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Binghamton Peace Activists Target Drones

Bob Joseph/WNBF News

Southern Tier peace and justice activists have held weekly demonstrations in front of the Binghamton Federal Building for several years.

On most Monday afternoons, a small group of people holding signs will spend about an hour near the corner of Henry and State streets to express their concerns about United States foreign policy.

Veteran peace activist James Clune often participates in the vigil. This week, Clune displayed a sign critical of the Obama administration’s use of drone aircraft.

Speaking today on WNBF Radio’s Binghamton Now program, Clune said he believes the federal government should release more information about its drone program and the people who’ve been killed by unmanned aircraft.

While members of Congress recently have started asking more questions about how drones have been used, Clune said there much remains unknown about U.S. policies.

Reaper drones now are piloted from Hancock Field Air National Guard Base outside Syracuse.

Clune said the young pilots who control drones from the Syracuse-area facility are under plenty of stress. He said it amounts to “emotional and moral whiplash.” Clune said some drone operators have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Clune and others have protested the operation of drones from the facility in upstate New York. Plans are underway for another demonstration in April.

Clune said the use of military drones has increased dramatically since President Obama took office four years ago.

 

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