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


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Holding Banner.6693 May 3: Jeff Dietrich and David Omondi of the L.A. Catholic Worker have self-surrendered to federal authorities and are now being held at the Los Angeles Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC). It is still unknown if this will be the facility where each will serve their sentence (Jeff – 4 months, David – 2 months). It is possible that one or both will be transferred to another facility. As soon as we know more it will be posted here. Dennis Apel from the Guadalupe Catholic Worker will self-surrender on Monday, May 9, also to serve a four month sentence.

You can check Jeff, David, and Dennis’ status at this LINK. For Jeff enter: Robert J Dietrich (#81196-012), for David enter: Michael David Omondi (#94638-020), for Dennis enter: John D. Apel (#26142-112).

If you care to write a letter of support, follow this guideline:
MDC Los Angeles
P.O. BOX 1500

You can read the rules for sending items at this LINK.


UPDATE MAY 30: This LINK is to the third in a series of reflections by Dennis published in the Santa Barbara Independent.

Below is a note Dennis wrote:
Dear Friends and Family,

Today marks 20 days that I have been in prison. It’s been a long 20 days and it is a discipline not to dwell on the notion that I have to do that 5 more times. One day at a time is the best strategy and being present to the moment seems to be the recipe for sanity.

I tried being on the “no flesh” diet for a little over two weeks. But instead of meat items on my tray, I received a portion of chopped celery and carrots mixed with raw tofu. That was served with every lunch and dinner except for four. It got to the point that I was dreading meals, not a good thing in prison. So I switched back to the regular diet, not that it’s fine cuisine, but at least there’s something different every meal.

I went to Mass twice, two Mondays in a row, which was nourishing but the priest is gone now until September so no more Mass. I am grateful to be doing daily Bible study with my friend and cell mate, Jeff.

I have been getting incredible support via letters and books and again I want to say that if you haven’t gotten a response from me it’s because envelopes and stamps are rationed. But please know that I am so grateful for your love and affirmation extended to me and Tensie and the kids.

I have calmed down considerably regarding the other inmates and my sense of safety. It helps having Jeff as my cell mate, but also it is just acclimation to the environment. Thank you all for your prayers, love and support. I love you too…


UPDATE MAY 26: David has been moved from 6 North to 5 South and he was officially designated to MDC to serve his sentence. He said that he should be on 5 North (with Jeff and Dennis), but it is full, and since his time is short, it is doubtful that he will end up there. David also was able to get the confusion about the length of his sentence straightened out. He will be released after serving 60 days. He also said that he still can see us on our Wednesday afternoon anti-war vigil (we have a slow procession around the entire downtown federal complex), but now he can observe us on the opposite side of the building.

UPDATE MAY 23: This LINK is to Dennis’ second reflection published in the Santa Barbara Independent.

Below is a reflection David wrote for The Nuclear Resister.
Dear Friends,

While writing this I am continually lifted by the support and prayers of so many on the outside, inspired by the appearance of the Full Moon, Mars, and Sagittarius in my cell window over the last three nights, and encouraged that the forces of Love and Life will prevail over our many perversions of justice. It has been my great pleasure to meet someone here on 6 North MDC LA who has quite a storied relationship with VAFB. Using the alias “Kempachi”, we both would like to share some of this story with you:

“YOU! DON’T MOVE!” Yelled the Lieutenant at a bewildered Kempachi. “Get him out of here, NOW! Didn’t you check his file?!” And the confounded CO’s in VAFB’s “work factory” begin to escort him back to his unit at Lompoc Prison as he feigns a lack of English skills. The astounding levels of incompetence that allowed Kempachi into the factory in the first place are not surprising, considering the ease with which he had hacked into the base’s supposedly impenetrable mainframe computer system not too long ago. His incredible acumen with electronics and ability to encode and decode complex software with rudimentary appliances should have been a red flag to anyone on VAFB who might have perused his background.

