Recently I participated in another anti-drone protest at Hancock Air Base on the outskirts of Syracuse, NY.
For the past several years, the base has been used as an operating center for unmanned weaponized aircraft known to the public as drones. To date, these machines of death have flown from bases all over America, and they have been used to kill thousands of militants engaged in acts of aggression against he United States and its foreign interests.
Tragically, the people flying these weapons have also murdered more than 5,000 innocent civilians including women and children. Many of these victims have been killed while attending weddings, birthdays, and funerals. Given that the United States is not officially at war with nations where drones are being used in combat situations (e.g., Yemen and Pakistan), their deployment has been deemed illegal according to international bodies of law like the UN Charter and Geneva Conventions. Recently, several former drone pilots and operators have come forward to renounce their service as being criminally misguided.
At one point in the protest, I had the opportunity to introduce my new organization called Gandhi Earth Keepers International. Seizing the microphone, I passionately explained that I did not want to be there. I told the crowd that I would rather be at home watching football with my wife. The fact that I don't like football only underscored my point. I said that although I didn't want to be there, choosing to stay home would be tantamount to breaking the law. I then explained how after WWII the Nuremberg Laws were passed which stated that in the future it would be every citizen's duty to resist the immoral policies and actions of their government. In the horrific wake of the holocaust, it is no longer excusable for "ordinary" people to just obey orders or plead ignorance.
In the middle of my short speech, I had the audacity to turn and address the soldiers lined up along the metal chain linked fence behind me. At this precise moment, a grumbling of discontent ushered down the line of these heavily armored guardsman protecting not the sanctity of a building, but the principle of strength through power that makes the building function. I told them and everyone else in the audience, that we have a choice to stop our participation in this immoral killing. I reminded everyone that the German people pretended not to know what was taking place directly in front of their churches, shops, schoolyards, and front porches.
It will not be this generation that demands to know what we did to stop this random slaughter of women and children. Twenty years from now, it will be the next generation that summons all of us to testify about what role we did and did not play in stopping the development and use of these assassination planes.
On that judgement day, we must tell our children's children what side of the line we stood on.