From LVRJ: Activists appreciate nation where everyone has a say

Well done and thank you Jim and Linda, for your Work…

By John Przybys
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL
Posted: Jul. 3, 2011

Jim Haber’s and Linda Faso’s names might seem vaguely familiar to you, even though it’s unlikely you’ve ever met them in person.

Maybe you’ve run across their names in a photo caption or a newspaper story. Maybe you’ve driven by as they were holding picket signs or marching in demonstrations. And when you saw them, maybe you honked your horn in support, or yelled “Get a job!” or offered them a rude single-digit salute.

Haber and Faso are political activists, he for anti-war and pro-peace causes and she for animal rights. Singly and together, they’re the living embodiment of dissent, the bedrock American value that not only allows us to disagree — with each other, with our government, with mainstream society’s opinions — but encourages us to do so.

Independence Day weekend seems a good time to remember that our nation was founded in dissent, and that, even today, we remain happily, usefully and sometimes uncomfortably awash in it.

And it’s interesting to note how often in our history dissenting voices — over slavery, civil rights and women’s suffrage, to name a few issues — have evolved into mainstream thought, all because a handful of Americans got involved, spoke up and raised some democratic hell.

Faso and Haber certainly find it interesting. They’re even banking on it happening again.

Read the rest here

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This summer and autumn get ready for Peace Actions across the Globe!

From the Agenda of The Nuclear Resister:

July 22 – 29

NONVIOLENT DIRECT ACTION AT N.A.T.O. WAR GAMES

Ofog, the Swedish anti-militarist network, invites international activists to next summer’s action camp against military combat training in Luleå, northern Sweden.

July 26 will be the day for nonviolent direct action at NEAT, the North European Aerospace Test Range, during NATO war practice. Make a direct impact on the largest training ground for war in Europe and meet as organizations and activists to exchange experiences and knowledge and coordinate resistance in the future.

For more information, visit www.warstartshere.com and www.ofog.org or email info@ofog.org, phone +46 (0) 733 81 53 61.

August 5 – 9, 2011, HIROSHIMA & NAGASAKI DAYS

STRATCOM
The Des Moines and Omaha Catholic Workers will sponsor their annual 3-1/2 day August 6-9 “shake and bake” vigil at the gates of Offutt Air Force Base, in Bellevue, Nebraska, home of the Strategic Nuclear (STRATCOM) and the U.S. Military Space Commands.

Vigil concludes August 9 from 8–11 a.m. with a ceremony and line crossing. Evening programs to be announced; come for an hour or the whole time.

Bring a bedroll for church floor space or call ahead for other hospitality. For more info contact Jerry Ebner at 402-502-5887 or email cwomaha@gmail.com.

LOCKHEED-MARTIN
Brandywine Peace Community will hold a Hiroshima Day commemoration and vigil, concluding with nonviolent civil disobedience beginning at noon on Saturday, August 6 at Lockheed Martin corporation on Goddard Boulevard, behind the King of Prussia Mall, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.

Call the Brandywine Peace Community, 610-544-1818, by July 25 if interested in participating in the Hiroshima Day civil disobedience. Check www.brandywinepeace.com for more info.

WASHINGTON, D.C.
Jonah House and the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker Community will host a Hiroshima/Nagasaki Days Faith and Resistance Retreat in Washington, D.C., with nonviolent direct actions at the White House and Pentagon. Details pending.

For more information, contact Dorothy Day Catholic Worker, 202-882-9649, or check www.jonahhouse.org.

BANGOR TRIDENT SUB BASE
Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action will commemorate the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with nonviolent direct action at Kitsap-Bangor Navy Base, homeport of Trident nuclear submarines. Details pending, contact the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action, www.gzcenter.org, email info@gzcenter.org, 360-930-8697.

LIVERMORE LABS
Planning is underway for a Hiroshima Day commemoration at the Livermore nuclear weapons lab in California, with civil resistance planned for Nagasaki Day, August 9. For more info as plans develop, contact Tri-Valley CAREs at 925-443-7148 or visit trivalleycares.org.