These were pre-internet times, but the Video Cipher 3 security system on VAFB poised no challenge to Kempachi, who was able to penetrate it quite easily – on a dare from a fellow tech wiz – and send the base a message: “STOP KILLING CHILDREN.” He was not an activist or social justice advocate, just a jet-set, genius playboy carrying out an entertaining ruse. But when a third party heard of a reward for information on the transgressors, it wasn’t long before the federal security apparatus located the co-conspirators and found whatever charge that would stick, tax fraud, in order to lock them up. During his 18 months of incarceration at Lompoc, Kempachi spent a significant amount of time in the hole for refusing to work for the base in any way.

Now, over 20 years later, Kempachi is convinced that the same levels of incompetence still exist on VAFB and warns that it’s just a matter of time before their irresponsible practices precipitate an epic disaster on a nuclear scale. He is well aware of their use of depleted Uranium in the testing of nuclear weapons and finds their target practice exercises quite despicable as they contaminate the waters of the Pacific Ocean and wreak havoc on the people of the Marshall Islands. Not only is the term “depleted” a serious misnomer – the stuff still has a half life of 10,000 years – the B5 rockets used in VAFB’s launches are well known for having seal problems, and he warns that the base is courting serious catastrophe in their employ.

Further, VAFB possesses both the depleted and active variety of Uranium, both of which have to be cooled constantly. Situated on the coast, the ocean is the most convenient source of water for this purpose, which is either expelled back into the ocean or into the ground. In his words, non-contamination of this water is simply impossible. Although base officials claim that the levels of radiation escaping their facility are “safe”, Kempachi has learned through his own explorations that most of the patients treated at Lompoc General Hospital suffer from cancer of the kidney and liver. Meanwhile, the base is highly secretive about the ailments treated at their own internal hospital.

Now on trial for charges that include fraud and manufacturing of an illegal access device, he once again finds himself the victim of a snitch who was caught using one of his complex encoding devices to commit bank fraud. And despite dedicating the last 15 years of his life to voluntary service projects in places like Kenya and El Salvador, donating thousands for free water and education projects, the Assistant DA in his case is on the record as saying “Whatever charge I give you will be equal to life because you have to be locked up until technology changes,” and the judge too has declared “I know who you are and I wish I could give you life.”

Kempachi can go on unceasingly about the pitfalls of the nuclear age – over budget power plants constantly leaking, the military’s inexplicable use of Uranium tipped anti-aircraft bullets, the disposal of Thryntium into the environment (which causes kidney/liver damage and other untold ailments) – the list is quite lengthy. With VAFB’S adjacency to the ocean and proximity to extensive field agriculture and livestock industries, his warnings are indeed foreboding. His story is a real testament to the indiscriminate violence of the nuclear empire, and lends great credence to the acts of vigilers, protesters, resisters and truth-tellers all around the world. This insanity must end. Now.

KEMPACHI, and David Omondi

UPDATE MAY 21: Jeff is doing good. He spends most of his time either reading, writing, exercising, or in prayer. The next Catholic Agitator will include some of Jeff’s writing.

This is a LETTER from David. David is still trying to deal with a mix up between the court’s sentence of two months and what the B.O.P. computer lists as six month sentence. An attorney friend of the LACW will again attempt to get this mix up corrected.

This LINK is to the first in a series of reflections by Dennis published in the Santa Barbara Independent newspaper. Below is another note from Dennis:

Dear family and friends,

I have “served” ten of my 120 days. If I can do that another 11 times, I will have made it. By some extraordinary stroke of luck or grace, I have ended up in a cell with my long-time friend and co-defendant Jeff Dietrich of the Los Angeles Catholic Worker. If all goes well, we will be spending most of our 4 months of custody in each other’ company. What a gift and a miracle!

After about four days here my mail began to filter in. Thank you if you have written. I am only allowed to purchase 10 envelopes per week, so apologies if you have written and not gotten a response. Know that your love and support mean the world to me.

I can now communicate with Tensie and the kids by phone. That too is limited to 15 minutes per call (5 minutes to talk to each of them) and 300 minutes per month (a little less than 10 minutes per day). I’ve had word from some who have shown Tensie and the kids incredible kindness, especially those in the Beatitude Community. It brings me so much comfort and gratitude that good friends and family are supporting them. It’s not easy for them either.

Please know that I hold you all in my prayers of gratitude.

