The Ahmadi Family:
Why We Blocked Traffic to US Air Base
Toby Blomé / Shut Down Creech
CREECH AIR FORCE BASE (April 12, 2022) — Last week, two-dozen activists from eight different US states converged at Creech Air Force Base to protest the criminal and covert US Drone Assassination Program. In our 13th year of bi-annual protests at “Creech Killer Drone Base”, the week culminated with a nonviolent action on Thursday morning.
We solemnly held life-sized cutout figures representing the 10 victims of the Ahmadi family, 7 of whom were children, who were tragically killed by a US drone strike on August 31, 2021.
We first quietly stretched ourselves along the highway, holding those figures. The figures had the names and ages of the victims and, as the military drove into the base that morning, we were hoping to humanize the lives of these victims and encourage the employees at the base to consider the real consequences of their jobs and of the drone base.
Ultimately, we carried these figures onto the entrance road of the base and stretched ourselves across the roadway, impeding “business as usual” for as long as possible. We also chalked the figures onto the pavement of the road, writing the ages of the victims, five of whom were 2-5 years old.
The traffic was interrupted for nearly a half-hour, though we removed ourselves from the road in time to reduce the risk of arrest due to the Covid pandemic, and avoid corona infection from jail detention. It was a hugely successful action, extremely poignant, leading some of us to a deeper-than-usual level of sadness.
After we left the road and the chalking, we processed back out to the highway, while traffic continued to be held in a standstill for a prolonged time, and we processed the figures past the stalled traffic along the highway, some of us solemnly calling out the name and age of the drone victim that we carried.
Members of the Ahmadi family — murdered by US drone.
Watch these short videos of our nonviolent resistance: (1-2 min. each).
So many other aspects of the week remind us of our successes. Here are just a few of the highlights, including many improvements from the past:
-Three of our vigils featured strong messaging around GI Support and GI Resistance. (Check out the AskVets.Org website that Veterans For Peace Staff created…connecting the military to all the great Veterans organizations supporting veterans and working for peace).
- We leafleted dozens of new houses in Indian Springs (across from the base, where many of the military are living). See attached leaflet, that also included a second leaflet on Militarism and the Environment produced by Veterans For Peace. Thanks Bruce Comer for producing the SDC leaflet!
- NEW: Silent Vigil – Standing Still. Proposed by VFP member Dave Patterson: Without holding any signs or banners, we stood quietly, stretching ourselves along the police barricades, barely 10 feet away from military employees who were exiting the base, cars often backed up and stalled. Most of us thought the experience was very moving and effective…connecting on a personnel level between ourselves and each person leaving the base. Thanks Dave Patterson for your inspiration! Silence can be powerful in itself.
- Improved communications with Las Vegas Metropolitan Police/County Sheriff authorities that helped to reduce the chance of any unexpected abusive police arrests like the one that occurred last fall, and helped us better prepare ourselves for future peaceful nonviolent civil resistance.
We continued effective past vigil themes:
- Creechers for the Planet: Militarism and the environment, addressing the negative side-effects of the US drone program. (Some of us held puppet “Creechers” and wore animal costumes to highlight our interdependence on other living creatures we share the earth with, and should protect.)
- Drones Attacks are….”Cowardly, Racist, Illegal, Unjust, Wrongful, Immoral, Barbaric…”
- Fly A Kite NOT A Drone
- –War IS A LIe…. Presidents lie, Congress lies, Media lies, CIA lies, Generals lies…..and now we’ve added Recruiters lie!
A bazillion thanks to all the Creechers who participated in the week of peaceful action, and the many contributions and gifts you offered to help make our convergence so successful. Special thanks to MaryClare and Areeya, the current stewards of the land at Sekhmet Temple for providing great nourishment and nurturing care to all of us during the week.
Anti-drone Activists Blockade
Main Commuter Gate into Creech AFB
Protesters Demand End to Targeted Assassinations, Reparations to Kabul Family
and All Civilian Victims
LAS VEGAS, Nevada — This morning activists from 8 states nonviolently blocked commuter traffic into Creech AFB, a key US drone base located 1 hr. North of Las Vegas. Backing up traffic for a quarter of a mile down the highway, protesters used life-sized cardboard cutouts representing the 7 children and 3 adults from the Ahmadi Family killed in a US drone strike in Kabul in August, 2021, during US withdrawal from Afghanistan. All victims were civilians, though initially denied by the US; after the truth was exposed, reparations and refugee status to US was promised, but 7 months later, the Ahmadi family has received neither.