August 20, 2011

OLKILUOTO, FINLAND

Join this summer’s blockade of Europe’s largest, most expensive, new nuclear power plant at Olkiluoto, Finland. Plan to be there by August 20. Full details about the encampment, nonviolent direct actions, accommodation, legal consequences, maps and other information will be found at olkiluotoblockade2011.wordpress.com/english.

August 2011 through 2015

WALK FOR A NUCLEAR FREE FUTURE IN AUSTRALIA, CANADA, U.S. AND JAPAN

The Walk for a Nuclear Free Future is actually a series of walks through Australia, Canada, the United States and Japan over a five year period. The walks will follow the deadly nuclear fuel path from uranium mines to nuclear reactors, waste dumps and nuclear weapons sites. The drug- and alcohol-free walks will range from two to six months, covering an average of 15 miles/day.

A support van with kitchen will accompany each walk. Walkers will educate themselves and the public about a nuclear free future using street theater, music, art, public forums, media, petitioning, letter writing and nonviolent direct actions.

This year, Walk Away from Uranium Mining in Southwest Australia, August 21 – October 30.

In 2012, Saskatchewan to Montreal, Canada.

2013, Minnesota to Buffalo, NY, and

2014, Miami, FL to Oak Ridge, TN.

2015: Oak Ridge, TN to Hiroshima, Japan.

Walk coordinator Footprints for Peace has for over a decade organized annual walks, runs and bike rides bringing thousands of people into the streets to create positive change through peaceful action.

For full information, visit www.nuclearfreefuture.com, or contact Footprints for Peace, 1225 North Bend Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45224, 513-843-1205, nffc@footprintsforpeace.net.

Week of September 13, 2011

DSEI ARMS FAIR, ENGLAND

This September, the world’s biggest arms fair returns to the conference center at London Docklands, England. Make no mistake; this is the big one – the nexus of 1,200 purveyors of capitalism, war and repression.

Join the Day of Action against DSEi on Tuesday, September 13, and other actions all week. In previous years there have been street parties, Critical Mass bike rides, die-ins, mock sales of “arms”, legs and even a tank; splashing fake blood across the entrances, engaging with arms dealers on the trains and platforms, invading the car park and rail entrance, blocking the roads, locking on to the trains, tripod and boat blockades to stop equipment from arriving at the arms fair and more. Find out where the arms dealers’ dinner is taking place on September 15 and spoil their party!

For more information, visit dsei.org.

October 3, 2011

BLOCKADE HINKLEY NUCLEAR POWER STATION, SOMERSET, U.K.

Hundreds of people are expected to non-violently blockade the access to Hinkley Point nuclear power station for one day.

While the blockade will be the key focus, there will be plenty of roles and activities for people who do not wish to risk arrest. Everyone who is anti-nuclear can come and join us on the day to express their opposition in many different ways. We will prepare ourselves for this blockade with non-violence training, and we will not be deterred by police trying to prevent our non-violent action.

The blockade will be inclusive, allowing people from all walks of life and with a wide range of experience in non-violent action – or no experience at all – to participate. We will organise a safe environment for everyone, built on trust for each other, but also on our determination to stop nuclear new-build.

In the days before the blockade, there will be local actions in Bridgwater. There will be a camp and local accommoda­tion for people over the weekend and non-violence training will be provided.

More information at http://stopnewnuclear.org.uk.

October 7-9, 2011

CREECH AIR FORCE BASE & NEVADA TEST SITE

A National Catholic Worker Gathering will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada, October 7–9, 2011. Roundtable discussions, hikes, prayer, crafts, singing, opportunity for civil disobedience at the Nevada Test Site (nuclear weapons) and Creech Air Force Base (drone warfare). Hosted by the Las Vegas Catholic Worker at Christ the King Catholic Community. Confirmed attendance already from at least 100 Catholic Workers, families and friends in 27 states [NR editors’ note: including us!].

If you plan to attend, or for more information, please contact the Las Vegas Catholic Worker, 500 W. Van Buren Ave., Las Vegas, NV 89106, 702-647-0728, mail@lcnv.org.

