PACIFIC LIFE COMMUNITY (PLC) 2016 RESISTANCE RETREAT AND DIRECT ACTION
From Friday, March 4, through Sunday, March 6, faith-based anti-nuclear resisters from the western part of the U.S. gathered in Santa Barbara, CA, for the annual PLC Resistance Retreat and Direct Action, this year at Vandenberg AFB. Photos courtesy of The Nuclear Resister.
On Sunday, March 6, as part of the Pacific Life Community’s direct action at the front gate of Vandenberg AFB, seven PLC members were arrested for trespass onto military property. Those arrested included: (left to right) Charley Smith, Elizabeth Murray, Karan Benton, Jorge Manly-Gil, Tom Webb, Ed Ehmke, and Mary Jane Parrine. All were cited and later released. A court date will be scheduled at a later date. Below is a letter the seven attempted to deliver to the base commander and read during their arrest:
TO: Col. J. Christopher Moss, Cmdr, 30th Space Wing, Vandenberg AFB
FROM: Pacific Life Community
SUBJECT: Action To Protest Minuteman ICBM Firings on Marshall Islands
We are members of the Pacific Life Community – a local network of spiritually motivated advocates for ending nuclear weapons and other means of war-making through nonviolent direct action. Today we cross the line because we believe that actions inside Vandenberg Air Force Base have crossed the line – the line of regard for our fellow human beings.
We refer to the regular launchings of Minuteman Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) from Vandenberg Air Force Base, which land on the occupied territory of the Marshall Islands. These ICBMs contribute to the further poisoning of the air, land, and waters surrounding the Marshall islands, whose people continue to suffer terribly from a legacy of U.S. government nuclear testing on their formerly pristine paradise.
But far from honoring the longstanding debt owed to the Marshalese people as a result of decades of these nuclear tests, our government continues to squander U.S. taxpayer dollars to carry out the ongoing destruction of the Marshall Islands, whose air, water, and land continue to be poisoned from our ICBMs and other U.S. military materiel.
Those tax dollars could be put to much better use here at home — to alleviate economic misery by creating jobs and boosting local infrastructure. Instead, our expensive military occupation of the Marshall Islands has forced these innocent people away from their homes and consigned them to lives of misery and squalor.
Moreover, the firing of ICBMs by the United States may be considered as a provocation during this time of simmering tensions in the Asia-Pacific region – we are thinking specifically of North Korea. Far from making the American people safer, these missile firings may draw us closer to a nuclear conflagration.
We appeal to you to follow a higher law – that of your conscience – and refuse to send more missiles into the Pacific. Instead, we urge you to join us in calling for a permanent U.S. withdrawal from the Marshall Islands, including provision of fair and just compensation for a people deeply wronged by misguided U.S. policies.
The Pacific Life Community