The government has dismissed the case against the sixteen of us who were arrested last April for civil disobedience at Beale Air Force Base. Beale, outside Marysville, California, is home of the Global Hawk Drone, a surveillance drone that identifies targets for armed Predator and Reaper drones.
We’ll be back! In fact, we’ll be back later this month. For nonviolent direct action to be effective, it has to be sustained. History has shown that sustained nonviolent resistance is an effective means of social transformation.
Committed peacemakers have sustained a presence at Beale for the past three years, calling for peace and raising awareness of the grave harm caused by the US drone warfare program. I am privileged to be among them. Last March and April, thirty-one people were arrested at Beale in four separate nonviolent actions. We didn’t hear anything until mid-August, when sixteen of us received notices to appear for arraignment on September 9. Now, at the last minute, all charges have been dismissed.
Why? It may be that increasing numbers of people crossing the line create more publicity than the government wants, and prosecution of the cases creates even more publicity. Again, sustained resistance “gets the goods.”
In the midst of all the confusion, Occupy Beale activists have continued regular, ongoing demonstrations at Beale. This month, on September 29 and 30, we’ll be there again. On September 30 nonviolent direct action is again planned at Beale, this time in coordination with Campaign Nonviolence, a national campaign that highlights the links between war, poverty, and climate change. Campaign Nonviolence already has over 160 actions planned around the country.
Witnessing for peace there at Beale, with the roar of the U-2s overhead, we know we are taking a stand against the system of global domination that is creating war, perpetrating injustice, unraveling the web of life, and destroying hope for the future. Will this global movement toward a peaceful, just, and environmentally sustainable world be successful? No one knows. But that is certainly a goal worth living or even dying for.
Movements of sustained nonviolent resistance can change people’s minds and hearts, and can inspire hope and action for a better world. Join us.
Follow Sharon’s blog at sharondelgado.org or go to the Occupy Beale Air Force Base Facebook page or Occupy Beale website for updates on court cases, background information, and announcements about upcoming Beale demonstrations and direct actions.