imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Subscribe Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

CopWatch LA

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List





IMC Network: www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech
printable version - js reader version - email this article - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

STAR WARS PROTEST: Vandenberg Air Force Base

by df Wednesday, Mar. 05, 2008 at 5:28 AM

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, CA: On the 25th anniversary of the ICBM program at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, activists gathered to march and rally in support of nuclear disarmament in outer space.

The crosswalk in front of Vandenberg Air Force Base has an extra thick painted green line where protesters gathered today to commemorate the 25th anniversary of anti-war demonstrations at the base.

After a short symbolic march along Highway 1, the group gathered at the front entrance of the base, where the green line demarcates the boundary that protesters may not cross. From here the marchers pleaded with airmen to abandon their posts and join the protest against nuclear weapons. They offered housing and support for any military personnel and their families who wished to leave their posts.

When their offer went unanswered, three protesters stepped forward and, linking arms, crossed the green line and surrendered themselves to Air Force Police. The three were identified as Larry Purcell, Ed Ehmke, and Mary Jane Parrine. Once they crossed the line officers repeatedly ordered the three to return to the other side; they calmly refused. One officer looked at his watch and told them they had two minutes to change their minds or be arrested. As time ran out, he asked them if there was anything he could say or do to make them go back. Parrine responded that he could shut down the missile tests. The officer signaled for the three to be taken into custody and they were led away as the rest of the protesters cheered.

Speaking at a pre-march rally in a parking lot in nearby Vandenberg Village, organizer Bruce Gagnon, who was himself in the Air Force until protests outside of his base changed his mind towards peace activism, said, “America is addicted to war and militarism.” Gagnon, who is the coordinator of Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, warned that the testing and other operations at Vandenberg are “moving the arms race into space.”

In 1983 the first nuclear-capable Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) was tested at Vandenberg and since then the base’s mission has expanded to launching and monitoring orbiting satellites, and managing space surveillance operations, in addition to its work with missiles. The protests also began in 1983.

Bud Boothe, 83 and a WWII combat veteran, was present at that first rally where hundreds were arrested and he has come back every chance he gets. Boothe says he has been arrested four times over the years. One time he was taken into custody with 22 others including including actor Martin Sheen who crossed the green line in an attempt to deliver a letter to the base commander, pleading for an end to the missile tests. Boothe smiled as he recalled that he once told a federal magistrate who reviewed his war record, and called him a hero, “What I did at Vandenberg was more heroic than anything I did in Germany.”

Although the number of protestors at Vandenberg’s gate has waxed and waned over the years, the March 2 action suffered no shortage. Organizers from Catholic Worker said that 161 people joined the march, from groups including Pacific Life Community, the Green Party of Santa Barbara, and the Santa Barbara Chapter of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. Most of the participants, like Boothe, live in the county but many of the day’s marchers came from as far away as Los Angeles and Orange County. Some, such as Cal State Fullerton’s Students for Peace and Social Justice, came in buses provided by the organizers. Holding signs and beating drums as they marched alongside the busy highway, the crowd drew a cacophony of supportive honks from passing cars, with a few fully extended middle fingers to balance things out.

The Air Force declined to comment on the march, give a crowd estimate, or cite the specific charges against those arrested other than to say they supported the marchers’ right to protest. The base even provided parking and toilet facilities, but that does not mean that it welcomed their presence. Earlier in the day there was a tense mood in the base’s visitor center as a few officers went over a binder containing information on well-known protesters One leader pointed to a photo and told his subordinates to keep their eyes on him. The base’s website provides a detailed list of regulations for protesters to follow, and a fact sheet on the effects of pepper spray, as well as a description of what you can expect should you be detained.

Dennis Apel, one of the key organizers, has been detained three times. He is perhaps best known for spraying a syringe of his own blood onto a sign at the entrance gate during a 2003 demonstration. Today the signs are covered with black netting, perhaps to prevent another bloodbath courtesy of Mr. Apel. Like many others in the crowd, Apel has been served with ban-and-bar letters prohibiting him from being on the property even for peaceful protests. “They’re willing to take a risk for their convictions,” he said of those who came despite the letters. While usually these restrictions last 3 years, Apel claimed the Air Force is trying to serve him with a lifetime ban; but every time they try to deliver the papers, he politely declines to accept them. As the protesters returned to their buses, satisfied in their efforts to end the proliferation of nuclear weapons, Apel remarked, “I’ve been here for 11 years. They know the kind of person I am.”

