Veggie Voyagers

Couple travelled 30 states and 3 Canadian provinces between 7/07 and 5/08 running their 1987 Ford truck on straight veggie oil. The blog continues with a focus on the natural world and energy politics from a personal perspective

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Pvt. Bradley Manning, Drones, Resurgence

 Despite the rapid onset of summer we had one more spurt of spring rain last night at the Main Gate at Beale Air Force Base where over a dozen of us from all over Northern California had journeyed to protest yet again against illegal, immoral drone strikes (as we have for over two years.)
 This is also the week leading up to the trial of Pvt. Bradley Manning. We are all amazed how few people know about him. He was arrested in 2010 in Iraq and charged with releasing classified material to the news medium "WikiLeaks" which made the word "whistleblower" a household word. The only thing I saw, and showed to as many people as I could, was the "Collateral Murder" video which showed US helicopter troops killing an unarmed journalist and other horrors. Manning has undergone torture and secrecy and now heads into trial with Mass Rallies, petition campaigns, ads and even nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. (See
 I include Toby's hairy shoes here not so much as comic relief as a statement about the thorny life of a peace activist. She earned these putting up banners, which she painstakingly made, on fences. Later guards came out and tried to scare us about rattlesnakes and wolf spiders. Then the weather- which was supposed to be partly cloudy and 5MPH winds bent my tent right over me and doused us all good. Then by dawn we were over at the Wheatland Gate where these good activists blocked the road into the base for about an hour until the CHP came. Renee said, "maybe it was worth getting the service people mad at us if we saved a life from being killed by a drone attack."
 Lastly, Toby just had her birthday and Flora turns 40 on Friday. She holds a sign that says, Peace Is Its Own Reward. I think that is worth bearing in mind when all the intensity of the world is pressing in on us. We must do what we are called to do but we must also outreach, educate and agitate beyond what we are comfortable with in order to widen the discourse and be "seen" by a powerful country that has very little use for free speech and free press and open dialogue on controversial practices. WE are the ones that must make this happen so I really appreciate those who pushed through their reservations to block the road today. We respect the many reasons people want to get to work on time and how frustrated they get but perhaps something good will come of it if we keep Peace in our hearts and push on to stop the atrocities of U.S. war crimes.


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