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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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

TRANSFORM NOW PLOWSHARES UPDATE

Transform Now PlowsharesThe Transform Now Plowshares activists sentencing scheduled for Tuesday, January 28, 2014, was rescheduled to Tuesday, February 18, due to a major snowstorm that hit Knoxville, TN where the trial was held. However, there was a morning session which brought very disappointing results. First, after a brief hearing, where the defense was overruled on every objection made to questions presented to government witnesses by the prosecutor, restitution was set at $52,953. Second, the judge ruled that the defendants would not be given “downward departures” in sentencing, which means that the sentences would not be lower than the minimum, with the probability that the maximum under guidelines will be handed out. To read more on the days proceedings and other news, see this LINK. Sr. Megan celebrated her 84th birthday on Friday, January 31

GUADALUPE CATHOLIC WORKER GOES TO SUPREME COURT

Dennis arrested2Guadalupe Catholic Worker Dennis Apel will appear with his attorney, U.S. constitutional lawyer and UC Irvine Professor Erwin Chemerinsky, before the U.S. Supreme Court on December 4 (Supreme Court case No. 12-1038: United States of America, Petitioner v. John Dennis Apel.) concerning whether a person who has a “ban and bar” letter from the base commander that prevents that person from entering a military base (Vandenberg AFB) without the base commander’s approval can continue to protest on a public roadway easement. This is a First Amendment issue that was appealed from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals by the U.S. government. The forthcoming decision will not only affect Dennis, but anyone who has been arrested on a military base and was issued a ban and bar. Please keep Dennis and this situation in prayer. This LINK is to an article that gives an excellent overview of this case. This LINK also has good info on Dennis and his journey.

dennis photo2 UPDATE: (Wednesday, December 4, 2013) These three links– LINK, LINK, LINK give updates on what the Justices focused on, which does NOT look good. In the second link there is a link to the Scotus Blog, which gives a good analysis from a legal perspective. This LINK has the actual audio of the case arguments. This LINK is the full court transcript, including where Apel is labeled as “posing a threat to the order and security of the base.” (photo by Steve Kelly, SJ–press conference outside the U.S. Supreme Court)

UPDATE DECEMBER 19: The Loss of Innocence is Dennis Apel’s reflection on his case.

UPDATE FEBRUARY 26, 2014: Supreme Court Sides With Military in Vandenberg Protest Case.  The court unanimously issued its written decision as expected.

 

MISSILE LAUNCH PROTEST

DF-SC-83-10646The U.S. Air Force has scheduled yet another provocative test launch of an unarmed Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) from Vandenberg Air Force Base to the Marshall Islands.

A protest is planned for five minutes to midnight on Wednesday, September 25, at the Vandenberg Air Force Base Main Gate. Launch is scheduled for the early morning hours of Thursday, September 26.

Click HERE for the event’s Facbook page.

If you cannot make it to Vandenberg, we encourage you to hold a protest at the nearest federal building or U.S. consulate. If you plan your own protest, please share it on the Facebook page.

If you are unable to physically protest the upcoming launch, please send an e-mail to President Obama asking him to cancel this test. Click HERE for the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation’s Action Alert. See also David Krieger, President of Nuclear age peace Foundation, commentary on the launch HERE.

For anyone coming from the San Francisco Bay Area or South of the Bay Area, MacGregor Eddy has chartered the Green Tortoise for Wednesday 9/25. Call 831 206 5043 to reserve seat on bus. Depart Oakland 5 pm, pick ups on the way to Vandenberg. Return likely by 9 am Thursday. Bus has bunk beds. Donations for bus requested but no one turned away. Nonviolence pledge required, no alcohol, non prescription drugs, animals or children.

This protest is in honor of the late Colonel Petrov, the man who saved the world 30 years ago 9/26. Click HERE to read the remarkable story of Col. Petrov (at Vandenberg Protests Blog).

You may contact MacGregor Eddy, if you have questions, at 831-206-5043 or macgregoreddy@gmail.com

DENNIS APEL CASE GOES TO SUPREME COURT

Dennis arrested2Dennis Apel’s attorney, Constitutional specialist Erwin Chemerinsky, notified Dennis on June 3, that the Supreme Court decided to hear his case, 12-1038 USA v John Dennis Apel. The case involves the easement and ban and bar issues. Vandenberg AFB officials said anyone with a Ban and Bar cannot be on the easement (the property in front of the Vandenberg sign on Hwy 1). Dennis believes he can. The Federal magistrate agreed with the Base as did the District Court Judge. However, the 9th Circuit Court agreed with Dennis and overturned his convictions. Now the Government is taking Dennis to the Supreme Court to try to have those convictions re-instated. No date has been set, but Erwin believes it will be in December. Check back for updates.
UPDATE 6–12-2013 This LINK is to an article in the Santa Barbara Independent regarding this issue.

