissemble the materials for benign purposes.
Thanks Webwalk! One of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Integrity has spoken.
I have ridden with drone instructors and administrators, past demonstrators, at the nearest intersection, south of Wheatland Gate - one of five gates, entrances to the nearest air force base in California. It was a waste of time to discuss, let alone argue, with them. One of them had once helped campaign for California’s first major black candidate for governor and just couldn’t help herself in expressing frustration over how such demonstrators could delay her getting herself to her job protecting the US of A, the job she otherwise is so sick and tired of, hates, matter of factly. Yes, there have been suicides in her unit. Oh how she admired that candidate for governor and otherwise hates Ms. Manning and Ed Snowden.
One day, after passing out thru Wheatland Gate, the traffic was backed up due to more demonstrators. Once again, the lady with her blinders on expressed frustration. That’s when I said that if ever there were to be a flatbed truck parked there at the intersection with Jackson Browne up on it singing for the protestors, that I’d bail out of that van pool and otherwise hitchhike the forty miles back home to Sacramento. Silence…
In the six years that I worked at that AFB, it seemed as though the biggest loud-mouth christiano-patriots were to ones who slacked off the most, were on the dole, taking the government for all that it is worth - including grand theft overtime. I’m glad that I’m gone from that place.
If you ever have the opportunity to watch the play “Grounded” be sure to do so. It is a one person play describing the metamorphosis of a grounded fighter pilot who becomes a drone operator who then inadvertently kills a child while killing her intended target. 28 innocent people are killed by drones for every one intended target. Not that anyone should be intended in any respect. Powerful play. Watched it the day before I was arrested along with 35 other members of VFP and Code Pink while protesting drones at Creech AFB near Las Vegas… Fortunately drone pilots are quitting in droves…
Veterans For Peace
San Luis Obispo
I will definitley check that out Norksmann!
I admire the courage it took you to protest to the point of arrest. We will continue to protest at the Battle Creek base every 1st Saturday of each month from noon to one. Maybe you could get the word out to VFP?
Indeed they can’t keep up with the demand for replacement drone operators. That is the real key to peace - dry up the well of young men and women who are ready to pull triggers.
Take care and keep fighting the good fight!
I’ll put the word out to Michigan VFP ASAP. Since they have drones, I’m surprised VFP and Code Pink aren’t there already. Keep up the good work. CHris
Awesome! Here is the info:
“GROUND THE DRONES” EVENT
Under the leadership of Peace House of Kalamazoo, MI, monthly vigils will be held at Battle Creek, MI ANGB,
3367 W. Dickman Rd., Battle Creek, 49037 to protest the presence of a drone command center in our state.
All interested persons are invited on the first Saturday of each month to vigil from 12-1 pm. beginning with Jan. 3. Other dates are: Feb. 7, March 7, April 4, May 2, June 6. Following the vigil, folks can meet for lunch if they wish.
Thank you Braqndon and others what you are doing against drone warfare.
But as far as war propaganda goes it is not just Fox News who advocates war. I remember watching CNN when we attacked Iraq and Baghdad. The way they portrayed it was like a 4th of July celebration with all the fire works of Baghdad.
Has there been any major TV news outlet which has come out against American wars and drones all over the place? Those places exist on the internet but not so much in the mainstream media.
I particularly liked the article because I have been in a similar position (protesting with no audience) and felt his frustration. I also like the fact that he pointed out that we’re all the same; no difference in killing a 6th Grader here or over there. The racism is so ingrained into the American psyche, that it is difficult for most Americans to understand how evil our killing of innocents abroad are, yet because of people like Brandon, we may yet experience a sudden national awakening or enlightenment when people realize that all war is terrorism.
" Has there been any major TV news outlet which has come out against American wars and drones?’"
Kind of like asking if Goebbels ever came out against Hitler! The major news networks are nothing but the Fourth Estate and war mongering, propaganda networks to support the Fourth Reich. If Geobbels were still alive he would probably be an anchor on Fox News! When they called the illegal invasion of Iraq: “SHOCK AND AWE” I called it what it really was: SHOCKING AND AWFUL that this horrible, MURDEROUS, bombing attack was being done in my name!
Thank you Mr. Toy for your contribution to peace. And thank you Common Dreams for printing this article by a true patriot.
There should be NO armed drones. Any group that lays claim to the remotest premises of law and justice COULD not use them. They hit “assigned targets” about 20% of the time, if that. That means their kill rate = 80% “collateral damage.”
Great story Brandon! We’ve been having monthly vigils and encampments at Beale AFB (OccupyBealeAFB.org) since 2010 and protesting at Creech AFB annually since 2009 to oppose drone killing. I think that all of these protests across the country are contributing in an important way to the high turn over of drone operators in this country. The media can ignore us at times, but our reason for being there and our positive effects can not be denied. Please consider going to the base in Michigan on a weekday during rush hour, when more of the military will see you…that is how we can have the greatest effect. Thanks to everyone across the country who refuse to remain silent while drone killing atrocities continue. We just had the most amazing convergence for peace at Creech AFB in Nevada (where the air force kills for the CIA). At SHUT DOWN CREECH, 150 people participated, from 18 different states, and 34 were utimately arrested. We will be back next spring, and maybe you can join us! ShutDownCreech.blogspot.org Ground the Drones forever!
Toby Blome, Bay Area CODEPINK
Thanks for your commitment to the cause. I have great respect for Code Pink and had the honor of meeting Medea at a Meta Peace Team in Detroit earlier this year (sorry for name dropping…lol).
The weekday suggestion is a great idea. I will certainly take it up with the rest of the activists.