Friday, July 11, 2014

One Year in Prison: Sentence in Connection with "Order of Protection" Directed Against Stop Antiwar Protest

For Immediate Release:

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

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

On July 10, grandmother of three, Mary Anne Grady Flores was sentenced to one year in prison after 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 following year, she photographed a nonviolent witness at the base, but 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

Related posts

A very important series of trials is proceeding in the coming weeks in upstate New York. These trials follow in a line of previous trials of peace activists who have been working to stop the commission of war crimes by the drone kill chain, part of which is based a Hancock Air Force Base. What is particularly significant about the upcoming trials is that they are part of a government plan to put a chill, once and for all, on citizens' exercise of Constitutional rights.

(See The Hancock Show Trials: Quashing Dissent Against America's Criminal Drone Killing Program )

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