Two conscientious nonviolent activists, Brian Terrell and Ron Faust, were convicted on Monday of trespassing, for having attempted to deliver a document listing concerns about drones to the commander of Whiteman Air Force Base near Jefferson City, Mo., last April. A third protester, Mark Kenney of Omaha, Neb., is serving a four-month sentence after having pled guilty in June to trespassing.
Veterans For Peace members were among those participating in a demonstration last April, and again on Monday, in support of Faust and Terrell, who will be sentenced in the coming weeks. Veterans For Peace applauds nonviolent resistance to the illegal and immoral use of drones, and stands in solidarity with those taking these risks to serve their country and the world.
Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark was not permitted by the court to testify on the illegality of drone killings. VFP member and retired colonel Ann Wright was permitted to testify, and said afterwards, “The most dangerous trespass is of heavily weaponized assassin drones from the United States into Pakistani, Yemeni and Somali sovereign land, not of three unarmed civilians giving notice to bring a letter filled with words onto heavily protected federal property asking for drone strikes to end.”
Judge Magistrate Matt J. Whitworth’s ruling disagreed.
The Associated Press reports: Missouri Aanti-War Protesters Goingl
“We were there not to commit a crime, but to prevent one,” Terrell said [in court], describing seeing in person a 9-year-old girl in an Afghani refugee camp missing an arm from what he said was a wayward drone strike. . . . Faust compared drone strikes to ‘premeditated murder’ that cheapen the value of human life by allowing shooters to be as detached from their targets as video game players.”
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Veterans For Peace was founded in 1985 and has approximately 5,000 members in 150 chapters located in every U.S. state and several countries. It is a 501(c)3 non-profit educational organization recognized as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) by the United Nations, and is the only national veterans’ organization calling for the abolishment of war.