Thursday, September 19, 2013

Beale 5

"Anti-drone protesters sentenced: United Methodist clergywoman among 5 arrested at Beale Air Force Base"
2013-09-19 from []:
The five anti-drone protesters arrested for entering Beale Air Force base stand in front of the U.S. District Court in Sacramento. From left are the Rev. Sharon Delgado, Jane Kesselman, Jan and David Hartsough, and Shirley Osgood.

Editor's note: The Rev. Sharon Delgado is founder and Executive Director of Earth Justice Ministries []. She is author of Shaking the Gates of Hell: Faith-Led Resistance to Corporate Globalization (2007, Fortress Press). More information about the protest, Delgado’s statements and updates regarding the case can be found at her blog: [].
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Rev. Sharon Delgado, a United Methodist clergywoman, is among five defendants found guilty of trespass last month in the first trial of anti-drone protestors in California.
The so-called “Beale 5″ were arrested Oct. 30, 2012, at the main gate to Beale Air Force Base, where the Global Hawk drone is based. It flies surveillance for lethal predator drones.
The five were sentenced Sept. 9 in U.S. District Court in Sacramento to 10 hours each of community service for trespassing onto Beale, which is near Marysville.
U.S. District Court Judge Carolyn Delaney acknowledged the defendants were motivated by conscience and by “deeply held ethical and religious beliefs.”
“We were delighted with the light sentence, which sets a precedent for other protesters,” Delgado said. “The judge could have imposed up to six months in jail, a $5,000 fine, and/or five years probation.”
Delgado and co-defendants Shirley Osgood, Janie Kesselman, David Hartsough and Jan Hartsough had engaged in civil disobedience by crossing a line onto Beale Air Force Base last October during a demonstration against the U.S. drone warfare program. Global Hawk surveillance drones, based at Beale, assist in finding targets for weaponized drones.

Vowed to resist evil -
In a statement before the trial, Delgado said: "In the United Methodist Church, at baptism we promise `to accept the freedom and power God gives us to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves.' When I crossed the line at Beale, I was being faithful to my baptismal vows by resisting the evil, injustice, and oppression of U.S. drone warfare."
At the sentencing, Delgado said she is non-repentant. “I think our action was a success,” she declared. “More people are talking about the drone program than they were before this action. I would do it again.”
Degado encouraged others to take action, including nonviolent direct action, to interfere with the U.S. drone program and to stop the most recent rush to war.

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