Santa Cruz Indymedia : http://santacruz.indymedia.org
Home
Santa Cruz Indymedia

LOCAL News :: [none]

Iraq War Resisters Reach Vandenberg Air Force Base’s

The nonviolent team infiltrated a heavily developed and blindingly flood-lit central area at night. Banners and signs were hung on a fence facing a huge military industrial facility. One banner was emblazoned with the word EMPIRE, boldly crossed out with red paint, a second read DISARM GEORGE, and other signs from the group included a early American flag inscribed with “the Spirit of ’76: revolution against empire.”
For Immediate Release
March 25, 2003

Iraq War Resisters Reach Vandenberg Air Force Base’s
Sensitive High-Security Core


Between Sunday evening and Tuesday morning a nonviolent resistance team affiliated with the Vandenberg Action Coalition successfully breached security in a strategic area in California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base, challenging its key role in the military attack on Iraq. The group hiked for miles over rough terrain, eluding military
security patrols, camping out when necessary, and spending a total of 32 hours on the Base.

The nonviolent team infiltrated a heavily developed and blindingly flood-lit central area at night. Banners and signs were hung on a fence facing a huge military industrial facility on Washington Ave. One banner was emblazoned with the word EMPIRE, boldly crossed out
with red paint, a second read DISARM GEORGE, and other signs from the group included a early American flag inscribed with “the Spirit of ’76: revolution against empire”; Christ’s words “love your enemies”; as well as messages honoring the late Philip Berrigan, founder of the
Plowshares actions, and peace activist Rachel Corrie, recently killed by a military bulldozer in the Gaza Strip. Signs were left expressing horror over the countless civilian casualties of the war against Iraq and a commitment to resist the US government’s imperial policies around the world.

While in the security zone, the activists also witnessed the launching of two large military jet aircraft at fairly close range. Returning early Tuesday morning the group’s mood was both somber and exhilarated, and members expressed a renewed commitment to continue organizing resistance actions against “global military terror” at Vandenberg.

Below are statements from members of the group:

A University of California graduate student:
“Our presence within VAFB confirms that possession of the most massive and high-tech forces are no guarantee of security. It is clear that policies supposedly designed to safeguard American citizens are aimed more at eliminating dissent and consolidating control than about achieving anybody’s safety in this country or any other.”

A physics student from Santa Cruz, at Cabrillo College
“It is to our enduring shame that the intellectual vigor of both past and present generations has been turned by the powers that be towards the forging and honing of ever more destructive weapons to be used in the oppression and exploitation of people worldwide. The Pentagon, in their recent Strategic Policy Review, has shown a steadfast
refusal to rule out the use of nuclear weapons over any nation, even non-nuclear powers. In addition to this cataclysm-in-waiting, the US military has used and continues to use highly toxic and radioactive Depleted Uranium armor and munitions in every modern theatre, leaving behind over 300 tons of this metal scattered in Iraq during the first Gulf War. Some of us have chosen to stand directly in the way of the war machine. Our nonviolent occupation of VAFB demonstrates our commitment to constraining with morality both science and the will of
nations.”

A Lutheran pastor from California:
“Crossing through the terrain of VAFB, one is struck by the paradox of the awesome beauty and the rugged harshness of its land – it is as if the sacredness of Creation responds in angered protest against the destruction inflicted around the globe at the hands of the base. As a Christian, I felt a strong presence of the Holy Spirit which sustained us in our resistance to globalized terror. Our ability to
successfully penetrate the highly sensitive central base – to infiltrate VAFB’s security zone and elude its high security forces – was not only an act to disrupt the Base’s operations of the war in Iraq in a non-violent and tangible way, but also a statement that military might and armed destruction does not have the final and authoritative word on security or peace.”

A peace movement organizer and father:
“As a parent I am deeply concerned about the future which my daughter and countless children throughout global society, including Iraq, will increasingly face unless we intensify the nonviolent resistance to a corporate-military system that spreads atrocities across the planet. Those forces in the U.S. power structure who armed and funded Saddam’s worst abuses when it served their profits and power, then subjected the Iraqi people to massive lethal misery through infrastructure bombing and sanctions, should have zero credibility posing as liberators. At Vandenberg, in spite of the Strategic Command’s lethal-force threats against us, we are trying to throw sand in the strategic gears of a hypocritical high-tech savagery that is now sending civilian burn victims staggering from U.S.-bombed
Iraqi villages, while planning to put an entire region of the planet under military and oil-company occupation. We are trying to begin taking at some part of the risks for peace that soldiers routinely take for war; and, as a Christian, I personally recognize that I must take such risks in obedience to the words of Jesus in the four
Gospels.”
 
