Colonel Ann Wright was in the service for 29 years and resigned during the Iraq war due to U.S. misconduct. Since then she has been a tireless peace and justice activist. We last ran into her in Dec. 2007 when we were all working for public housing to be restored to the community of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. It was a delight to be with her and help "advertise" her speaking engagements today by our presence at all three gates of Beale Air Force Base yesterday and today. With Ann, who is on the right, are Cathy Webster of Grandmothers for Peace and Shirley Osgood of the Nevada Peace Center. All three women share the same strength and moral fortitude and I'm proud to know them.
The syndicated radio and TV program Democracy Now just had their 18th Birthday so I was posting by a number of the over 30 people holding signs to send in the photos for their birthday celebration feed but this was the most interesting I thought. A young man in fatigues was filming us throughout yesterday afternoon and this morning for the air force. If only the regular media had had the interest to show up!
It was a fine group of people. Many of these people of faith will return on March 5th, Ash Wednesday, a day of repentance and reflection. Each holds a cross with the likeness of a child killed by drone strike. They are singing here so I caught some odd looks but it is still a good photo. We sang throughout our time together.
Last evening we had a fantastic potluck and teach-in near the Main Gate of the base. Col. Wright spoke about US military policy-- which is increasingly surreal and inviting a robotic arms race as the U.S. now is even pressuring and surrounding China and Russia with bases. There were two GI coffee house hosts traveling with Veterans for Peace and they also spoke about the GI coffee house movement which allows them to bridge the gap between military folks and civilians and offer help with the myriad issues enlisted people and veterans face due to a system that does not care about them.
This morning there was a rolling blockade at the Wheatland Gate. The road was blocked for over 15 minutes until the Highway Patrol came and threatened arrests. Because everyone was so spread out there is much you miss with my posting but our efforts are paying off as more and more people travel the distance to participate at Beale where Global Hawk drones are involved with the targeting of people who may or may not be a threat to the United States in an illegal and immoral quest for US military supremacy and the profits of arms merchants.