Thursday, July 10, 2014

Maryland Drone Crashes: The Other Shoe Drops

At the inception of the No Drones Maryland website, we raised the alarm about the report of a drone crash in the Chesapeake.

On June 22, 2014, the Washington Post published the results of a far-reaching investigation into crashes that have occurred in the U.S. drone program.

Shockingly, of the 194 major ("Class A") crashes that the Washington Post was able to document, 47  occurred within the United States.

Below is full information on the Maryland crash we originally described, plus a second Maryland crash we've now learned about from the Washington Post report.

(See the full online database of crashes on the Washington Post website for full details of these and other drone crashes.)


Elliott Island Road area and nearby wildlife refuge

Date: June 11, 2012
Location:  near Elliott Island Road, Dorchester County, Md., 22 miles east of Naval Air Station Patuxent River
Estimated damage:  N/A
Details: "A Navy surveillance drone crashed into a wildlife refuge on Maryland's Eastern Shore after a malfunction with the navigation system. The RQ-4A aircraft was a Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Demonstrator -- the Navy's version of the Air Force Global Hawk. The pilot and crew were civilian contractors from the manufacturer Northrop Grumman. Navy investigators blamed a failure of the right inboard ruddervator actuator but also criticized the pilot for not following emergency guidelines."

Date: October 24, 2013
Location:  Naval Air Station Patuxent
Estimated damage:  N/A
Details: "A [A Fire Scout (MQ-8B)] helicopter drone sustained damage during a hard landing after a test flight. A Navy investigation is pending."

Related posts

Ten (10) drone crashes occurred in the state of California alone between the years 2004 and 2011.

(See California: Is the Sky Falling? )

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Faulty NSA Intel May be to Blame for Killing of Dozens of Peaceful Civilians in Maryland by drone strike.

In an action covered by HispanTv,  DC Media Group, and No Drones Maryland, dozens of demonstrators came out to the NSA headquarters in Fort Meade on May 3rd to denounce the NSA for its collaboration in extrajudicial drone killing. The day took a fatal turn, though, when hellfire missiles suddenly rained down upon the peaceful protestors.
Chaos and terror quickly overtook those
 gathered outside the NSA headquarters.
Many tried to stand firm and deliver their message
 against drone terror, but were quickly obliterated.



Janice Sevre-Duszynska, a Roman Catholic priest,
wailed and
 ministered to the victims.
Alfredo Miranda reporting on the attack.
As Alfredo Miranda of HispanTV reported "The NSA plays an important role in the drone program, providing intelligence to the agencies in charge of executing the attacks; information that is not necessarily correct." The coordinates provided by the NSA for a May 3rd drone attack must have been particularly inaccurate, unless the agency intended for the fatal drone strike to target the civilians gathered just outside its doorstep.
Faced with a new sense of the urgency of their mission, the
 survivors arose to stand in solidarity with those threatened by
 drone terror in Pakistan and Yemen. David Barrow holds up
a sign stating "DRONES HAVE KILLED 100s of Children."
Max Obuszewski stated the simple mission of the demonstrators:
 to gain a hearing with a member of the agency in order
 to discuss bringing an end to its involvement in criminal,
 indiscriminate drone killing.
Protestors remained strong and united as they marched onto the
 NSA campus. "STOP THE WAR MACHINE. EXPORT PEACE."
They soon engaged in nonviolent civil disobedience.

NSA police came out in force to arrest three citizen activists,
 seemingly feeling quite threatened by them.

A glimmer of doubt?


For more information, contact the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance [NCNR], 325 East 25th Street, Baltimore, MD 21218 

Contacts: Joy First 608 239-4327, Malachy Kilbride 571-501-3729, Max Obuszewski 410-366-1637 or mobuszewski@verizon.net

The Spring Days of Drone Action
 continue nationwide. CLICK HERE
 for more information!


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Three Citizen Activists Arrested at NSA In Killer Drone Protest

One of three arrests that took place at
 NSA headquarters on Saturday, 5/3.
WHO:  Members of the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance (NCNR) have been speaking out against the illegal actions of the United States government since 2003.  They have organized numerous actions across the country involving nonviolent civil resistance as they call attention to the violent crimes of our government.