Prison for Peacemakers in Tacoma, Washington

From Common Dreams, please also follow the blog http://disarmnowplowshares.wordpress.com/ for updates!

Two Grandmothers, Two Priests and a Nun Go onto a Nuclear Base

by Bill Quigley

Two grandmothers, two priests and a nun were sentenced in federal court in Tacoma, WA Monday March 28, 2011, for confronting hundreds of US nuclear weapons stockpiled for use by the deadly Trident submarines.

Sentenced were: Sr. Anne Montgomery, 83, a Sacred Heart sister from New York, who was ordered to serve 2 months in federal prison and 4 months electronic home confinement; Fr. Bill Bischel, 81, a Jesuit priest from Tacoma Washington, ordered to serve 3 months in prison and 6 months electronic home confinement; Susan Crane, 67, a member of the Jonah House community in Baltimore, Maryland, ordered to serve 15 months in federal prison; Lynne Greenwald, 60, a nurse from Bremerton Washington, ordered to serve 6 months in federal prison; and Fr. Steve Kelly, 60, a Jesuit priest from Oakland California, ordered to serve 15 months in federal prison. They were also ordered to pay $5300 each and serve an additional year in supervised probation. Bischel and Greenwald are active members of the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action, a community resisting Trident nuclear weapons since 1977.

What did they do?

In the darkness of All Souls night, November 2, 2009, the five quietly cut through a chain link perimeter fence topped with barbed wire.

Carefully stepping through the hole in the fence, they entered into the Kitsap-Bangor Navy Base outside of Tacoma Washington – home to hundreds of nuclear warheads used in the eight Trident submarines based there.

Walking undetected through the heavily guarded base for hours, they covered nearly four miles before they came to where the nuclear missiles are stored.

The storage area was lit up by floodlights. Dozens of small gray bunkers – about the size of double car garages – were ringed by two more chain link fences topped with taut barbed wire.

USE OF DEADLY FORCE AUTHORIZED one sign boldly proclaimed. Another said WARNING RESTRICTED AREA and was decorated with skull and crossbones.

This was it – the heart of the US Trident Pacific nuclear weapon program. Nuclear weapons were stored in the bunkers inside the double fence line.

Wire cutters cut through these fences as well. There they unfurled hand painted banners which said “Disarm Now Plowshares: Trident Illegal and Immoral”, knelt to pray and waited to be arrested as dawn broke.

What were they protesting against?

Each of the eight Trident submarines has 24 nuclear missiles on it. The Ground Zero community explains that each of the 24 missiles on one submarine have multiple warheads in it and each warhead has thirty times the destructive power of the weapon used on Hiroshima. One fully loaded Trident submarine carries 192 warheads, each designed to explode with the power of 475 kilotons of TNT force. If detonated at ground level each would blow out a crater nearly half a mile wide and several hundred feet deep.

The bunker area where they were arrested is where the extra missiles are stored.

In December 2010, the five went on trial before a jury in federal court in Tacoma charged with felony damage to government property, conspiracy and trespass.

But before the trial began the court told the defendants what they could and could not do in court. Evidence of the medical consequences of nuclear weapons? Not allowed. Evidence that first strike nuclear weapons are illegal under US and international law? Not allowed. Evidence that there were massive international nonviolent action campaigns against Trident missiles where juries acquitted protestors? Not allowed. The defense of necessity where violating a small law, like breaking down a door, is allowed where the actions are taken to prevent a greater harm, like saving a child trapped in a burning building? Not allowed.

Most of the jurors appeared baffled when defendants admitted what they did in their opening statements. They remained baffled when questions about nuclear weapons were objected to by the prosecutor and excluded by the court. The court and the prosecutor repeatedly focused the jury on their position that this was a trial about a fence. Defendants tried valiantly to point to the elephant in the room – the hundreds of nuclear weapons.

Each defendant gave an opening and closing statement explaining, as much as they were allowed, why they risked deadly force to expose the US nuclear arsenal.

Sojourner Truth was discussed as were Rosa Parks, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King.

