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Shut Down Creech

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Friday, May 10, 2013

“Absolutely no remorse”

thursDear friends,

The Transform Now Plowshares sentencing has been set for September 23rd.  No decision has been made yet about whether the defendants must be held awaiting sentencing; lawyers have until Tuesday to submit more material for the judge to consider, and Michael, Megan, and Greg are being held until then.  After about an hour of combing through case law, conditions and sub-conditions this morning to determine whether or not the three should be held until sentencing, Judge Thapar asked the prosecution in frustration, “Don’t you find it a little troubling that Congress would write a law that wouldn’t let me distinguish between peace activists and terrorists?”

When Megan, Greg, and Michael arrived in the courtroom they were wearing tan prison jumpsuits marked “FEDERAL INMATE,” with their hands shackled to their waists.  We sang to them, “Sacred the Land, Sacred the Water.”  Francis Lloyd noted that Megan had begun to suffer from the cold, and got permission from the judge to lend her his jacket. 

Much of the morning was spent exploring legal references, a purely academic effort to understand and apply the logic from previous cases.  “I mean, you may win under the B analysis, but I’m still on the A analysis,” the judge told the prosecution at one point.  Greg, who had been passing the time by toying with the shackles on his wrists, looked up with an amused smile on his face.  None of the defendants seemed particularly invested in the outcome of the morning.  At one point, Megan whispered loudly to Bill Quigley, “This is bothering my conscience.  I don’t want time wasted on this!”

There was an occasional break in the legalese when the judge would stop to reflect on the seriousness of crimes related to United States “national security” matters, and when the prosecution would remind the judge that the defendants showed “absolutely no remorse” for their action and were “of a VERY recidivist nature.”

Before the hearing was brought to a close, Bill Quigley asked to state for the record that “the defendants would like to point out that they were there to prevent a crime of violence far far greater than that of which they are accused.”

As Megan, Greg, and Michael were taken away from the courtroom, Kathy once more led the gallery in song: “We ain’t gonna study war no more!”

Outside, Paul Magno and Ellen Barfield briefly summarized the morning’s events for the press then introduced them to a range of eloquent speakers: Clare Grady to talk about the role of resistance in contributing to the evolution of law, and Father Bix, Chrissy Kirchhoefer, and Jim Haber to speak about the action in the context of ongoing nuclear resistance nationwide.

Below is the transcript of Clare Grady recapping for you all what she told the press:
So today what we heard was a lengthy, lengthy examination of the law, and yet the supreme laws of our land were left out of the courtroom, left out of this trial.  The Constitution, Article Six Section Two: “All treaties, pacts, and protocols that are signed and ratified become the supreme law of our land; every judge is to abide by them.”  And those laws have evolved over the years to outlaw war of aggression; outlaw weapons of mass destruction; outlaw killing civilians; outlaw occupation; outlaw stealing the earth’s resources to build these weapons.  We are not upholding those laws.

Our friends in this courtroom have manifest the original law that is written on our hearts, the law to love one another.  We all bring each other forward, help each other when we each manifest that law; then our human laws will start to reflect that as well.

This is not just about Greg and Megan and Michael.  It’s a collective that has offered us this by example, and then we offer each other this by example.  This is a tag team, a relay race — whatever you want to call it, but it’s something that’s done in a collective, it’s not done alone.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Protestors at Creech AFB, March 27th 2013


The NDE Sacred Peace Walk brought the message of love and life to Creech AFB on Wednesday March 27, 2013. Demonstrators presented an indictment accusing Col. James Hecker and drone crews of war crimes citing both US and international law, making it clear that they are in violation of the law with the hope that they will understand that peace can not be achieved by violent means. We are releasing this video on Easter in the spirit of hope and transformation.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Air Force Suffers Defeat At the Hands of Unheralded Peace Activists.

In a stunning upset, unheralded peace activists and members of the Nevada Desert Experience (NDE) Sacred Peace Walk handed Commander Col. James Hecker and the USAF 432d and the 432d Expeditionary Wing at Creech Air Force Base an extraordinary defeat. March Madness at Creech was temporarily interrupted by the NDE Sacred Peace Walk by slowing the flow of death by drone attacks that are executed from this base.