Due to the pandemic and higher Covid risks from jail detention, activists remained in the road for as long as possible until arrests were imminent, then carried the memorial figures down the highway to emphasize the truth about US drone strikes: primarily the victims are civilians and unintended targets. Leaflets were handed out to appeal to the consciences of individuals employed at the base, hoping to influence each person to take personal responsibility.
The US government and corporations are profiting from the expansion of weaponized drones around the world, making us all less safe.
“Recently the US sent 300 “switch-blade drones” to Ukraine, only exacerbating an already out of control expansion of these very unethical and troublesome weapons,” says Toby Blomé, one of the organizers of the weeklong protest. “The world is becoming more and more unstable as more and more countries purchase and develop this remote-controlled killing technology. It MUST stop. We demand a world-wide ban on all killer drone technology in which mostly civilians are the victims, and urge all governments to use diplomacy to resolve conflicts.”
Ms. Blomé and others participating are part of a new national network working toward a global ban on weaponized drones.
Ukraine Civilian Deaths
Reminder of US Killing of Civilians by Drones
LAS VEGAS, NV — As civilians are being slaughtered in Ukraine by Russia, military veterans and other peace advocates THIS WEEK continue early morning and afternoon blockades EVERY DAY THIS WEEK on a drone base near here to remind people the US is currently killing civilians through the use of its secret drone program.
The Creech AFB protests will include daily demonstrations (M-F) during commute hours, 6:30-8:30 AM and 3:30-5:30 PM at Creech Air Force Base drone control base located north of here.
Organizers said the protests will culminate in a Thursday morning nonviolent blockade of the military base. Arrests are expected.
During the blockade, protesters will memorialize the 10 Ahmadi family members killed by a US drone strike in Kabul Afghanistan on August 29, 2021 during US withdrawal from Afghanistan — seven of the victims were children, including three toddlers. Though the US initially denied it for weeks, all of the victims were innocent civilians.
Once the tragedy became public globally, the US promised compensation to the survivors of the extended family, as the truth of the casualties leaked out. But no compensation has been paid to the family.
On Thursday protesters will dramatize the tragedy by using life-sized cardboard silhouettes of each of the 10 victims, marked with their names and ages. They will also chalk outlines of the bodies onto the roadway into the base.
Creech AFB is targeted for a weeklong series of protests starting this past weekend weekend, according to organizers of the March 26 to April 2 “Shut Down Creech,” a national mobilization & bi-annual campaign/protest to resist combat drones used in the US remote killing program.
Creech Air Force Base, which works covertly for the CIA to execute CIA-ordered remote-controlled assassinations in foreign countries, is responsible for thousands of civilian deaths, and roughly 9 of 10 victims are “unintended targets.”
“Whistleblower, Daniel Hale, exposed this disturbing truth and is now serving a 45 month sentence because of his courage and conscience that motivated him to reveal the crimes of the covert US drone program,” said Toby Blomé, one of the organizers, adding, “It is really drone base commanders and CIA officials who give orders to commit these human rights violations who should be prosecuted and serve time, not citizens who act out of conscience to reveal the crimes.”
The weeklong anti-drone protest will include participants from across the country, including from HI, ME, FL, MA, AZ, CA, NV, and TX, featuring Col. Ann Wright, a 29 year Army veteran and retired US Diplomat, now peace activist, and numerous other US veterans now working for peace and opposing war and US drone program.
The Creech AFB protests will include daily demonstrations (M-F) during commute hours, 6:30-8:30 AM and 3:30-5:30 PM, with varying daily themes, including a Drone Massacre Memorial, “War is A Lie” (Presidents Lie, Congress Lies, CIA Lies, Recruiters Lie, etc.), “Creechers for the Planet” (Connecting the dots between global militarization and climate chaos/environment degradation), and GI Rights/Support, GI Education, and GI Resistance.
An open letter to the commander of the base and to President Biden will be hand delivered to base personnel. The letter demands that immediate and just compensation be provided to the surviving family, some of whom have lost their primary wage-earners.
Shut Down Creech, Spring Action, is also dedicated to the Ahmadi family in Afghanistan, whose loved ones were all too easily killed by a reckless US drone attack, due to faulty reconnaissance. Those lives can never be returned.
“People need to realize that not only are a lot of civilians being killed, the drones are terrorizing entire communities by their mere presence in the sky,” says Fred Bialy, a retired emergency room physician participating in the week of protest. “Weaponized drones are steadily proliferating around the globe…they should be banned completely,” he said.