Activists Arrested, Being Held Prisoner for Bringing a Peace Offering to Wisconsin Drone Base

Activists-Arrested-Being-Held-Prisoner-for-Bringing-a-Peace-Offering-to-Wisconsin-Drone-BaseBy John Vibes

Camp Douglas, WI — Last week, peace activists Brian Terrell and Kathy Kelly were arrested as they attempted to deliver a load of bread and a letter to drone operators working at Volk Field, an air base where drones are launched. On behalf of a group called Creative Nonviolence, Terrell and Kelly were hoping to deliver their peace offering to a few drone operators and hopefully have a conversation.

However, they were quickly arrested for trespassing on the airbase.

Before her arrest, Kathy Kelly said:

Living alongside ordinary people who can’t escape drone surveillance in places like Iraq, Gaza and Afghanistan and knowing that a drone operator could be ordered to assassinate civilians who have nowhere to turn and nowhere to hide affected my conscience. I wanted to ask drone operators in Volk Field whether they had been asked to target any people for possible assassination that day. I want to ask how the base training manual teaches people to distinguish between civilians and armed combatants. If an operator wants to quit, what does the commander of Volk Field do?

Brian Terrell also explained his opposition to the base, saying that:

Wisconsin is where I was born and raised and so I feel that coming to Volk Field is a responsibility that I owe in gratitude to my home state. The premise that drones will limit the parameters of war and make for fewer civilian casualties has proven false. General Stanley McChrystal, who led troops in Afghanistan from June 2009 to June 2010, warned that the drone ‘lowers the threshold for taking operations because it feels easy, there’s a danger in that.’ And yet the evolution of drones in the militaries of many countries around the globe has been anything but cautious. Instead, there is a reckless proliferation of this deadly technology.

The two were arrested and held overnight by local officials, and were denied their request to enter a no contest plea. The day after their arrests they were arraigned from their jail cells via a video conference link with Judge Curran from the Juneau County jail.

“Oh, I get what’s happening here. You have some people out there who will give you a gold star and a pat on the back for being so courageous,” Judge Curran said during the hearing.

Terrell contested the judge’s decision, saying that “It would save the county, the court and everyone involved time and trouble if the judge would accept the no contest plea, and go right to sentencing. I don’t understand why a pre-trial conference was scheduled when we haven’t asked for a trial.”

Judge Curran responded, “It’s not necessary for you to understand the process of this court, that’s why God made lawyers.”

The judge was obviously just giving them a hard time because they were activists, and prolonging their experience in the court system to waste their time.

John Vibes is an author and researcher who organizes a number of large events including the Free Your Mind Conference. He also has a publishing company where he offers a censorship free platform for both fiction and non-fiction writers. You can contact him and stay connected to his work at his Facebook page. You can purchase his books, or get your own book published at his website

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11 Comments on "Activists Arrested, Being Held Prisoner for Bringing a Peace Offering to Wisconsin Drone Base"


  2. Imagine that, did they not know of the free speech zone they can stand in to submit their opinion to the ether.

  3. TYRANNY. Impeachable.

  4. Could easily have sent these two harmless people packing, instead they have them arrested for threatening a military base with free bread.

    So THIS is why God made lawyers! I knew there had to be a reason.

  5. did they get their gold star?

  6. Curran, another pretentious judge who doesn’t understand his job, and you wonder why judicial corruption is rife in the US!

  7. As someone who worked in the defense industry for thirty years, I understand the military’s “logic” for having drones: Minimize the losses of pilots from our side while in high threat environments. I understand the need to train drone pilots as well. But Wisconsin? Really? Seems like the millions of acres of desert in Nevada would be a far more suitable training environment, (and it is!) where civilians and property have less of an opportunity to be harmed or damaged in a training mishap. And while I applaud these peace activists for their “good intentions”, I find it grossly naive on their part to wander, unannounced and without prior notice, into a secured site that facilitates the training of drone pilots, as that mission profile probably has aspects that are classified. It’s a good way to get hurt, and badly. The typical penalty for such an unauthorized incursion can be up to two years in a federal prison. So me thinks they got off easy…

    • Your post sounds so sane and reasonable, and a rather fine example of the kind of programming those in the military take as sane. Me thinks it’s the drone pilots who kill innocent civilians from their easy chairs who get off easy. They are actually dangerous, mindless murderers, whereas a couple of harmless anti-war activists end up in jail because they didn’t follow standard visitation protocol and you think it’s kinda funny and cute. Me thinks you’re all insane.

  8. This “Judge” thinks he’s better than everyone who isn’t indoctrinated into the club (Bar). Typical pawn who thinks that his position exists to lord over the “rubes” of modern day. If you didn’t drop 1/4 mil on “education” , you must be of a lesser sort. Give them power (with mandates), money (with strings), and they will willingly do the bidding of the elite. Wearing the black robe suits the position of a turd with an inflated ego. The whole judicial system is a sham, and laws are passed to suppress, not to serve the public.

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