In November 2009, I joined a caravan of peace activists that gathered at Travis AFB in Fairfield, Ca to head to Creech AFB in Nevada where many of the drone strikes in Afghanistan are coordinated and controlled from.
We were scheduled to stop at several AFBs along the way to protest this particularly inhumane practice, but I have to say that our Travis AFB stop started us off with a bang.
There were about 12 of us on the caravan and as we got out of our cars at the main gate of Travis, we were loudly and aggressively accosted by an old man wearing a very tight military uniform. Of course, he screamed all of the clichés like: “traitors,” “cowards,” and the ubiquitous, “why don’t you get a job.” However, usually the war-niks don’t physically cross-over to the peace side, but this one did.
We formed our small protest holding banners and we did the dance with the Military Police of where we could stand, where we couldn’t stand, etc—and we were just getting ready to get back in our cars when the Veteran approached me and started yelling in my ear as I was giving a statement to the local press that were gathered.
I turned around to him to tell him to get out of my space, when he put his face directly into my bullhorn, while still screaming his inanities and insanities. At that time he violently slapped my bullhorn and threateningly stepped towards me, then some of the other ladies there stepped between us.
We tried to get the Fairfield PD, who were there to make sure our contingent of women (many who had to be physically helped in and out of our rented van) didn’t get out of hand, to arrest the man, but they said they would have to arrest us, too—because it was a “he-said, she-said” thing. (Yeah, right—they were right there and the video shows them placidly looking on while I was being accosted).
After some arguing with the police, we decided to leave and head to the next base, and we were rolling out of the parking lot when the Fairfield PD pulled ME over and gave me a ticket for “obstructing traffic.” That would be shocking if it weren’t so predictable. The officer that pulled me over had on a US Marines headband—hmmm?
To make a long story short, after 10 months of pre-lims, etc, I have to go to another hearing for a citation. It’s not a life and death situation, but it’s the “death of 1000 cuts” that steals our time and resources to try and wear us down.
The hearing is this Wednesday in Fairfield at the court at 8:30am, but from 7am to 8am, many of us will go back to Travis AFB to protest the usage of drones that has dramatically increased in the last ten months since the incident that I have described.
For example, just in Pakistan, during the entire eight-year war crime, more commonly known as the Bush Administration, there were 42 drone strikes. Just in the first 21 months of the current War Crime Administration, there have been 132—that’s an increase in raw numbers of over 300% in far less time. If Obama is president for eight-years, like Bush, his totals will surpass 600 strikes killing thousands more innocent people.
As the people of the Pakistani regions that are being targeted by these strikes correctly deduce, the Pakistani military, or government, or both are collaborating with the CIA in these strikes, the prediction that we made almost a year ago that these continuous strikes will further destabilize Pakistan are coming true.
Yes, of course, I have a hundred better things to do than go to Fairfield and protest the drone bombings and sit in a courtroom for a BS citation, but we have to keep standing up against our government for peace as they keep standing up for war.
Demo at the Main Gate of Travis AFB
7am to 8am
Travis AFB CA, 94535
Take Air Base Parkway off of Interstate 80 and go south to the end of the road to the Main Gate.
Court for me
Solano County Superior Court
600 Union Ave.
Fairfield, Ca 94533