---Adrian Castaneda, Santa Barbara Independent-----http://www.independent.com/news/2008/mar/03/peace-activists-still-protest-missile-tests/

Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


Local News

Violence Against Poor In Venice A29 12:59PM

California Safe Schools Honors 11 Year Old Daniel Randall A25 2:25PM

NPR's Marketplace: The Voice of Loanshark Capitalism A19 4:08PM

Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, Pandering to the Corporate Whores of the Storage Industry A09 5:03PM

Lartiste Maestro iTunes télécharger de la musique gratuit et Légalement 2016 A08 3:20PM

Spring 2016 National Immigrant Solidarity Network Monthly News Alert! A05 2:14PM

KPFK and Pacifica, more doings, reposted here A04 4:18PM

Liberated Political Prisoner Sekou Odinga Speaks Out M11 9:39AM

Solidarity With Anaheim M08 10:16AM

Tribune Company Stock Bought By LAPD Union To Silence Criticism Of Police M02 8:01AM

KPFK as Pacifica may be in legal jeopardy, again... M01 2:43PM

Anaheim Anti-KKK Fund Drive F29 5:04PM

March For Bernie 2, Pasadena and Los Angeles F28 8:16PM

Innovative Approach To Fighting The Droughts F16 11:56AM

International Day of Solidarity with Leonard Peltier F12 5:51PM

January 2016 Honduras Coup update F12 4:42PM

THE WHITE CITIZEN'S COUNCIL ... AKA KPFK AND FOLKS ON THE WESTSIDE J27 11:16PM

Hundreds March Long Beach to Compton to Protest Los Angeles Sheriff Murder of Noel Aguilar J27 11:14PM

Bernie Sanders at The 2016 Rose Bowl Parade J27 4:25PM

Bernie Sanders at The 2016 Rose Bowl Parade. J27 3:54PM

Vigil for O'Day, Helen, Barry, and Carol-Ann Short, killed by racist terrorists in Fontana J25 8:55PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

The Shortwave Report 05/06/16 Listen Globally! M05 5:28PM

Fbi are quite the murderous cowards M05 1:36PM

TTIP and CETA Must Be Prevented M05 11:48AM

Hostel World www.hostelworld.com Reports Travelers To FBI M05 3:31AM

Paraphysique de la société du plagiat M04 10:42PM

The Push to Make Sanders the Green Party's Candidate M04 5:49AM

Jesuit Priest And War Resister On Ethical Imperative of Vegetarianism M03 7:05AM

Paraphysique du confusionnisme et de l'amalgamisme M02 10:49PM

Sleep: "Nature's soft nurse" M02 8:23PM

Chernobyl + 30 M02 4:05PM

Donald J. Trump is Pissing on America and About to Flush us into the Toilet! M02 12:06PM

Five myths about tax havens M02 6:16AM

Tectonique d'embrasement neuronal M01 12:53AM

Philippines: Duterte tells CHR, women's groups: Go to hell! A30 8:40PM

Losing the drug war ... idiots A30 1:04PM

Deux mille trente, 2030 A29 6:02AM

A police state USA, unfettered by moral / legal constraints A28 8:26PM

The Shortwave Report 04/29/16 Listen Globally! A28 5:40PM

Iowa Republican Senator Grassley And Methods Of Chicken Murder In the US A28 6:35AM

From the Constitutional State to the Security State A28 4:40AM

La CNT et les anarchistes A27 10:48PM

Examples of fbi/police/DA/AG subversion of laws A27 2:14PM

No To Ohio Senator Portman Who Wants Hunting In National Park A27 10:50AM

A Tribute To The Imprisoned A27 5:00AM

Video: Founding Fathers, Hip Hop, 1 hr 25 min A26 2:33PM

Hillary's Guns, Hillary's Consequences A26 1:34PM

Kuwaiti Business man causht in al qaeda plot A26 12:00PM

Community organizing A26 8:02AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2003 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy