Resistance to Missile Testing, Space-based Weapons, Drones, and the U.S. War Machine
267 Campodonico Ave.
Guadalupe, CA 93434
(805) 343-6322 info@vandenbergwitness.org


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POPE FRANCIS CONDEMNS POSSESSION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS

Pope Francis, during a recent conference on nuclear disarmament, condemned the possession of nuclear weapons by ALL nations. This, in light of a U.S. commitment to spend $1 trillion to upgrade its nuclear arsenal, and the Trump regime’s dangerous talk threatening to use nuclear weapons against North Korea, is a welcomed wake up call to the entire Catholic Church, hierarchy, priests, and everyone in the pews, indeed, ALL people who believe in the way of peace. It is incumbent upon each of us to pressure the U.S. and other nuclear nations to heed Pope Francis’ admonition and fully endorse the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. And pressure our bishops and priests to uphold and promote Pope Francis’ condemnation. NOW is the time for nuclear disarmament. Decades ago Fr. Richard McSorley, SJ, was absolutely correct when he emphatically stated: “It is a sin to build nuclear weapons.”

Read the complete story behind this LINK.

An excerpt: “Pope Francis has openly denounced the continuing possession of nuclear weapons by various world governments, in what appears to be a departure from the Roman Catholic Church’s prior acceptance of the Cold War-era global system of nuclear deterrence and mutually assured destruction

In a talk Nov. 10 (2017) to participants in a high-profile Vatican conference on nuclear disarmament, the pope also seemed to indirectly criticize world leaders such as U.S. President Donald Trump, who has openly threatened nuclear war with North Korea over that country’s continuing development of nuclear arms.

Francis told the conference participants — who include the U.N. High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, NATO’s deputy secretary general, and 11 Nobel Peace Prize laureates — that humanity cannot fail ‘to be genuinely concerned by the catastrophic humanitarian and environmental effects of any employment of nuclear devices.’

‘If we also take into account the risk of an accidental detonation as a result of error of any kind, the threat of their use, as well as their very possession, is to be firmly condemned,’ he said.”

$900 MILLION FOR A NEW NUCLEAR CRUISE MISSILE FOR THE U.S. IMPERIAL WAR MACHINE–WHY?

The article behind this LINK is inconceivable, outrageous, and an abomination considering millions of U.S. citizens are homeless, tens of millions are living in poverty, we do not have a national single payer health plan, our public education system is in shambles, our infrastructure is outdated and collapsing, to name just a few of many critical societal needs that are causing our demise.

The continuous blatant idolatry and blasphemy is prompting the death of our nation’s soul. Where is the moral outrage? How long will “we the people” allow this to continue? As a society, specifically as the Body of Christ, it is our moral obligation to stand against this diabolical insanity.

COMMEMORATION OF HIROSHIMA AND NAGASAKI ATOMIC BOMBING – ONE ARREST

On Saturday, August 5, the LACW joined the Guadalupe Catholic Worker and others in a prayerful witness commemorating the 72nd anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and calling for the elimination of ICBM missile testing, nuclear weapons, and U.S. imperial war-making.

Three LACW’s (Jeff Dietrich, Mike Wisniewski, and Karan Benton) were faced with arrest for “Ban and Bar” violations if they did not immediately leave the protest area. Jeff and Mike chose to leave rather than face arrest, while Karan refused to leave and was immediately arrested, cited for trespass and later released facing a future court date and certain jail time. Security also approached Guadalupe Catholic Worker Dennis Apel, but chose not to enforce his Ban and Bar. The witness continued for an hour and a half before gathering for a closing prayer and dispersal.

Photos are now posted HERE and HERE.

NUCLEAR WAR WOULD SET OFF CLIMATE CATASTROPHE

The article behind this LINK is yet another wake up call to the catastrophic consequences of what one nuclear bomb will do if launched.

An excerpt: “Four U.S. scientists have just introduced one more good reason not to launch a nuclear war. It would not simply guarantee the mutual destruction of the participants. It would also precipitate catastrophic climate change.

And, they argue in the journal Environment Magazine, even a single nuclear missile strike could darken the skies, chill the atmosphere, stop rainfall, ruin harvests and cost a billion lives.

The most immediate victims would be those in countries that are already poor or food-insecure. And, the scientists warn, should a warhead fall upon a nuclear power facility ‘the spread of toxic radionuclides and their long-term effects would be greatly magnified.'”


EMPIRE OF DESTRUCTION

This LINK is to a sobering article about how the U.S. continues its imperial wars repeatedly bombing the rubble caused by previous bombings of the same areas and the devastation that will take generations, if ever, to recover and rebuild. This is utterly disgustingly immoral, indeed diabolical. To save whatever moral fiber left in our society, it is IMPERATIVE that we the people nonviolently rise up to denounce this unconscionable evil, corrupt, and bankrupt system, which is utterly rotten to the core, cease our imperial warring ways, repent for the death, destruction, suffering, and misery perpetrated in our (and God’s) name and, as Peter Maurin (co-founder of the Catholic worker movement) said, “create a new society in the shell of the old.” Our collective soul hangs in the balance.

