Activists (2 from Wis.) go on trial for demanding an end to the CIA'S killer drone program

Members of the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance [NCNR] have been active in challenging U.S. invasions and attacks of Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries.  Frequently NCNR members have been arrested, and then in court speak out against such U.S. policies. On May 23, 2013 members of NCNR filed a criminal complaint with the U.S. attorney’s office in Alexandria, Virginia against the CIA’s use of drone strikes to assassinate people in various countries, including Pakistan. The citizen activists never received a response. 

Subsequently, NCNR gathered some 200 signatures on a letter to CIA Director John Brennan seeking a meeting to discuss ending the assassination program.  Again there was no response. On June 29, 2013 six activists went to the Central Intelligence Agency hoping to arrange a meeting with CIA officials.  While a CIA representative accepted the letter, he would not speak with the petitioners.  So these petitioners engaged in a die-in to represent the victims of the assassination program.  The police then arrested Joy First, Mt. Horeb, WI, Malachy Kilbride, Arlington, VA, Max Obuszewski, Baltimore, MD, Phil Runkel, Milwaukee, WI, Cindy Sheehan, Vacaville, CA, and   Janice Sevre-Duszynska, Lexington, KY, and charged them with “enter or remain on installation without authorization.”  Now they are scheduled for trial.

WHEN: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 at 9 AM

WHERE: U.S. District Court, 401 Courthouse Square, Alexandria, VA

WHY: Activists across the country continue to work to bring an end to the illegal and immoral killer drone strikes which have killed around 3500-4500 people, including hundreds of children, around the globe with no due process. The National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance is one of the groups working against this assassination program.

 When the citizen activists went to the CIA, over 60 people rallied at the gates of the CIA with speakers who have been to Pakistan and who have spoken to families affected by drone strikes. Of course, the CIA would refuse to meet with the activists, as the assassination program wreaks of unlawfulness.  In court the defendants will argue they were authorized to be at the CIA, and should not have been arrested. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution confirms that they were authorized to engage with government representatives: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

NCNR citizen activists believe they have the right and a Nuremberg responsibility to highlight perceived illegal government operations.  Moreover, the Nuremberg trials pointed out that citizens must act to prevent their government from further illegal activities.  

It seems a child has said what most politicians choose to ignore. Malala Yousafzai met with President Obama.  Philip Rucker of THE WASHINGTON POST on Oct. 11, 2013 wrote this: “Yousafzai said she was honored to meet Obama and that she raised concerns with him about the administration's use of drones, saying they are ‘fueling terrorism.’" And killer drone strikes are a blatant disregard of due process and an absolute waste of taxpayer dollars. The defendants intend to raise these points in court, and will continue their efforts to end the CIA’s assassination program, regardless of the verdict.

Contacts:  Malachy Kilbride  571 501-3729,  Max Obuszewski  410 366-1637 or mobuszewski at Verizon.net,  Joy First   608 239-4327