I lived in Syracuse, New York for five years and one of my biggest surprises was to meet a large number of committed peace activists in this very small town. I was impressed by their courage, commitment and their sustained stand against wars and injustice. They started a coalition along with fellow activists in other parts of Upstate New York to protest the establishment of a base to operate drones in places as far as Afghanistan. The perfectly peaceful protests (a few of which I have taken part in) have faced many legal hassles including many incarcerations. This website provides information on the issue and the activities of the coalition.
An excerpt from their mission statement: “We seek to educate the public and Hancock Air Base personnel about the war crimes perpetrated in Afghanistan with the MQ9 Reaper drone piloted from Hancock Air National Guard Base, on the outskirts of Syracuse. It is also our mission to illuminate the perversity of a society that chooses war over all other solutions.
We also seek to educate the public about drone proliferation and the danger of blowback, as well as the surveillance and civil liberties threat the Predator, Reaper and other military robots pose domestically.
Drawing legitimacy from International Law and from the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, Upstate Drone Action members heed our consciences and the Nuremberg mandate to expose and impede our nation’s war crimes. Committed to nonviolent direct action as well as other forms of public education, members periodically endure arrest, trial and even incarceration”.