Today begins the one-week countdown to our trial for trespassing onto federal property at Beale Air Force Base during an anti-drone protest last October. Our pro-bono lawyers are in high gear, working together to find strategies that will deliver us as little jail time as possible (we are all refusing to pay fines) while spreading the word about the harm being done by U.S. drones. Their job has been made more difficult by the judge’s refusal to allow “the necessity defense,” in which we could argue that we engaged in civil disobedience out of necessity, for the sake of conscience, in order to prevent a greater harm being done by our government and in our name.
Still, we are all in good spirits. We certainly knew the risks when we crossed the line onto base property, and are willing to face the consequences. We appreciate all the prayers and support we have received from so many people. Together with all of you, little by little, we are building a movement strong enough to inspire people to take action for change, to influence public opinion, and ultimately to change government policy and create a more just and peaceful world.
So don’t give up! Don’t allow yourself to be discouraged or paralyzed by the bad news that is coming at us from every direction, or by how puny our efforts seem. There is a power at work in the universe that is far greater than even today’s global system of domination, made up of the interlocking network of political, economic, and military institutions of our age. That power, which brought the universe into being and is the life force of all creatures, is moving through millions and motivating us to rise up, claim our birthright as spiritual beings and moral agents, and take action on behalf of the whole interrelated web of life. That power is Love.
In my last blog I suggested ways that well-wishers could show their support, not just for the five of us who will be standing trial on Monday, but for all peacemakers and for all who suffer the impacts of U.S. military policy, including drone warfare. A fellow defendant suggested a few more actions that supporters can take:
- Signing up on the No Drones listserve to keep abreast of actions around the country;
- Participating in future demonstrations, perhaps including nonviolent civil disobedience, at Beale or at other bases where drones are based;
- Participating in a nonviolent training so they are better prepared to do civil disobedience.
We’ll be there in Sacramento at the U.S. District Court, 501 I Street, at 8:30 sharp next Monday morning. Maybe we’ll see you there.
Go to my previous blog postings on drone warfare for background on this case.