Drone protesters line up at Beale Air Force Base gates
Appeal-Democrat, Marysville, Calif.
Protesters decrying the use of Global Hawk aircraft in targeting drone attacks in Afghanistan returned to Beale Air Force Base on Monday in demonstrations at both the Wheatland and Doolittle gates.
Eight protesters carried signs, flashed peace signs and sang at South Beale and Ostrom roads for about two hours while a half-dozen more demonstrated on Hammonton-Smartsville Road. Additional protests at the same locations are planned this morning.
"They are killing people," said Barry Binks of Sacramento, wearing a Veterans for Peace shirt and waving to passing motorists. "It is stupid to be in a war with these people."
Binks is one of five demonstrators facing a federal trial later this month in Sacramento on trespassing charges stemming from a similar protest last April. Five others were convicted of trespassing in August.
Motorists were mostly ignoring the protesters between 3:30 p.m.-4 p.m. Monday, though a few returned peace signs to Binks.
"I stand away from the rest of the group and some see my (Veterans for Peace) T-shirt and they seem to think of me a little differently," Binks said. "I have had people salute me a lot of times."
Binks said he served in the U.S. Army in Europe during the Vietnam era.
Officers from the California Highway Patrol and Yuba County Sheriff's Department stopped to chat with protesters and remind them to stay off the road. There were no arrests Monday afternoon.
Shirley Osgood said protesters understand that drones used to bomb targets overseas aren't stationed at Beale. But she said the Global Hawk planes scout targets for the drones and are "accomplices to the civilian killings."