WHAT:  Members of NCNR sent a letter to Vice Admiral Michael Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency, calling for an end to the NSA’s involvement in the illegal drone assassination program.   The NSA plays a significant role in targeting victims of U.S. killer drone strikes, and must be held responsible for being involved in an illegal and unconstitutional strategy which has killed, it is believed, six U.S. citizens and thousands of non-combatants. There was no response to the letter. 

So, as profiled on Popular Resistance.org, twenty citizen activists went to Fort Meade to seek a meeting.

 First, they gathered along side Route 32
 to protest killer drone strikes.
Then each person read five names
 of children killed by U.S. drone strikes. 
Next they simulated a drone strike,
 and most of the protesters then died-in
 and became victims of a drone attack.

 The die-in continued for about 20 minutes,
 and Janice Sevre-Duszynska, a Roman
 Catholic woman priest, wailed and
 ministered to the victims.

    Dick Ochs performed his own drone song and played the guitar.  Then the victims arose as there was work to be done. The citizen activists were headed to the guard station to seek a meeting with someone in a policy-making role. 
Stop the war machine! Export peace!

As they marched, they sang Peace, Shalom.

  However, NSA police blocked the public road and arrested Baltimore residents Ellen Barfield and Marilyn Carlisle and Manijeh Saba from Somerset, New Jersey.
 
NSA police arresting a peaceful protester.




WHEN AND WHERE:  Saturday, May 3, 2014 at 2:30 PM at the NSA at Fort Meade, Maryland

WHY:  Within the last month yet another US drone strike took place in Yemen killing dozens of "suspected terrorists". Sadly, the Obama administration is following in the footsteps of the Bush Administration,  keeping this country in a state of perpetual war. NCNR members must resist such an offensive foreign policy. Congress has never declared war against Pakistan or Yemen, yet drones have attacked citizens of both counties despite a lack of due process.
Drones are Cowardly
The National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance believes that this assassination program violates international law, and will continue to join with other organizations across the country in resisting this abomination. The three citizen activists arrested at the National Security Agency were abiding by their Nuremberg Obligation.  The Nuremberg Principles make it clear that when a government is engaged in illegal activities, citizens must take action.  Barfield, Carlisle and Saba are facing three federal charges—failure to comply with a lawful order, entering protected property and disorderly conduct.  They will eventually be arraigned in federal court in Baltimore, but a date is yet to be determined. The three citizen activists look forward to appearing in court, as they hope to put the drone assassination program on trial.
"I believe in the principle declared at Nuremberg
 in 1945: 'Individuals have international duties which
 transcend the national obligations of obedience.
 Therefore individual citizens have the duty to violate
 domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace
 and humanity from occurring.'"
  -- Edward Snowden



National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance [NCNR], 325 East 25th Street, Baltimore, MD 21218 Email mobuszewski at verizon.net; Phone 410-366-1637

Contacts: Joy First 608 239-4327, Malachy Kilbride 571-501-3729, Max Obuszewski410-366-1637 or mobuszewski at Verizon.net

The Spring Days of Drone Action continue
 nationwide! Click here to learn more.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

May 3 - Protest at NSA HQ in Fort Meade, MD

JOIN US CALLING OUT THE NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY!

STOP THE ARMED DRONE WARS!
HOLD THE WAR CRIMINALS ACCOUNTABLE!

COME OUT SATURDAY, MAY 3, 2014 at 1 PM 
TO THE NSA HEADQUARTERS in FORT MEADE, MARYLAND


Just the other day yet another US drone strike took place in Yemen killing dozens of "suspected terrorists" we are told. However, due to the US Government’s lies, both the Obama and Bush Administrations, keeping us in perpetual war, we cannot take these official statements on face value. We know that innocent civilians including children have been killed by US drone strikes and other acts of violence. The NSA plays an integral role in providing information, including faulty data as reported by leading award-winning journalists, to the Central Intelligence Agency and US Military which in turn carry out the drone strikes. US militarism including the illegal drone program is responsible for violations of international law and is going unchecked by the US Congress. We must hold the US and NSA accountable for the illegal and immoral drone program.

The US/NSA is spying on US citizens, our friends around the world, foreign leaders, while waging extra-judicial killing and war crimes in countries like Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia, Afghanistan, and Iraq. (We know this thanks to revelations by courageous whistle-blowers like Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden.)