Much love,


UPDATE MAY 18: At 9am today, Jeff was moved to the fifth floor and is now cellmates with Dennis. Rumor has it that David too will soon be moved to the same area. All will remain there for the duration of their sentence. Jeff is doing well, even better now that he and Dennis are reunited. David said he yearns to be with them. Jeff sent Catherine the signed form for her to be able to visit him; and he finally has the phone voice recognition issue resolved and is now calling on a regular schedule. He still has not seen the dentist for his toothache, but he has plenty of pain meds, which has helped a lot. He wants everyone to know he is safe and comfortable and is grateful for all the love and prayers.

UPDATE MAY 17: David lost his cellmate this morning (transferred to another floor), which allows him space and quiet, which is what he needs at the moment since he is having major lower back pain. He asks for prayers that the pain will subside.

Dennis sent the following note:
Dear Friends,

Today marks one week (is that all?!!) since I arrived at MDC. It’s been quite a transition. Every time someone asks how long I’m in for and I respond, “four months” I get a reply something like, “Oh man! That’s nothing. That’s a breeze!” But THIS breeze is movin’ real slow.

It’s a difficult environment (I’m not complaining, that’s just the reality). There is a common area with 7 tables of eight (steel seats bolted to the floor), 4 TVs going simultaneously (no sound…you have to get a radio receiver with headphone to hear them), a microwave, and ice maker and a hot water dispenser. Most guys make meals from food they buy from the commissary (paid for with money on their books). Off the common room are 4 halls with cells lining both sides of them. Each cell has 2 bunks, a sink, a toilet and a locker. Everyone has a cellmate and there are 130 guys on the floor. All inmates are locked in their cells from 8:30 pm till 5:00 am when we are awakened and have about 60 seconds to get to breakfast. The cells are open most of the rest of the day and time can be spent in the common area or in the cell. Since there are 130 of us and only 56 seats, we are called to meals by “ranges” 4 ranges matching the four halls. By unwritten agreement, the 7 tables are assigned by race, 1 table for whites (the race with the fewest #s), 1 table for the “ChoMos” (the child molesters) and the other 5 divided between Blacks and Latinos. There are 8 common showers. There is a small outside deck for exercise or getting some fresh air.

The hardest parts are the constant din of 130 men yelling, guards yelling, the explosion of testosterone (I am by a long shot the scrawniest one here), the racial divides and sometimes tensions, and more than anything, the separation from family and friends.

So……why am I here???? I’m here because of a combination of conviction and stubbornness. Before I got here I would have told myself it’s mostly conviction, but the transition is so stark (scary even) that the whole environment conspires to convince me that conviction had less to do with this than stubbornness that my ego has betrayed me.

so….here is where you come in. You hold me. You support me. You hold my family and we all hold each other. Once I was able to communicate with them, my family brought me back to myself. Because, there IS a conviction, one that comes from faith and a desire for discipleship. Nuclear weapons are an atrocity beyond measure, and we cannot look the other way. I am not here for myself but for all of us. You are not there for me, but for all of us. We all have a role to play in the struggle to rid the world of nuclear weapons. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for your prayers, your love, and your support for me, Tensie, the kids, Jorge, and Beatitude House. We are the Body of Christ, we all have our part, and we all have each other, and I am grateful.

I am praying for you daily. Thank you, thank you. Love is the answer…


UPDATE MAY 11: Catherine received a letter from Jeff today since he is having difficulties with the voice recognition system involved with the phones. He is well, has a cellmate, whose name is Wolverine, with a heart of gold and loves to share all that he has, however, he likes to talk–unceasingly. Jeff enjoys solitude while in jail, so they are trying to strike a balance. He is on the ninth floor, which is puzzling since that floor is normally for hardcore felons.

Have yet to hear from Dennis.

David is doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances. He has taken to e-mailing a few of us, but more so his family in Kenya. He is on the sixth floor and has a window where he can see us while we are on our Wednesday vigil, although we were unable to see him.

All three cannot have visitors except for immediate family. Once transferred to the fifth floor, that will change. The fifth floor is minimum security, where the other floors range from low to maximum security. Hence, they would love to receive mail from all who would care to write. If you have some time, please sit down and write to them, the address can be found below. Thank you.

