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Latest drone protester on trial plans to tell story of those who live in fear of drone attacks

Ellen Abbott/WRVO
Bonny Mahoney and Maryann Grady Perez both have protested drone missions.

Another drone resistance trial is taking place in DeWitt Town Court. The latest protester to go to trial participated in a staged die-in outside the front gate of Hancock Air Base last spring and wants to defend herself by telling the tales of the effect of drone warfare on everyday people.

Bonny Mahoney and the group Code Pink visited Pakistan in 2012 to express their opposition to the U.S. drone strikes in that country. Mahoney says she will tell jurors in her trial about the fear that she felt among the people of that country.

"We had gone to the tribal lands, and I felt the terror,” said Mahoney. “And I can’t imagine living under that 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

Mahoney is facing charges including disorderly conduct for taking part in a protest of drone warfare in front the Hancock Air Base, which is a center for piloting drone missions to Afghanistan and other countries. She believes the collateral damage from drone strikes is unacceptable, and violates international law.  

Since 2010, there have been 150 arrests at Hancock Airbase, leading to 65 trials, and jail time for 25 people.

Mahoney’s goal is to get jurors and judges to listen to her story of everyday people who live in fear of the drones piloted from remote sites like Hancock.

"They seem to have turned a blind eye to it, to them it’s a broken record. But with each case it’s brought it’s had different meanings to different people. Everybody brings their viewpoint, what triggers them. So hopefully again, if we keep pushing, maybe we can break through.”

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.