Seven protesters were arrested Monday after they blocked the entrance to Hancock Field Air National Guard Base in DeWitt, New York. The protesters were part of a group called Upstate Drone Action that is seeking to ground all military drones and end the wars. Seven of the protesters showed up to the air force base with several large signs and banners and they refused to move. Ed Kinane is the Upstate Drone Action founding member and he commented on the arrests, "Officers from the base came out and told us to leave, and when we didn't, we were arrested. We're trying to make a statement about the war crimes being committed at the air base with drones that kill human beings."
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<span style="margin-top:15px;rgba(42,51,6,0.7);font-size:12px;">Credit: Wikipedia</span>
Kinane was himself arrested by DeWitt police and six others were taken into custody and brought to DeWitt Town Hall where they received fines. All seven of the protesters were also charged with disorderly conduct and trespassing. The names of the arrested protesters are, Ann Tiffany, of Syracuse; Dan Burgevin, of Trumansburg; Kinane, of Syracuse; Harry Murray, of Rochester; Julienne Oldfield, of Syracuse; Mark Scibilia-Carver, of Trumansburg; and Rae Kramer, of Syracuse. According to the protesters they placed a giant dollar sign dripping with blood on the main entrance to the base." Upstate Drone Action gave a public statement regarding the protests, "The six-foot high dollar signs dramatize what the group believes determines the many overseas wars the Pentagon/CIA engages in: Corporate greed."
The groups main reason for the protest at the base was the 2010 introduction of the 174th Attack Wing of the National Guard's MQ-9 Reaper drone operations when the base became the first to have an MQ-9 remotely piloted aircraft squadron. The drones perform missions in the Middle East and other undisclosed locations. There have been around 200 arrests related to anti-Reaper protests since 2010 according to Upstate Drone Action.
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