Monthly Archive for October, 2011

E-Bulletin October 2011


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Seven people occupying D.C. arrested at House Armed Services Committee protesting wars

Dozens of people who are part of Occupy DC, camping out in Freedom Plaza and McPhearson Square, packed the line on October 13 to get into the House Armed Services Committee where Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was testifying. Only 15 people were allowed in and none were allowed to even quietly hold up signs—a clear violation of their free speech.

One by one, seven people who managed to get inside got up to protest the wars. CODEPINK Alli McCracken, 22, held up a sign saying “Fund My Education, Not Your Wars.” “My generation only knows war and a bankrupt country. We deserve better,” she yelled, as she was yanked out and handcuffed by Capitol Police. Also arrested was 21-year-old Iraq veteran Michael Patterson, who was sent—at the age of 18—to be an interrogator in Iraq. “You are murdering people; I saw what you do to people in Iraq!” he shouted. “Then you refuse to even take care of our veterans when they return.” Nancy Brennan, 63, asked “How many lives will be sacrificed? How many lies will be told?” as she was arrested.

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North American Catholic Workers protest nuclear weapons and drones at Nevada Test Site and Creech AFB; dozens arrested

Nevada Test Site, photo by Carol Bradsen

Over 100 people held an interfaith service at the entrance to Nevada’s nuclear testing grounds on October 9. The group then processed towards the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS, formerly called the Nevada Test Site). At 11:30 a.m., 37 men and 22 women were arrested by Nye County sheriffs for crossing onto the NNSS. Upon release, many of the nuclear abolitionists then went to Creech Air Force Base, where 18 were arrested around 3:00 p.m. by Las Vegas Metro Police. The activists prayed for peace at both locations in historical Shoshone and Paiute territory. Most of the arrestees were in the area for an international Catholic Worker gathering.

People arrested at the NNSS were quickly cited and released, and no further prosecution is expected, per the custom of many years for Test Site main gate arrests. Those arrested at Creech were taken to Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas, where they were cited and released before midnight on a range of charges including “illegal assembly” and “jaywalking.” Court appearances are scheduled for December 5 and 7 in Clark County regional court. The arrests were part of the largest anti-war demonstration at Creech Air Force Base, and the largest anti-nuclear civil resistance action in at least six years at NNSS.

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Fourteen activists arrested while seeking a meeting with NSA director

From Max Obuszewski,

As part of the Freedom Square occupation, National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance (NCNR) decided to attempt to obtain a meeting with Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander, the director of the National Security Agency (NSA), to discuss perceived illegal and unconstitutional activities by his operatives.  NCNR sent a letter, signed by thirty people from around the country, to Lt. Gen. Alexander requesting a meeting.

On October 9, approximately 25 people, most of them from the occupation of Freedom Square, went to the NSA in Fort Meade, Maryland with a copy of the letter.  Representatives of the NSA Police said it was not possible to meet with the general.  An NSA public relations officer told the group to leave Fort Meade, and that she would get back to Max Obuszewski on Tuesday with a response to the letter.  Since activists have been unsuccessful for years in obtaining a meeting with the director of the NSA, it was decided to make an attempt to go to the guard station to press the concerns about the NSA spying, its involvement in the extra-judicial killing of U.S. citizens and the firing of Thomas Drake, an NSA whistleblower.

However, instead of getting a meeting with a person of some authority, fourteen people were arrested on the road heading towards the guard station.

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Australian Catholic Workers blockade Gallipolli Barracks

Dear friends,

October 7 marked the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan.  While most of Australia has been trying to forget about this war which has claimed 28 Australian and tens of thousands of Afghan lives, some of us felt moved enough to go to the place where many, if not most, Australian troops deploy to fight what is called the war on terror (really, the war of terror).

About 25 folks gathered at the main gate of Brisbane’s Enoggera Army Base at 2.30 p.m. We planted white crosses with the names of the dead, both Australian and Afghan. We held placards with various messages, such as “Bring the Troops Home” and “War is Terror”, and placed a ten meter banner reading “In the Name of God, Stop the Wars” on the side fence.

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British Catholic Workers arrested outside Downing St. on 10th anniversary of Afghanistan War

Today, October 7, marks the 10th Anniversary of the war against Afghanistan. This morning  peace activists gathered outside Downing Street in a protest organised by the London Catholic Worker. Red paint was poured on the pavement outside the gates to symbolise the blood of  the 25,000 civilians and 2,500 soldiers who have been killed or wounded in the last decade. 6 people then blockaded the entrance to Downing Street for an hour before they were arrested. The 6 are John Lynes, Ciaron O’Reilly, Maya Evans, Ben Griffins, Chris Cole and Martin Newell.

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Three “Friends of Francis” arrested at STRATCOM

photo by Mauro Heck

Over 150 people, most Catholic religious sisters and calling themselves “Friends of Francis”, converged at the main gate of Offutt Air Force Base, home of STRATCOM, on Sunday, October 2 to pray and act for peace.  Coming from numerous Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota cities, the group was commemorating the 25th anniversary of the October 4, 1986 Ecumenical Peace Gathering in Assisi and the annual feast of the man of peace, Francis of Assisi, as well as marking the tragic 10th anniversary of the beginning of the U.S. war with Afghanistan on October 6.

The gathering included prayers, singing and dancing. Martha Hennessy, the granddaughter of Dorothy Day – the founder of the Catholic Worker – was one of the speakers. At the end of the service the group moved onto the drive leading to the main gate of Offutt Air Force Base. Traffic was blocked while a statement was read, and three people crossed the property line and were immediately detained by base security. (See text of statement below)

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Drone protest leads to arrest at Tucson’s Raytheon Missile Systems

A dozen activists gathered outside of Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, Arizona at 7 a.m. Monday morning, October 3 to protest drone warfare and war profiteering.  The group held signs reading “No to War Profiteering”, “We Have Guided Missiles and Misguided Men – MLK”, and “Drone Attacks Inspire Hatred of the U.S.”,  as employees drove into the factory.

Tucson Quaker and Catholic Worker John Heid, holding a sign that said “Make Us Instruments of Peace”, walked toward the Raytheon gatehouse to communicate with workers about weapons produced there (including Standard Missiles, Star Wars “kill vehicles”, Mavericks, AMRAAMs, microwave crowd control beams, pilotless drones, cluster bombs and cruise missiles) and particularly about his concerns regarding drone warfare.

Heid was stopped while nearing the gatehouse, arrested and taken to jail.

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Peltier out of solitary at Florida prison

Delaney Bruce, Executive Director of the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee shared these words with supporters, following a telephone conversation with the imprisoned activist on October 1:

He’s doing well and is relieved to be out of Lewisburg. Leonard is no longer in solitary and his privileges have been restored (and ahead of schedule). He believes the living conditions at Coleman are much better and he’s met up with some old friends he knew at Leavenworth. He’s surrounded by Indigenous brothers, again, too. He asked me to thank all of you for all you’ve done on his behalf. He feels truly blessed.

The LPDOC also writes today of a critical support opportunity–

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E-Bulletin September 2011

The Nuclear Resister E-bulletin September, 2011 (Our apologies – due to travel for 3 weeks in September, the E-bulletin was delayed.) IN THIS E-BULLETIN:  1)   LONGEST IMPRISONED NUCLEAR RESISTER HELEN WOODSON RELEASED AFTER 27 YEARS 2)   SENTENCINGS IN TENNESSEE FOR JULY 2010 Y-12 NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT ACTION; FIVE IN JAIL 3)   TWO MEN RECEIVE ONE WEEK […]

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