Central New York

Protests Against Use of Military Drones Take Place in Central New York

A Military Drone. (c) 2011 AP. Photo by Massoud Hossaini

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Drones Transcript

A small group of protesters meet every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month to demonstrate against the use of Unmanned Military Drones. These protests known as ‘Street Heat’ take place outside of Hancock Air Base. The organizer of these protests Edward Kinane has strong words about the goals of his groups civil disobedience:

“We are trying to expose the war crimes that are being committed at Hancock Air Force Base.” Kinane believes, that in this case the war crimes are the use of Reaper Drones by the United States Military in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Kinane says, anywhere between 2 to 15 people show up for these protests. He classifies these demonstrations as “scrupulously nonviolent” most of these protests consists of Kinane and his group members holding signs that signify their displeasure with the Drone program. The time of these bi-weekly meetings is picked strategically, Kinane says.

“We try to be at the Base at shift change to try and educate the personnel on Base.”

Even though these gatherings at the Air Base have been going on for more than a decade Kinane says that communication with officials at the base is almost nonexistent.

“Their a clandestine, highly classified operation. In the early years we tried to reach out to them and tried to suggest they have public forums. But they didn’t want to go anywhere near that.”

According to Syracuse.com, in 2017 Hancock Air Base received $6.8 million in government funding to expand its Drone training operations.

For more information about the Street Heat program, go to upstatedroneaction.org