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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
Three members of Veterans For Peace — Russell Brown, John Amidon, and Elliott Adams — were among 33 peaceful protesters arrested on Sunday outside Hancock Air Field in New York State. Almost all of the 33 were arrested preemptively, as they walked single-file and silently along a road, prior to reaching the military base, at which they intended to approach the gate and deliver a written statement.
Here is video of the walk: http://youtu.be/xq8xEisjbSA
And of the arrests: http://youtu.be/VzvNYIlASTc
Here is a news story featuring a photo of Elliott Adams being arrested: http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2012/04/military_protesters_turned_awa.html
The Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones reported that the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Department made the arrests in Mattydale, NY, two blocks from the entrance to the base. “Those arrested included an 87 year old woman in a wheelchair, parents (accompanying their children), a member of the press, and the group’s attorney Ron Van Norstrand. Cameras, camcorders and phones were confiscated by the Sheriff’s Department.” http://blog.upstatedroneaction.org
Elliott Adams is Past President of Veterans For Peace, and current Nonviolent Training Coordinator. He had also been arrested in 2011 as one of the Hancock 38 protesting at the same base. Adams commented after this weekend’s arrest:
“Once again local law enforcement obstructed me from complying with the Nuremberg principles. As a veteran of several war zones I understand the importance of international law like the Geneva conventions and the remarkable UN Charter. But as I tried to serve an indictment to those committing war crimes I was arrested preemptively.
“As veterans we know how important international laws like the Geneva conventions are. We know that weaponized drones are continuously being used to commit war crimes and even crimes against peace. The Nuremberg Principles obligate us, as citizens, to stop our government from committing these crimes. Our arrest on Sunday was a clear case of trampling on our 1st Amendment right to ‘petition our government for a redress of grievances.’
“It is outrageous,” Adams remarked, “that on the other side of this fence people are being murdered, albeit at long distance, and the Sheriff will not even investigate. On this side of the fence we are arrested for a ‘violation of permit requirement.'”
Three women succeeded on Sunday in reading aloud at the base gate an indictment addressed to “the Service Members of Hancock Air Base.” The Indictment states, in part:
“By giving material support to the drone program, you as individuals are violating the Constitution, dishonoring your oath, and committing war crimes. We charge the chain of command, from President Barack Obama, to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, to Commander Colonel Greg Semmel, to every drone crew, to every service member supporting or defending these illegal actions, with the following crimes: extrajudicial killings, violation of due process, wars of aggression, violation of national sovereignty, and the killing of innocent civilians.”
Adams’ statement, made in court at the trial of the Hancock 38 last November is available online:
As is his statement at the sentencing hearing:
Adams told the judge: “I am proud to accept the consequences of my acts and any jail time. I do not want any suspended sentence. If you give me one, also please let me know how I can violate it before I leave the courtroom.” The judge, however, gave Adams a suspended sentence and probation conditions. Adams has not ceased protesting drone wars.
Veterans For Peace was founded in 1985 and has approximately 5,000 members in 150 chapters located in every U.S. state and several countries. It is a 501(c)3 non-profit educational organization recognized as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) by the United Nations, and is the only national veterans’ organization calling for the abolishment of war.
Veterans For Peace Protest War Outside White House
Ray McGovern, Daniel Ellsberg and Chris Hedges amongst dozens of protesters arrested outside White House
We thank and congratulate the people doing this protest and we wish them strength and determination!
Just in, via The Raw Story, this YouTube:
Dozens of activists, including the man who leaked the Pentagon Papers on the Vietnam War, were arrested Thursday at the White House as they protested the Afghanistan conflict and defended WikiLeaks.
As President Barack Obama unveiled a war review strategy inside, more than 100 war opponents — many of them veterans — marched through snow to the White House, chanting “Peace now!” and refusing to step down from the fence’s ledge.
Police waited before gradually sealing off the area and escorting remaining protesters — who had vowed to stay until their arrest — into two waiting buses.
Daniel Ellsberg, who as a government consultant leaked the Pentagon Papers that revealed war planning in Vietnam, saluted Bradley Manning, the young army officer suspected of leaking secret US documents to website WikiLeaks.
Ellsberg predicted that Obama would intensify the Afghanistan war as “presidents don’t like to say they were wrong.”