An excerpt: “In the 15-plus years since 9/11, parts of an expanding swathe of the planet — from Pakistan’s borderlands in South Asia to Libya in North Africa — were catastrophically unsettled. Tiny groups of Islamic terrorists multiplied exponentially into both local and transnational organizations, spreading across the region with the help of American “precision” warfare and the anger it stirred among helpless civilian populations. States began to totter or fail. Countries essentially collapsed, loosing a tide of refugees on the world, as year after year, the U.S. military, its Special Operations forces, and the CIA were increasingly deployed in one fashion or another in one country after another.

Though in case after case the results were visibly disastrous, like so many addicts, the three post-9/11 administrations in Washington seemed incapable of drawing the obvious conclusions and instead continued to do more of the same (with modest adjustments of one sort of another). The results, unsurprisingly enough, were similarly disappointing or disastrous.

If anything, so many years after it was launched, the war on terror shows every sign of continuing to expand and rubble is increasingly the name of the game. Here’s a very partial tally sheet on the subject:

In addition to Mosul, a number of Iraq’s other major cities and towns — including Ramadi and Fallujah — have also been reduced to rubble. Across the border in Syria, where a brutal civil war has been raging for six years, numerous cities and towns from Homs to parts of Aleppo have essentially been destroyed. Raqqa, the “capital” of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, is now under siege. (American Special Operations forces are already reportedly active inside its breached walls, working with allied Kurdish and Syrian rebel forces.) It, too, will be “liberated” sooner or later — that is to say, destroyed.

As in Mosul, Fallujah, and Ramadi, American planes have been striking ISIS positions in the urban heart of Raqqa and killing civilians, evidently in sizeable numbers, while rubblizing parts of the city. And such activities have in recent years only been spreading. In distant Libya, for instance, the city of Sirte is in ruins after a similar struggle involving local forces, American air power, and ISIS militants. In Yemen, for the last two years the Saudis have been conducting a never-ending air campaign (with American support), significantly aimed at the civilian population; they have, that is, been rubblizing that country, while paving the way for a devastating famine and a horrific cholera epidemic that can’t be checked, given the condition of that impoverished, embattled land.”

DAVID OMONDI SENTENCED TO SIX MONTHS IN FEDERAL PRISON

Former L.A. Catholic Worker community member David Omondi was sentenced to six months imprisonment on Thursday, May 18, by Federal Magistrate Judge Louise LaMonthe, in Santa Barbara Federal Court. However, David notified the court of his intention to appeal the guilty verdict he received on February 16, 2017 for his arrest at Vandenberg AFB last August, and the sentence he received as a result. David has 14 days to file the appeal and is not required to self report to the federal prison in downtown Los Angeles until after the appeal verdict (if he loses). David cannot leave the country, which means he cannot return to Nairobi, Kenya, to continue Amani House, the Catholic Worker he founded.

KARAN’S DAY IN FEDERAL COURT

LACW Karan Benton appeared in Federal Court in Santa Barbara on Thursday, January 19, to plead not guilty for the citation she received for a “ban and bar” violation at Vandenberg AFB last August 6 (see HERE). To her surprise, Magistrate Judge Louise LaMonthe decided to dismiss the charges because Karan is battling cancer. Karan has to submit a verification note from her doctor, upon receiving it Judge LaMonthe will officially remove it from her record. Amazing, there is still some compassion present within this filthy rotten system.

JED HAS BEEN RELEASED FROM FEDERAL PRISON

LACW Jed Poole is now home after serving a thirty day sentence for his nonviolent witness at Vandenberg AFB last August 6. Jed was arrested for trespassing while protesting against U.S. war-making and U.S. nuclear weapons policy. We welcome him home and thank him for his witness.

L.A. CATHOLIC WORKER JED POOLE SELF-SURRENDERS AT U.S. MARSHALL’S OFFICE AND IS NOW IN JAIL

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On Thursday, December 8, a small group of us accompanied Jed to the U.S. Marshall’s Office downtown Los Angeles behind the federal prison as he self-surrendered to serve a 30-day sentence for a trespass charge he received at Vandenberg Air Force Base on August 6, for protesting against U.S. war-making and U.S. nuclear weapons policy. (See this LINK and this LINK).

If you care to support Jed in his witness you can write to him at:

Jedidiah G. Poole #74334-112
MDC Los Angeles
METROPOLITAN DETENTION CENTER
P.O. BOX 1500
LOS ANGELES, CA 90053

If you care to send him a book or other items, please check out the restrictions and follow the directions at this LINK.

DAY IN FEDERAL COURT

At-line.1556-1024x683 LACW community member Jed Poole (right in photo), along with former LACW community member and now Kenya Catholic Worker, David Omondi, and Veterans For Peace activist, Chris Knudson (left in photo), appeared in Santa Barbara Federal Court on Thursday, November 17, for their arrest at Vandenberg AFB on Hiroshima Day, August 6, 2016, in witness against the diabolical insanity of U.S. nuclear weapons policy.

Jed pled “guilty” to a trespass charge, asked for immediate sentencing and was given 30 days in federal prison and $40 in processing fees. His self-surrender date is December 8 before 3pm at the downtown L.A. Metropolitan Detention Center.

David pled “not guilty” to a trespass charge. He has a February 16, 2017 trial date.

Chris pled “guilty” to a trespass charge and was sentenced to one year supervised probation, and a $120 fine along with $40 in processing fees.

LACW Karan Benton, who also was arrested on the same day for violating her “ban and bar” letter, rescheduled her arraignment date to January 19, 2017.