UPDATE MAY 9: Guadalupe Catholic Worker Dennis Apel has now turned himself in to federal authorities and is also being housed at MDC Los Angeles, the same facility as Jeff and David. If you care to check on Dennis’ status, enter: John D. Apel #26142-112 at this LINK. To write to him use the same address listed below.

Jeff was able to make a very brief phone call this morning. He had enough time to say he has tooth ache and has yet to see a dentist with no indication when that will happen. His publisher sent him some books last week, but he said he received a notice saying they were returned because she sent more than allowed and thus all were considered contraband. The call then was cut off.

David again called and said that he again briefly saw Jeff this morning in passing and Jeff looked well. David also asked for more money to be deposited in his account to help his cellmate, who is in a state of depression. He has no money and has not had contact with family in several months, and David wants to help him.

UPDATE May 5: We found out why Jeff has not yet called. They have yet to give him his “PAC” number, which allows an inmate to access the phones, purchase items from the commissary, and access the computer to see how much money is in their account, among other tasks. Our attorney visited both Jeff and David today to see how they were and if all was okay. He agreed to push the BOP to get Jeff his PAC number, which he should have received on the first day within four hours after being processed in.

David called and said he is okay, getting settled in, and was able to purchase long underwear because he has an A/C duct directly above his bed, which makes it exceedingly cold between midnight and 5am.


Dan_Berrigan_2008dan berrigan cuffed
Longtime anti-nuclear activist, peacemaker, poet, author, and friend and mentor to the Catholic Worker Movement, among many others, and certainly one of the the most prophetic and profound voices in the Catholic Church and Catholic Peace Movement, Fr. Dan Berrigan, SJ, joined his equally as prophetic brother Phil, in the heavenly cloud of witnesses on Saturday, April 30, at age 94. See stories at this LINK, this LINK, this LINK, and this LINK. Watch a video about Dan & Phil by authors Murray Polner & Jim O’Grady HERE. DAN BERRIGAN: PRESENTE!


Holding Banner.6693 Dennis Apel from the Guadalupe CW, Jeff Dietrich and David Omondi from the LACW were again in federal court on Thursday, April 21. Dennis and Jeff had to appear for a “status hearing” regarding their probation sentence back on March 17, which both refused to cooperate with and would not comply with the court order for reasons of conscience. After questioning each defendant on why they did not comply, and if they realized the seriousness of their action, the court issued a sentence of 120 days (four months) to each. The judge accepted the Probation Department’s recommendation for Jeff’s sentence, however, for Dennis the court rejected both the Probation Department’s recommendation of 30 days and the government’s recommendation of 60 days, instead issued the same 120 days administered to Jeff.

David Omondi was present for sentencing for the August 8, 2015 witness. The court at first issued six month supervised probation with 200 hours community service plus a $100 fine and $35 in court costs. However, after David explained to Magistrate Judge Louise LaMonthe that he prefer not having probation since he wants to return to Kenya as soon as possible and would likely not abide by probation regulations, the judge reconsidered and changed the sentence to 60 days incarceration in federal prison.

All three are required to self-surrender at the downtown Los Angeles Roybal Federal Building: Jeff on Monday, May 2, David on Tuesday, May 3, and Dennis on Monday May 9. It is not yet known where each will serve their sentence. Stay tuned.


ATOMIC BOMB TEST This LINK is to a straightforward, thought-provoking, and alarming article on U.S. imperial madness. It is a MUST read.

An excerpt: “How many people are aware that a world war has begun? At present, it is a war of propaganda, of lies and distraction, but this can change instantaneously with the first mistaken order, the first missile.

In 2009, President Obama stood before an adoring crowd in the centre of Prague, in the heart of Europe. He pledged himself to make “the world free from nuclear weapons”. People cheered and some cried. A torrent of platitudes flowed from the media. Obama was subsequently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

It was all fake. He was lying.

The Obama administration has built more nuclear weapons, more nuclear warheads, more nuclear delivery systems, more nuclear factories. Nuclear warhead spending alone rose higher under Obama than under any American president. The cost over thirty years is more than $1 trillion.”


