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 February, 2012

DENNIS APEL ARRESTED AND RELEASED ON JEJU ISLAND

Dennis Apel, from the Guadalupe Catholic Worker, was in South Korea to attend and speak at a conference for the resistance movement in opposition to a U.S. Navy base on Jeju Island, 50 miles southeast of South Korea’s mainland. The Navy base will be a direct threat to China, 300 miles away.

The 706-square-mile volcanic island comprises three UNESCO World Natural Heritage sites. Today Jeju Island is being threatened by joint U.S.-South Korean militarization and violence: the construction of a naval base on what many consider to be Jeju’s most beautiful coastline. The base is located in Gangjeong, a farming and fishing village that has reluctantly become the site of an epic battle for peace.

For more than four years, island residents and peace activists have engaged in determined resistance to the base, risking their lives and freedom. The Jeju base will host up to 20 U.S. and South Korean warships, including nuclear submarines, aircraft carriers and destroyers, several of which would be fitted with the Aegis ballistic-missile defense system.

For the United States, the base’s purpose is to project force toward China – and to provide a forward operating installation in the event of a military conflict. The last thing the world needs is brinksmanship between the U.S. and China. Failure to prevent this dangerous, destructive project may well have consequences reaching far beyond Asia. We need not speculate how Washington would react were China to establish a base near the U.S. coast.

The resistance is a grassroots movement that goes well beyond the issue of the island’s militarization. Human rights, the environment, and free speech also are at stake. Though small and remote, Gangjeong is an important battleground for all who believe in social justice and peace worldwide. Dennis was arrested with several other activists, held for three days, then released on Tuesday, February 28.

The ongoing protest on Jeju has halted construction over the past year and counts as a critical struggle against a potentially devastating war in Asia, and against the deeply rooted institutional structures that are driving the world toward ever more conflict. With nearly 800 military bases outside the U.S. already, the U.S. empire races full steam ahead in its quest for world domination and destroys whomever attempts to get in its way. We must ask, when is enough?  Never-ending militarization, perpetual wars and occupations, not to forget holding the world hostage with its nuclear arsenal, willing to destroy all or part of the world in its diabolical obsession with hegemonic supremacy are destroying this nation economically, morally, and spiritually.  We must RISE UP! RESIST!

MARCH 1 ICBM TEST POSTPONED

Vandenberg AFB officials announced today (Tuesday) that the Minuteman III ICBM test launch for March 1 has been postponed, with no new date announced, due to “technical” reasons.

ANOTHER ICBM TEST LAUNCH SET FOR MARCH 1

Vandenberg Air Force Base plans yet another Minuteman III ICBM test on March 1, 2012, the 58th anniversary of the Castle Bravo / Bikini Atoll test. Castle Bravo was the code name given to the first U.S. test of a dry-fuel thermonuclear hydrogen bomb, detonated on March 1, 1954 at Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands, the first test of Operation Castle. The Castle Bravo test had an explosive yield of 15 megatons, which is 1,000 times the power of the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima. The Bravo test caused widespread damage to numerous atolls in the Marshall Islands that is still felt to this day. The Marshall Islands also happened to be the target of this Minuteman missile test.  See MacGregor Eddy’s blog for further info.

FIFTEEN ARRESTED ON FEBRUARY 25.

Early Saturday morning, February 25, eight women and seven men, including Daniel Ellsberg, Cindy Sheehan, Judy Talaugon, Leslie Angeline, David Krieger, Fr. Louis Vitale, Jim Haber, Cynthia Papermaster, Toby Bloom, and Leslie Angeline, among others, were arrested at the protest against the Minuteman III test launch.  One hundred people, the largest demonstration and civil resistance against a U.S. missile test in nearly 30 years, attended the 11:55 pm witness in front of the main gate.

Daniel Ellsberg, a former military analyst for the Rand Corporation and person responsible for releasing the “Pentagon Papers,”  the primary factor in ending the Vietnam War, gave a short presentation to those gathered prior to crossing the line with 14 others–See a video HERE and Photo’s HERE.  All were cited for trespass and released.

Also in attendance were Paul O’Toko, from Micronesia, an elder and founder of Indigenous Stewards International, along with a group he brought with him, and representatives from the local Chumash Nation, whose land Vandenberg occupies. The Minuteman III missile was launched at 2:46 am to its target over 4000 miles southwest in the Marshall Islands.

Saturday, March 10, 2012 Public Lecture Series 7:30 PM in Santa Barbara. All are invited. See Flyer Link Below.