I'm guessing this didn't happen, because ya know, you didn't hear about it. This is about the size of that tea party protest on the capital during the recent budget 'crisis' that received national media attention. It's probably 5 times the number who burned the holy Qu'oran in Florida. 37 people who protest at Hancock Air Base near Syracuse against the use of drones are arrested Friday Published: Friday, April 22, 2011, 6:53 PM Updated: Friday, April 22, 2011, 7:36 PM
By Dave Tobin / The Post-Standard
Gary Walts / The Post-StandardShelley Lovelace (left), of Trumansburg, was among the protesters outside the Air National Guard base at Hancock Air Base, in DeWitt, on Friday to demonstrate against the military use of drones in Afghanistan. Enlarge Gary Walts Demonstrators Protest Miltary Use of Drones
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DeWitt, NY -- Dozens of war protesters were arrested Friday afternoon outside the main entrance of the New York Air National Guard’s base at Hancock Field.
Thirty seven protesters, draped with red-spattered sheets, had lain themselves in the main entrance roads to the base, off East Molloy Road. They were arrested by Onondaga County Sheriff’s deputies on charges of trespassing and obstruction of justice.
They were handcuffed and, after a 45-minute wait, were led to a jail transport bus that was supposed to take them to the Onondaga County Justice Center for processing. Two were in wheel chairs.
The arrests followed a rally outside the air base where more than 150 people had gathered to protest the MQ-9 Reaper drones, and U.S. military involvement in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. Drone Protesters Rally in Syracuse
Drone protesters rally in Syracuse, with a final protest outside the Air National Guard Base at Hancock. Thirty-seven people were arrested following a demonstration. Video by Gary Walts / The Post-Standard Watch video
Friday’s rally culminated a week of walks, talks and dinners that brought people from around New York State and the U.S., organized by the Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars.
“Our real goal is to end the war,” said Kathy Kelly, a peace activist from Chicago.
Speaker after speaker said the drones represent a new stage of dehumanizing war, kill and maim many civilians. “They terrorize people we don’t want to terrorize,” said Elliott Adams, a Veterans for Peace member from Sharon Springs, NY.
The 174th Fighter Wing of the New York Air National Guard has been remotely flying MQ-9 Reaper drones over Afghanistan, from Syracuse, since late 2009. The unmanned surveillance aircraft is armed with Hellfire missiles and laser-guided bombs.
The 174th is the first Air National Guard unit to fly MQ-9s, and the first Air Force-affiliated unit east of the Mississippi to fly them.
Major Jeff Brown, spokesman for the 174th, said the unit was proud of their mission. “We are proud of the role we play protecting the lives of military men and women on the ground, in harm’s way,” he said. “This state-of-the-art technology saves American lives on a daily basis.”
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