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Veterans For Peace Go to Trial for Protesting Missile Launch


At 7 p.m. PT on Tuesday, October 16th,a free public event called "Putting U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policies on Trial: A Forum with the Vandenberg 15" will be held at Faulkner Gallery, 40 E. Anapamu Street, Santa Barbara, Calif.  Speakers will include Daniel Ellsberg, Fr. Louie Vitale, Cindy Sheehan, and David Krieger.  The event is cosponsored by Code Pink, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, Nevada Desert Experience, Progressive Democrats of Santa Barbara, Veterans for Peace, Western States Legal Foundation, and Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (Santa Barbara).

At 9 a.m. PT on Wednesday, October 17th,fifteen people, including four members of Veterans For Peace, will face trial in federal court at 1415 State Street, Santa Barbara, Calif.  They were arrested on February 25th for protesting the launch of a Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile from Vandenberg Air Force Base to the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.  Video: http://youtu.be/sGYVee9yW9Y

The Veterans For Peace facing trial are Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg of Berkeley, Calif.; Fr. Louie Vitale of Oakland, Calif. and Las Vegas, Nev.; John Amidon of Albany, N.Y.; and Mark Kelso of Las Vegas, Nev.  

"We were protesting a rehearsal of a holocaust," said Ellsberg. "Every minuteman missile is a portable Auschwitz."  Video of Ellsberg: http://youtu.be/E-s0_JI8Dp4

"We have 450 land-based Minuteman III nuclear missiles on high alert," said Amidon.  Despite hundreds of near-disasters due to human and mechanical mistakes over the years, these nuclear-armed missiles could be sent by a U.S. president in 13 minutes or less.  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.  Minuteman III missiles would not, and nothing can, prevent retaliation.  Even without retaliation, their unilateral use would ruin the earth's atmosphere -- all over the earth.  The missiles' only function is to kill others in a process that kills us too."

"An easy immediate step toward sanity," Amidon continued, "would be to de-alert the missiles so that 24 to 72 hours would be needed to launch.  This would increase our security by reducing the likelihood of an accidental or unauthorized launch.  Those intent on achieving nuclear doomsday could rest assured that U.S. submarines and bombers would remain able to complete that job many times over.

"A second needed and obvious step that would also work wonders for our federal budget would be to decommission these missiles.  We are also calling for a cancellation of the November 14, 2012, missile (thermonuclear warhead delivery systems) test at Vandenberg Air Force Base. This will save between $20 to $30 million for this one launch."

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.

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Speaking Events

2016

War Is A Lie: Second Edition
Book Tour

May 19, Sarasota, FL, 7:00 p.m. Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center 525 Kumquat Court, Sarasota, FL

May 20, Jacksonville, FL, 7:00 p.m., Florida Christian Center Auditorium, 1115 Edgewood Ave S, Jacksonville, FL 32205, (904) 381-4800.

May 21, Gainesville, FL
7:00 p.m.
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Gainesville, Florida
4225 NW 34th St, Gainesville, FL 32605
(352) 377-1669
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May 28, San Francisco, CA
11 a.m. to 1 p.m., David Swanson interviewed by Daniel Ellsberg, at San Francisco Main Public Library, 100 Larkin Street.
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May 28, Marin County, CA
4 to 6 p.m., David Swanson in conversation with Norman Solomon, at Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera, CA
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May 29, Oakland, CA
3 to 4 p.m., David Swanson interviewed by Cindy Sheehan, at Diesel: A Bookstore, 5433 College Avenue at Kales (near Manila), Oakland, CA
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May 29, Berkeley, CA
7:30 to 9 p.m., David Swanson and Cindy Sheehan at Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists, sponsored by the Social Justice Committee and Cynthia Papermaster, 1606 Bonita Ave. (at Cedar), Berkeley, CA
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May 30, Fresno, CA
2 to 4 p.m., David Swanson and Cindy Sheehan at a Peace Fresno event
Community United Church of Christ
5550 N. Fresno Street
Fresno, CA 93710


June 11 St. Paul, MN, 6 p.m. at Macalester Plymouth Church Social Hall 1658 Lincoln, St. Paul, MN.
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June 12 Minneapolis, MN, 9 and 11 a.m. at St. Joan's 4533 3rd Ave So, Minneapolis, MN, plus peace pole dedication at 2 p.m.
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