Drone Attack Victims Need Orders of Protection!

The Upstate NY Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars | July 7, 2014

1st Hancock Air Base Order of Protection Defendant Facing 1 Year Sentencing July 10th

Syracuse, NY.  Drone activist, Mary Anne Grady Flores, is facing 1 year in jail for violating an order of protection. She will be sentenced at 6pm, Thursday, July 10, 2014, by Judge Gideon of De Witt Town Court (5400 Butternut Dr., East Syracuse, New York). The grandmother of 3 had been issued a temporary order of protection for participating in a nonviolent civil resistance action in 2012 at Hancock Air Base. Col. Earl A. Evans, the base’s mission support group commander, was granted the order from local judges, to shut down protests at the base.

The base is a hub of reaper drone activity – drones are piloted over Afghanistan from the base; and reaper pilots, sensor operators and maintenance people are trained there. Who actually needs an order of protection – the base commander, behind a barbed wire fence and surrounded by military might, or families in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere subject to the terror of drone strikes?

On Ash Wednesday 2013, while standing in the public intersection, Mary Anne, in a support role, photographed eight Catholics who participated in a nonviolent witness at the base. She did not participate in the witness because she had intended not to violate the order of protection. She understood the order to mean that she was forbidden to join the protest or be on base property. Following the arrests the activists learned that the base property line went out to the double yellow line in the middle of the road. The irony is that those who actually participated in the action were acquitted of their charges. Mary Anne was charged with violating the order.

Fifty activists have received orders of protection on behalf of the base Colonel, signed by the DeWitt Town Court Judges. The orders, typically used to prevent domestic violence and abuse of victims, are being challenged for their blatant abuse of the First Amendment, shutting down free speech and the right to protest at the base and for their inappropriate application of NY State Law. In a recent ruling, acting NYS Supreme Court Judge Brunetti ruled the order of protection was invalid. The Assistant District Attorney is currently appealing that decision.

In spite of Mary Anne’s conviction and upcoming sentence, the protest will continue. No one can stand silent and ignore the pleas from victims of drone attacks.

The Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars (www.upstatedroneaction.org) is a coalition of antiwar organizations in Upstate New York that formed around resistance to the MQ-9 Reaper Drone program at Hancock Base, where they train pilots and technicians with local missions from Fort Drum and fly lethal Reaper missions over Afghanistan.

Main Covert Drone War Drone Attack Victims Need Orders of Protection!


World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.