We must speak out FOR the voiceless victims and AGAINST the US aerial assassination program, the death squads of the skies, and unbridled US military aggression.

"I believe in the principle declared at Nuremberg in 1945: "Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience. Therefore individual citizens have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring."
-- Edward Snowden

TIME AND DATE: 1 PM, SATURDAY, MAY 3, 2014

LOCATION: NATIONAL SECURITY HEADQUARTERS, FORT MEADE, MARYLAND

DIRECTIONS: From I-95 take Route 32 towards Fort Meade, enter on Canine Road, bear to the left and park in the visitor’s parking lot and wait.

Contact for affinity groups: joyfirst5@gmail.com


#############################

To sign on to the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance [NCNR] letter below, please contact mobuszewski at verizon.net


Vice Admiral Michael S. Rogers
Director, National Security Agency
Chief, Central Security Service
National Security Agency
Fort George G. Meade, MD 20755

Dear Admiral Rogers:

As members of peace and justice groups with grave concern for the National Security Agency’s role in the invasions of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan and Yemen, we are writing to request a meeting. We are deeply concerned about our government’s use of unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as drones, to assassinate people in the countries listed above. As you know the NSA is involved in this assassination program by providing potential targets for the president's "kill list."

We are aware that the NSA is open 24 hours a day,7 days a week. Therefore, we are suggesting a meeting at the NSA on Saturday, May 3, 2014. We are confident that someone in a policy-making capacity will be available to meet with us and to arrange a subsequent meeting due to the important nature of our concern.

At the meeting, National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance representatives will urge you to support an end to this assassination program which we believe to be illegal. Please confirm that a meeting can take place on May 3.

In 2011 in Yemen, CIA drone attacks were used to kill, first, Anwar Al-Awlaki and weeks later his son. They were U.S. citizens, who were never charged, brought to trial, or convicted of any crime. In fact, four other U.S. citizens have been assassinated by killer drone strikes without any pretense of due process.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights brought a lawsuit in US federal court against the Obama Administration regarding the assassination of Al-Awlaki. The suit was lost on procedural grounds; however, the judge in the case stated "Can the executive order the assassination of a US citizen without first affording him any form of judicial process whatsoever, based on the mere assertion that he is a dangerous member of a terrorist organization?"

The killer drone strikes only promote more terrorism directed at the US. This point was made by Malala Yousafzai when she met with President Obama and his family. On Oct. 11, 2013 Philip Rucker of THE WASHINGTON POST wrote this: “Yousafzai said she was honored to meet Obama and that she raised concerns with him about the administration's use of drones, saying they are ‘fueling terrorism.’”

We are also disturbed by the lack of transparency and oversight by congress. In spite of assurances from President Obama that the victims of drone strikes are surgical targets, it has been reported that hundreds of victims who are innocent of crimes against the US have been killed including civilian men, women, and children. These people have names and families who love them.

According to a report, “US: Reassess Targeted Killings in Yemen,” released on October 21, 2013 by Human Rights Watch “United States targeted airstrikes against alleged terrorists in Yemen have killed civilians in violation of international law." The report added that the strikes are creating a public backlash that undermines US efforts against Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

We hope that you will take our concerns seriously, as it is our position that killer drone strikes are wrong on many levels: the illegality and immorality of assassinations, the violation of international law and the constitutional protection of due process, the targeting of civilian populations, and the disregard of sovereignty. We have great concern for people caught up in conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, the Philippines, Somalia and Yemen. We believe the US killer drone program must be brought to an end immediately.

Please respond to our request to meet and to discuss your role in terminating the National Security Agency's role in this assassination program. This is an opportunity to consider our proposal of reconciliation and diplomacy rather than pernicious killer drone strikes. A U.S. policy of endless wars must be placed in the dustbin of history. We look forward to your response.

In peace,

Max Obuszewski

On behalf of the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance

Friday, April 11, 2014

Demonstration May 3rd at the NSA Headquarters

May 3, 2014
IF NOT YOU, THEN WHO? 
 WE MUST STOP
THE KILLER DRONES!
 
"I believe in the principle declared at Nuremberg in
 1945: “Individuals have international duties which
 transcend the national obligations of obedience.
 Therefore individual citizens have the duty to
 violate domestic laws to prevent crimes
 against peace and humanity from occurring.”