“I’m afraid that will happen indefinitely unless more people follow the example of Bradley Manning, whose courageous act of civil disobedience probably confronts him with life in prison,” Ellsberg said to cheers.
Medea Benjamin, co-founder of the Code Pink women’s peace movement, noted that Afghanistan ranks near the worst in rankings on development and corruption despite billions of dollars a month in the US war effort.
“It is high time that President Obama get a clue and understand that we need, as our signs says here, a real peace president,” she said.
“We need men that understand that the best thing we can do for our security and the security of the people of Afghanistan is to take the money that we are spending on war and invest it in people, invest it in health care, invest it in education at home and in Afghanistan,” she said.
Obama, an early opponent of the Iraq war, has tripled troop numbers in Afghanistan but pledged to start a withdrawal next year. The United States sent troops to Afghanistan in 2001 after the September 11 terrorist attacks carried out by Al-Qaeda, which had found sanctuary in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan.
In the review, Obama said there was “significant progress” in curbing the Taliban and stifling Al-Qaeda, but warned more time was needed.
On Thursday, author, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges and Pentagon Papers whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg were among the 131 anti-war activists arrested during a nonviolent demonstration outside the White House to protest against the war in Afghanistan as well as America’s ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Pakistan.
Hedges delivered a rousing speech about the nature of hope (in contrast to what certain campaign slogans might have suggested in recent years), pointing out that “hope has a cost, hope is not comfortable,” before joining other supporters of Veterans for Peace who chained themselves to the White House fence. When asked why he chose that course of action, Hedges replied, “Because it’s all we have left at this point … The normal mechanisms by which democratic participation are rendered possible in this country have been closed shut, and if we don’t do this, we die. This is what’s left of hope in this country.”
For his part, Ellsberg said he was drawn to the demonstration in part because veterans were leading the action. “I know that people here understand this war is as hopeless and wrong as the war we participated in in Vietnam, and it is not going to end by a presidential initiative,” he said. “It’ll only be because the American public has awakened to their responsibilities and to the realities of this war.” The “big lie” that the American government is telling its people now, Ellsberg believes, “is that these wars are protecting us at home.” (Truthdig)
On October 2nd 2010, Veterans For Peace hung banners inside and on the outside of the Newseum in Washington, DC. See the photo and film here. No one got arrested, the banners were returned, and as you can see it attracted a lot of attention!
Here is a link to the Newsbulletin:
WAR IS THE OBSCENITY
The ‘F’-word vs. the ‘W’-word
by Kim Carlyle
Our culture views the “f”-word as vulgar and offensive—even obscene, yet accepts the “w”-word with no such sense of revulsion.
Read more: http://indypendent.org/pdf/WCT_Special.pdf
Minnesota veterans stood in solidarity with veterans from Saratoga Springs and Albany New York as they protested the war at the Saratoga Springs race track’s 142nd opening day. Veterans for Peace members stood in pouring rain with banners and placards that asked the question “How’s the War Economy Working for You?” The Saratoga Race Course reopened Friday after nearly going bankrupt in 2008. As racing fans paused to buy tip sheets at the race course gates, veterans chanted “War is a bad bet! and were handed brochures that asked folks “How is the War Economy Working for You?” Some race goers stated they had thought the war economy would bring prosperity, but were disappointed with the war’s multi-billion dollar drain on the economy.
According to demonstration organizer John Amidon, of Tom Paine Veterans for Peace Chapter 10 in Albany New York, upstate New York is hard-hit by the war economy. “One doesn’t need to go to Detroit to see collapsed cities. Regionally Schenectady, Amsterdam, and Gloversville, NY are cities in steep decline if not already collapsed. The war economy is simply not working for the people of New York State.”
Among the protesters were Minnesotans Coleen Rowley, one of Time Magazine 2002 Persons of the Year and a former FBI staff attorney, Jack Rossbach of International campaign to Ban Land Mines and Cluster Munitions, and Kim Doss-Smith of Women Against Military Madness, plus a few members of Twin Cities Chapter 27 of Veterans for Peace. They are members of a delegation of 19 Minnesota peace activists that are in Albany New York attending a national conference and strategy planning session of the national peace movement.