Tag Archives: Davis-Monthan

Down with Drones: Protest at Ft. Huachuca Today

Dronebanner-sm72by Pamela Powers Hannley

Southern Arizona peace activists have organized a anti-drone protest outside of Fort Huachuca today, Monday, April 29.

Drones are a big deal in Southern Arizona. Ft. Huachuca, Davis-Monthan, Raytheon, the University of Arizona, and Cochise College– all have a piece of the military industrial complex's drone pie, and if our esteemed US Senators have there way, more money for drones along the Arizona-Mexico border, more money for militarization of the border overall, and more money (and customers) for private prisons will be attached to "imigration reform" legislation.

Sorry for the late notice about this action, but here's the information from the organizers:

We invite you to participate in a day of peaceful  demonstration on Monday April 29th, 2:30-4:00 PM at the Fort Huachuca Main Gate, Sierra Vista AZ   Since 2004 over 4,700 deaths are attributed to Dronestrikes, civilian deaths remain unconfirmed though unfortunately post-strike photos show many children are among the lost. We’re encouraging a coalition of community voices, faith based, political, sectarian, to express concern regarding the ethical, moral, spiritual implications of the use of drone technology in warfare and the equally problematic domestic privacy concerns.  Literature will be available but we encourage you to bring signs, share information, prayers, let your voice be heard.  Participation could make all the difference in bringing attention to this critical issue.

Help Us Make a Difference!! Thank You!  JOIN US!

Martha McSally: Warrior woman hides from questions, constituents, inconsistencies

If there were a race between Senator Jon Kyl and former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who would you vote for?

The CD2 race is just that. Former Kyl employee Martha McSally is running against former Giffords employee Ron Barber.

Whose legacy would better serve Southern Arizona? That of a right-wing, anti-woman, every-man-for-himself, war-monger who never ventured south of his Tucson Foothills office or that of a reasoned, pro-choice, pro-public health Blue Dog who wasn’t afraid to meet constituents?

As a long-time resident of Giffords’ district, my experiences yesterday made up my mind. Yesterday, I thought I was going to meet the Warrior Woman who hopes to take the CD2 seat– you know, the one who says she “resemble[s] Gabby Giffords more than the man who worked for her”– but she was a no show.

McSally is no Gabby Giffords

Giffords was not afraid to face constituents and answer tough questions. McSally apparently doesn’t have the nerve to answer questions that are not softballs from right-wing commentators. (Sounds like something Jon Kyl would do, huh?)

I had a scheduled interview with McSally to discuss women’s issues (since she now claims to fight for women’s rights, while being anti-choice); the multiple inconsistencies in her platform (believing in the “sanctity of life”, while flying 325+ hours as a bomber) pilot; and rumors circulating about her two-year marriage to Donald Henry in 1997 (what’s up with that annulment in Santa Cruz County, when you were married and lived in Pima County).

When I showed up at her office, video gear in tow, I was given mush-mouth excuses from her press secretary and campaign manager. “Gosh, she’s so busy.” (My guess is they Googled me and said, Yikes– we’re not talking with her!)

Not surprised that McSally bailed on a video interview with a feminist who wanted to ask about women’s issues, I went to her constituent event at Nimbus, down the street. I waited with about 30 old white folks on the Nimbus patio for 45 minutes. Eventually, McSally staffers said, “Gosh… she’s so busy. She doesn’t have time to come and talk with you all today. Scheduling conflicts, you know… blah, blah, blah.” Since when does a politician in a tight race not have time for a meeting with rich, old white folks?   (Was it something I tweeted?)

More unanswered questions about Martha McSally after the jump.

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Peace activist Medea Benjamin on drone warfare (video)

by Pamela Powers Hannley

Traditionally, war is a messy business– all that blood, sweat, and tears– not to mention danger, death, destruction, dismembered bodies, human suffering, nightmares, guilt, wasted taxpayer dollars, mounting deficit spending… you know the drill. (Pun intended.)