-- Edward Snowden


On the occasion of Spring Days of Action against the killer drones the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance issues this call to action:
The National Security Agency is not only violating the 4th Amendment to the US Constitution by taking away the privacy rights of Americans and others around the world, but contributing to the deaths and the maiming of innocents, including children, in the NSA's role supporting the US CIA and US Military drone strikes.  The Obama Administration has already violated the 5th Amendment rights of Americans killed by the drones including Anwar al-Awlaki and his son in Yemen.

International law has been violated; the US drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan, and Iraq are war crimes. The NSA is culpable, and we must nonviolently express our First Amendment rights and responsibilities under international law to oppose the US Government and the Obama Administration's extrajudicial killings carried out in our name and with our tax money.

On Saturday, May 3, 2014 we will gather and peacefully assemble at the National Security Agency to hold a public witness against the its role in violations of international law, war crimes, and crimes against peace. Across the United States, citizen activists have been involved in challenging the killer drone program, and some of them have been arrested and jailed for being voices for the voiceless drone victims. 
The demonstration at the NSA will be nonviolent, and is open to all peace with justice people.  Some participants may be moved to risk arrest, however, the demonstration is open to all. 

 Please let the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance know if you are able to be at the NSA on May 3 by emailing Joy First at joyfirst5@gmail.com
A final planning meeting will be held on Friday May 2. Contact Malachy Kilbride at malachykilbride@yahoo.com for information on this important planning session.
The NSA, former employer of Edward Snowden,
 is located at Fort Meade, Maryland where the
 courageous US war crimes whistle-blower,
 Chelsea Manning, was tried and convicted.
If not you, then who, will join us on May 3, 2014?
Come out for peace with justice for all and be a voice FOR the drone victims and AGAINST US militarism and the violence of empire.
For more information contact Joy First, convener of the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance at:joyfirst5@gmail.com


The nationwide Spring Days of Drone Action
continue! Click Here for more information!


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

April Days of Action Against Drones in MARYLAND

Advanced Physics Laboratory, home of drones research at JHU.
Maryland has been an important site of protest activity against drones, particularly protests against drones research at Johns Hopkins University.

Numerous Maryland events are planned as part of the nationwide April Days of Action Against Drones.

UPCOMING MARYLAND EVENTS

TOWSON - Friday, April 5, through Sunday, April 7, 2013 - The Politics of Drone Warfare and the University - Topics in this important 3-day conference will include:
  • "Distancing Acts: Imperial War from Counterinsurgency to Drones"
  • "The Politics of Drone Warfare and the University"
  • "Teaching the War on Terror"
Speakers will include:
  • Rashid Khalidi - Columbia University
  • Nick Turse - TomDispatch.com
  • Phyllis Bennis - Institute for Policy Studies
  • Ray McGovern - Ex-CIA White House briefer
  • Irene Gendizer - Boston University
  • Judith Le Blanc - Peace Action
  • David Swanson - War is a Crime.org
  • Jerry Lembcke - College of the Holy Cross
  • Vinay Lal - UCLA
  • Paul Joseph - Tufts University
  • Carolyn Eisenberg - Hofstra University
  • John Prados - National Security Archive
Friday Keynote Session: Friday evening, April 5, St. John's Methodist Church, 2640 St. Paul Street, Baltimore, MD. Keynote speakers: Col. Ann Wright, former Army officer and State Department diplomat; Alfred McCoy, University of Wisconsin.

All Saturday, April 6 and Sunday April 7 sessions will be held at the College of Liberal Arts Building, Towson University, 8000 York Road, Towson, MD 21252

For additional details see: Historians Against the War

BALTIMORE - Friday, April 12, through Sunday, April 14, 2013 - Exhibit: Drone Warfare Exhibit and Luminous Light Intervention . . . Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - Exhibit: Workshop on the Legal, Political, and Ethical Implications of Militarized Drones . . . Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - Exhibit: "DRONECOMING" - Mobile drone warfare exhibition at Johns Hopkins University homecoming events.

