A Review of Ongoing Campaigns...
- Vandenberg AFB
For pouring his blood on the sign at the Vandenberg Air Force Base main gate days before the invasion of Iraq, March 14, 2003, Dennis Apel was sentenced to two months in jail on April 18. He served the time in June and July, 2003, and left federal custody just as another Vandenberg resister began his sentence.
Sanderson Beck was convicted of trespassing twice at the California space warfare command and nuclear missile testing base as the invasion of Iraq began. After refusing probation, he was sentenced on August 4, 2003 to four months in prison, with credit for time served. He began serving the sentence immediately.
Sister Mary Pat was placed on three years probation and barred from the base as a result of her March 22, 2003 arrest.
On May 17, 2003, 150 people protested at the gate. Air Force security demanded those with ban and bar letters leave the area. The state highway cuts through the base, and in the past, persons barred due to previously entering the base would only be arrested for reentry if they crossed a line drawn at the gate, not if were simply on the state highway. Instead, four people previously barred were singled out and ordered to leave, despite not having crossed the line.
One year after he was falsely arrested for trespass while legally vigiling at Vandenberg, and in the meantime threatened with penalty for violating probation as well, World War II veteran Bud Boothe's charges were all dismissed in December, 2003. The federal prosecutor said that nonetheless, anyone previously barred would henceforth be arrested if they set foot on any of the roads that cut through the base. The next month, January 24, 2004, MacGregor Eddy, was arrested in much the same circumstance as Boothe had been: vigiling along the road with others who were not arrested or even barred. Eddy was released after a brief detention.
The vigil on May 15, Armed Forces Day, was disrupted when police again moved in on a banned person, Dennis Apel, who was still on probation. Apel was soon released as Eddy had been. Both cases are pending.
For more information, contact MacGregor Eddy, Vandenberg Action Coalition, POB 5789, Salinas, CA, 93915-5789, (831)754-5554.