Holding Banner.6693 On Thursday, March 17, Los Angeles Catholic Worker community member Jeff Dietrich (third from left) and Guadalupe Catholic Worker community member Dennis Apel (first on left) appeared in Santa Barbara Federal Court for sentencing regarding the August 8, 2015 nonviolent witness at Vandenberg AFB in protest against U.S. nuclear weapons policy.

Both Jeff and Dennis were sentenced to six months supervised probation and 200 hours of community service (NOT connected in any way with the Catholic Worker), along with $35 in court assessment fees. Both Jeff and Dennis stated they will not comply in any way with the sentence nor pay the court assessment fees.

Magistrate Judge Louise LaMonthe scheduled an April 21 “Progress Hearing” to determine what both defendants have accomplished. Again, as with Mike Wisniewski, Magistrate Judge Louise LaMonthe did not want to sentence jail time for either defendant. However, she only postponed what clearly will be inevitable in this situation since Jeff and Dennis have absolutely no intent to comply with any part of their probation sentence. Stay tuned. You can read Dennis Apel’s court statement HERE.

NOTE: During time allotted for the prosecution to make a statement before sentencing, Federal Prosecutor Sharon McCaslin referred to Jeff Dietrich as “the leader of a cult” (obviously believing the Catholic Worker a cult).

Former LACW community member David Omondi (second from right) will be sentenced on April 28.


At the line.2720Karan at gate.2711

From Friday, March 4, through Sunday, March 6, faith-based anti-nuclear resisters from the western part of the U.S. gathered in Santa Barbara, CA, for the annual PLC Resistance Retreat and Direct Action, this year at Vandenberg AFB. Photos courtesy of The Nuclear Resister.

On Sunday, March 6, as part of the Pacific Life Community’s direct action at the front gate of Vandenberg AFB, seven PLC members were arrested for trespass onto military property. Those arrested included: (left to right) Charley Smith, Elizabeth Murray, Karan Benton, Jorge Manly-Gil, Tom Webb, Ed Ehmke, and Mary Jane Parrine. All were cited and later released. A court date will be scheduled at a later date. Below is a letter the seven attempted to deliver to the base commander and read during their arrest:

TO: Col. J. Christopher Moss, Cmdr, 30th Space Wing, Vandenberg AFB
FROM: Pacific Life Community
SUBJECT: Action To Protest Minuteman ICBM Firings on Marshall Islands

We are members of the Pacific Life Community – a local network of spiritually motivated advocates for ending nuclear weapons and other means of war-making through nonviolent direct action. Today we cross the line because we believe that actions inside Vandenberg Air Force Base have crossed the line – the line of regard for our fellow human beings.

We refer to the regular launchings of Minuteman Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) from Vandenberg Air Force Base, which land on the occupied territory of the Marshall Islands. These ICBMs contribute to the further poisoning of the air, land, and waters surrounding the Marshall islands, whose people continue to suffer terribly from a legacy of U.S. government nuclear testing on their formerly pristine paradise.

But far from honoring the longstanding debt owed to the Marshalese people as a result of decades of these nuclear tests, our government continues to squander U.S. taxpayer dollars to carry out the ongoing destruction of the Marshall Islands, whose air, water, and land continue to be poisoned from our ICBMs and other U.S. military materiel.

Those tax dollars could be put to much better use here at home — to alleviate economic misery by creating jobs and boosting local infrastructure. Instead, our expensive military occupation of the Marshall Islands has forced these innocent people away from their homes and consigned them to lives of misery and squalor.

Moreover, the firing of ICBMs by the United States may be considered as a provocation during this time of simmering tensions in the Asia-Pacific region – we are thinking specifically of North Korea. Far from making the American people safer, these missile firings may draw us closer to a nuclear conflagration.

We appeal to you to follow a higher law – that of your conscience – and refuse to send more missiles into the Pacific. Instead, we urge you to join us in calling for a permanent U.S. withdrawal from the Marshall Islands, including provision of fair and just compensation for a people deeply wronged by misguided U.S. policies.

Very respectfully,

The Pacific Life Community

Susan Crane.2675










Dennis & Family.2666










DF-SC-83-10646 The U.S. will launch another diabolical Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile from Vandenberg AFB to the Marshall Islands sometime this weekend.

