Yes to Grandmas, No to Drones

From the Syracuse Peace Council: Drone Resister Sentenced to One Year in Prison Base’s Order of Protection Begs Judgement:

On July 10, grandmother of three, Mary Anne Grady Flores was sentenced to one year in prison for being found guilty of violating an order of protection. A packed courtroom of over 100 supporters was stunned as she was led away, and vowed to continue the resistance.

These orders of protection, typically used in domestic violence situations or to protect a victim or witness to a crime, have been issued to people participating in nonviolent resistance actions at Hancock Air Base since late 2012. The base, near Syracuse NY, pilots unmanned Reaper drones over Afghanistan, and trains drone pilots, sensor operators and maintenance technicians. The orders had been issued to “protect” Colonel Earl Evans, Hancock’s mission support commander, who wanted to keep protesters “out of his driveway.”

Mary Anne began her sentencing statement with, “Your honor, a series of judicial perversions brings me here before you tonight.” She concluded that the “final perversion is the reversal of who is the real victim here: the commander of a military base whose drones kill innocent people halfway around the world, or those innocent people themselves who are the real ones in need of protection from the terror of US drone attacks?”

The orders of protection are being challenged on many legal grounds.

Mary Anne had been issued a temporary order in 2012. The next year, she photographed a nonviolent witness at the base, not participating herself because she did not want to violate the order. The irony is that those who actually participated in the action were acquitted, while Mary Anne was charged with violating the order.

Even though the pre-sentencing report recommended no jail time, Judge Gideon sentenced Mary Anne to the maximum of a year in prison. As he imposed his sentence, the judge referred to his previous Hancock decision. He had stated then and insinuated now, “This has got to stop.”

In addition, Mary Anne was fined $1000 plus a $205 court surcharge and a $50 fee to have her DNA collected.

Her verdict is being appealed.

How you can help

  1. Send letters of support to Mary Anne Grady Flores c/o Onodaga County Department of Correction, PO Box 143, Jamesville, NY 13078.
  2. Mary Anne’s lawyer is appealing this case and financial support would be gladly accepted. Make checks out to Ithaca Catholic Worker (with Mary Anne’s name in the memo) and send them to 133 Sheffield Road, Ithaca, New York 14850.
  3. Help spread this Democracy Now link around: Grandmother Sentenced to 1 Year in Prison After Protest at U.S. Drone Base — and ask your local media to cover this situation. Write something yourself if you can.

These suggestions are amended from a Facebook post by Ellen Grady. She can be reached at demottgrady6 at gmail dot com for more information on upcoming trials and related support efforts.


Linky goodness




Breakfast with Mr. Signal Boost and Ms Retweet

Awesome links from awesome people. Please sign these petitions, read these articles, Like these pages, and help broadcast them all! Send me more on Twitter @arievergreen.

PolicingTroy – Join the Opposition to Police Violence in Troy, NY: “There is a significant grassroots movement to affect real changes in the structure and community relations of the police department in Troy. However, accountability will not come without public pressure. A petition may seem futile or petty, but it represents an important component of national and international awareness. People are watching to see if government will come down on the right side of history. Signing is important, but so is spreading the word and encouraging your networks to sign on as well.” (Sign the petition)

Manhattan Neighborhood Network video interview with Anna Mwalagho: “Born and raised in Kenya, East Africa, Anna Mwalagho began performing professionally at the tender age of 8. She is a true remarkable renaissance woman, an internationally recognized actress, poet, dancer, singer/songwriter and storyteller. She has won numerous national awards in her native Kenya, where she performed on stage as well as on television and radio with the Kenya broadcasting corporation. Internationally recognized as the Queen of spoken Afro beat also Mama Africa.” (Via David McReynolds / Edge Left)


  • Talk of the Town- WVBR 93.5 FM: “Tune into WVBR 93.5 FM every Saturday 5-6pm to hear Juliana Garcia and her guest discuss various social, political and cultural issues within our society” (Podcasts)
  • shalefield justiceShalefield Justice Spring Break: “a week-long camp that aims to bring together members of extraction communities, students, environmentalists and concerned residents who are interested in learning more about shale gas hydraulic fracturing and its infrastructure, as well as other forms of extreme energy extraction”
  • Please donate to Riseup because they are awesome: “Riseup works tirelessly to create grassroots technology alternatives that address the communication needs of people and organizations working for social change. When you get a service from a corporation that doesn’t charge you, chances are that the money comes from extensive surveillance. Riseup, on the other hand, relies on donations by users like you who believe in supporting democratic alternatives.”
  • Save the Date: The World of Skills Steering Committee is pleased to announce that World of Skills, the annual job fair in Ithaca, NY, is Thursday, April 24, 2013, 9:00 – Noon, at The Hotel Ithaca (formerly The Holiday Inn), 222 S. Cayuga Street, Ithaca. For information call the Finger Lakes Independence Center, 272-2433 and ask for Larry Roberts. Please help spread the word!
  • Food Pantries, Hot Meals, and other Programs Served by Friendship Donations Network in Tompkins and nearby counties: “FDN provides produce, breads, desserts, dairy, deli, and groceries (if available) to the programs listed…” (Via Share Tompkins)
  • Bilal Tamimi being attacked by an Israeli soldier at a protest in Nabi Saleh in May 2013. © Tamimi Press

    Bilal Tamimi being attacked by an Israeli soldier at a protest in Nabi Saleh in May 2013. © Tamimi Press

