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Drone Resister Sentenced to One Year in Prison: Base’s Order of Protection Begs Judgement

In Drones, Government, Media Advisory, Peace on July 11, 2014 at 11:39 am

On July 10, grandmother of three, Mary Anne Grady Flores was sentenced to one year in prison for being found guilty of violating an order of protection. A packed courtroom of over 100 supporters was stunned as she was led away, and vowed to continue the resistance.

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.

For information on how to support Mary Anne, contact Ellen Grady at demottgrady6@gmail.com.

UPDATE: COURTROOM VIDEO AVAILABLE
From Judy Bello: Mary Anne Grady Flores was sentenced to a year in jail for standing in the highway across from the front gate of Hancock Air National Guard Base taking pictures of protesters. Below is a link to a Video of the Courtroom Drama: On July 10, Mary Anne Grady Flores was sentenced after being convicted of violating an Order of Protection protecting Col Earl Evans, Material Support Commander at Hancock Air National Guard Base. The video includes Mary Anne’s Sentencing Statement and Judge Gideon’s cynical defense of his Sentence, followed by her removal by guards to Jail.

http://upstatedroneaction.org/wordpress/2014/07/13/drone-resister-sentenced-to-one-year/

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