N.Y. State: 38 Courageous Drone Resisters Convicted

from the Syracuse Peace Council  

On Thursday, December 1, the Hancock 38 drone resisters returned to DeWitt Town Court for the verdict in their case involving a symbolic “die-in” at the main entrance Hancock Air National Guard Base (Mattydale, NY), protesting the piloting and maintenance of the hunter/killer Reaper drones at the Base.

Early in his decision, Judge David Gideon stated, “Many issues were raised that were not heretofore contemplated by this Court on a personal level; for which this Court personally acknowledges a new and different understanding, making the decision now before the Court that much more difficult.”

After much consideration and several sleepless nights, he concluded that the defendants were guilty of both “obstructing vehicular or pedestrian traffic” and “refusing to comply with a lawful order of the police to disperse.”  

In their sentencing statements, the activists contested the Judge’s decision, stating that they were duty bound by the Nuremberg Principles, International Law and the U.S. Constitution to act against drones – the Principles forbid wars of aggression, attacks on civilians and extrajudicial assassinations, all actions associated with drone warfare. Action is urgent since innocents are being murdered every day by drone attacks. The verdict is indeed in – the drones are illegal.

Most people received a one year conditional discharge, along with a fine of $250 and $150 court costs and community service. Four people were given jail time, ranging from four to fifteen days.

The activists are undeterred, vowing to return to the Base, inviting the Judge, prosecutor, other court employees to join them.

The action was sponsored by the Upstate NY Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars <http://upstatedroneaction.org/> , consisting of activists from Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, Ithaca, Rochester, Syracuse and Utica.

Read the Judge's decision. <http://www.peacecouncil.net/drones/index.htm>  Video of the defendant's statements will be available soon.

Main Reports on Protest & Resistance N.Y. State: 38 Courageous Drone Resisters Convicted

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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.