Category Archives: WRL Organizing Network

Protest nuclear warhead test launch tomorrow!

Protest September 14, 11:55 pm (midnight) missile launch at Vandenberg Air Force Base:

NOTE 09/14/10: THIS LAUNCH AND PROTEST HAVE BEEN CANCELED More info to come!

Join the protest of the test launch of a Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) thermo-nuclear warhead delivery system from Vandenberg Air Force Base Kwajalein atoll in the Marshall Islands.

Uphold the good faith of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty!

Come to the front gate of Vandenberg Space Command / Air Force Base (across from Vandenberg Middle School, six miles north of Lompoc on Highway 1 in Santa Barbara County, CA )

See  www.vandenbergwitness.org or  www.macgregoreddy.com or call 831 206 5043 for details, or email macgregoreddy@gmail.com

Sponsored by

War Resisters League

United for Peace and Justice: Disarmament Working Group,

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom,

Western State Legal Foundation,

Nevada Desert Experience and many others.

From Nor. Cal. Charter bus !  Comfortable Green Tortoise  round trip available from Oakland with stops in San Jose and Salinas down and back.

Students, you can sleep on the bus!

Also check out Democracy Now’s coverage of the 14 antiwar activists who held a ten-day vigil outside of the Creech Air Force base in Indian Springs, Nevada last year:

http://www.democracynow.org/2010/9/13/activists_go_on_trial_in_nevada

For  more info on the pre-trial rally and support for those going to trial, contact WRL member Jim Haber at 415-828-2506 or read about it on the website of Nevada Desert Experience or Voices for Creative Nonviolence.

WikiLeaks in Baghdad

Check out this article, posted in The Nation, from our friends at Civilian Soldiers Alliance and IVAW

WikiLeaks in Baghdad

Sarah Lazare and Ryan Harvey
July 29, 2010

One by one, soldiers just arriving in Baghdad were taken into a room and questioned by their commanding officers. “All questions led up to the big question,” explains former Army Spc. Josh Stieber. “If someone were to pull out a weapon in a marketplace full of unarmed civilians, would you open fire on that person, even if you knew you would hurt a lot of innocent people in the process?”

*To read more about Civilian Soldier Alliance, IVAW, and WRL organzing, click here to read about their efforts at the US Social Forum!

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Gara’s “A Few Small Candles” published in Japan

Larry Gara a historian, teacher, activist, and WRL contact, is the author of the important memoir, A Few Small Candles, a collection of stories from ten World War II conscientious objectors. This book, highly influential in the  peace movement, was translated to Japanese and published in Japan this summer! To learn more about conscientious objectors, check out the new issue of WIN Magazine on Counter-Recruitment.

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Uranium Mining is a Sham!

“Uranium Mining is a Sham!” is one of the chants sung by over 100 anti-nuclear and anti-mining activists gathered together at the Los Alamos national laboratory, the birthplace of the nuclear bomb.

WRL organizers have just returned home from New Mexico after spending time at the Disarmament Summer encampment in Chimayo, New Mexico, organized by the youth-led anti-nuclear network Think Outside the Bomb, along with TEWA Women United, the Indigenous Uranium Forum, and the Multicultural Alliance for  Safe Environments.  Eight activists were arrested during a sit-in in front of the doors to the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research (CMR) building, the home of nuclear weapons planning.

At the action at the Los Alamos lab, activists together carried a bright blue cloth deemed “the living river” as we entered the ground of the lab, symbolizing the power of water as a life-giving force and the destruction of the nuclear fuel cycle of many of our waters. For the group of us who agreed before the march to do a direct action on the grounds of the lab, we were inspired to see 120 people behind us in our symbolic march on paved-over Native land towards the CMR building.

For people who don’t know much about the current status of the global nuclear arms race and have only heard tales of the Obama administration focusing on disarmament, particularly as it pertains to those “dangerous” countries of Central and South Asia, know this: the Obama administration’s talk about disarmament is a sham. Activists on the ground have been calling the U.S. government’s strategic shifts towards more “advanced” nuclear weapons capabilities and increased federal investment in nuclear power contracts a “nuclear renaissance,” as bomb-making remains front-and-center of our strategy for national defense and global domination.

The U.S. government has proposed the largest nuclear weapons budget ever for fiscal year 2011, which includes plans for the creation of “Prompt Global Strike” a conventional weapon system that, like nuclear weapons, could strike anywhere in the world within a hour through the use of intercontinental ballistic missiles.

In addition, the federal government has pledged $54 billion in loan guarantees for new nuclear power facilities, which has direct affects on communities that are targeted for their construction. The nuclear fuel cycle results in some of the most serious health and environmental impacts the world has known.  People living in Albuquerque drink purified and bottled water because what comes out of the tap is laced with plutonium. Communities near the test sites, processing plants, and uranium mines are living with the long-term effects of exposure to uranium and plutonium, which includes cancer, birth defects, and many chronic health problems.