An Air Force Global Strike Command Minuteman III ICBM (tipped with depleted uranium) is scheduled to launch between Saturday, February 20 and Sunday, February 21 from Vandenberg AFB in continued preparation for the nuclear destruction of the planet by the U.S. empire.

The question that MUST be asked is: Why does the citizenry of this nation silently allow for the preparation of the planet’s destruction–in our name and in the name of the God of creation–solely for the purpose of obscene, escalating corporate profits and U.S. hegemonic goals? This idolatrous, blasphemous, and diabolical insanity MUST cease.


Holding Banner.6693 L.A. Catholic Worker Mike Wisniewski (second from left in photo) appeared in Santa Barbara Federal Court on Thursday, February 18, for sentencing regarding the August 8, 2015 nonviolent witness at Vandenberg AFB in protest against U.S. nuclear weapons policy (see the next two posts below). After nearly one hour of discussion between Magistrate Judge Louise LaMonthe, the Federal Prosecutor, Mike’s Public Defender, and Mike, Judge LaMonthe decided, with much consternation, on a sentence of one year probation and $35 in court assessments, closely following the U.S. Probation Department’s recommendation. Judge LaMonthe’s consternation resulted from being somewhat sympathetic toward our cause, yet believing Mike had to suffer the consequences for breaking the law, and knowing fines would not be paid, and jail time was too harsh, also believing probation will not deter future arrests. Jeff Dietrich (third from left from the LACW) and Dennis Apel (first on left from the Guadalupe CW) will be sentenced on March 17. David Omondi (second from right from the Kenya CW)) will be sentenced on April 28.


Holding Banner.6693 L.A. Catholic Workers Jeff Dietrich, Mike Wisniewski, David Omondi, and Erica Brock appeared in Santa Barbara Federal Court on Thursday, November 19, for arraignment on trespass charges resulting from their August 8, 2015 witness at Vandenberg in protest against U.S. nuclear policy and its imperial war-making.

Erica pleaded guilty–$100 fine plus $35 in fees. Jeff and Mike pleaded no contest. Both are facing jail time and will be sentenced on February 18. David pleaded no contest and is also facing jail time and will be sentenced on April 29. Maximum sentence is six months in federal prison plus $5000 fine. The prosecutor asked for jail time because of their refusal to cooperate with this filthy rotten system and pay fines from previous actions.

Veterans For Peace member Chris Knudson also appeared, pleaded guilty and received $100 fine plus $35 fees.

Dennis Apel from the Guadalupe CW rescheduled his arraignment to a date in December and also will face jail time for the same reason.


Holding Banner.6693

Five Catholic Workers and a member of Veterans For Peace were arrested on Saturday, August 8, after an hour long vigil commemorating the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Thirty-five people attended the vigil including members of the L.A, Guadalupe, and Kenya Catholic Workers, Veterans for Peace, and other individuals.

Dennis Apel led us in a short prayer of repentance and read a poem by Nuclear Age Peace Foundation Founder, David Krieger, entitled: “God Responded With Tears” from the book of poetry God’s Tears: Reflections on the Atomic Bombs Dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Dennis also reminded us that this date also marks the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Nuremberg Charter by the U.S. and other European nations. The charter stipulated that crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity by the European Axis Powers could be tried. How ironic that this agreement was signed two days after the bombing of Hiroshima and one day before the bombing of Nagasaki, yet NOBODY has been held accountable.

Those arrested included: (from left to right) Dennis Apel (Guadalupe CW), Mike Wisniewski and Jeff Dietrich (LACW) Chris Knucson (Veterans For Peace), David Omondi (Formerly of the LACW now at the Kenya CW), and Erica Brock (LACW Summer Intern who is now an LACW community member). The six resisters were sited for trespass and released an hour later at Vandenberg Village. No court date scheduled at this time. More photos to come. (Double click on photo to view in high resolution)

See the Santa Maria Times articles covering this vigil and another story about Dennis HERE and HERE.

UPDATE – October 5, 2015: We received notice that those arrested have a Thursday, November 19, court appearance at 1pm in Santa Barbara Federal Bankruptcy Court, 1415 State St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101. If you can attend for support, it would be greatly appreciated. Be sure to bring your ID.