The Sacred Peace Walk is an annual event conducted by NDE to demonstrate honor for the local desert while respecting all life, supporting environmental justice everywhere, and making strong nonviolent statements regarding the misuse of the desert. NDE's Sacred Peace Walk focuses on ending violence by stopping the research and development of nuclear weapons at the Nevada National Security Site and stopping the drone warfare conducted at Creech Air Force Base.

Active involvement in killing dulls the conscience until all awareness of evil is lost. As peace activists blocked traffic, the grim reaper (on hand for the event) holding a model drone aloft symbolically executed 7 protesters with a drone attack. The Air Force and and local constabulary (Las Vegas Metro Police) responded by arresting the grim reaper and his fellow life affirming peace activists who lie dying in the road. Each activist also carried an indictment addressed to and charging Col. James Hecker and the 432d and 432d Expeditionary Wing with extrajudicial killings, violation of due process, wars of aggression," for the killings of innocent civilians by the use of drones controlled by Creech Air Force personnel.

The protesters arrested were:
John Paz Amidon of Albany, New York
Toby Blome of El Cerrito, California
Christine Gaunt of Grinnell, Iowa
George Killingsworth of Berkeley, California
Robert Majors of Las Vegas, Nevada
Rev. Felicia Parazaider of Berkeley, California
Rev. Louis Vitale, OFM of Oakland, California
Rev. Jerry Zawada, OFM of Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Begins today: Sacred Peace Walk Schedule

March 23 - 29 th: From Las Vegas to the NNSS test site in Mercury, Nevada. You can still join during the walk, contact Jim at:
702-646-4814 or e-mail Jim@NevadaDesertExperience.org
Here is the walk schedule:
Saturday March 23rd:  
Sacred Peace Walk orientation at 2PM
Location: Francis & Clare House also known as the Home & Offices of NDE, 1420 W. Bartlett Ave., Las Vegas, Nevada 89106, 702-646-4814.
Sunday, March 24th
Walking in Las Vegas: meet at Atomic Testing Museum at 8:15 AM, walk the Strip to Fremont Street to the MLK Statue on MLK Boulevard. 
8:30 AM: Blessing and invocation outside the National Atomic Testing Museum

9:00 AM: start walking

Lunch in park at E St. and Washington (Time approx. 1:00 PM)

6:00 PM: Dinner at Francis & Clare House
Monday March 25th:
7:15 AM: Depart from Francis & Clare House in vehicles
8:00 AM: Walkers start walking
(Starting point: Hwy 157, Mile Post 92) to Lee Canyon Road (Hwy 156 Mile Post 106) (almost 14 miles)


Tuesday March 26th:

Pre-dawn to sun up: Sunrise Ceremony with Johnnie Bobb, Western Shoshone Spirtual person and Chief of the Western Shoshone National Council.

8:30 AM: Depart from Lee Canyon Road (Hwy 156, Mile Post 106) to Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs (14 miles) The Temple of Goddess Spirituality is at Mile Post 123, past Creech AFB.

7:30 PM: Gather in Temple for fire and reflection.

Wednesday March 27th:

Pre-dawn to sun up: Sunrise Ceremony with Johnnie Bobb, Western Shoshone Spirtual person and Chief of the Western Shoshone National Council.

Only 3 miles of walking today, between the Sekhmet Temple and Creech Air Force Base's "Commercial Entrance" which is the one closer to Las Vegas). 

6:30 - 8:00 AM: Vigil at Creech Air Force Base, Indian Springs, Nevada

Noon - 2:00 PM: Peaceover Seder (RSVP required for people not already registered with the walk. 
Call 702-646-4814 or e-mail Jim@NevadaDesertExperience.org.

3:30 - 5:00 PM: Vigil at Creech AFB.

Thursday March 28th:


Pre-dawn to sun up: Sunrise Ceremony with Johnnie Bobb, Western Shoshone Spirtual person and Chief of the Western Shoshone National Council.

8:30 AM: Depart from Cactus Springs to Peace Camp (15.5 miles, (on southwest side of US 95 at the Mercury exit; across from Mercury just N. of NYE Co. Mile Post 5).

4:30 PM (Approx.): Arrival at Peace Camp across from the Mercury Exit* Welcoming Ritual with Johnnie Bobb, Chief of the Western Shoshone National Council.


Good Friday March 29th:

Pre-dawn to sun up:
Sunrise Ceremony with Johnnie Bobb, Western Shoshone Spirtual person and Chief of the Western Shoshone National Council.


