Putting Nuclear Missiles on Trial: Oct 16-17th, Santa Barbara, CA

From the civil resistance of the Vandenberg 15 and the work of Veterans For Peace,
a new campaign to de-alert and stand down (eliminate) the Minuteman lll missile is happening.

Call President Obama today at 202-456-1111 and ask him to de-alert and stand down the minuteman lll.

Come to our trial of The Vandenberg 15 in Santa Barbara, CA with events starting on Oct.16, a public forum: “Putting Nuclear Weapons on Trial” in the Santa Barbara library and the trial beginning on Oct. 17, 2012.

More information by emailing jajaja1234@aol.com.

Edit:
Here is the latest:

Minuteman III Missiles:
Dangerous, Deadly and Time to Decommission

The US nuclear arsenal includes 450 land-based Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) armed with thermonuclear warheads. These ICBMs are deployed in hardened silos in North Dakota, Wyoming and Montana. They are easily detected and targeted. The missiles cannot prevent a nuclear attack on the United States – there is no way to preemptively eliminate all of an adversary’s nuclear weapons. A launch would ensure retaliation by a nuclear adversary.

These missiles are on high alert every moment of every day. The decision to launch would be made by the President in 13 minutes or less if he believed there was an impending attack. The Washington Post recently called this “13 minutes to doomsday.” Thirteen minutes with the very real possibility that false information, an electronic glitch or bad signal, or an error in human judgment would bring the world as we know it to an end.

An immediate step that could be taken would be to de-alert the missiles so that 24 to 72 hours would be needed to launch. This would increase our security by eliminating the possibility of accidental or unauthorized launch. A more significant step would be to make the decision to retire and eliminate all land-based ICBMs. They are expensive to maintain and do not address 21st century threats.

In a major unilateral nuclear attack without retaliation from the other side, the smoke from burning cities would block sunlight sufficiently to destabilize the environment, reduce warming sunlight to the lowest levels in at least 1000 years, shorten growing seasons and decrease sustainable agriculture, lower food production and create nuclear famine worldwide. Simply put, even a one-sided attack without retaliation would be tantamount to suicide. Nuclear weapons have no application without inflicting harm on oneself.

It is time we fully understand that any nuclear war that attacked another side’s cities would have consequences for the well-being of everyone on the planet, regardless of wealth, political affiliation, race, etc. The United States and the world would be far more secure by eliminating nuclear weapons, beginning with the Minuteman lll Intercontinental Ballistic missiles.

Please call or send a message to the White House today (call the White House at 202-456-1111) and ask President Obama to de-alert and decommission the US land-based missile force. It is unneeded, provocative, and could be launched to a false warning. US citizens and people throughout the world will be safer and more secure without them.

This is the next video please watch and pass it along. First call the White House so you can affirm you havecalled. You will feel good for having done so (like I do) and this is a team effort. Truly I need you to do this. Thanks. Paz, John

Putting Nuclear Weapons on Trial with David and Carolee Krieger

“Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have
guided missiles and misguided men.” MLK

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the
whole staircase.” MLK

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Unmasking the Illusion – Drones on Trial

The Hancock 38 dramatically put drone warfare on trial in Dewitt Town Court, (near Syracuse, NY ) on November 1-6, 2011. While the verdict will not be rendered until December 1, 2011 it is clear that each of the Hancock 38 was lead by conscience, refusing to be complicit with the immoral and illegal assassinations and killings committed by the USAF and other US government agencies. Please join us in court on Dec. 1, 2011 to support the Hancock 38.

We are asking everyone to send this video to elected officials and military personnel. It is about the trial of the Hancock 38. Click on the arrow inside the Youtube to get it started:

Washington State: On the Eve of the Trial…

From our friends at: Disarm Now Plowshares.
We wish them much good luck and we hold them in our prayers…

On the Eve of the Trial…

Posted on December 7, 2010 by Disarm Now Plowshares

Friends,

It is late Monday evening, and I am sitting in the living room of Jean’s House of Prayer writing this post while others huddle over their laptop computers preparing for tomorrow’s trial.

On the eve of the Disarm Now Plowshares trial people came together at St. Leo Church in Tacoma to break bread, join together in fellowship and celebrate Plowshares. Following a bountiful potluck supper, the Seattle Raging Grannies serenaded us with timeless classics like “Take Me Out of the Bomb Game.” James Morgan engaged the crowd in a sing-along to “The Ballad of Disarm Now Plowshares,” along with other music throughout the evening.

Fr. John Fuchs, SJ, opened the formal program with a moment of silence in honor of Philip Berrigan, who died on this day 8 years ago.

Before introducing the evening’s keynote speaker, Angie Zelter, the Rev. Anne Hall of Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action shared the colorful history of Plowshares actions at Bangor. The Disarm Now Plowshares are the third group of Plowshares activists to have made their way to the Strategic Weapons Facility, Pacific, and none of them had it easy.

