Support Food not Killer Drones - Juneau County

Donate if you can to the “Support Food not Killer Drones” campaign - in care of the Juneau County Peace Committee.  

Although Juneau County is rich in drones, it is one of the poorest in Wisconsin.  We are asking you to support food for the hungry in Juneau County not killer drones.

In the service of social justice we are calling on all people of goodwill who can do so to join us in a “Support Food not Killer Drones” campaign to contribute money to help the hungry people of Juneau County.  We will be sending checks to the Juneau County Peace Committee (address below), and they will distribute the money to Juneau County food pantries.  

Please open your hearts and your pockets and write a check to “Juneau County Peace Committee” and send it to:

Juneau County Peace Committee
321 W State
Mauston, WI 53948

The Juneau County Peace Committee is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt non profit corporation.

We would welcome any of you to also join us in our quest for an end to drone warfare so that our government can use these resources to instead meet human needs.  Contact Joy First joyfirst5@gmail.com for more info.  Supporting a military that spends more than the next ten countries combined has clearly not made us safer or more secure, and has caused immeasurable suffering to the people of the Middle East and Africa, and thus we believe this must stop. Read more about the protest and arrests in Nov 2019, and the verdicts at http://www.wnpj.org/node/11741 . In love and peace, Bonnie, Joyce, Joy, Bob, John, Jim, Phil, and Brian.


November 26, 2020

Dear Friends,

Volk Field is an Air National Guard Base with a state of the arts training facility to train personnel to fly the RQ-7 Shadow Drone.  This is a smaller drone that is used for reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition for the larger weaponized drones and for the Apache helicopters in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The Wisconsin Coalition to Ground the Drones and Stop the Wars has held monthly vigils at Volk Field, 90 miles north of Madison, WI, to protest the use of our tax dollars to support war, and to call attention to, and try to stop, the horrifying suffering and death of innocent people, including thousands of children, from US military drone attacks. 

On November 12, 2019 seven of us walked onto the base to share our concerns with the commander, and were arrested before we even reached the guard house.  Just last week we were all found guilty of trespass in the Juneau County Court by Judge Stacy Smith and fined $232.  Those found guilty were Bonnie Block, Joyce Ellwanger, Joy First, Bob Graf, Jim Murphy, Phil Runkel, and Brian Terrell.  Five members of the group did not attend the trial because of the pandemic, and wrote letters stating their convictions.  Two, Bob and Phil, were there and presented their case to the judge.

Juneau County is one of the poorest counties in Wisconsin*, with many people going to bed hungry, and valuable resources are expended when we are arrested and go to trial.  Yet, we can’t ignore the atrocities that occur because of the drone training program at the military base in the county.  As we walked onto the base we read a statement (see below) that explains why we had to take action.

We cannot ignore the connection between spending millions of dollars on drones at Volk Field, and Juneau County not having the money to make sure all people have enough food.  Further, it is important that we see the connection between our government sending drones to kill people of color in the Middle East and Africa, rather than sending badly needed food and other needed supplies as people continue to starve in these areas. 

In 1967 Dr. King talked about the triple evils of poverty, racism, and militarism as forms of violence that exist in a vicious cycle.  This is still so true today, and we know that if we do something to fight one of these evils, it affects all of them.  We can do something to make the connection and do our part in fighting these evils.

We have been in contact with long-time friend and ally, John McGinley with the Juneau County Peace Committee, and have talked about what we can do to have a positive effect in helping the people of Juneau County to have enough food, and so we are initiating this campaign “Support Food, Not Drones”.  We will be giving any money raised through this campaign to Juneau County food pantries.

We would welcome any of you to also join us in our quest for an end to drone warfare so that our government can use these resources to instead meet human needs (email joyfirst5@gmail.com for info).  Supporting a military that spends more than the next ten countries combined has clearly not made us safer or more secure, and has caused immeasurable suffering to the people of the Middle East and Africa, and thus we believe this must stop.

In peace and love,

Bonnie, Joyce, Joy, Bob, John, Jim, Phil, and Brian


Reading as we walked onto Volk Field military base on November 12, 2019

We come in peace.

We come because we mourn the children who have died from attacks by U.S. military drones.  We remember these children, whose lives have been cut short while also remembering their mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, and grandparents who continue to mourn the deaths of these beautiful children.

We come because the United States is solely responsible for the deaths of many thousands of people from drone attacks, including thousands of children who have been killed by drones. 

We come because our government covers it up, and it is impossible to really know how many innocent lives have been lost in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia and other countries in the Middle East and in Africa, yet the Journal for Investigative Journalism claims that between 8,000 and 12,000 people have been killed by U.S. drones.

We come because we are causing unimaginable grief to mothers and fathers, sons and daughters whose loved ones have been murdered by the US government.  We must remember that these are real people with names and families who love them. 

We come because the personnel working with and training with the RQ-7 Shadow Drones at Volk Field are an integral part of and are complicit in the whole US drone warfare program.

We come because killing with drones is a violation of human rights and international law.  Drone attacks are clearly extrajudicial assassinations, going against the constitution and have been condemned by the United Nations.

We come because Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said “The Arc of the Moral Universe Is Long, but It Bends Towards Justice”, and we want to be a part of making the arc bend towards justice and call on you to be part of it also.

 

*Poverty in Juneau County: 47 percent of families have trouble making ends meet