Peace activists Flora Rogers and Brian Terrell were arrested at Beale Air Force Base on January 25 as they occupied the entrance and marked the gate with yellow “crime scene” tape that read, “Do not Cross.” A sign hung read, “Drone Warfare is a Crime.”
Beale AFB is host to the Global Hawk drone. “Air Force police ignored this warning and once again arrested the wrong people,” Brian Terrell is co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence and a Catholic Worker from Iowa, “They say ‘if you see something, say something’ but they don’t like it when you do.”
Terrell and Rogers were later released after being cited for federal trespass.
Terrell is in Northern California for the next two weeks speaking on “Killer Drones- Obama’s Tragic Legacy and a Blunt and Homicidal Weapon Handed to His Successor.”
Jaime Chaupe, husband to 2016 Goldman Environmental Prize winner Maxima Chaupe has been detained by police in Cajamarca, Peru on January 30 as he was canvassing his land. The Chaupes live on their property that is surrounded by land that is partially owned by Newmont Mining of Denver. Newmont has mined gold from the Yanacocha Mine and until recently attempted to further mine in a project called Conga Mine Project, but has been unsuccessful at displacing the Chaupe family including by using government armed soldiers against the family.
Chaupe was transported in police vehicle and taken to Sorochuco police headquarters. Charges are unknown at this time.
Marissa Alexander whose case drew national attention after she was imprisoned after a domestic violence incident, celebrated her freedom on January 30. After completing a three year prison sentence and a two year house detention additional sentence, Alexander was released from state confinement. Alexander and her defense said that at the time of the incident, she was defending herself from a life of domestic violence, and particularly nine days after delivering her baby.
The Free Marissa Now Mobilization Campaign shared a statement from Alexander and her family, “We are grateful to God that this chapter of Marissa’s life will come to a close on January 27, 2017. We are sincerely thankful and appreciative to all who rallied, supported and prayed for Marissa’s release. As she enters a new chapter, with endless possibilities, we ask that you will continue to support Marissa through her non-profit organization that was established to end domestic violence and injustice in the criminal justice system, The Marissa Alexander Justice Project. Without you, today would not be possible. Thank you again and again.” Alexander maintained throughout her case the need to raise the issue of institutional patterns of criminalizing survivors of domestic violence.
In 2012 Florida prosecutor Angela Corey – who has since lost her seat – denied Alexander the same opportunity granted to George Zimmerman for the murder of Trayvon Martin. In the Martin case Zimmerman was allowed to use Stand Your Ground in his defense for killing Martin, although defense maintained that Alexander did not commit a murder when she fired a warning shot in her home in attempt to protect herself.
The Marissa Alexander Justice Project said, “Marissa’s story, and therefore the connection between domestic violence and state violence, has always been part of the beginning of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. With the recent stunning defunding of VAWA funding for services and the massive build-up of criminalizing institutions, the Trump Administration has made it clear that it promotes both a pro-rape/domestic violence and a pro-criminalization politics. The connection between the political issues made so vivid by Marissa’s case is more powerful than ever. We must build coalitions and be relentless in our defense of survivors and their communities.” The group pointed to the numbers incarcerated who are survivors of domestic and sexual violence in both men’s and women’s prisons, “There is a crucial pipeline between abuse and prison/detention centers that must be disrupted.”
Last year, Florida’s state congress passed reforms to mandatory minimum sentences which previously mandated consecutive serving of sentences to allow for concurrent completion of sentences.