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November 12, 2009

Activists Stage Fast Outside of Creech Air Force Base
Calling for an End to U.S. Drone Strikes in the Middle East


Las Vegas, Nevada - Activists with peace groups CODEPINK and Nevada Desert Experience will Fast outside of Creech Air Force Base against U.S. drone strikes on Afghanistan and Pakistan over the Thanksgiving Holiday, November 26th through November 29th. After learning about the brutal assaults on innocent bystanders in those countries, the activists decided to Fast as a way to show to the global community and the U.S. government that we do not support the drone strikes.

According to an October 2009 New Yorker article "The Predator War" written by Jane Mayer, the Predator drones strikes continue at a fast pace -- "a rate of approximately one bombing a week." The pilot program is housed at various military installations in the United States with Creech Air Force Base, just north of Las Vegas, as the headquarters of the Air Force's Predator and Reaper "hunter-killer" UAV squadron, the 432nd Flight Wing. Young Air Force pilots commute into the base everyday to fly the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), referred to as drones, to scout over Pakistan and Afghanistan and launch Hellfire missiles onto the region as part of a controversial C.I.A. targeted international killing program; and at times missing their intended targets, resulting in the deaths of many innocent people including children. The non-violent peace activists call for a stop to the U.S. drone strikes and call on our government to stop spending American tax dollars on C.I.A. classified covert drone programs.

For contact information:
Nancy Mancias, CODEPINK coordinator, (415) 342-6409, codepink.nancy@gmail.com
Jim Haber, Nevada Desert Experience coordinator, (415) 828-2506, haber.jim@gmail.com



For Immediate Release

Second Day of Ground the Drones Fast In Syracuse

All of the fasters are doing fine.

Everyday we spend an hour at Clinton Square bannering. Today, after that, we went to the mall and bannered and leafleted (handed out 400 leaflets). And then retuned to Clinton Square for the gala winter festival and tree lighting, which gave us the our best chance to have conversations with people. Several people came up to ask “What are drones”

Mike Ferner tells the stories of two men he met randomly at Clinton Square in Syracuse to demonstrate the connection between the war and our failing economy. The first man was 55 years old and worked for an electric parts manufacturer, the second was a young father with two children, in the Marine Corps reserve.

Factory worker:
"I loved my job--machine operator for over 20 years--and was damn good at it. We were known for the high quality of our products. Then the company was bought out and the new owners started cutting corners, the quality went down and so did our customers. I was laid off and here I am...who's going to hire a 55 year old, laid off machine operator? Pension? Yeah I had a small one but I had to cash it out to pay for my eye surgery or I would've gone blind. I don't want to end up in the Mission or worse...I'm gonna end it before that happens."

"I've been deployed twice, to Iraq and Afghanistan. Iraq was a big mistake. Afghanistan, I don't know, but I sure don't want to go back again. I've got a wife and kids. I want to have a life with them."

Commenting on the situations of these two men, Ferner said, "This just really sums it up. A trillion dollars spent on wars we have no business fighting and an economy in the toilet as a result. These stories are repeated a million times a day across the country as jobs keep disappearing, homes are foreclosed, people go without health insurance. People know that something is wrong with the system and a big part of our job needs to be getting involved in other people's struggles so we can connect the dots with real human relationships. We will all benefit so much when we do."

Contact: Elliot Adams, Past President, Veterans for Peace 518-441-2697


more information from NDE.


more information from PeaceCouncil.net



Democracy Now! interview: Blackwater’s Secret War in Pakistan: Jeremy Scahill Reveals Private Military Firm Operating in Pakistan Under Covert Assassination and Kidnapping Program

Democracy Now! interview: UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killings & Phillip Alston: Record AfPak Drone Attacks Under Obama May Violate International Law

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