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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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

JEFF DIETRICH HAS BEEN RELEASED

Jeff.1655aAfter spending four months in federal prison for non cooperation with the system after getting arrested for protesting against U.S. nuclear weapons policy and its imperial war-making last August 9 at Vandenberg, Jeff Dietrich (from the Los Angeles Catholic Worker) was released this morning. He was welcomed home with a homecoming party. It was an emotional time for Jeff. Guadalupe Catholic Worker Dennis Apel remains incarcerated for one more week.

Four Arrested at Vandenberg on Hiroshima Day

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At line.1556 The LACW along with the Guadalupe CW, and Veterans for Peace, gathered at Vandenberg to commemorate the 71st anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

During the vigil portion of our gathering, LACW’s Mike Wisniewski and Karan Benton were approached by base security and warned that they were in violation of Ban and Bar letters (Letters from the base commander notifying them that because of previous arrests at the base they were now banned and barred from entering the base without written permission from the base commander.) They were asked to leave immediately or face arrest. Mike chose to leave the protest area while Karan refused to leave and was immediately arrested.

Later, after the vigil and prayer service, LACW Jed Poole and Veterans for Peace member Chris Knudson intentionally crossed the green line marking the lawful protest area, processed down the base road and were arrested near the visitors center.

While those arrests were taking place, LACW David Omondi walked onto the street without the intention of being arrested, but was nevertheless arrested without warning. All were sited for trespass and released 30 minutes later at Vandenberg Village, seven miles from the base gate. Court dates will be scheduled at a later date.

(Click on photos once or twice for high resolution viewing.)

NUCLEAR WEAPONS ARE ILLEGAL AND IMMORAL

by Snoron.com This LINK is to an article on the International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion on the legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons. Something that each and all of us in this nation should have knowledge of since the United States is the World Empire and has a first use policy.

This also is one of the reasons that five Catholic Workers and a member of the Veterans for Peace were arrested last year at Vandenberg AFB on the anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombing, with three of the six sentenced to jail time, including Dennis Apel and Jeff Dietrich, who remain in federal prison (see next post below).

An excerpt:
“On the 20th anniversary of the ICJ Advisory Opinion on threat or use of nuclear weapons, the people must wake up, stand up and speak out. Nuclear weapons are illegal as well as immoral and costly. They are not even weapons, but instruments of mass annihilation. They serve no useful purpose and endanger all countries, all people, and all future generations. It is past time to end the nuclear era.”