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



Read about ALL the ways YOU can be involved 


Friday, March 1, 2013

Anti-Killer Drone Activists Seek Meeting with Johns Hopkins University President

National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance, 325 East 25th Street , Baltimore , MD 21218 PHONE: [410] 366-1637

PRESS RELEASE-FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 7, 2012

CONTACT: Max Obuszewski 410-366-1637 or mobuszewski at verizon.net


CONTENTS

Anti-Killer Drone Activists Seek Meeting with JHU President
Letter to President Daniels and Dr. Semmel
Johns Hopkins University Refuses to Arrest Anti-Killer Drone Activists

Read related post ... JHU News-Letter: "The APL drones on and on"


ANTI-KILLER DRONE ACTIVISTS SEEK MEETING WITH JHU PRESIDENT

WHO: The Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore is a part of the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance [NCNR], which organizes direct action against U.S. wars. For example, NCNR members went to the National Security Agency on October 9, 2011 to seek a meeting with the director Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander to discuss the NSA’s involvement in U.S. war plans.
Instead of getting a meeting, fourteen citizen activists were arrested and are scheduled for trial in U.S. District Court on May 29 in Baltimore ,


WHAT: NCNR decided to focus attention on the government’s use of killer drones. Since Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory has a contract to do drone research, NCNR, on May 1, sent a letter to Ronald J. Daniels, JHU president, and Dr. Ralph Semmel, director of the APL, seeking a meeting. There was no response to the letter, so a group of NCNR members are going to the Homewood Campus to seek a meeting with the president.

WHEN: Tuesday, May 8, 2012 at 1 PM

WHERE: Johns Hopkins University , Homewood Campus, 3400 North Charles Street , Baltimore , MD 21218

WHY: Jurists, political leaders and even the former director of the National Security Agency, General Michael Hayden, have questioned the use of drones to kill. See the op-ed in the Los Angeles Times by Doyle McManus on February 5, 2012, “Who reviews the U.S. 'kill list’?” This is what McManus wrote: “When it comes to national security, Michael V. Hayden is no shrinking violet. As CIA director, he ran the Bush administration's program of warrantless wiretaps against suspected terrorists.” Then the op-ed brings up the case of Anwar Awlaki, a U.S. citizen killed by a drone in Yemen , and Hayden is quoted: “’We needed a court order to eavesdrop on him, but we didn't need a court order to kill him. Isn't that something?’” Go to McManus: Who reviews the U.S. 'kill list'? in the Los Angeles Times.

It is both baffling and shocking that our government has assassinated U.S. citizens without even a pretense of due process. These hunter-killer Reaper drones and other forms of unmanned aerial vehicles cause horrific destruction. But who decides the use of drones? Who decides who to target? Laws of war make it illegal to target civilians. Doesn’t the U.S. Constitution guarantees due process to U.S. citizens and probably non-citizens?

The Nuremberg Principles obligate citizens to challenge governments involved in illegal activities. These Principles forbid wars of aggression, attacks on civilians and extrajudicial assassinations, all associated with drone warfare. Citizens have a duty to act where they can to prevent violations, even if the violations are committed by their government or a university engaged in research which helps develop the weapons used illegally.



May 1, 2012

Ronald J. Daniels, President

president@jhu.edu

242 Garland Hall
The Johns Hopkins University
3400 N. Charles St.
Baltimore , MD 21218

APL Director Dr. Ralph Semmel

ralph.semmel@jhuapl.edu

The Johns Hopkins University
Applied Physics Laboratory
11100 Johns Hopkins Road
Laurel , MD 20723-6099

Dear President Daniels and Dr. Semmel:

The National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance is composed of citizen activists who want to see that government officials are held accountable for illegal activities. As members of a peace and justice group with grave concern for the U.S. government’s use of drones in acts of war against the people of Afghanistan , Iraq , Pakistan and Yemen , we would appreciate the opportunity to speak with you about the drone research being done by Johns Hopkins University . And prior to the meeting, we would appreciate receiving copies of contracts, and the dollar amounts, regarding unmanned aerial vehicles.

As citizen activists, we have petitioned government officials and legislators with our grievances. We now believe it is time to discuss with you the taxpayer-funded university’s research on a weapon which has been used to execute U.S. citizens without due process, and to kill at least 175 children in Pakistan , untold numbers of civilians, members of the Pakistan military and even rescuers.