After a 30 year hiatus, the uranium industry has now applied to open or re-open 22 New Mexican mines on Native land, many on sacred sites, in direct opposition to a Navajo ban on mining operations. There are still hundreds of abandoned uranium mines in New Mexico, largely located on Navajo and Pueblo lands, and state and federal agencies are only now beginning to inventory those mines and begin the cleanup process. We must stop the cycle of destruction of uranium mining now before contracts are given to new companies and end the disastrous effects of the nuclear fuel cycle as the Obama administration moves forward with its “nuclear renaissance.”

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Oklahoma Citizens March in Support of Bradley Manning

If you are in the Oklahoma City area this Thursday, take part in this event put together by a new WRL affiliate group, Oklahoma Center for Conscience:

March to Support Alleged Whistleblower Bradley Manning

Manning, an Oklahoma native, faces 52 years in prison for exposing war crimes

This Thursday, August 12, Oklahomans will show support for and solidarity with Pfc. Bradley Manning, accused of leaking documents about the Afghanistan War, with a march at dusk near the state capitol.

The Army intelligence analyst, originally from Crescent, Oklahoma, is being held in the brig at Quantico Marine Corps Base in Virginia.

The action is being organized locally by the Oklahoma Center for Conscience, with support from the Oklahoma Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild.

James M. Branum, an attorney that works with OCC on military law cases, calls the Pentagon’s treatment of Manning “extreme” and designed to set up the case “as an example of the punishment waiting for others who would consider exposing violations of military regs and international law.”

“We are saying that exposing war crimes is not a crime,” he said.

The whistleblower behind the Vietnam era’s Pentagon Papers, Daniel Ellsberg, has called Mr. Manning a hero.  ”I admire the courage of Bradley Manning for sacrificing himself to make the public aware of the futility of the war in Afghanistan,” says Ellsberg.

WHEN: Thursday, August 12, 8pm

WHERE: From the Corner of NE 16th and Lincoln to Oklahoma State Capitol, Oklahoma City


**To learn more about Bradley Manning click here


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More Updates from Detroit!

The US Social Forum and the Allied Media Conference, which was held right before the event, brought a lot to the table and both required a lot of time and thought to absorb.  Check out these report backs from WRLer, Gloria Williams on both the AMC and the USSF!

Homecoming in Detroit, Coming home from Detroit

WRL organizers Robert, Joanne, and Kimber

It’s been nearly five days since returning home from Detroit and I think that the word most present in the minds of many of the WRL members who were at the second-ever U.S. Social Forum is “unpack.” Aside from the bags full of notes and posters, books and pins that we carried home with us, we also hold countless stories and conversations and new and budding relationships that are hard to translate into a simple reportback.

Throughout the five days that WRL members spent in Detroit, we led and participated in a host of workshops, gatherings, and events, including workshops on counter-recruitment, GI Rights, U.S. anti-war movement strategy, war economy, drones, prison justice, U.S. bases abroad/U.S. empire, Latin American resistance movements to militarism, Palestinian liberation, environmental justice, AFRICOM, GI resistance, and anti-nuclear movement building in solidarity with indigenous peoples within and outside the U.S.  At the U.S. anti-war strategy session that WRL hosted with Civilian Soldier Alliance and the Catalyst Project, one of the participants afterward told me that she had an “aha” moment when she realized during the workshop that the work that she was doing to promote BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) against the Israeli apartheid regime is actually chipping away at a piece of U.S. militarism.

How? Because something that the U.S. Social Forum really brought home for many of us is that all of our struggles and movements are interconnected. U.S. militarism is a central force in maintaining U.S. dominance in the world and domination at home and people are recognizing that our local resistance movements to counter the policing and incarceration of immigrants, stop forclosures on homes, demand healthcare for every one of us, stop closings of schools, parks, and libraries, and demand justice for the peoples of occupied nations are steps towards ending the U.S. war economy and building communities based on principles of justice and global sustainability.

For all members of the War Resisters League, including the multitude of you who were not in Detroit for the USSF, we certainly have some unpacking to do. But there is also a lot of building and growing that needs to happen from here. Next steps for those of us who were in Detroit include follow-up work on some amazing coalitions that came together for the USSF among organizations that have long wanted to work together and see this historical moment as a ripe opportunity. This includes growing WRL partnerships with GI resistance organizations, a number of prison justice groups, connecting WRL members’ long-time work in support of political prisoners with the prison abolition movement in the U.S.,  anti-uranium mining groups in the U.S. and India, in solidarity with indigenous peoples internationally, and economic and racial justice organizations in the U.S. who are making connections between the lack of funding for peoples’ needs domestically and internationally and the taxpayer-funded U.S. military budget.

These are all steps towards ending militarism, built through sharing food, having conversations, and nurturing our one-on-one and organizational relationships. There’s a lot of hope in that and, for those of living in the U.S., in “the belly of the beast” as some call it, there is also a lot of hope in knowing, as WRL member Clare Bayard pointed out during our time together at a training with Iraq Veterans against the War during the week leading up to the USSF, that standing against U.S. militarism means standing on the side of the rest of the people in the world. Having met many organizers from all over the world who left their struggles at home to come to Detroit to talk with U.S. organizers and share their stories, I know that the rest of the world will stand with us, too.

Please send us your comments, thoughts, or stories about the U.S. Social Forum! Comment here or send an email to wrl@warresisters.org.

In solidarity,

Kimber Heinz

WRL Organizing Coordinator