10:00 AM "No More War Victims" Stations of the Cross Re-enactment outside Mercury entrance to the Nevada Test Site (NNSS )* followed by procession to main gate and line-crossing.

Good Friday Noon: Closing Circle followed by camp clean up, lunch and departures.Most people will journey home.

A week of SPIRITUAL AWAKENING, REFLECTION and Purpose. 
Join Peaceful beings from across the country. 
Pace ~ Salaam ~ Shalom ~ Peace and .... pure Bliss in the desert.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Local Peace Group Welcomes Pakistan Peace Delegates for Air Force anti-Drone Demonstrations This Week

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Local Peace Group Welcomes Pakistan Peace Delegates for Air Force anti-Drone Demonstrations This Week;
Prepares for "Sacred Peace Walk" Stepping Off on March 24
CONTACTS:
Jim Haber, 415-828-2506
Nevada Desert Experience Coordinator
Toby Blome, 510-541-6874
Ann Wright, Ret., 818-741-1141

March 18, 2013

As Nevada Desert Experience makes final preparations for its annual desert sojourn known as the "Sacred Peace Walk," a group of demonstrators are converging on the gates of Creech Air Force Base to hold constant vigil against the rising tide of robotic hunter-killer air systems like the Predator and Reaper "drones" controlled by crews at the Indian Springs installation.

The Sacred Peace Walk begins on Palm Sunday, March 24, with a day of marching in Las Vegas taking in the Strip and Fremont Street Experience and a stop at the Dept. of Energy's North Las Vegas facility. Then the group moves to the desert for its walking meditation and peace demonstrations at Creech and the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS).

Until then an additional set of actions are taking place at Creech including three members of the activist group CODEPINK who went to Pakistan in October, 2012 as part of a peace delegation there to show solidarity with Pakistanis who are suffering under the constant threat of "death by drone.z' People there are marching in the tens of thousands against the Pakistan and United States wink-and-a-nod targeted assassinations. Retired Army Col. Ann Wright of Honolulu, HI, Toby Blome of El Cerrito, CA and JoAnne Lingle of Indianapolis, IN also were all arrested in Washington DC recently during the Senate hearings for John Brennan's appointment to direct the Central Intelligence Agency.

Col. Wright explained "I came to Creech Air Base to challenge the US drone program at a base from where pilots fly drones in Afghanistan and other places--killing innocent civilians. The anger of the world is focused on the US assassin drone program and is making the United States less safe." Lingle added, "It is vitally important that we address both drone crews as well as policy-makers to say these surveillance and attack drones are illegal and immoral. We have a responsibility to do all we can to stop them nonviolently. That includes standing up in Washington and here at Creech."

Wright added that the CIA's drone strikes in Pakistan--and other countries the US isn't officially at war with--are dwarfed by the number of strikes in Afghanistan. Dept. of Defense statistics available on their website until late February according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, showed that of the missile strikes in Afghanistan in 2012, 25% of them, almost 500, were fired from drones. There were 46 CIA drone strikes in Pakistan in the same year. "Creech drone crews have fired 10 times as many missiles into Afghanistan as CIA operators have into Pakistan," added Wright.

The Sacred Peace Walk began as the "Lenten Desert Experience" in 1982 with prayer times and acts of resistance to full-scale nuclear weapons testing being conducted at the Nevada Test Site that time. Over the years, the annual pilgrimage to the United States nuclear sacrifice zone has expanded to raise concerns about other emerging arms races with activities in southern Nevada. "When I came to Las Vegas five years ago, I couldn't work to resist nuclear weapons and just walk past the air force's 'drone central'. Unfortunately, we're still developing new bombs and warheads, so that race continues too. In any arms race, there are no winners. "


For route and schedule details of the walk and other background information, visit NevadaDesertExperience.org. Over 30 walkers are already signed up for this year's walk.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Twenty peace activists from around the United States were arrested as a result of their nonviolent protest against nuclear weapons at a U.S. Naval base

News Release
March 4, 2013
For Immediate Release
Contact:   Leonard Eiger, 425-445-2190, subversivepeacemaking@gmail.com
                  Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action
                  16159 Clear Creek Road NW Poulsbo, WA 98370
                  www.gzcenter.org

Silverdale, Washington, March 4, 2013 -- Twenty peace activists from around the United States were arrested as a result of their nonviolent protest against nuclear weapons at a U.S. Naval base.

