Monthly Archive for March, 2013

Eleven Pennsylvanians arrested on Good Friday at Lockheed Martin, world’s largest war profiteer

Good Friday Stations of Justice, Peace, and Nonviolent Resistance to Lockheed Martin, King of Prussia, PA, March 29, 2013

from Brandywine Peace Community

About forty people gathered at Lockheed Martin for the Brandywine Peace Community’s annual Good Friday Peace Demonstration and service modeled on the traditional stations of the cross, however with readings, poetry, recordings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and music paralleling Jesus’ last steps and crucifixion with the suffering of humanity through war, social injustice, and the violation of the earth, as well as signs of hope and expressions of radical peacemaking – people facing arrest for nonviolent resistance to the criminal authority of Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest war profiteer.

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Two arrested at Pentagon Good Friday witness

photo by Ted Majdosz

by Art Laffin

“Put Away the Sword” was the theme as 40 people from the Atlantic Life Community, the New Jerusalem Community in Philadelphia, Loras College in Iowa and DePaul University in Chicago gathered in Washington, D.C. from March 27-29 for the annual Holy Week Faith and Resistance retreat sponsored by Jonah House and the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker. Remembering the Last Supper, arrest, torture, trial and crucifixion of Jesus, the retreat included time for prayer, reflection, community building and nonviolent public witness.  

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37 arrested at Livermore Lab Good Friday protest

photo by Anda Chu/staff, Contra Costa Times

from the Contra Costa Times

by Jeremy Thomas

LIVERMORE — Thirty-seven people were arrested outside Lawrence Livermore Laboratory during an annual Good Friday morning protest by anti-nuclear and interfaith groups, a lab spokesman said.

Alameda County sheriff’s deputies arrested the protesters for blocking a lab gate. As in previous years, protesters sat down across the lab’s west gate, after a procession estimated around 100 people. Deputies ordered the crowd to disperse before the arrests were made with the assistance of lab security. Livermore police provided traffic control.

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Activists arrested after performing pre-Easter yoga peace dance at Nevada National Security Site

Nuclear Stations of the Cross at the Nevada Test Site – photo by Richelle Swarts

from Nevada Desert Experience

On Good Friday, March 29, at the conclusion of Nevada Desert Experience’s annual Sacred Peace Walk, 20 participants were arrested at the entrance of the historic nuclear weapons proving ground 65 miles from Las Vegas. The Sacred Peace Walk is a five-day walk through the desert to bring about greater inner and external peace, particuarly focused on the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) and its offensive pro-nuclear weapons work since 1951. In opposition to such work at the NNSS, many of the participants performed a yoga-dance in flash-mob style just prior to crossing the line which led to their arrests.

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Six arrested on Good Friday at Lockheed Martin in California, two held

taken from Leonard Eiger’s report – see full account at the Disarm Now Plowshares blog

They gathered on Good Friday – Catholic Workers, nuns, priests and lay people – and walked to the Lockheed Martin facility in Sunnyvale, California where day in and day out people go to work building the Trident II D-5 missiles that are deployed on our nation’s ballistic missile submarines.

They stood vigil with signs and banners carrying messages of love and peace and calling on all good people to stop making war.  Some of those present went into the roadway carrying a cross and peace sign flag, blocking the entrance to Lockheed Martin in an act of nonviolent resistance to nuclear weapons and war-making.  Six were arrested by Sunnyvale police.

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129 people jailed for protesting against India’s Kalpakkam reactor


March 28

Based on telephone conversation with Abdul Samad, Manithaneya Makkal Katchi, Kalpakkam.
It is not the manner in which a protest is conducted, but the target of the protests that determine whether the police will turn nasty or remain cool. This morning, more than 1000 people gathered peacefully on the beach near the Kalpakkam nuclear power plant. The organisers instructed people to sit on the sands, and chant slogans. According to Abdul Samad, “Such a peaceful and organised gathering was unprecedented. It was a soft, well-behaved affair. We told the people that officials will come, and we can present our demands to them, and that the police will come and tell us to disperse, after which those who wish to court arrest will have to walk in an orderly manner and board the bus.” Nearly 650 people, including 200 women, were picked up by the police and taken to wedding halls in three towns — Guduvanchery, Singaperumal Koil, and Chengalpet. About 27 leaders are being held in Singaperumal Koil, while 110 others are being held in the same venue downstairs.

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Eight drone protesters arrested during die-in at Creech Air Force Base

photo by Richelle Swarts

On March 27, peace activists participating in the Nevada Desert Experience’s annual Sacred Peace Walk blocked traffic at Nevada’s Creech Air Force Base, home to Predator and Reaper remote-controlled drone aircraft.  The grim reaper (on hand for the event) held a model drone aloft, symbolically executing 7 protesters with a drone attack. The Air Force and Las Vegas metro police responded by arresting the grim reaper and his fellow life affirming peace activists who lie dying in the road.

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Military refuser Justin Colby jailed 9 months for desertion

Army Specialist Justin Colby pled guilty to desertion at his court martial March 22, at Fort Carson, Colorado. He was sentenced to 15 months in prison, a bad conduct discharge, reduction to the lowest rank (E-1) and loss of all pay allowances. Thanks to a sealed pre-trial plea agreement, SPC Colby will only be serving a 9 month prison sentence.

Colby enlisted in 2003, and during his first post to Korea, he began learning more about the war in Iraq.  When he was ordered to Iraq, Colby told his sergeant he could not make war on a country that had not attacked the United States, and asked to apply for conscientious objector status. His request was refused, and command punished and intimidated him into staying with his unit and entering the war. His experience of a year-long deployment only cemented Colby’s opposition to the war.

A family crisis following his return from Iraq added to his burden, and when Army orders for another eventual deployment to Iraq forced him to abandon efforts to gain custody of his infant son from an abusive mother, Colby went AWOL and eventually fled to Canada in the summer of 2006.

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After dismissal of Pilgrim 14 case, 5 were arrested at nuclear power plant

On March 13, Plymouth County Court Judge Kathryn Hand accepted the Commonwealth’s Motion to dismiss the trespass charges against the eleven defendants who sought to deliver a letter to Entergy Corporation of Louisiana on May 20, 2012.  The letter requested that Entergy withdraw their relicensing application to operate the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Facility for an additional 20 years.

The defendants opposed the dismissal and were prepared to mount a vigorous necessity defense starting on March 18.  They wanted to justify why they felt it necessary to trespass and had several renowned expert witnesses ready to testify.

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Bradley Manning’s statement taking responsibility for releasing documents to WikiLeaks

from the Bradley Manning Support Network

PFC Bradley Manning

By Army PFC Bradley Manning

Read to Judge Denise Lind, Fort Meade courtroom, February 28, 2013

Transcript by the Bradley Manning Support Network.  (Scroll down for acknowledgements.)

I wrote this statement in confinement, so… The following facts are provided in support of the providence inquiry for my court martial, United States v. Pfc. Bradley E. Manning.

I am a 25-year old Private First Class in the United States Army currently assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, HHC, US Army Garrison—USAG, Joint Base Myer, Henderson Hall, Fort Meyer, Virginia. Prior to this assignment, I was assigned to HHC, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, New York. My primary military occupational specialty or PMOS is 35 fox-trot: intelligence analyst. I entered active duty status on 2 October 2007. I enlisted with the hope of obtaining both real-world experience and earning benefits under the GI Bill for college opportunities.

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