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DEWITT, N.Y. –On Monday, members of the grassroots human rights coalition, Upstate Drone Action to Ground the Drones and End the Wars were arrested for closing the main gate of Hancock Airfield to call a halt to the US weaponized drone program operated out of Hancock, in the Town of Dewitt, NY, by the 174th Attack Wing of the NYS Air National Guard.

Hancock is home to “hunter/killer” (the Pentagon’s phrase) MQ9 Reaper drone. The theme of Monday’s event was: Drones Kill Children.

Those arrested include Dan Burgevin and James Ricks of Ithaca and Ed Kinane, Bonny Mahoney and Julienne Oldfield of Syracuse, who held signs reading “Drones Kill Children” behind wooden figures of drone victims, including dead and dying children.

The activists stated at the gates, “We U.S. citizens and taxpayers look on with horror at the millions of refugees fleeing airborne terror and are shamed by our unconsented complicity.”

(Provided photo)

This action was held on the UN General Assembly-designated International World Day of Peace, to bring attention to the US weaponized drone program that not only kills and maims humans, but also destroys homes, displaces and terrorizes whole communities, and perpetuates endless war.

Today’s event is one of a number of Upstate Drone Action’s persistent nonviolent campaign to expose the Hancock war crimes.

On March 19, 2015, Upstate Drone Action shut the main Hancock gate with giant books—the UN Charter, Dirty Wars by Jeremy Sahill, Living Under Drones (NYU and Stanford Law Schools), and You Never Die Twice (Reprieve).For more information on the Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the wars can be found at

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Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.