The first time was in 1979 when James Douglass and others slogged across Sub Base Bangor after notifying the Navy ahead of time; it still took the Navy 12 hours to find them. Six months later on January 5, 1980, Douglass and others trudged through the snow towards SWFPAC again. This time they did not notify the Navy ahead of time, and only after Shelley Douglass got worried after not hearing from Jim after 20 hours and called the Navy did they find them (after they had been on the base a total of 24 hours. The Navy wanted to minimize publicity, and only charged them with trespassing; they spent 6 months in jail.

Scottish Trident activist, and founder of Trident Plowshares (among many other things) Angie Zelter then spoke to us of “The Importance of Civil Resistance.” I will do my best to share highlights of her rich presentation.

Angie applauded the action of Disarm Now Plowshares as “creating the changes needed in your society to enable it to pass beyond war and injustice, control and dominance,” and she reminded us that “we are colleagues in the same struggle for justice and peace.” As for the trial, Angie said that the actions of Disarm Now provide an opportunity for our court system to recognize and stop the grievous crimes being committed by our own government “and to strengthen the rule of law.” She also recognized that the courts may “not act fairly and rise to the challenge,” in which case it will be on their conscience.

In stating the case for strong engagement by civil society Angie said, “I believe that the law is a powerful tool that, if respected and used with integrity, can deliver nuclear disarmament. However, as we know to our cost, powerful nations tend to act above the law and to abuse power, which is why there is a need for a strong civil society to keep track and pressure governments and law courts to uphold international law. This has been difficult as there is a great deal of official and public cynicism about law in general and international law in particular, epitomised by views that the law serves the powerful in society, does not look after the interests of the poor or weak, and is the law of the victors over the vanquished.”

Angie spoke of how international law is becoming more widely recognized in the United Kingdom in cases involving anti-nuclear activists, but cautioned that they ” still find prosecuting lawyers and some judges expressing impatience and strong disapproval of ordinary citizens ‘meddling’ in the law, and a belief that ‘amateurs’ should not try to ‘uphold’ the law or ‘take the law into their own hands’. We are told not to get involved, that it is up to the government, or the police, or the military, or some other institution, to deal with crimes against peace or war crimes. But we all know that we cannot rely upon these institutions to make the changes we need – we have to act ourselves, as responsible global citizens, and be involved in people’s disarmament.”

Because the legal systems in both our countries have been corrupted and therefore work to prevent defendants from presenting full legal arguments, we must use the jury system to our advantage in order “to uncover the illegalities and criminalities of possessing and threatening to use nuclear weapons and to demand a proper reckoning. We have to expose the hypocrisy of our countries expecting others to obey international law while refusing to obey it themselves.” Of course, given the limitations generally placed on the defense it is difficult but not impossible to be able to speak to the jury. Angie reminds us that we must use “creative ways of making sure that the jury are informed.”

Back to the importance of civil society: “Civil society acts in the belief that the strength and wisdom of a society lies with its people and that we get the governments and legal systems that we allow. We believe we are not completely powerless but are responsible individuals. Thus, rather than staying silent when we see gross crimes being committed in our names, we act. Knowing that the deployment of weapons of mass destruction destroys our humanity and breaks the fundamental principles of humanitarian law, we take the spirit of the law seriously and call our institutions to account. We become part of the forces creating the evolution of our society, we help shape the law and ensure its implementation.”

In speaking of the process of correcting the courts’ previous errors of judgement and upholding the rule of law Angie said ,

Actions like the Disarm Now Ploughshares action are part of this whole process of social transformation that takes much longer than we would all wish but which is nevertheless having its effect. You face a much tougher challenge than we do as you are more often refused the chance to present the evidence of the effects of nuclear weapons on people and the environment. This is because it is clear that if this evidence were given to an impartial jury it would be obvious that these weapons break all the rules and there would be a good chance of an acquittal. Over the coming days we will no doubt witness the lengths to which the Tacoma court will go to stop the truth from getting out. It is our responsibility to make sure that nevertheless we take it out to a wider public by writing articles and talking about it, doing whatever we can. And I hope that the coming trial will inspire you all to continue the nonviolent civil resistance.

I believe that our citizens’ campaigns must carry on using international law to de-legitimise nuclear weapons and to legitimise our own nonviolent actions and to do this in highly public and confrontational ways so it cannot be ignored. We have to do this whilst keeping the moral arguments to the fore as well, by emphasising the links between morality and law.

As she neared the end of her presentation, Angie quoted Judge Weeramantry of the International Court of Justice who stated that,

Every citizen has an obligation to use his or her influence to prevent crimes against humanity …….. Indeed anti-nuclear civil resistance is the right of every citizen of this planet for the nuclear threat, attacking as it does every core concept of human rights, calls for urgent and universal action for its prevention. If it is a basic human right to be free of threat or violence, if the right to life is a basic human right, and if the protection of children and future generations is a basic human duty, international law must unhesitatingly recognise that the right to nonviolent resistance activities, for the prevention of such an international crime is basic to human dignity.

