2014 Midwest Catholic Worker and Veterans for Peace Faith and Resistance Retreat Report
MARCH 15, SATURDAY RALLY NEWS RELEASE AND FLYER
MARCH 17, MONDAY ST. PATRICKS DAY WITNESS NEWS RELEASE (WITH LIST OF THOSE ARRESTED AND GROUP STATEMENT) PLUS INDICTMENT DELIVERED BY GROUP
2014 MIDWEST CATHOLIC WORKER FAITH AND RESISTANCE RETREAT REPORT, SCHEDULE, NONVIOLENCE GUIDELINES AND AUDIO LINKS OF PRESENTERS
30 min interview with Kathy Kelly by Irene Rodriguez, KGNU Radio
PHOTOS/VIDEOS/AUDIO SATURDAY MARCH 15 RALLY AND MONDAY MARCH 17 WITNESS
March 15 Rally Photos:
March 15 Rally Videos:
March 17 Witness Photos:
2014 March 17 - St. Pat’s Drone Protest - DM IA 35 Photos mostly by Ellen Grady
March 17 Witness Videos:
DES MOINES REGISTER COVERAGE
Protesters rally against drone warfare at Iowa National Guard base" by Katherine Klingseis, DM Register March 15, 2014
About 100 protesters rallied against drone warfare and U.S. overseas military occupation in Des Moines on Saturday morning.
Protesters from across the country gathered at the Iowa Air National Guard Base in Des Moines, 3100 McKinley Ave., to participate in the rally. Des Moines Catholic Worker and the Des Moines Veterans for Peace chapter organized the rally.
The protest took place at the Iowa Air National Guard Base in Des Moines because the Iowa Air National Guard’s 132nd Fighter Wing will be involved in a mission piloting and controlling armed Reaper Drones.
“It brings war directly, physically to Des Moines,” said Gilbert E. Landolt, president of the Des Moines Veterans for Peace chapter. “I don’t think the people of Iowa know what’s going on.”
Organizers of the event said the rally was meant to raise awareness of drone warfare.
“I hope people will be inspired to do research and form their own opinions (on drone warfare),” said Julie Brown, the emcee for the rally and Des Moines Catholic Worker.
The rally featured several speakers from across the country. One speaker was Daniel Hale, an Afghanistan war veteran who worked on a mission involving drones.
Hale, who now lives in Virginia, said he began the mission believing drones were “a necessary evil” to help people in Afghanistan.
“The idea being sold was drones are cleaner, more sophisticated,there’s less room for error,” Hale said.
Now, Hale is against the use of drones, saying there’s “no clean way of doing things in war.” He also said drone warfare shows “the overwhelming trust in intelligence.”
Kathy Kelly, a three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee, said at the protest that drones do not give the United States information on the poor and malnourished people in Afghanistan.
Kelly advocated for money to be used to help nourish children instead of to deploy troops to Afghanistan. She said it costs $2.1 million per year for each soldier in Afghanistan and “5 cents to get iodine into the diet of a malnourished child.”
“You have to weigh the options,” Kelly said.
The rally ended after protesters laid flowers on the ground at the entrance of the Iowa National Guard base. Brown said the rally was a
success, but it was “one small step in the long range.”
Some Midwest Catholic Workers also plan to commit nonviolent civil disobedience beginning at 9:30 a.m. Monday at the Iowa National Guard base.
"Seven arrested protesting drones in Des Moines” by Regina Zilbermints, DM Register, March 17, 2014
Seven activists were arrested outside the Iowa Air National Guard base in Des Moines protesting the U.S. military’s use of drones.
The 30-person protest was smaller than a Saturday rally at the base that attracted 100 people but was the only event that escalated to arrests in an annual week of anti-war rallies and meetings organized by the Catholic Worker and Veterans for Peace.
The Iowa Air National Guard’s 132nd Fighter Wing is in the process of transitioning from maintaining and flying a fleet of F-16s to missions involving remotely piloted aircraft.
“Iowa is known for being the Field of Dreams. This is making Iowa into killing fields,” said Catholic Worker Frank Cordaro, who helped organize the event. “This is making my neighborhood a legitimate war target.”
Monday morning, about 30 people carrying signs, including one bearing the theme of the protest - “Cast the snakes and drones out of Iowa” - gathered in front of the air base at 3100 McKinley Avenue.
Chet Guinn, 85, a retired Methodist minister from Des Moines, was one of seven planning to risk arrest.
“As a pastor I’m opposed to war. Look at what it’s doing,” he said, holding photos of children injured in drone strikes. “It’s killing children. How can we be silent?”
After the group had marched to the end of the driveway into the base, Jim Haber read a prepared statement.
“We recognize the slaughter of war always requires war makers to dehumanize the victims,” he said. “Reliance on drones exacerbates the dehumanization.”
Then Guinn and six others from Des Moines, Minnesota and New York who had volunteered to be arrested approached the gate and read what they called an indictment against the use of drones.
The sound of their chant mingled with an announcement from inside the base demanding the protesters move.
After they refused they were arrested, charged with trespass and released. As the arrests were happening, Haber read the names of people killed by drones.
The base in Iowa is one of several across the country being targeted by anti-war groups because of their shift to drone warfare.
In Iowa, the next event will be a speech by journalist and author Jeremy Scahill.
LINKS TO OTHER NEWS COVERAGE
“Protestors Rally Against Drone Warfare” ABC Channel 5 News Des Moines March 15, 2014
“Seven arrested in protest outside Iowa Air National Guard base” by
Dar Danielson, March 17, 2014 Radio Iowa
“Seven arrested in anti-drone protest” by Alison Sullivan, The Globe
Gazette Mason City Globe Gazette March 17, 2014
“The new center of Obama’s drone war shifts locations” by Joshua
Keating, Slate, March 19, 2014
“Groups: 7 arrested in Iowa after drones protest” at ctpost.com
“New Drone Training at Iowa Base Met with Resistance” The Nation Report, Mar 17, 2014
LIST OF PAST MIDWEST CW F&R RETREATS 2003 to 2013
2010 - Works of Mercy - Chicago, IL
2006 - Military Recruitment - Columbia, MO
2005 - Alliant Tec - Minneapolis, MN
2004 - STRATCOM - Omaha, NE
2003 - Monsanto - St Louis, MO