❀ CLICK on a photo if you want to see it in larger size. ------- I may call myself a Blue Elephant at times, but, in a larger sense, only as a part of The Blue Elephant that is our sense of sharing the same atmosphere on earth.
------- Someone accessed their gmail from my computer and now their gmail address is listed as the author/administrator of my blog, and Google will not help change that. The email behind this blog should be email@example.com
Monday, May 05, 2014
Nominate Code Pink for the Nobel Peace Prize
I don't know a perfect comparison, but Code Pink members seem to be equivalent to the American and Engish Suffragettes. A member and a friend, Martha Hubert, will start her own blog, but until then I will post her latest report here. Here is how those savage crusaders look when not fighting America-as-Earth's-Military-Empire, in favor of the frail echo of a democracy), followed by Martha's recent account of their labors.
Martha's accounts: Since our activities at Creech, more arrests at
more bases! Yay!
Thanks to all who participate in our efforts to
STOP KILLER DRONES!
Creech AFB Report Back (Part One)
(Sunday 4/6 - Thursday 4/10 am)
On Sunday, April 6th, Toby, Fred and I drove to
Creech AFB via Fresno, where we visited the artist installation of a life size
We were greeted by Joseph DeLappe (the artist
from Reno), Beverly and later, Teresa (both Fresno Activist friends).
We watched as the artist and his student
assistants added the final wing to the Drone.
The point of this installation is to draw
attention to drone warfare, and that it isn’t just another computer game.
Drone warfare is TERROR. We said our
goodbyes and were on our way.
There were a lot of miles to cover before we
reached Creech. We arrived at the Goddess Temple in Cactus Springs, a short drive from Creech AFB, at 10:00 p.m.
Sunday night, glad to get out of the car.
Monday morning our friend John (VFP Albany)
joined the three of us from the Bay Area to protest at the base entry.
Our numbers were small, but our messages were
many (and STRONG), thanks to Toby’s obsession with banner making.
Between protests on Monday, we visited the wild
horses at Cold Creek, not far from Creech at a higher elevation (cooler too).
On Monday night we were joined by our friend
Barry (VFP Sacramento).
He was especially popular with some of us since
he brought Coffee for Tuesday morning.
It’s wonderful being back here on the Goddess
The huge Cottonwood trees provide shade and a
great place to work on making new banners.
Barry picked up Catherine at the Las Vegas
Tuesday afternoon, while some of us stayed behind.
We had banners to make!
CAUTION: MILITARY LIFE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR
It was nice to have both Catherine and Barry
back with us for Tuesday afternoon's commute.
Was it ever HOT out there! Those cold
beers that we got at the Oasis Bar in the tiny town of Indian Springs were
The desolate landscape in this part of the
country is a rock hound’s dream come true.
The Goddess Temple and grounds are evolving in a
beautiful way, thanks to Candace Ross, the Temple Priestess.
We’re fortunate to have the Temple Guest House
for a place to stay, a place filled with love and creative energy.
Each day we greet the commuters in and out of
the base with our signs and banners.
We’re out at the most busy entrance to the base
6-8 am and 3-5 pm, sometimes longer.
Wednesday morning we dressed in black with white
masks, carried tiny coffins, a baby (doll), and the huge banner saying
DRONE WARFARE IS TERROR, as well as another
saying MOTHERS SAY NO TO WAR.
The five of us had a funeral procession down the
highway next to the base.
We were back at the base entrance Wednesday
afternoon, focusing on Justice for Chelsea Manning and all whistleblowers.
Wednesday evening we brought our messages to Las
Vegas, and had dinner at Bacco, Lt. Ehren Watada’s restaurant there.
Edwina, Lisa, John, Mark, Ming and others joined
us for dinner.
While waiting for our meal, we kept busy cutting
out paper drones for an upcoming action.
It was very fitting to show our support of the
restaurant owned and managed by the brave veteran who stood up to the lies of our government
leading us to the war in Iraq. It was an excellent meal, enjoyed by all.
After dinner we split into two cars: one for
grocery and hardware shopping and the other to pick up Renay and Peggy at the
None of us got much sleep that night. Barry’s
coffee was essential Thursday morning.
We were all up bright (well, it was actually
dark) and early Thursday morning (with five new participants!)
We gathered at the entrance to Creech wearing
white clothing and white masks.
