One . . .
Nick built a model of a Reaper drone.
The Reapers (and Predators) are use to track and kill people around the world. They are used to assassinate people. assassinate. That's a word that makes one think of gangsters or terrorists. But US America is now about assassinating people they label as our enemies. Somebody sits thousands of miles away safe in front of a computer screen tracking and killing people then goes home to have dinner with the family. The killer's family sits at the table, chatting and eating, while that very moment the killer's victims might be a family blown apart and scattered about. It's outrageous and seems inconceivable - but it happens all the time.
Aside from the concept of killing people for any reason, four obvious (to me) problems with this new kind of warfare are:
1. When they track a target in a vehicle or to a building, the operator throws a switch and blows up his/her target. The operator has no idea whether there are other people in the vehicle or building. In fact, thousands of innocent people (not the targets) are murdered by these operators.
2. The operators can not be sure the target is the same person they thought they were targeting and hoping to kill. It might have looked like the 'enemy' or a paid informant may have identified the wrong person or place by accident or on purpose just to collect some money or settle an argument.
3. What ever happened to 'innocent until proven guilty'. Obama has the CIA and the military murdering innocent people at a rate several times greater than the Bush administration. If the people accused Bush of being a 'war criminal', certainly Obama deserves the same label.
4. It is a war crime and a violation of international law.
When Hancock Field at Syracuse became a base for the Reapers, New Yorkers (and others) became more concerned. The military was killing innocent people right from Syracuse. We were now directly involved in this new kind of war-fighting.
Protesters at the gate of Hancock Field in Syracuse
Protests and vigils were held at the gate on a regular schedule and there were large demonstrations at the entrance to the base. This past April, two groups of walkers walked from Ithaca and Ganondagan to Syracuse. Protestors from around the state joined with them and walked to the base on April 22nd. After listening to speakers at the gate, many of these protestors lay in the street blocking the gates. Thirty-eight (38) men and women were arrested.
The Hancock 38 trial begins in the evening on November 1 at the DeWitt courthouse.
Meanwhile people decided to build several of these model drones so they could be used in communities around the state to educate the people.
They constructed and fit the parts . . .
. . . and they were ready.
The drone camp was organized and the models were constructed under the direction of Nick. It started out difficult with extremely uncooperative weather, but the last day was excellent as we assembled, painted, mounted and completed the final touches.