Federal Trespass vs. War Crimes

Sunset Main Gate Beale AFB 12/24/2014

Sunset Main Gate Beale AFB 12/24/2014

My Letter to the Base Commander

My Letter to the Base Commander

Last night I got to the Main Gate at Beale AFB right before dusk and there were no other protestors there. One of the young men from the base walked out to tell me I couldn’t take photos toward the base as I was taking photos of horses and the sunset. Soon Shirley, Barry, Sharon and her husband came and we had a lovely little potluck. All were either gone, in their cars or in the case of Selkie and I, in our tents, by 8pm.



IMG_4491First thing in the morning we were out with our signs. I had decided to cross onto the base and give a handwritten letter I’d written (on the back of a commemorative photo of Michael demonstrating with Vets for Peace.)

Shirley had already been arrested four times at Beale but she chose to accompany me and that gave me strength.

We spoke to plainclothes military first and then were put in the gatehouse… unhandcuffed, to be “processed.” In the meantime, someone from Public Relations came and I impressed on him how important it was to give my letter to the Base Commander. If I wasn’t so tired I’d quote it here but it will take awhile to transcribe it… I’ll run it in the paper as a Letter to the Editor.

After a space of time we were released and the plainclothesman took our group photo and we watched the Global Hawk drone take off. (This surveillance drone is different than the manned U-2 that you see in the photo with John and Pam. It is used to target humans for annihilation without trial or even credible evidence… One example, 6 people killed in a drone strike on a house in Pakistan this month.. that’s all we know and all we are likely to ever hear about this.)

At the end of our time at Beale I visited the little olive tree planted in Michael’s memory. It is hard to guess what he would have said about me getting Federal Trespass charges today but I have no regrets. This is our only planet. I don’t want to go to jail but neither do I want to stand aside from what is happening to rob us of peace and a healthy planet. I’m grateful there are others who agree with me on the need to be engaged and are trying to bring about the world we want. In the wake of the Ferguson decision (last evening,) we can see how far we have to go.



9 thoughts on “Federal Trespass vs. War Crimes

  1. Shirley, getting arrested with you was easy… I was honored to do it. Here was the statement with the Base Commander’s name changed to reflect that change:

    Base Commander Lee:
    (My husband Michael Pike died in September of Agent Orange related cancer.) My husband was Special Forces in Vietnam and came to regret his role in the war and what the US government did. I am here today in loving memory of that fine man to ask you to stop your role in the kill chain which uses the Northrup Grumman Global Hawk drone to identify human targets for extrajudicial execution. This is neither lawful (international and higher law) nor moral and you must know that. Horrible acts, like drone strikes, are leading to the atrocities we are seeing now. Inhumanity met with inhumanity.
    The media didn’t even report that six people were killed when drone missiles were fired at a home on Nov. 20th in Pakistan. Who were they? What was their crime? Will anyone be held accountable? What is the value of a human life?
    I believe my country has lost its moral compass and believe that the newest path to “boots on the ground” in Iraq and Afghanistan is doomed to fail because we have lost our way. At the same time our young service members will lose their lives, their limbs and their mental health. What a shame!
    I’m asking you to do the right thing. First, to publicly discuss the ethical issues brought forward by the drone policy. Second, to put a moratorium on drone surveillance and targeting. Third, to join those working for peace in seeking diplomatic non-violent avenues in working with those who would do us harm. Reassert American ingenuity in helping failed states (like Iraq… because of our overthrow of the dictator we had previously supported,) and moving toward justice (e.g. stand up to Israeli ethnic cleansing of Palestinian people.)
    There is much you can do in your position with courage and truth to guide you.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family and all those in your power to help.

    Chris Nelson RN, Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
    Chico, Ca.


    • Please publish this letter on every place you can….. father afield even than Chico. Send it everywhere and anywhere you can. Fly and let fly…. see who will print it. How can I help?


  2. Toby Blome says:

    Dearest Chris, What a beautiful Thanksgiving morning message to wake up to! I’m am so in awe of all the people that just keep coming forward unexpectedly to be courageous and cross the trespass line for peace and justice. Your very heartfelt message to the Commander at Beale warms my heart. Happy Day to you….
    spending special time with my Turkish family in Phoenix, whom I rarely get to see.

    Many thanks and hope to see you soon! Toby


  3. I guess I am sufficiently ready to send it to editors. I made a wreath, cut beautiful fall branches for a centerpiece, made cookies and lasagna (I don’t do tradition.) We eat at 5pm and it is quiet here with the sun wanting to set. I’ll get excerpts out to the local media in Chico, Nevada City and Marysville. Thank you for the encouragement. It just felt like something small but it really wasn’t so I must climb on the bigness and use it as a platform for what is needed. Love.


  4. Tom Gascoyne says:

    Chris I’m trying to get in touch with you to find out what happened last week. Were you cited for trespassing at Beale on Nov. 25? Please contact me. Tom Gascoyne Chico News&Review 894-2300 ext. 2245.


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