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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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.

DENNIS APEL IS RELEASED

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Dennis' Release.1798 At 11:10 this morning, Dennis Apel was released from federal prison after serving four months for noncooperation with the system by refusing to adhere to probation requirements after being arrested for protesting against U.S. nuclear weapons policy and its imperial war-making last August 9 at Vandenberg. Dennis was reunited with family, friends, and community at the Downtown Los Angeles Metropolitan Detention Center. We processed four short blocks away from MDC to La Placita Church to have a short prayer service, afterward it was time to enjoy relationships, the beautiful day, and freedom before traveling back to the central coast to Santa Maria.

NOTE: Double click on photos to view in high resolution.

VANDENBERG TO LAUNCH MINUTEMAN III MISSILE TEST

DF-SC-83-10646 A Minuteman III ICBM missile test is scheduled for launch early on Sunday morning, September 4, from Vandenberg AFB. The launch window extends from 00:01 to 06:01 PDT.

This comes just six days after August 29, a date designated by the United Nations as the International Day Against Nuclear Tests. While this Minuteman III missile will not be carrying an armed nuclear warhead, the sole purpose of the United States’ 450 land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles is to deliver powerful nuclear warheads to any target on Earth in under an hour.

Bunny McDiarmid, Executive Director of Greenpeace International, said, “Nuclear weapons were designed and tested to be the ultimate doomsday weapon, setting a legacy of fear and destruction. No other human invention had as much impact on the story of humanity in recent decades.” To read more, click here.

David Krieger, President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, stated, “Regularly testing its nuclear warhead delivery vehicles – in this case, the Minuteman III ICBM – stands in stark contrast to its obligation under Article VI of the Non-Proliferation Treaty to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms rate at an early date. This planned test on September 4th continues the provocative behavior by the U.S.”

Krieger went on to say, “Test-firing these missiles while expressing criticism when other countries conduct missile tests is a clear example of U.S. double standards. Such double standards encourage nuclear proliferation and nuclear arms races and make the world a more dangerous place.”

The U.S. Air Force’s proposal for the development of a new generation of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) has in fact stalled over questions surrounding the program’s cost estimates. The Air Force estimates that research, development and production of 400 new missiles would cost $62.3 billion. However, because ICBMs have not been produced by the U.S. for many years, some believe the cost would end up being much higher.

Former defense secretary William Perry has said unequivocally that his experiences have made him believe the U.S. should remove ICBMs from its nuclear triad, which also includes strategic bombers and submarine-launched ballistic missiles.

With each missile test, the U.S. sends a clear and expensive message that it continues to be reliant on nuclear weapons. Each test costs tens of millions of dollars and contributes to the U.S. plans to spend $1 trillion modernizing its nuclear arsenal over the next thirty years.

For more info contact The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation:

Rick Wayman (805) 696-5159 rwayman@napf.org

Sandy Jones (805) 965-3443 sjones@napf.org