 


New Comments are disabled, please visit Indybay.org/SantaCruz

Comments

Lloyd George would be proud of you

Lloyd George, the father of "peace in our time" and "appeasement" of Hitler at the Munich Pact prior to Hitler's invasion of Poland, would be proud of you, except even he admitted he miscalculated the danger Hitler posed at the time. While you are off on your adventures "hiking and camping in the wilderness" of Federal Government Property, how do you account for yourselves when Hussein was gassing 100,000 Kurds and as many Iranians in 1988? You were awfully quiet then. You were completely silent during the genocide in Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Somalia, and so on. What makes this war so special? You don't like Bush? Well, I'm sure you'd have just hated Nixon - nevermind that he ended the war in Viet Nam that I hear this conflict compared to frequently by the left. And now you are planning to take actions to interfere with our national defense... Yes, the government made several tragic errors aligning itself with maniacs such as Hussein and Bin Laden, but what do you suggest we do to ameliorate those errors? Lie down in the road next to the base and have a "die-in"? We have to clean up the mess that the government made then, and I respect the government today for trying to do just that.

I love the way you focus on the so-called nonviolence of your "peace" movement. Read the papers. Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported that schoolchildren in Australia are destroying property and beating people up police so-called peace demonstrations. Oh wait, I guess it's acceptable to beat up the police - the guys we spoke of as heroes not too long ago. The New York Times reported that the French Muslims are using so-called antiwar demonstrations as an excuse to perpetrate hate crimes against French Jews, including beating them with pipes. Ah gosh, but then again - they're just Jews. With your high moral ground, I'd love to know what are you doing about anti-semitism in Europe and the rise of the Nazi party here in America. My guess: Nothing. What do you care? As long as you have your fifteen minutes of glorious fame on TV and in the media, you're delighted. You act like a bunch of children.

And speaking of children, my favorite Kodak moment came today on CNN when a 15-year-old schoolgirl at a pro-U.S. rally in Florida was asked about her opinion of the antiwar protestors. "Well everyone has a right to express their opinion in this country," she said, "that's what our troops are fighting for. But I really wish the antiwar protestors would be peaceful because a lot of them are pretty violent, and I wish they wouldn't say mean things." What a gem. Perhaps she was referring to the demonstrator in New York (again in the Times) who was holding a banner that read, "We support our troops - when they kill their officers." Now that was pretty mean - especially to the parents, wives, and kids of the officers who were killed. Shame on you.

Most of us are not in disagreement with the view that war is evil, and innocent people should not have to die. What we do disagree with is the fact that some things, such as the defense of our country, are worth dying for. September 11 was our Pearl Harbor. If we get to liberate some of the Iraqi's who suffered under the regime of Saddam Hussein along with defending ourselves, excellent. For those of you who correspond with human shields in Baghdad, please ask them about Johann Hari's excellent article in the Independent.Co.UK (a left-wing news source, btw) in which he describes what the Iraqi's he met really thought about us coming to overthrow Hussein's Regime at argument.independent.co.uk/regular_columnists/johann_hari/story.jsp. According to Johann, he abandoned the idea of being a human shield when he realized how many people he spoke to would rather die than live under the rule of that depraved excuse for a human being.

Wake up and smell the coffee. What you're doing is childish, grandiose, dangerous, illegal, and breaches our national security. If you're against this war and you do not support our military, then come up with a better way to approach solving the world's problems. If you're not part of a solution, then you're part of the problem. Sneaking around government property and interfering with the safety of our troops is juvenile, reprehensible, and hardly worthy of anyone with an IQ higher than 80. Why not grow up - stop the idiotic behavior at Vandenberg and campaign at the political grass roots level to get the people elected who represent your views? Use your incredible networking power over the Internet for good, instead of juvenile grandstanding. That's the only way our policies get changed, in case you hadn't noticed. This is not the sixties, and this is not Viet Nam. And since I was there I can assure you that the demonstrations didn't change our policy in Viet Nam, the elections did. That's why women and blacks suffered in this country to get the right to vote - because it means something very powerful.

Maybe there are a lot of people who choose to live in a cocoon of information that only supports their views - be it "corporate" or "indy". I read both types of journalism because I'm curious about all sides of the information propaganda war. I wish I could say I've read anything in the indy press that sounds well-thought-out, intelligent, articulate, or rational. I'm sorely unimpressed with the hysterically emotional and manipulative invective the left uses to express its opinions. Now I understand why the government chose to censor press photographs of battlefield casualties during World War II - if the public had been given that information, would the antiwar protestors would have demanded we stop our participation in the war immediately? No doubt. Those who don’t learn from history, including the acceptance of the high costs of freedom and security in the form of war and its casualties, are bound to repeat it.

I hope your endeavors meet with the type of extreme failure that acts as a great deterrant and prompts you to seek other, more rational, ways of changing the world – assuming, of course, the majority of the population agrees with you. Right now the majority of us agree with the government we voted for. You guys just make a lot more noise and do a lot more stupid things in public. I want to have respect for you, but you leave me little opportunity to do so.



 

Calendar

No events for this day.

view calendar week
add an event

Views

Media Centers

Syndication feeds

Account Login

This site made manifest by dadaIMC software