You may be aware that jurists, political leaders and even the former director of the National Security Agency, General Michael Hayden, have questioned the use of drones to kill. See the op-ed in the Los Angeles Times by Doyle McManus on February 5, 2012, “Who reviews the U.S. 'kill list’?” This is what McManus wrote: “When it comes to national security, Michael V. Hayden is no shrinking violet. As CIA director, he ran the Bush administration's program of warrantless wiretaps against suspected terrorists.” Then the op-ed brings up the case of Anwar Awlaki, a U.S. citizen killed by a drone in Yemen , and Hayden is quoted: “’We needed a court order to eavesdrop on him, but we didn't need a court order to kill him. Isn't that something?’” Go to McManus: Who reviews the U.S. 'kill list'? in the Los Angeles Times.

It is both baffling and shocking that our government has assassinated U.S. citizens without even a pretense of due process. It is very hard to imagine what it must be like in areas of the world plagued by hunter-killer Reaper drones. It is not hard to imagine that post traumatic stress disorder must be rife amidst the civilians who have survived drone strikes.

As you know, these Reapers and other forms of unmanned aerial vehicles cause horrific destruction. But who decides the use of drones? Who decides who to target? Laws of war make it illegal to target civilians. The U.S. Constitution guarantees due process for sure to U.S. citizens and probably non-citizens. The Nuremberg Principles obligate us to do something in order not to be complicit with the war crimes of our government. The Nuremberg Principles forbid wars of aggression, attacks on civilians and extrajudicial assassinations, all associated with drone warfare. Citizens have a duty to act where they can to prevent violations, even if the violations are committed by their government.

We would be able to provide you with many examples of civilians being killed in drone strikes. For example, see an article written by David S. Cloud, Los Angeles Times, April 10, 2011: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-afghanistan-drone-20110410,0,2818134,full.story. It details the slaughter of Afghan travelers on Feb. 21, 2010 by drone strikes orchestrated from Nevada ’s Creech Air Force Base, thousands of miles away. Because the travelers stopped to pray, they were considered Taliban. None of those Afghans, however, was an insurgent. They were men, women and children going about their business, but because of mis-identification 29 villagers were killed that day. No member of the U.S. military involved in this incident faced court-martial. Each survivor received about $2,900, and families of the dead received $4,800.

The ACLU recently filed a lawsuit demanding the Obama administration release legal and intelligence records on the killing of the three US citizens in Yemen . As our government continues to violate international law and to kill civilians, we citizen activists have to respond. Besides demonstrating and contacting the White House and our elected officials, we want to meet with you to discuss the illegality of killing civilians and to discover the extent of drone research at Johns Hopkins University .

Please let us know when a small group of us could meet with you to discuss the matters raised above. We look forward to your response.

In peace,

Max Obuszewski, on behalf of the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance [NCNR]

