How Do You Greet a Sexagenarian Peace Activist?

Whiteman Air Force Base’s wild welcome for Kathy Kelly.

'If you're a harmless, 60-year-old lady, then we're extras from a community theater production of Starship Toopers.'

Apr 17, 2012
Allan MacDonell is TakePart’s News + Opinion editor, with a focus on social justice.

Kathy Kelly is a 60-year-old lifelong peace activist, and a founder of Voices for Creative Nonviolence. In her efforts to persuade people to stop killing one another under government sanction, Kelly has been arrested more than 60 times—here in the United States and all over the world.

If her deep familiarity with police actions prepared Kelly for one thing, it was to stand eye-to-eye with a squad of line-dancing Missouri riot police—and not laugh in their faces.

Kelly and 30 or so friends (all about as physically threatening as a typical 60-year-old female pacifist) had gathered at Missouri’s Whiteman Air Force Base on Sunday to protest unmanned drone warfare conducted from the site.

According to Nuclear Resister Org:

About 35 of us opposed drone operations on 4/15 at Whiteman AFB in Knob Noster, Mo. We released black balloons commemorating 175 children killed by drones and flew kites for peace on earth, peace in the sky.

Hokey? Sure. Granola throwbacks? Unarguably. A little excessive in using the bullhorn? Perhaps. But sacrificing a Sunday afternoon to trek out to the middle of nowhere and stand up for what you believe is the soul and conscience of America? Sort of priceless.

Perhaps you believe that “extrajudicial targeted killings” by reaper drones qualify as war crimes; perhaps you don’t.

Do you think Americans have the right, when they perceive a government policy to be immoral, to assemble and protest against it? Let loose in comments.

Thanks to Boing Boing.

Show Comments ()

More on TakePart

Project Katrina: A Decade of Resilience in New Orleans