Our anti-drone action this morning at the federal courthouse in Sacramento was one of many actions taking place around the country this month, during the April Days of Action Against Drones. Five of us still face federal charges for trespassing onto Beale Air Force Base last October during an anti-drone protest. We were protesting drones based at Beale, Black Hawk surveillance drones, which identify targets for killer drones. Even more, we were challenging our government’s illegal and morally reprehensible policies that include kill lists, targeted assassinations, and remote-control killing.
Our trial was originally scheduled for today, but it’s been postponed. Still, today, April 15, Tax Day, is a good day for a demonstration against drones. The drone program consumes billions of our tax dollars. Our government cuts programs that promote the common good and serve basic human needs, while it pours billions into hi-tech robotic killing machines that destroy human lives and communities halfway around the world. To find out more about my motivation for taking this action, go to “Why I Crossed the Line at Beale.”
U.S. drones have killed thousands of people, including hundreds of children. We have many of their names. They are our neighbors, fellow members of our one human family. But the more people we kill, the more enemies we create. We are setting into motion a cycle of violence that may last for generations.
Friends from Radical Art for These Times (RAFTT) brought a quilt-like banner they had created for this action. After looking at the paintings of dozens of children who have been killed by U.S. drones, and reading their names, ages, and their countries of origin, Guari and I stood there, held each other, and cried.
There has to be a better way. Another world is possible. It will take all of us working together to create a grassroots movement with the power to raise public awareness, inspire action, and pressure our public officials to change the system of global military domination to one of peace.
I trust that the Love that brought this universe into being and sustains us in every moment is on the side of compassion, healing, and peace, and is working through every person who is moving us toward a peaceful, just, and sustainable world. That’s where I see God at work in the world.