14 January 2016
UNITED STATES: Former CPT Iraq, Palestine, Vieques team
member goes to jail for drone resistance
On 12 January, the National Day of Action to Stop Killer
Drones, grandmother and drone resister Mary Anne Grady Flores learned that
she will go back to jail for six months starting Tuesday, 19 January. Grady Flores served as an intern on the Palestine and Iraq teams and was part of Christian Peacemaker Team’s delegation campaign to stop
the U.S. Navy bombing of the Puerto Rican island of Vieques.
Grady Flores had been out on appeal of a lower court convicting
her of violating an order of protection. Col. Evans of the Hancock Air National Guard
Base 174th Attack Wing (in Syracuse, NY), sought the order to “protect” him
from nonviolent anti-drone activists. The court charged her with violating the order
because she took pictures of eight Catholics protesting the US drone
assassination program at Hancock on Ash Wednesday, 13 February 2013.
Onondaga County Court Judge Miller upheld the lower court conviction. Of note
is that a court acquitted all eight Catholic drone resisters because they went
to uphold law, not break it.
The court and the Base have used orders of protection, typically
given in domestic violence situations, in an attempt to deter protest and
suppress free speech. Judge Miller also upheld a lower court ruling on the
Hancock 17, seventeen nonviolent drone resisters who received orders of
protection, jail time, and fines.
Grady Flores, a grandmother of three, has been a part of The Upstate Coalition to Ground the
Drones and End the Wars, which resists the drone assassination program,
since 2011. According to leaked military documents called the Drone Papers sent
to the Intercept, 90% of drone
assassinations target and kill civilians, including children. On the
National Day of Action, drone resisters were arrested at Creech Air Force Base
(Nevada), Beale AFB (California), and Volk AFB (Wisconsin), and Ramstein AFB,
Germany and in Pakistan, all a part of the worldwide resistance to drones.
Grady Flores received the verdict and sentence by mail, even
though she was originally told to appear in County Court on 22 January to hear
the court’s decision. The letter may have been an attempt to prevent a
courtroom full of supporters with press and cameras attending, as occurred at
the time of her original sentence. On 19 January, she will report to the Dewitt Town Court (5400 Butternut Drive, East Syracuse, NY) at 500 p.m. to be remanded to Jamesville Correctional Facility, East Syracuse NY.