On Wednesday, February 18, we held an Ash Wednesday service at the front gates of Beale Air Force Base. Beale is home of the Global Hawk surveillance drone, which identifies targets for “killer drones” like the Predator and Reaper.
I led the service, together with The Rev. Elizabeth Griswold, pastor of Parkside Community Church (United Church of Christ) in Sacramento; The Rev. Timothy Leighton, United Church of Christ pastor and Campus Minister at UC Davis, Rev. Dave Bunje, retired United Methodist pastor of Nevada City, California, Marcus Page-Collange from the Catholic Worker Farm in Calaveras County, and The Rev. Dr. Jerry Pedersen, a retired Lutheran pastor from Sacramento, a member of Veterans for Peace and former U.S. Marine. The service included an acknowledgement of our dependence on God, our interrelatedness with people of all spiritual traditions, and our interdependence with the whole web of life. It also included prayers of repentance, the use of ashes to represent mortality and repentance, and Holy Communion.
After the service, six participants crossed the line onto base property, carrying an open letter to the base commander and sprinkling ashes representing the ashes of children killed by US drones. We were held for a short time, cited with trespassing charges, and released.
The short videos below can give you a sense of the service and the nonviolent action following the service, including the loud sounds of the U2 spy planes taking off. Peace to all during this holy season of Lent.
Read the story of these events on the Nuclear Resister website.
Follow Sharon’s blog by clicking the “Follow Sharon Delgado” button at the right or by “liking” theS haking the Gates of Hell Facebook page. Other blog postings about actions and trials related to Beale demonstrations can be found here. Stay up to date about ongoing Beale protests at the Occupy Beale AFB website or Occupy Beale Facebook Page.