410-366-1637 or mobuszewski at verizon.net


Elizabeth Adams, Amherst, MA; Maria Allwine, NCNR, Baltimore; Jean Athey, coordinator, Peace Action Montgomery, Brookeville, MD; Ellen E Barfield, Phil Berrigan Chapter Veterans For Peace, Pledge of Resistance and NCNR; Sharon Black, All Peoples Congress, Baltimore; Toby Blomé, Bay Area CodePink organizer, San Francisco; Bernie L Brown, Pledge of Resistance, Baltimore; Linda K Brown, Baltimore; Timothy D. Chadwick, 18018-2319 Member of Humanity & NCNR; Bethlehem, PA; Marge Clark, BVM, Lobbyist, NETWORK, a National Catholic Social Justice Lobby; Washington, DC; Sherry Conable, on behalf of People United for Peace (PUP), Santa Cruz County, CA; Robert Cooke, Pax Christi, Gaithersburg, MD; Robert Daniels II, Lehigh-Pocono Committee of Concern (LEPOCO Peace Center), Bethlehem, PA; June Eisley, Delaware Pacem in Terris, Wilmington, DE; Joy First, NCNR, Madison, WI; Margaret Flowers, October2011 Movement, Baltimore; Carol E. Gay, Chairperson, NJ Labor Against War, president, NJ State Industrial Union Council (for identification purposes only), Somerset, NJ; Christine Gaunt, NCNR, Grinnell, IA; Tom H. Hastings;Whitefeather Peace Community, Oregon Peace Institute, PeaceVoice, Portland, OR; Martha Hennessy, Catholic Worker, New York City; Tarak Kauff, Veterans For Peace 28, Woodstock, NY; Judith Kelly, Pax Christi Pentagon Area, Arlington, VA; Malachy Kilbride, NCNR, Arlington, VA; Barbara Larcom, Ph.D. 1990, sociology, The Johns Hopkins University & national board chair, Alliance for Global Justice, Baltimore; Linda LeTendre, Saratoga Springs, NY; Brother John Mahoney, Baltimore; Kevin Martin, Peace Action, Silver Spring, MD; C. William Michaels, Esq., volunteer coordinator, Pax Christi-Baltimore; Don Muller, Sitka, Alaska; Bill Quigley, Loyola University New Orleans College of Law; Stephen Roblin, Towson MD; Manijeh Saba, NCNR, Somerset, NJ; Helen Schietinger, Washington, D.C.; David Schott, Veterans for Peace, Baltimore; Josie Setzler, Tiffin Area Pax Christi, Tiffin, Ohio; Robert M. Smith, Brandywine Peace Community, Philadelphia; David Soumis, Veterans for Peace Clarence Kailin Chapter 25, Madison Wisconsin; Mark D. Stansbery, Columbus Campaign for Arms Control, Columbus, Ohio; Alice Sturm Sutter, Nurse Practitioner, North Manhattan Neighbors for Peace and Justice, NYC Metro Raging Grannies, New York City; Bonnie Urfer, Nukewatch, Madison, WI; Marge Van Cleef, Bryn Mawr Peace Coalition, Philadelphia, PA


JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY REFUSES TO ARREST ANTI-KILLER DRONE ACTIVISTS

Around 12:15 PM on May 8, 2012, an NCNR entourage entered the president’s outer office to seek a meeting. A female assistant to the president graciously greeted the activists and indicated she would investigate if the letter was ever received. She never returned to speak with those of us concerned with drone research. Instead a male vice president came out and graciously listened to each activist’s concern. However, he informed us that the president was indisposed on a flight to Japan . He suggested that we should leave, but the activists indicated they would wait in the office.

Soon thereafter, a parade of Hopkins officials, security officers and representatives of the Baltimore City Police Department came to speak to the group to encourage us to leave. Everyone fit the description of a male dominant figure. The only other female on the scene was a member of the Baltimore Police. We assumed an arrest would take place at 5 PM, when the office was scheduled to close. It became apparent that someone from the university, presumably the president, made the decision not to arrest anyone. Another decision reached by someone was to deny the visitors access to a bathroom. In fact, two Baltimore Police officers were guarding the door. Also supporters were denied entry into the building, but they held an outside demonstration with a replica of a drone.

After about six hours, some of the citizen activists were desperate to use a bathroom. Max Obuszewski challenged those inside the building, some 40 strong, not to follow an “illegal order” to deny access to a bathroom. All but one lacked the courage to question authority. However, a uniformed member of Hopkins security moved the officers aside and opened the bathroom.

Around a decade ago, there was an occupation of the building by students demanding that university personnel be paid a living wage. Memory suggests this occupation went on for ten days. So the NCNR activists--Ellen Barfield, David Barrows, Tim Chadwick, Cindy Farquhar, Joy First, Malachy Kilbride, Max Obuszewski, Manijeh Saba and Alice Suter--decided to depart at 8 PM, after reading the letter and singing the classic anthem VINE AND FIG TREE. We are resolved to return, despite the fact that since we “trespassed” we are subject to arrest if we are again on campus.

During the occupation, we had an opportunity to speak with various Hopkins officials and representatives of the Baltimore City Police. Since we had a captive audience, we enlightened many who were present about the role played by the APL in doing drone research. There is a direct line between the APL’s research and killing of civilians in the Middle East . We sat and stood with many anti-drone research signs and photographs of drone victims throughout the occupation.

We raised many questions: Who reviews the U.S. 'kill list? Who decides the use of drones? Who decides who to target? Laws of war make it illegal to target civilians. Doesn’t the U.S. Constitution guarantee due process to U.S. citizens and probably non-citizens?

See also Joy First's account of the May 8 action: "Calling for End to Drone Research at Johns Hopkins University."