In recent years, the US military-industrial complex has made war less messy and less dangerous, at least for a select group of American soldiers. Drone pilots sit in secure bunkers and, armed with banks of sophisticated computer hardware, “fly” unmanned killing machines.

Drones– killing machines aimed at faceless targets– AKA fellow human beings– thousands of miles away.

No-muss, no-fuss drone warfare is no less deadly, destructive, or perverse than traditional war. It’s just easier and cleaner– just like playing the same violent video game day after day.

Although you hear about drones in the news, there is never any real analysis or detailed reporting of what the US is doing. Recently, Code Pink co-founder and author of the book Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control Medea Benjamin gave an eye-opening talk to an audience of about 60 Tucson activists. Personally, I was shocked how deeply entrenched in drone warfare Tucson already is. Davis-Monthan, The University of Arizona, Raytheon, and Fort Huachuca all have ties to the drone business. According to Benjamin, Fort Huachuca trains more drone pilots than any other facility in the world.

Last winter, Mayor Rothschild, then Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' office, and the  Davis-Monthan 50 held a press conference promoting Tucson and DM as a drone warfare center. (You can see the Tucson Sentinel’s raw raw footage here above and in KVOA’s edited news footage here.) We already have a dearth of good-paying jobs in Tucson that are not connected to the military industrial complex. Why court more

 Videos of the Benjamin talk after the jump.

Click here for a USTREAM video of Benjamin's entire one-hour talk. Below is a Loneprotestor video of the event.


Down with drones.

Give peace a chance.


Medea Benjamin on drone warfare: Aug 2 in Tucson

Drone forum flyer

by Pamela Powers Hannley

Remote-controlled warfare with flying drones is the United States' new no-muss, no-fuss way to minimize US casualities and maximize remote destruction.

Although around the world the US is using drones to destroy lives and property, here at home, there is increasing concern over the use of drones to spy on US citizens.

Drones are also big business; thousands of jobs nationwide are attached to drone building, drone training, drone research and development, and drone flying.. In recent months, both Tucson and Phoenix have vied for pieces of the drone killing war machine.  As cities and airforce bases compete for drone jobs, activists have been rallying against the killing machines.

To learn more about drones, drone warfare, and how this seemingly remote problem affects your life, come hear author and activist Medea Benjamin at a free event on August 2 at the Main Library downtown.

Benjamin is the co-founder of the anti-war group Code Pink, founding director of the human rights and social justice group Global Exchange, and author of Drone Warfare, Killing by Remote Control

For background on drone-related activities at Davis Monthan Airforce Base and other bases, check out this document.

More details about Benhamin's talk after the jump.

Here is ther press release from the organizers…

Free Public Educational Forum on Drones

Drones, those unmanned remotely-controlled aerial surveillance devices, are at the center of partisan rancor with Republicans accusing President Obama of using them as an electioneering technique to win favor with voters. Technological advances have sped the development and deployment of drones into public as well as private realms, and the impacts, though far-reaching, have not been adequately explored and publicized.

Tucsonans will have the opportunity to pose questions to Medea Benjamin, an internationally renowned activist who has recently written a book on drone warfare, at a free public educational forum on Thursday, August 2, 2012, 3:30-5:30 pm, at the lower level conference room of the downtown Joel Valdez Library, 101 N. Stone Avenue.

A panel of local media and political personalities will pose questions, their own and those from the audience members, to Medea Benjamin. This non-partisan event is not hosted by any group or organization. Invitations for a representative to serve as a counterpart to Medea were issued to Davis Monthan Air Force Base and Raytheon, but both refused the offer.

This forum is intended to serve as a role model for respectful civic engagement over an issue that is of extreme importance to all of us. It is an attempt to identify objective data that will serve as a foundation for future policy decisions.

Any questions can be directed to Mary DeCamp, mdecamp@q.com.