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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Archive for May, 2008

Upcoming Trials

After two preliminary hearings held in February and March, a motion hearing is scheduled for Thursday, September 18, 2008, at 1:00 pm, in Santa Barbara Federal Court for defendants: Dennis Apel, Jeff Dietrich, Fr. Steve Kelly, S.J., Fr. Louie Vitale, O.F.M., and Mike Wisniewski, all of whom were arrested for trespass on May 19, 2007, while attempting to persuade Vandenberg personnel present to leave their posts, cross the “green line” to join the peacemakers gathered. It is expected that a trial date will be set for mid October.

Kate Chadfield, Esq, (San Bruno Catholic Worker) represents Dennis Apel, Bill Quigley, law professor at Loyola University New Orleans, represents Fr. Louie Vitale, Fr. Steve Kelly is Pro Se, with Jeff Dietrich and Mike Wisniewski represented by Public Defenders.

Resistance Update

On Thursday, May 15, 2008, Larry Purcell, Mary Jane Parrine, and Ed Ehmke were arraigned on trespass charges in Santa Barbara Federal Court for their nonviolent act of resistance (crossing the “green line”) on March 2, at the culmination of the Pacific Life Community annual retreat. All entered guilty pleas. Mary Jane was offered a $250.00 fine, which she accepted, and made a moving statement to the court (see below). Ed was offered 4 days in prison, either consecutively or on two weekends, which he accepted, but the judge ordered a pre-sentencing report and ordered him back in court on July 17th. Though he requested immediate sentencing, no offer was made to Larry, however, the judge ordered a pre-sentencing report and also ordered Larry back on July 17th.

Below is Mary Jane Parrine ‘s court statement:

I crossed the line that day to make a statement that thousands of people share. This is our hope: that there can be a conversion of weapons production and testing to forms of technology that will benefit humanity. Alternative energy sources, medical research, transport and communication — these and so many areas where technological skill can be transferred to work that pays well, builds more jobs, and is held in esteem in just the same way as we currently respect those who protect us. Police, law enforcement, international regulation of crime — all of these are noble efforts. But not this emphasis on war of aggression and on nuclear weapons that proliferate to the point of massive overkill. Besides being impractical and foolish, Vandenberg’s testing of weapons of mass annihilation brings the concept of defense to an extreme that is wrong in every moral and theological sense.

In the Acts of the Apostles (4:13-21) there is a description of Peter and John appearing before the Sanhedrin. They had been arrested for telling people about the teaching of Jesus and then they were warned not to continue speaking. Their reply was “Whether it is right in the sight of God for us to obey you rather than God, you be the judges. It is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard.”