Staff Report

“The government accuses us of breaking the law…I see it differently… I crossed the line at Beale Air Force Base because my government is violating international law. I was being faithful to a higher law – the law of love… These people are our neighbors… They are being killed without trial, without a judge, jury, or defense, outside the parameters of international law…For me, inaction is complicity, silence is consent.”

Sharon Delgado stood before the federal courthouse in downtown Sacramento on August 12, and spoke these words to explain her decision to trespass over the “demarcation line” established by military personnel outside the main gate of Beale Air Force Base. With four other protesters against the U.S. drone warfare campaign, David and Janet Hartsough, Jane Kesselman, and Shirley Osgood, she was ready for trial on this August morning. Each protester faced six months in prison and a $5000 fine.
At her feet, bright banners had been spread across the plaza in front of the courthouse, each painted with panels that portrayed the children in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, and Somalia who have been killed by drones. Shirley
Shirley Osgood
, also facing trial, read some of the hundreds of names of the kids under years old. The panels showed the children waving, running, working in the garden. There was one panel of a baby in a crib.

The “Beale Five” were convicted in a one day trial by a magistrate, without the jury they had earlier requested. Sentencing will be held on September 9, 2013, and supporters are urged to attend.

(See the July/August issue of the Homeward Street Journal for Shirley Osgood’s article on the drone warfare program and the ongoing protests at Beale.)

Janet and David Hartsough, Cindy Sheehan, Shirley Osgood and Jane Kesselman