We wore blue scarves in solidarity with the Blue
Scarf Movement (thebluescarf.org)
Scarfrepresents the expansive
blue sky we all share and has become a global symbol for togetherness.
It was set in
motion by a very brave group of women in Afghanistan ready to be heard
and is now
being worn around the world as a way for people to express their solidarity as
global citizens for a better world.”
Every day we’re joined by more protesters!
There’s one nut of a counter protestor, on his
huge motorcycle with a big American flag. More on him later.
We’re having a blast. Let’s hope we’re
having an impact!
Creech AFB Report Back (Part Two) Martha
Thursday 4/10 pm - Sunday 4/13/14
For the afternoon commute on Thursday, April
10th, we focused on KITES. We were joined by Kit and Keith from
Washington state, and Josie from New Mexico. FLY KITES NOT DRONES!
We had dozens of hand made kites as well as a
few store bought ones, beautiful artwork and signage. Many thanks to
Shirley Osgood and the folks in Grass Valley for their contributions to this
effort. And thanks to Barry for bringing them! Most of the kites were held by
hand or strung together horizontally, though there was one brave soul (Lisa) who
pranced around our protest with Renay’s kite high in the air. It was
quite windy, and a bit unpredictable; but what a sight to behold!
On Thursday evening, Candace invited us to the
Temple for a beautiful ritual dedicated to our activism for PEACE. During the
ritual we were joined by Liz and Maggie from Arizona.
We regrouped at the Temple Guest House and
discussed our intentions for Friday (Civil Disobedience). After much
discussion, we finally settled on the seven of us who were willing to be
arrested, and started writing a letter to the base commander.
Here is the letter we wrote to be delivered to
the base on Friday morning 4/11:
Commander Col. Jim Cluff
April 11, 2014
President Barack Obama
CIA Director John Brennan
We are here today as Americans who are deeply
concerned about the global use of drones.
We are here to say, no more use of drones
We come from many places in the western United
States, leaving families, time off from work and other commitments to be
here. We will not tolerate the use of our military and our tax dollars to
continue the killing of men, women and children without due process.
Some of us have been here many times, watching
the drones fly overhead, as the service members go back and forth to the
base. Our message has been “No More!”
We have lobbied the president and our
congressional representatives with the same message:
“No more weaponized drones, no more killing!”
As concerned citizens we are here today to
demand the following:
o An immediate ban on the use of all drones used
for extrajudicial killing.
The US must immediately stop this lawless
behavior of drone warfare that violates many international laws and treaties.
o Halt all drone surveillance worldwide, as it assaults
basic freedoms and inalienable rights.
US drone surveillance is currently terrorizing
domestic life in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere.
o Prohibit the sale and distribution of
weaponized drones and related technology to foreign countries in order to
prevent the proliferation of this menacing threat to world peace, freedom and
o Stop global militarization. Close all US
bases in foreign lands now. A nation’s military should be used for defense
purposes only and the sovereignty of all nations should be respected.
o Halt the US occupation of foreign lands. It is
illegal, immoral and perpetuates endless wars while sacrificing desperately
needed services at home.
We are often accused of “trespassing”. However
it is our view that the real trespassing is that of our military in its
Renay Davis Lisa Marcus Edwina Vogan Martha Hubert
There was one obnoxious motorcycle riding, flag
waving counter protester we’d been seeing for the past few days. Here you see
him greeting us with the oh so familiar middle finger salute.
It was interesting that the police didn’t have a
problem with this guy parking his bike on the shoulder of the road for two
hours, though we would never have been permitted to park there. He wasn’t alone
this time. There were already a few other counter protesters whom we’d never
seen there before. Fortunately they were considerably outnumbered by our group.
In addition to the large number of fellow activists in our contingent, we were
joined by other peace activists from the Nevada Desert Experience in Las Vegas.
Here you see Catherine and Renay with the pink
paper drones strung between them.
I led the funeral procession with a large sign
that Toby made DRONES KILL CHILDREN. I was followed by the six other arrestees
(Catherine Hourcade, Renay Davis, Toby Blome, Edwina Vogan, Maggie Huntington,
and Lisa Marcus (holding another one of Toby’s great signs: ABOLISH WAR).