The resistance of the defendants was in the spirit of the civil rights movement, the labor movement, the suffragist movement, the abolition of slavery movement.

Crowds packed the courtroom each of the five days of trial. Each night there was a potluck and a discussion of nuclear weapons by medical, legal and international experts who came for the trial but who were largely muted by the prosecution and the court.

While the jury held out over the weekend, ultimately, the activists were convicted.

Hundreds packed the courthouse today supporting the defendants. The judge acknowledged the good work of each defendant, admitted that prison was unlikely to deter them from further actions, but said he was bound to uphold the law otherwise anarchy would break out and take down society.

The prosecutors asked the judge to send all the defendants to federal prison plus three years supervised probation plus pay over five thousand dollars. The specific jail time asked for ranged from 3 years for Fr. Kelly, 30 months for Susan Crane, Lynne Greenwald, 7 months in jail plus 7 months home confinement, Sr. Anne Montgomery and Fr. Bill Bichsel, 6 months jail plus 6 months home confinement.

Each of the defendants went right into prison from the courtroom as the spectators sang to them. Outside the courthouse, other activists pledged to confront the Trident in whatever way is necessary to stop the illegal and immoral weapons of mass destruction.

————–

Bill Quigley is part of the legal team supporting the defendants and was in Tacoma for the sentencing. You can learn more about the defendants at disarmnowplowshares.wordpress.com.


Bill Quigley is Legal Director at the Center for Constitutional Rights and a law professor at Loyola University New Orleans. He is a Katrina survivor and has been active in human rights in Haiti for years with the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti. Contact Bill at quigley77 @ gmail.com

WA: Week of Sentencing! March 26th for the Disarm Now Plowshares

From: Disarm Now Plowshares

Week of Sentencing!

Here is the most current schedule of events leading up to and including the sentencing of the Disarm Now Plowshares. Please note that changes might occur, and we will keep this schedule updated, so check back on the day of each event for any last minute changes.

Please also note that you can still write letters of support on behalf of the Disarm Now Plowshares co-defendants. Go to the “Support Us” page to learn more. Thanks!

SATURDAY MARCH 26 – 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm. Vigil at the US Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor Main (Trident Ave.) Gate.

SUNDAY MARCH 27 – 10:30 a.m. MASS AT ST. LEO CHURCH, 710 South 13th St., Tacoma, Fr. Pat Lee, SJ, Oregon Provincial

SUNDAY MARCH 27 – 5:30 p.m. FESTIVAL OF HOPE AT ST. LEO CHURCH, Potluck Dinner, Music by St. Leo’s Choir, Mooncoyne, Native American Drummers. Speakers include BISHOP THOMAS J. GUMBLETON– longtime peace activist and founding member of Pax Christi.

MONDAY MARCH 28 – 9:00 a.m. SENTENCING for all five Disarm Now Plowshares co-defendants begins at the U.S. District (Union Station) Courthouse, Tacoma. 8:00 a.m. Vigil in front of the Union Station Courthouse in support of Disarm Now Plowshares. Come out and support them!

Click here for directions and parking information for the Tacoma Union Station Courthouse.

Post Sentencing Gathering to be determined.

For more information and/or if you need hospitality, please call Bix at 253-304-6612.

For housing, contact Karen at karenh@harbornet.com or call her at 253-627-0486.

Eight activists arrested at the Nevada Test Site

From: KNTV
Updated: wnRenderDate(‘Saturday, January 29, 2011 9:14 PM EST’, ”, true); Jan 30, 2011

Las Vegas, NV—Marking the 60th year since the first atomic bomb was tested on land belonging to the Western Shoshone National Council, near Indian Springs, Nevada, eight activists stepped onto the land and were immediately arrested by Nye County police.

The Western Shoshone National Council had issued permits for the activists to enter their land. “You bless the land with each of your footsteps,” said Johnnie Bobb, a leader of the Western Shoshone Nation. Taken into custody immediately after stepping onto the land were: George Homanich, Judy Homanich, Mary Lou Anderson, Renee Espeland, Brian Terrell, Denis DuVall, Jim Haber and Jerry Zawada.

