Drone Resister Sentenced to One Year in Prison Base’s Order of Protection Begs Judgement
Drone Resister Sentenced to One Year in Prison
Base’s Order of Protection Begs Judgement
On July 10, grandmother of three, Mary Anne Grady Flores was sentenced to one year in prison for being found guilty of violating an order of protection. A packed courtroom of over 100 supporters was stunned as she was led away, and vowed to continue the resistance. These orders of protection, typically used in domestic violence situations or to protect a victim or witness to a crime, have been issued to people participating in nonviolent resistance actions at Hancock Air Base since late 2012. The base, near Syracuse NY, pilots unmanned Reaper drones over Afghanistan, and trains drone pilots, sensor operators and maintenance technicians. The orders had been issued to “protect” Colonel Earl Evans, Hancock’s mission support commander, who wanted to keep protesters “out of his driveway.”
Mary Anne began her sentencing statement with, “Your honor, a series of judicial perversions brings me here before you tonight.” She concluded that the “final perversion is the reversal of who is the real victim here: the commander of a military base whose drones kill innocent people halfway around the world, or those innocent people themselves who are the real ones in need of protection from the terror of US drone attacks?” The orders of protection are being challenged on many legal grounds.
Here is the original version of Mary
Anne Grady’s sentencing statement,
“Your honor, a series of judicial perversions brings me here before
First, I was convicted of violating an order of protection that
represents a perversion of its intended use to protect victims of
domestic violence. This order allegedly protects the commander of a
military base who said himself under oath that he neither knows me nor
needs protection from me. The real purpose of this order is to stifle
dissent at the base.
Second, as my 11-year old neighbor Lucien reminded me recently, this
order “breaks the law” by perverting my Constitutional rights to
freedom of speech and my right to protest injustice.
Third, my jury trial represented a perversion of justice because the
jury was forbidden to hear three key facts:
all the protesters I photographed that day as their press liaison were acquitted
I myself was previously acquitted for trespassing at the base because
even the police could not specify the base boundaries.
an acting Supreme Court judge ruled that the Order of Protection is
invalid because its language is excessively vague and it shows no
evidence of any threat
A fourth perversion is the reversal of who is the real victim here:
the commander of a military base whose drones kill innocent people
halfway around the world, or those innocent people themselves who are
the real ones in need of protection from the terror of US drone
As I, a nonviolent grandmother of three and caregiver for my
mother, prepare for jail - itself a perversion - I stand before you
remorseful, less for what I have done than for what I have not yet
done to keep my own country from perpetrating its ongoing acts of
violence and injustice.