CHARGES DISMISSED AGAINST VANDENBERG 15
Charges were dismissed on Wednesday, October 17, in federal court in Santa Barbara, Calif., against fifteen people, including four members of Veterans For Peace, who were scheduled to face trial on Wednesday as a result of their nonviolent protest of nuclear warheads at Vandenberg Air Force Base. The 15 were arrested on February 25th for protesting the launch of a Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile from Vandenberg to the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. See video HERE.
The Veterans For Peace facing trial were Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg of Berkeley, Calif.; Fr. Louie Vitale of Oakland, Calif. and Las Vegas, Nev.; John Amidon of Albany, N.Y.; and Mark Kelso of Las Vegas, Nev.
The district attorney moved to dismiss all charges. Two of the defendants, John Amidon and Toby Blome, wanting to raise their concerns about the Minuteman III missiles in court, offered motion not to dismiss. The judge sided with the district attorney.
Some of the same people will be among those protesting again on November 13th when another missile test is scheduled.
McGregor Eddy, one of the defendants, called the dismissal a victory. “The military,” she said, “wants to avoid drawing attention to thermonuclear warheads that serve no purpose and cost a great deal of money. Many young people don’t even know about these nuclear weapons. When we say ‘nukes’ they think of nuclear power.” Fr. Louie Vitale agreed, calling the dismissal “a great victory.” Vitale added, “I’ve been on trial here several times and always lost. Vitale said that the public in Santa Barbara had learned a great deal through the work of the coalition formed around this protest and near-trial, including with the help of David Krieger and the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.
Nuclear Age Peace FoundationWikipedia: The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation was founded in 1982, and is composed of individuals and organizations worldwide who support worldwide efforts to abolish nuclear weapons. →