Members of the Pacific Life Community gathered at the Main Gate to Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor early Monday morning in resistance to the continued deployment of the Trident nuclear weapons system and the associated threat of use of nuclear weapons by the U.S. government.

The Bangor Trident base is home port to eight of the nation’s 14 Ohio class nuclear ballistic missile submarines and also home to the Strategic Weapons Facility, Pacific, where the Navy stores thermonuclear warheads for deployment on its submarines.  Bangor represents the largest operational concentration of nuclear weapons in the U.S. arsenal.

While maintaining a peaceful vigil along the roadway, six of the resisters entered the roadway with a banner, which they stretched across the entrance lanes in symbolic closure of the base.  The banner quoted Martin Luther King Jr.: “When scientific power outruns spiritual power, we end up with guided missiles and misguided men.”  The protesters also knelt in prayer.

Washington State Patrol officers ordered the protesters to leave the roadway.  All six protesters complied with the officers and were escorted to the median where they were briefly detained and issued citations for “Walking on roadway where prohibited.”

Meanwhile, another fourteen protesters walked onto the roadway carrying banners and signs calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons.  All crossed the blue line onto the base and knelt in prayer.  Naval security personnel arrested the protesters and drove them to a facility on the base for processing.  They were cited under Section 1382 of Title 18 prohibiting trespassing on military bases, and released a short time later.

The resisters carried a letter addressed to the Bangor base commander.  It stated that the “Trident II D-5 missiles with their W76 or W88 [thermonuclear] warheads are illegal under international law and hence are also illegal per the Constitution of the United States.” Naval security personnel declined to accept the letters. 

Those cited for Federal trespassing were Louis Vitale, OFM, Oakland, CA;  Rodney Herold, Seattle, WA; Ted Bracknan. Puyallup, WA; Tensie Hernandez, Santa Maria, CA; Betsy (Frances Elizabeth) Lamb, Bend, OR; Ann E. Havill, Bend, OR; Denny Moore, Bainbridge Island, WA; Bill Bichsel, SJ, Tacoma, WA; James G. Haber, San Francisco, CA; Ed Ehmke, Menlo Park, CA; Mary Jane Parrine, Menlo Park, CA; Jerry Zawada, OFM, Milwaukee, WI; Felice Cohen-Joppa, Tucson, AZ and Susan Crane, Redwood City, CA.

Cited by State Patrol were Tom Karlin, Tacoma, WA; Clancy Dunigan, Langley, WA; George Rodkey, Tacoma, WA; Marcus Page-Collonge, Albequerque, NM; Leonard Eiger, North Bend, WA and Cliff Kirchmer, Tacoma, WA.

The vigil and nonviolent direct action brought to a close this year’s Pacific Life Community (PLC) Faith and Resistance Retreat held near Tacoma, Washington.  The PLC is dedicated to abolishing nuclear weapons and war-making through nonviolent direct action. The annual event is held each year on the weekend around the anniversary of Castle Bravo, the most powerful nuclear device ever detonated by the U.S. 

Fallout from Castle Bravo contaminated a large portion of the Marshall Islands, and poisoned island residents as well as the crew of the Daigo Fukuryu Maru, a Japanese fishing vessel.  It also generated international concern about atmospheric testing.  The U.S. still occupies part of the Marshall Islands in its continued testing of intercontinental ballistic missiles.

This year’s Faith and Resistance Retreat was hosted by the Tacoma Catholic Worker community.  The event brought together people from around the Western U.S. Catholic Workers came from San Jose, CA;   Los Angeles, CA; Half Moon Bay, CA; Las Vegas, NV; Guadalupe, CA; Sheep Ranch, CA and Redwood City, CA. 

Fr. Bill Bichsel, of the Tacoma Catholic Worker community and 2012 Greater Tacoma Peace Prize laureate, commented on the significance of the Pacific Life Community’s work.  “We refuse to accept nuclear weapons as our security.  We owe it to our children and grandchildren to create a nonviolent world.  We are the future and the kingdom that we have been waiting for.”

Also represented at the retreat were Nevada Desert Experience, The Nuclear Resister and Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action.  Ground Zero, a community in resistance to nuclear weapons, particularly Trident, hosted this morning’s vigil and action at Bangor.