    Amnesty International report: ‘Trigger-happy’ Israeli army and police use reckless force in the West Bank: “Israeli forces have displayed a callous disregard for human life by killing dozens of Palestinian civilians, including children, in the occupied West Bank over the past three years with near total impunity, said Amnesty International in a report published today.” (Via David McReynolds / Edge Left)

  • Food For Change: “a feature-length documentary film focusing on food co-ops as a force for dynamic social and economic change in American culture. The movie tells the story of the cooperative movement in the U.S. through interviews, rare archival footage, and commentary by the filmmaker and social historians. This is the first film to examine the important historical role played by food co-ops, their pioneering quest for organic foods, and their current efforts to create regional food systems” (Via Multicultural Resource Center (MRC) Talking Circle on Race and Racism Alumni Group)
  • NSA robots are ‘collecting’ your data, too, and they’re getting away with it: “Yahoo webcam users are the latest victims of agency eavesdropping – and whether it’s done by human or algorithm, it’s still eavesdropping” (Via Anarchaithacans)

Hear from Palestinian Nonviolent Resistance Activists, March 5-6 in Ithaca

This just in from Dorothy Cotton Institute:

Irene Nasser and Fadi Quran, two Palestinian nonviolent resistance activists that our delegation met with when we visited the West Bank are coming to the US for a DCI sponsored Speaking Tour.
They will be speaking at several events in Ithaca:

Wednesday, March 5th

7-9pm, Ithaca College – Klingenstein Lounge

Thursday, March 6th

12-1:30-GIAC [please RSVP to this event; here’s a flier]

7-9pm – Cornell University – Kaufmann Auditorium

Occupy activist assaulted by police, being charged with assaulting the police

Oh this is just too much. Really, NYPD?

Today – Thurs. February 13 – Jury Selection
Part 31, Room 1333 @ 100 Centre St., Manhattan

Tentative trial schedule:
Friday, February 14th – Opening Arguments & Prosecution case
Wednesday, February 19th – Defense begins

Uplifting and learning from the First Black Republic

IBW-haiti-photoI just read the report from Institute of the Black World’s Haiti Support Project Visit (January 15-19, 2014) and wow is it full of good stories and information. Check it out to learn about the past, present, and future of the world’s First Black Republic. There are lots of great photos and videos.

Resist Drone War Crimes

Upstate New York peace activists have been indicted and arrested (click for video) for resisting drone war crimes. You can support them by showing up at the trial and/or press conferences, and/or sharing information about what’s happened so that others will know about it and get involved.

Friday, January 3rd 5 pm and Saturday, January 4th 10 am

Press Conferences:
Fri. 1/3 5pm & Sat. 1/4 9am
(US Former Attorney General Ramsey Clark will be there Saturday)

Click here for info on Ithaca carpool etc., on Facebook.


“Sending a Nun to Prison to Die”

The 83-year-old Rice has chosen to spend the final chapter of her life behind bars.

She faces a possible 30-year prison sentence on charges of interfering with national security and damaging federal property, resulting from an act of civil disobedience she committed in July last year.

Exhausted after hiking through the woods adjacent to the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tenn., that once provided the enriched uranium for the Hiroshima bomb, Rice, along with Michael Walli and Gregory Boertje-Obed splashed blood against the walls, put up banners and beat hammers “into plowshares” – a biblical reference to Isaiah 2:4, “They shall beat swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.”

Breaking into a sensitive nuclear facility to stage a protest, the three activists were prepared for the worst. “We were very aware that we could have died,” Rice said.

Read the rest…

Do you know how to listen?

I attended a free listening workshop here in Ithaca in 2011 that was really amazing. I went after I’d already been in Ithaca’s Talking Circles on Race and Racism — which are so wonderful, but so dependent on good communication. I really think I could have been a better listener (and a better white ally) if I’d attended the Listening Workshop before the Talking Circles!

The main idea is that usually, people aren’t really, truly listening to each other. They’re kind of waiting so they can speak. For instance, when someone says something about oppression, the other person isn’t necessarily listening with an open heart, ready to hear every painful detail — they’re usually going through a whole list of automatic, unhelpful responses (agreeing or disagreeing, questioning, giving advice, problem solving, thinking of a similar experience, coming up with reasons or explanations, etc. — there’s a list on our refrigerator!). The result is that we don’t actually hear what the other is saying. It takes awareness and practice to move away from these automatic responses, but I’ve got to say that it is well worth the effort. It really changed the way I communicate with people, for the better.

Think about what widespread adoption of this approach to communication could do for our world. Learning to be better listeners can only help our struggles for social and environmental justice. When someone speaks of their experience of racism or classism or heterosexism or sexism or any other oppression, it may stir up memories of things you read, or movies you saw, but that doesn’t mean that those are fit responses; the other is talking about their life, and now is not the time for anecdotes about movies, but for listening. Likewise, it might be painful to hear how we harm animals by not being vegan, but shouldn’t we at least listen to the voices of those we’re harming (via their proxies and spokespeople, those humans who can speak in words we can understand, who seem to have animals’ interests in mind)?

If you’re an activist, my guess is you’d like to be listened to. We have to be the change we want to see, so we need to work on our own listening.

Anyway, I can’t recommend these programs highly enough — and there happens to be a Listening Workshop SATURDAY, April 13th, 9am-12:30pm (they ask folks to please be 5 minutes early).

It will be held at the Ithaca Community Childcare Center (IC3), which is a really cool building at 579 Warren Road Ithaca, NY 14850 between the medical campus and Boces on Warren Road. Please bring snacks/beverages, and register at: It is 100% free.