Angie finished by reiterating our responsibility as citizens of the world to act:

It is clear …… that there is an increasing need in the modern world …….. for citizens to take a greater interest in international law and in the way their government fulfils its obligation in this regard. This is increasingly a matter for the citizenry of the world and if they do not rise to their obligations in this respect, future generations will pay dearly for this inaction.”

So you see the law is on our side. Humanity is on our side. The vast majority of countries in the world want nuclear disarmament and are on our side. Eventually if we keep our fragile candle of hope and love and nonviolent resistance alight we will get nuclear disarmament. I wish you all strength and hope for the coming days.

As the Disarm Now Plowshares prepare to begin their trial tomorrow morning may each of us light a candle of hope for them, and may we also pledge to call on our government to uphold its obligations under international laws and to speak out as citizens of the world and say “NOT IN OUR NAME!”

Peace,
Leonard

Judge decides to devote four months to studying issues and testimony presented in "Creech 14" case

For immediate release:

Nevada Desert Experience
1420 West Bartlett Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89106
702.646.4814
http://www.NevadaDesertExperience.org

Voices for Creative Nonviolence
1249 W. Argyle St.
Chicago, IL 60640
773.878.3815
http://www.vcnv.org

JUDGE DECIDES TO DEVOTE FOUR MONTHS TO STUDYING ISSUES AND TESTIMONY PRESENTED IN “CREECH 14” CASE

Contact: Jim Haber 415-828-2506 (cell)
Kathy Kelly: 773-619-2418 (cell)

September 14, 2010
The “Creech 14” went to trial on September 14, 2010 in Clark County Regional Court in Las Vegas, Nevada. The case originated during a week of demonstrations and vigils in April 2009, when the activists entered Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs to highlight the serious injustice of the U.S. military’s use of drones, or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Crews at Creech control the drones used in these expanding wars, including killing civilians in remote controlled assassination attacks. The protesters were charged with trespassing. Judge William Jansen scheduled the verdict for January 27, 2011.

Judge Jansen allowed the pro-se defendants to call three expert witnesses – former Attorney General Ramsey Clark, retired Col. and former Embassy Official Ann Wright, and Bill Quigley, Legal Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights.

“Targeted assassinations by Predator and Reaper drones,” said defendant Renee Espeland, “must be catapulted into the court of public opinion. I am bound by the law of our land that makes it my duty to stop the killing of civilians and to protect U.S. soldiers being ordered to perform illegal acts.”

The judge limited the defense to questions strictly pertaining to the charge of trespass. However, through carefully crafted questions, the defendants were able to extract several key points from their witnesses:

– Intentional killing is a war crime, as embodied in U.S. constitutional law.
– Drone strikes by U.S. and coalition forces kill a disproportionate number of civilians.
– People have the right, even the duty, to stop war crimes.
– According to the Nuremberg principles, individuals are required to disobey domestic orders that cause crimes against humanity.

Defendant Brian Terrell delivered the group’s closing statement. Referring to earlier mention of a classic metaphor used in cases invoking the necessity defense, he depicted a house on fire, with a baby trapped inside. “The house is on fire; the baby is in the house,” said Terrell, “We fourteen are ones who see the smoke, and will not allow a ‘no trespass’ sign to stop us from reaching burning children.” Terrell was speaking about the civilian deaths caused by U.S. drones in Afghanistan.

The Creech 14 include Fr. John Dear, SJ; Dennis DuVall; Renee Espeland; Judy Homanich; Kathy Kelly; Fr. Steve Kelly, SJ; Mariah Klusmire; Brad Lyttle; Libby Pappalardo; Sr. Megan Rice, SHCJ; Brian Terrell; Eve Tetaz; Fr. Louie Vitale, OFM; and Fr. Jerry Zawada, OFM.


See also: Las Vegas Sun

September 14: Trial of the Creech 14

MORE INFO: Nevada Desert Experience

“There is No Appeal from Drone Strikes. Our Grief is Still Not a Cry for War”

14 People were arrested in April 2009 for crossing onto Creech Air Force Base near Las Vegas for attempting to stop or at least dialog with commanders of the Predator and Reaper remotely piloted “drones” that are either protecting US forces or are inciting outrage and endless war because they are killing civilians and being used questionably against people in violation of international and US law, depending on your perspective.

The DA (or someone) reversed themselves and belatedly decided to prosecute the activists, some of whom have served in the military or have seen first-hand the destruction in Pakistan and Afghanistan caused by drone and other US air strikes.

Tuesday, Sept. 14

Trial of Creech 14 defendants:
Regional Justice Center, 200 Lewis Ave.,
Las Vegas, 5th Floor (Regional Court, Department 5):
7:30 am rally in at Lewis and 3rd St.; 8:30 am trial scheduled to begin.

It is unclear how long the trial will last: the morning, all day, more
than a day?