On January 27th, 2011, five of the eight were sentenced to time served after Judge Jansen found them guilty of trespass for an April 2009 entry into Creech Air Force base. Judy Homanich, Renee Espeland, Brian Terrell, Denis DuVall and Jerry Zawada were among the “Creech 14.”

Jim Haber, coordinator of the Nevada Desert Experience, noted that the Nye County Sherriff’s office accepted as valid forms of identification the permits issued to the activists by the Western Shoshone National Council.

‘Creech 14’ found guilty of trespassing, judge says ‘go in peace’

By Dave Toplikar
Las Vegas Sun

Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011, Creech Air Force Base

A Las Vegas judge on Thursday handed down a decision that got a mixed reaction from protesters of drone warfare who were arrested for trespassing nearly two years ago at Creech Air Force Base in Southern Nevada.

Judge William Jansen, in a 20-page decision, ruled that the “Creech 14” who protested April 9, 2009, at the base, were guilty of the crime of trespassing.

But the judge also decided that the defendants, who stood trial for the misdemeanor offense last September in his courtroom, would be given credit for the time they served in jail and would be free to go.

“Go in peace,” were Jansen’s final words to the defendants after an hour-long court proceeding this morning in Las Vegas Justice Court.

The judge also urged them to use diplomacy, rather than trespassing, in their attempts to get U.S. drone warfare policy changed.

There was some scattered applause in the crowded courtroom upon hearing the defendants wouldn’t get jail time — but the defendants weren’t pleased about the judge’s guilty verdict.

The protesters had argued there was “necessity” that compelled them to act. As someone might trespass onto private property to save a child from a burning building, they said they were trying to stop drone warfare from killing civilians thousands of miles away in Afghanistan.

However, in his conclusion, Jansen said that “Defendants’ motivation for why they committed the offense is irrelevant and does not constitute a defense to the charge. Moreover, defendants are unable to show that their conduct was compelled by true ‘necessity’ as that doctricne has been defined by various courts.”

Before handing down sentences, the judge allowed each of the defendants to make statements. Each of those who spoke said they disagreed that what they were doing wasn’t out of necessity.

Those found guilty of the misdemeanor charge are the Rev. John Dear, a Jesuit priest; Dennis DuVall; Renee Espeland; Judy Homanich; Kathy Kelly; the Rev. Steve Kelly, a Jesuit priest; Mariah Klusmire; Brad Lyttle; Libby Pappalardo; Sister Megan Rice, a member of the Sisters of the Holy Child Jesus; Brian Terrell; Eve Tetaz; and the Revs. Louie Vitale and Jerry Zawada, both Franscican priests.

The Judge Will DECIDE!

January 27, 2011
 

The Creech 14 were arrested in April 2009, the State of Nevada prosecuted the case on September 14th 2010. The judge recognized the social justice significance and decided to withhold judgement for at least 90 days. 
Come hear his announcement with the Creech 14 at the Regional Justice Center, 200 Lewis Ave., Las Vegas, (8th Floor).

That will coincidentally be the 60th anniversary of nuclear testing at the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS–formerly the NTS/NPG).

January 27 from 7:30 to 8:15am: Pre-verdict rally @ Lewis St and 3rd (outside Regional Justice Center). This rally/vigil happens just prior to the court hearing in which Hon. William Jansen will pronounce his verdict–4 months and 13 days after the trial ended.

January 27 from 3:00 to 5:00pm: Public Vigil @ Las Vegas Blvd at Tropicana on pedestrian overpasses

January 28 from 6:30 to 8:00am & 3:30 to 5:00pm: Vigils at Creech Air Force Base in opposition to remote-controlled “hunter-killer drones” from Indian Springs.

January 29 from 11am to 1pm: Prayerful Memorial Observance of the 60th Anniversary of 1st Nuclear Bomb Test in NV. This event is @ the entrance to the Nevada National Security Site (formerly called the Nevada Test Site)–Mercury exit of US-95, 65 miles northwest of Vegas. The actual anniversary is January 27th, but our Memorial Observance is January 29th.