These orders of protection, typically used in domestic violence situations or to protect a victim or witness to a crime, have been issued to people participating in nonviolent resistance actions at Hancock Air Base since late 2012. The base, near Syracuse NY, pilots unmanned Reaper drones over Afghanistan, and trains drone pilots, sensor operators and maintenance technicians. The orders had been issued to “protect” Colonel Earl Evans, Hancock’s mission support commander, who wanted to keep protesters “out of his driveway.”
Mary Anne began her sentencing statement with, “Your honor, a series of judicial perversions brings me here before you tonight.” She concluded that the “final perversion is the reversal of who is the real victim here: the commander of a military base whose drones kill innocent people halfway around the world, or those innocent people themselves who are the real ones in need of protection from the terror of US drone attacks?”
The orders of protection are being challenged on many legal grounds.
Mary Anne had been issued a temporary order in 2012. The next year, she photographed a nonviolent witness at the base, not participating herself because she did not want to violate the order. The irony is that those who actually participated in the action were acquitted, while Mary Anne was charged with violating the order.
Even though the pre-sentencing report recommended no jail time, Judge Gideon sentenced Mary Anne to the maximum of a year in prison. As he imposed his sentence, the judge referred to his previous Hancock decision. He had stated then and insinuated now, “This has got to stop.”
In addition, Mary Anne was fined $1000 plus a $205 court surcharge and a $50 fee to have her DNA collected.
Her verdict is being appealed.
All are members of Upstate NY Drone Action
Carol Baum, Syracuse Peace Council (Syracuse), 315.472.5478 (SPC), 315.383.5738 (cell)
Ellen Grady, Ithaca Catholic Worker (Ithaca), 607.279.8303
Jim Clune, Broome County Peace Action (Binghamton), 607.773.0246
Judy Bello, Upstate Drone Action (Rochester), 585.733.4058
Vicki Ross, Western New York Peace Center (Buffalo), 716.884.0582
John Amidon, Veterans for Peace (Albany), 518.312.6442
Mark Colville, Amistad Catholic Worker (New Haven, CT), 203.415.5896
To write Mary Anne, please use this address:
Mary Anne Grady Flores
Jamesville Correctional Facility
P.O. Box 143
Jamesville, NY 13708
To make a donation to her case, please make checks out to:
Ithaca Catholic Worker (with Mary Anne’s name in the memo)
And send to:
133 Sheffield Road
Ithaca, New York 14850