ARRAIGNMENT DATE SET

Group1L.A. Catholic Worker Theo Kayser finally received an arraignment notice for his backcountry action on October 22, 2012. He will appear at 1pm on Thursday, February 21, in Santa Barbara Federal Bankruptcy Court, 1415 State St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101. If you can attend for support, it would be greatly appreciated. See the action Press Release and Statement HERE

COURT DATE SET FOR TWO ARRESTED ON OCTOBER 22, 2012

L.A. Catholic Worker Rebecca Casas and Fr. Louie Vitale, OFM, two of the three arrested during the Vandenberg backcountry action, now have a January 17 court date at 8:30am in Santa Barbara Federal Bankruptcy Court, 1415 State St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101. Both face trespass charges, which is punishable by a maximum six months in federal prison and up to $5000 in fines. Historically, at least in the past few years, the court shuns prison sentences and issues fines up to $500, though knowing the fines will not be paid by Catholic Workers and Catholic priests who stand in resistance to Vandenberg’s mission of testing U.S. nuclear-capable first-strike missiles and other missiles associated with so-called “Star Wars” policy as well as drone work. See story and statement HERE. Rebecca was driving on a road (along with Fr. Louie) within Vandenberg jurisdiction, was spotted and stopped by military personnel, whereby both were cited for trespass. LACW Theo Kayser, arrested deep within Vandenberg security zones, still awaits a court date.

VANDENBERG AFB TEST FLIGHT SCHEDULED FOR NOVEMBER 14

Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles are on 24/7 hair-trigger alert in silos in Montana, Wyoming, and North Dakota. They carry thermonuclear warheads at least eight times more powerful than the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima.

These land-based nuclear missiles should be decommissioned immediately–
· They are located in fixed silos, which makes them easy targets for attack;
· There is an incentive to “use them first or lose them”;
· The high-alert status of these weapons could lead to accidental nuclear war;
· The U.S. government consistently criticizes other nations for conducting missile tests;
· These tests are dangerous to the Marshall Islands, the target country;
· Testing these missiles encourages other nations to develop and test their own missiles and nuclear weapons.

Take Action

Join us at www.wagingpeace.org/goto/vandenberg to ask the president to stop these provocative nuclear missile tests and to immediately decommission these missiles.

There will be a protest at 12 noon, Tuesday, November 13, in Santa Barbara, at the corner of State & Anapamu Sts. The Air Force tests missiles under the cover of darkness. We protest them in the light of day. If possible, join us to stop this danger to humanity.

 

HIROSHIMA DAY WITNESS ARRAIGNMENT

Three of the five resisters (Theo Kayser, David Omondi, and Tensie Hernandez-Apel) arrested on Hiroshima Day will be arraigned on Thursday, October 18, 2012, at 8:30am in Santa Barbara Federal Bankruptcy Court, 1415 State St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101. The two others (Rebecca Casas and Barbara Robinson) have rescheduled their appearance for a later date, which will be posted as soon as dates are confirmed.

 

Nuclear Weapons on Trial

An evening with the Vandenberg 15 defendants.

The anti-war protesters who were arrested at a Vandenberg ICBM test launch on February 25, 2012, will make their case for the urgent need of nuclear weapons abolition.

The U.S. nuclear arsenal includes 450 hydrogen-bomb armed land-based Minuteman III Intercontinental ballistic missiles. These are deployed in hardened silos throughout the Midwest. The nuclear weapon delivery systems are routinely tested at Vandenberg Air Force Base on California’s central coast.

On Feb 25 a test missile with a dummy hydrogen bomb was launched from Vandenberg to the Kwajalein atoll in the Marshall Islands. 70 people protested the 1:30 am launch, and 15 were arrested.

The defendants will appear in federal court, 1415 State St, Santa Barbara, on Wednesday, October 17, 9 am.

To present their case against the missile launch join some of the defendants on Tuesday evening, October 16, 2012, at Faulkner Gallery, Santa Barbara Public Library, 40 East Ananpamu Street, from 7:00 to 9:30 PM.

Join Join Daniel Ellsberg, Cindy Sheehan, Judy Talaugon, Fr. Louie Vitale, David Krieger, Toby Blome, Lynn Hamilton, John Amidon, Carolee Kehaulani Krieger, Mark Kelso and more.

Light refreshments and book signing of The Path to Zero: Dialogues on Nuclear Dangers and meet the defendants from from 6:30 to 7 pm. Open to the public.

See Dan Ellsberg speech on nuclear weapons at www.wagingpeace.org