Six military veterans were among 13 people arrested at Beale Air Force Base near Marysville early Tuesday morning as they attempted to deliver an “indictment” charging President Obama, the Beale base commander, drone pilots and others with “crimes against peace and crimes against humanity.”
All 13 demonstrators — who were handcuffed about 8 a.m. — were released after about two hours with misdemeanor charges. They are to appear in U.S. District Court. They face up to six months in prison.
The Veterans Spring Days Drone Action temporarily blocked traffic at the two busiest gates entering Beale AFB, the home to Global Hawk (Surveillance drone), the U2 and the MC12 Liberty aircraft, and as the protestors claim, all participants in the so-called “war on terror.”
This is the most people arrested in a single action at Beale AFB. Dozens have been arrested protesting drones at Beale AFB in the past year, including more than a dozen people and members of the clergy on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday this year. Three federal trials have been held, and earlier this month, a lone protestor was found not guilty in U.S. Court in Sacramento.
The Indictment delivered Tuesday says, in part: “We, the people, charge the United States President, Barack Obama, and the full military chain of command, including Commander Phillip A. Stewart, every drone crew and service member at Beale Air Force Base with crimes against peace and crimes against humanity, with violations of the supreme law of the land, extrajudicial killings, violation of due process, wars of aggression, violation of natural sovereignty, and killing of innocent civilians …”
Seven who were arrested at the main gate after reading an indictment for war crimes included three veterans: Barry Binks (Sacramento), Richard Gilchrist (Arcata) and Ted Sexauer (Sonoma), along with Cathy Webster (Chico), Shirley Osgood (Grass Valley), Pamela Osgood (Grass Valley) and Devan Phenix (Grass Valley). Six more people were arrested at the Wheatland Gate after reading the same indictment, including three veterans: Michael Kerr (Bay Point)), John Reiger (Sacramento) and Cres Vellucci (Sacramento), along with three others — Bev Fitzpatrick (Fresno), Fred Bialy (El Cerrito) and Catherine Hourcade (Stockton).