We were all wearing pink paper drones (each with
the name of a drone victim) strung around our necks. Our supporters (Liz,
Susan, Migene, Kit, Keith, Barry, Eleanor, Peggy, …) followed with Josie
keeping a steady drumbeat going as we walked beside highway 95, along the
perimeter of the base. As advised by one of the police officers, the drum beat
quickened as we scurried across the oncoming traffic into the base, so that we
could all get across the base entry safely. After processing back and
forth a bit, we angled down to the base entry “boundary” and those of us who
risked arrest kept going until (and sometimes after) we were stopped by “law
enforcement” - mostly Las Vegas Metropolitan Police. At first, they
grabbed some of us roughly, though that didn’t last long. We actually had
some decent conversations with some of the arresting officers. Toby observed a significant
positive change in the attitudes of the Las Vegas officers throughout the
entire arrest/detainment/jail experience. Many of them were very interested in
hearing what we had to share about drone warfare, asking us questions and even
joking with us in a humorous and friendly way. There was a significantly
increased tolerance to our intentions and actions.
Here you see Toby talking with one of the
officers before the arrest (with Nico, our friend from Reno who is making a
documentary on Drone Proliferation in Nevada).
There was a somewhat playful mood as we wiggled
around crossing the (arbitrary) boundary and approached the gate entrance as
close as possible. They really didn’t want to arrest us. But our
actions were making a statement, and the arrests were part of our plan.
Along with confronting the President and the Congress, we feel it’s important
to confront the judicial branch of the government, and the arrest process is an
important part of that picture.
Lisa and Martha being arrested
Our supporters were in full force with signage
and singing as we were reigned in and put in transport for the trip to
the Las Vegas jail. They held us there in the base driveway for a while,
long enough for us to think we’d be cited and released. But, that didn’t
happen. They split the seven of us into four cars to drive to Las Vegas.
I went solo in the back seat of a police car. After talking with the driver,
struggling to be heard through the bullet proof glass, I settled on
listening to his country music and looking out the window. Though Edwina and I
were arrested last, we were the first to arrive at the police station. (I
noticed that my driver was going considerably above the speed limit.) They took
our shoes, socks and jewelry, and we were given floppy sandals to wear.
We were photographed and finger printed, went through a “medical exam”, and
were sent to sit and wait for the process to continue. One by one, we saw
our activist friends going through the same. Edwina was pulled aside
because of an unresolved prior arrest during an earlier drone protest at Creech
(walking in the wrong direction on the side of a highway???). I was sent off to
a cell where I met two inmates, already there. They were both very nice;
one a vegan sex worker and another young woman was there for yelling at her
young child when he had a tantrum (child endangerment). The young mother
snuck behind the “privacy wall” in the cell to express breast milk. She
had another child, a newborn who wasn’t being fed and her loaded breasts were
quite painful. Those two were taken away, and I was alone for a while.
Then Catherine, Maggie and Renay showed up in my
cell. We sang some songs, and tried to entertain each other. By mid
afternoon I was called, given my possessions, and released out the back door of
the jail, where I waited alone for the others to come out. It was a little
tough since all I had was $20 and my drivers license. Next time I’ll bring my
cell phone! After waiting alone for 45 minutes or so, the others started
appearing, all but Edwina, whom we didn’t see until quite late that evening due
to her outstanding bench warrant.
Thanks to the amazing support from NDE Las Vegas
friends, Marcus, John, Mary Lou and Ming, Lisa hightailed it out of there to
catch a plane. Catherine, Maggie and Renay were given a ride back to
Indian Springs for the afternoon Creech vigil.
Fred drove down from Indian Springs to join Toby
and me as we waited for Edwina’s release. It seemed like forever. They had told
us it would be up to four hours, but when the first four hours ended, they said
it could be another four hours. Ugh. Finally Edwina appeared. She
was starved, though in remarkably good spirits, happy to be released. We
stopped at a restaurant on the way back to Indian Springs. We were back
at the Goddess Temple Guest House a little after midnight. That was one
Saturday we took the day off and some of us
visited Bailey’s Hot springs in nearby Beatty, NV.
On Sunday Renay, Susan, Eleanor and I drove back
to the Bay area, through Death Valley and the mountains, a beautiful way to go.
Toby, Fred, Catherine and Barry stayed behind
for NDE’s Peace Walk.