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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NONVIOLENT DIRECT ACTION AND CHRISTIAN PEACEMAKING

thThis LINK is to a January 29, 2014, presentation by Sharon Delgado speaking at Parkside Community Church in Sacramento on “The Role of Nonviolent Direct Action in Christian Peacemaking.” In it, she shares some of the experiences and insights that have shaped her 35-year peacemaking journey, including the recently-concluded trial in which she was found guilty of trespassing onto Beale Air Force Base during a nonviolent protest against drone warfare. She also shows how Jesus’ life, teachings, actions, death, and resurrection can inspire us to follow him directly into the heart of the struggle for a transformed world. This LINK is to Earth-Justice Ministries, which Sharon is a part of.

ICBM TEST LAUNCH SCHEDULED FOR WORLD PEACE DAY

Vandenberg Air Force Base/Space Command has set the date for the next Minuteman
III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile test launch. It is scheduled for World Peace Day,
Wednesday, September 21.

The LGM-30 Minuteman is a U.S. land-based nuclear tipped intercontinental ballistic
missile (ICBM). As of 2010, the LGM-30G Minuteman-III is the only land-based ICBM
in service in the United States. It is one component of a nuclear triad, which is
complemented by the Trident submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) and by
nuclear weapons carried by long-range strategic bombers.

The letter “L” in “LGM” indicates that the missile is land silo-launched; the “G”
indicates that it is designed to attack ground targets; the “M” indicates that it
is a guided missile. The name “Minuteman” comes from the Revolutionary War’s
Minutemen. It also refers to its quick reaction time; the missile can be launched
in approximtely 1 minute. The Air Force plans to keep the missile in service
until at least 2030.

The current U.S. force consists solely of 450 Minuteman-III missiles in missile
silos around F.E. Warren AFB, Wyoming; Malmstrom AFB, Montana; and Minot AFB,
North Dakota.

These tests violate the spirit and intent of the Nuclear Non Proliferation
Treaty and make the world a more dangerous place. Please include a protest
against this launch in all Sept. 21 World Peace Day events.

BUD BOOTHE ARRESTED AND ABUSED

On  January 5, 2011, during the regular monthly vigil held outside the main gate in the legal protest area, Bud Boothe was warned that he was in violation of a Ban and Bar order and was given two minutes to leave or face arrest. Bud chose to remain and subsequently was arrested. During the arrest process the hand cuffs were placed on him very tightly, which caused a severe bruise to his wrist and back of hand. Throughout the process Bud repeatedly complained about the pain he was suffering, but nothing was done by the arresting guards. A photo of Bud’s hand can be seen on MacGregor Eddy’s Blog.

CONVICTED!

On Thursday, November 18, Fr. Louie Vitale and Sr. Megan Rice were convicted of “trespass” in Santa Barbara Federal Court for their August 23 witness against the Minuteman III ICBM launch. Fr. Louie received a $1,000 fine and Sr. Megan received a $500 fine. Neither received jail time or probation from U.S. Magistrate Rita Coyne-Federman.

MINUTEMAN LAUNCH CANCELED

No reason was provided for the cancellation of the November 18 launch.

A final decision about our press conference will be made on Monday, November 16 insofar as the test could be back “on” at any moment.

AUGUST 9, 2009 PHOTOS

See photos of witness commemorating 64th anniversary of Hiroshima/Nagasaki bombing. August 9, 2009 Photos

OCTOBER 16 COURT UPDATE

Kate Chatfield, representing Dennis Apel, filed a motion (see Attorney Submissions page) for a jury trial and a defense of necessity, employing International Law and Nuremberg Principles. After a magnificent 15 minute motion presentation, Magistrate Rita Coyne-Federman denied both motions. A December 4 trial date was set for 9 am.

John Littrell, Public Defender for Mike Wisniewski, filed a motion (see Attorney Submissions page) for full dismissal of charges. After listening to Mr. Littrell’s motion presentation, Magistrate Rita Coyne-Federman decided to continue the motion until the December 4 date, when a evidentiary hearing will take place on the motion. If the motion is denied, a bench trial will immediately follow.

Time Served

Larry Purcell and Ed Ehmke appeared in Santa Barbara Federal Court for sentencing on Thursday, July 17, for their March 2 witness. After reviewing a pre-sentencing report, Magistrate Rita Coyne-Federman handed both defendants a one day sentence with credit for time served. Both Larry and Ed walked out of court free of jail time. See Ed’s sentencing statement below.

Statement for Sentencing Hearing, Jul 17, 2008, in Santa Barbara Federal Court

Edwin G. Ehmke

Shortly before or after the United States attack upon Iraq, I attended a large march in San Francisco. Among those in our group were a number of Italian nuns dressed in their traditional white habits. Upon entering Civic Center Plaza, I was approached by a TV reporter who focused a camera on me, stuck a microphone to my mouth and asked, “What does religion have to do with this war?” I was speechless, partially because of the surprise factor, and partly because of the question, the answer to which I thought was obvious. All I could do was stammer: “It’s immoral.”

I have thought about this often since then, wondering what I could have said had I greater presence of mind. So far, however, I really haven’t come up with a better answer. All I can do in this statement is elaborate on this.

When people learn that we have committed civil disobedience, they are often puzzled. What good does it do? It won’t change anything. Why risk your freedom or stain your record on behalf of a cause you can’t do anything about? My answer is similar to that given by my wife Mary Jane before this court on May 15. We do this as a witness against an evil that has become so banal that it is often ignored. We take for granted what President Eisenhower called the military-industrial complex, a set of interlocking governmental and corporate relationships that feed on each other to produce a mindset that has one focus: power. This is no secret. What would our founding fathers think of what many in our government have publicly said or published: The Project for the New American Century, with its blueprint for American world mastery; the lavishly illustrated Space Command published by the Department of Defense, calling for complete American militarization and dominance of space? The Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, headed by a recent vice-president of the world’s largest weapons manufacturer and exporter? The list runs on and on, going as least as far back as studies from 1960’s think tanks, that blandly divorced strategic policies from the fates of those they affected the most. In the meantime we sit before our televisions, insulated from the insecurity we might experience were the media to report the military caskets and civilian deaths the way it did in Vietnam. America has changed.

We spend more than $50 million dollars a shot in order to pummel an atoll in the Marshall Islands, whose inhabitants have nothing to say in the matter. These missiles, coming from Vandenberg Air Force Base, have one purpose only—to kill as many people as possible. I’m sure they are quite effective. With 4 shots a year that makes $200 million. The war in Iraq is costing us 700 or so million a day. I don’t recall much attention several weeks ago when President Bush magnanimously offered $3 million to help the untold numbers of Burmese cyclone victims. I guess this was enough to make us feel good. No need to mention the poor, inadequate medical care, roads full of potholes, and most of our neglected infrastructure . The stock of Lockheed Martin has gone up sixfold.

Henry Kissinger, George Schultz, William Parry, and Sam Nunn have several times during the last year jointly called for an end to the nuclear madness. Speaking and acting against it is not unreasonable. And—most importantly—my recollection of the Fifth Commandment does not include exemptions for preemptive strikes and the massive taking of any human life. America may have changed, but this commandment has not.

Diocese of San Jose Letter (PDF)

New Legal Posts

06/11/2008 – See new PDF posts under ATTORNEY SUBMISSIONS page regarding: Iraqi deaths, U.S. Military PTSD, Air Force sorties in the GWOT & Cheney/Bush et al lied and exaggerated intelligence leading up to the Iraq invasion. These items will be used by the defense in Dennis, Jeff, Mike, Fr. Steve, and Fr. Louie’s upcoming trial.