Below is a press release from Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars announcing that drone activist Mary Anne Grady Flores is released on bail, pending appeal. Note that over 50 other activists have been hit with spurious “Orders of Protection.” The battle against the illegitimate use of orders of protection, which are meant to protect victims from their abusers, is not over yet. Read more about the use of Orders of Protection in upstate New York here and here and here.
PRESS RELEASE July 18, 2014 For Immediate Release Contacts: Mary Anne Grady Flores, Ithaca Catholic Worker, 607-280-8797 Ellen Grady, Ithaca Catholic Worker, 607-279-8303 Carol Baum, Syracuse Peace Council, 315-472-5478 or 315-
Drone Activist Mary Anne Grady Flores Released on Appeal of Violation of Order of Protection
July 18, 2014, Syracuse, NY — Last night Mary Anne Grady Flores was released on $5,000 bail from the Syracuse Justice Center after appearing before County Court Judge Thomas J. Miller who granted a stay of execution of her one year sentence, pending appeal of the Order of Protection granted to Col. Earl A. Evans by the DeWitt Town Court judges requiring drone protesters to stay away from the Hancock Airbase.
“The local judges of the Town of DeWitt have helped shut down the protests of the murder of Afghan civilians by drones piloted from the airbase. They have prevented us from exercising our First Amendment rights by issuing the Orders of Protection on behalf of the base,” said John Hamilton of Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones.
Hancock is a training center for drone pilots, technicians and maintenance workers, as well as a hub of drone activities. From the base the unmanned aircraft are flown over Afghanistan, where they kill people, including numerous civilians. Grady Flores, grandmother of three, was the first alleged violator of the 50 drone activists who have been given the Order of Protection in 2012. She was tried and sentenced for a year in jail. Despite being out on bail, she still faces returning to jail. Her appeals process will take months. “There are 30 upcoming trials over the next year. DeWitt Town judges threaten to sentence activists to a year in jail, many of them in their 60’s and 70’s,” said Judy Bello of Rochester. Bello noted that donations are essential to meet the costs of bail for so many as well as $5,000 transcripts for the appeals to move forward.
“This is far from over! The drones are still flying and the killing continues. We invite people to join the non-violent witness at the base,” said Rae Kramer of the Syracuse Peace Council.