Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Two Arrested for Anti-Drone Civil Disobediance in Des Moines

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Two Arrested for Anti-Drone Civil Disobediance in Des Moines

Article excerpt

Des Moines Police Department officers arrested former Veterans for Peace (VFP) national president Elliott Adams and Des Moines Catholic Worker (DMCW) founder Frank Cordaro on May 19, Armed Forces Day, after the two approached the gate of the Des Moines Air National Guard base and refused to leave.

The nonviolent civil disobedience protest came at the end of a "Stop the Killing" rally organized by VFP Chapter 163 Des Moines and the DMCW community near an entrance to the base, home of the 132nd Wing of the Iowa Air National Guard at the Des Moines International Airport.

"Since 9/11 this nation has been swept up in a cult of war glorification. We need to look that in the face," Adams told a group of some 30 activists participating in the rally. "We are here to cry out, to tell Iowa and the world, that drones are responsible for endless immoral acts and war crimes," he continued. "It is time we outlaw them internationally and ground them in the United States."

Cordaro, a former priest and longtime anti-nuclear weapons activist, criticized the local faith community for its silence about drone warfare operations at the city's airport. "This year's campaign is going to try to find pastors and priests who will speak out about these war crimes, about assassinations from the sky, and the bombing of wedding ceremonies," he said.

He noted a 2013 letter authored by Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines on behalf of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops critical of the Obama administration's drone assassination policy. …

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