The U.S. Navy is building a Second Explosives Handling Wharf at the Bangor Trident base, and is engaged in research and development to build twelve new ballistic missile submarines designed to replace the existing Trident submarines.  Estimated cost to build the twelve submarines is almost $100 billion.  Rear Admiral Joseph Tofalo, commander, submarine Group 10, Kings Bay, Georgia has stated that “A single Trident submarine is the sixth nuclear nation in the world all by itself.” 

Full text of letter to base commander follows.

###

March 4, 2013
Dear Captain Pete Dawson, Commander, Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor:
We are members of the Pacific Life Community, a network of people from the western United States working for the abolition of nuclear weapons. We come today, near the anniversary of the March 1, 1954 Bravo hydrogen bomb test in the Bikini Atoll, in memory of the people of Rongelap who died from radiation poisoning as a result of fallout from that test. We stand with their survivors who do not trust the assurances of the United States government that it is safe for them to return there, even now. Any pressure on the former residents of Rongelap to return must stop now.
Trident II D-5 missiles with their W76 or W88 warheads are illegal under international law and hence are also illegal per the Constitution of the United States. It is a violation of the Nuremberg Principles to threaten destruction of a city, and it is a violation of the Geneva Conventions to threaten use of weapons of indiscriminate power. The July, 1996 International Court of Justice ruling was clear; nuclear weapons are not consistent with international humanitarian law.
It is obvious that nuclear weapons are stored at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor. Please inform us if we're wrong. We have a responsibility as citizens to be informed enough to weigh in on military and foreign policy issues. Local governments and residents have a need to plan for public safety given the surety that one of the largest collections of nuclear weapons in the world is only 20 miles from Seattle and Tacoma and its 1 million residents.
We want to stop the continued pollution and radioactive contamination from the ongoing nuclear weapons stockpile. The problem of uranium leaks at Hanford cannot be divorced from the problem of nuclear weapons on Trident submarines that threaten nuclear war on every nation and person in the world. Nuclear weapons are killing people now.
We need and deserve a response. We're waiting.
Sincerely,
cc: Commander-in-Chief Barack Obama, United States Armed Forces
cc: Rear Admiral Dietrich H. Kuhlmann III, Commander, Submarine Group 9

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Get ready for the 2013 Sacred Peace Walk! March 23-29 2013

The 65-mile, annual pilgrimage to the Nevada Test Site begins on March 23rd with an orientation in Las Vegas. On Sunday we walk down the Las Vegas Strip and through downtown. Then its off to the desert!

We walk in the footsteps of a long legacy of peace walkers and spiritual leaders to draw attention to the nuclear dangers that continue to threaten our sacred planet and the community of life. Our final destination, the Nevada Test Site (NTS or NNSS for its new name, the Nevada National Security Site), continues to be of major import in the government's efforts to upgrade the US nuclear arsenal.

We also vigil at Creech Air Force Base en route because it is the rapidly growing headquarters of the air force's Predator and Reaper weaponized drone forces that are at the center of the current administration's assassination program that is fomenting yet another arms race, is destabilizing communities all over the world, and is increasing the ranks of those who hate the United States because of its murderous hypocrisy.

Please join us in transforming fears into compassion and apathy into action.

We have a support vehicle available for those who need extra help, to carry people's supplies, to carry food and water for snacks and lunch and to tow the port-a-potty. Some Walkers only come for a few days although the entire week follows a flow that. All are welcome to do as much or as little actual walking as the Spirit calls.

The event web page has relevant background material, schedule and route details, more explanation about Nevada Desert Experience and our ethic of nonviolence...and a lovely, short video that gives you a sense of the walk based on recent years' experiences. 

We're also on Facebook. 

Suggested donation for the entire week is $200 or about $30 per day, and you can raise awareness among your friends and family by using our tools for asking people to sponsor your desert sojourn. No one is turned away for lack of funds!

Nevada Desert Experience has a history of conscientious, determined and nonviolent resistance to nuclear weapons and war dating back to 1982 when local Franciscans organized a "Lenten Desert Experience" to foster a practice of "desert spirituality" and resistance to the development of weapons of mass destruction.

NDE is also dedicated to the furtherance of Western Shoshone national claims to all of Newe Sogobia, their ancestral lands that include the Nevada Test Site.

Looking forward to walking with you, in spirit if not in the flesh.

For Peace Sake,
Jim Haber, Coordinator
Nevada Desert Experience
jim@nevadadesertexperience.org

Gonna take Us All, Jon Fromer (RIP

To keep the spirit!

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