Protest Air Force Association “Arms Bazaar”

When: Wednesday, September 21, 2011, from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. (During AFA $330 per plate banquet)

Where: Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, 201 Waterfront St., National Harbor, MD 20745  We will meet for the vigil at the corner of Waterfront St. and St. George Blvd. directly across from the Gaylord National Resort.

Sponsored by: Dorothy Day Catholic Worker. For more info contact: Art Laffin – 202-360-6416

“The Air Force Association’s Annual Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition is the premier event for those companies who wish to do business with the US Air Force. Air & Space enjoys exceptional visibility among Air Force and DoD leadership as well as international air force attendees. 2010 saw the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Air Force on the exhibit floor throughout the event, and the Deputy Secretary of Defense also made time to walk the exhibit floor. The exhibitors on this event run the gamut from military units and government agencies to small businesses and the giants of the defense industry.”
(From AFA web Site)
 Dear Friends,

The immoral and illegal U.S. wars against continue in Iraq and Afghanistan. In Iraq, over 2 million Iraqis have died since 1991 from bombings, sanctions and a brutal occupation. In Afghanistan, tens of  thousands of civilians have died since 2001 as a direct result from U.S. bombings and an unrelenting war and occupation. In both wars, over six thousand U.S. soldiers have died and countless more have been injured and traumatized for life. For the second year in a row, more American soldiers—both enlisted men and women and veterans—committed suicide than were killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. 462 soldiers died in combat, while 468 committed suicide. In 2009, there were 381 suicides by military personnel, a number that also exceeded the number of combat deaths.

The U.S. has also dramatically increased its military intervention in Pakistan, Yemen and Libya.  At least 2,200 people have been killed and more than 1,100 others injured by the unauthorized U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan since 2004, according to a new study conducted by the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism. The study also revealed that up to 168 children have lost their lives in more than 291 attacks since they began under George W. Bush. The aerial raids have escalated since President Barack Obama took office in 2009. At least 236 attacks have taken place during his term. 
And the financial cost of U.S. warmaking has been staggering. A recent Brown University study shows that U.S. warmaking has cost $3.7 trillion over the last decade, a major contributing factor to the $1.4 trillion government defecit.   
 
The Air Force and some 150 arms contractors taking part in the AFA Air & Space Expo have played a prominent role in U.S. warmaking. These arms dealers are profiting from war and literally are making a killing! But that’s not all. The Air Force and numerous arms contractors are committed to U.S. nuclear superiority and militarizing and controlling space.

From September 19-21, speakers and seminars will be addressing how the U.S. can continue and refine its warmaking and remain the preeminent nuclear-military superpower on earth and in space. And on September 21, the AFA will hold a $330 per plate banquet which is being sponsored by Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest weapons contractor.
For over 25 years many of you participated in nonviolent protests at the annual AFA Air & Space Expo, what we call an ”Arms Bazaar,”  that were held at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel (formerly the Sheraton) in Washington, D.C. Now the AFA is holding their “expo” outside of D.C. at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, located on the National Harbor in Maryland. Last year over 20 people witnessed in resistance to this blasphemous event. We prayed in memory of all the victims of  U.S. warmaking. And we urged all Arms Bazaar participants who could see and hear us to resist this celebration of  weapons and war and join with us in creating the Beloved Community.
On September 21, as the AFA holds it’s opulent banquet, The Dorothy Day Catholic Worker will once again sponsor a nonviolent vigil to decry this sinful Arms Bazaar. 
 Friends, can we let these arms merchants, who are displaying the latest killing technology and weapons, conduct their gala banquet without protest?  Who will give voice to the victims who have suffered and died in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere as a direct result of U.S. warmaking, and weapons, like the Drone ”Predator” and “Reaper” bombing planes, produced by the arms contractors participating in the “Arms Bazaar?  In the name of God who calls us to love and not to kill, it’s time to end this scandalous Arms Bazaar!  It’s time to repent of U.S. war crimes and make reparations to all victims of U.S. warmaking. It’s time to bring all the war money home, meet urgent human needs, and save our environment. Please consider coming (and bring a friend) to this important vigil, and say Yes to Life and a resounding No to the war profiteers. We must not let this Arms Bazaar go unaddressed!
Published in: on August 31, 2011 at 8:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

Show your support for our friends in court

Just received word that the trial is scheduled for Tuesday, October 25th, 2011. Thank you for your prayers and support!

Dear Friends,

This is an update to let you know that 19 people, including a WWII vet, several Vietnam combat veterans, and yours truly, will be tried on Monday, Aug. 29 before Judge Russell Canan, in D.C. Superior Court,  Rm. 313. The case was continued from July 11. (See below for more info). If you are local, please stop by–your support is is very important and necessary. We continue to keep our eyes on the prize! And hold on!
With gratitude,  Art Laffin

Veterans, Peace Activists to Challenge Arrests in Pro Se Trial on August 29th:

On Monday, August 29, 2011, 19 veterans, including a WWII veteran and several Vietnam combat veterans, members of the Catholic Worker community, and other long-time peace activists will have a pro se trial in DC Superior Court, stemming from arrests on the White House sidewalk on March 19, 2011, the eight anniversary of the US war in Ira.  The March 19th action raised issues of the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the cost of the wars to American society, and the continued detention of whistleblower Bradley Manning.  One hundred thirteen persons were arrested on the White House sidewalk by US Park Police, and 19 of those will proceed to a trial on charges of Failure to Obey a Lawful Order and Unlawful Assembly-Disorderly Conduct. At 8:00 a.m. on Monday, August 29, 2011, the veterans and peace activists will be available to speak with the media.  They will then
proceed to a trial, which will begin at 9:30 a.m. in Courtroom 313 of DC Superior Court.
Press Contact: Elliott Adams, President, Veterans for Peace, (518)284-2048, elliottadams@juno.com
Press Availability at 8:00 a.m. at DC Superior Court, 500 Indiana Ave.Washington, D.C.

Published in: on August 27, 2011 at 1:09 am  Leave a Comment  

Save the Date- Friday Sept 9th, 2011

Mark your calendars for Friday Sept 9th, 2011 for our upcoming Clarification of Thought event. The theme will be “Nourishing a Passion for Peace and Justice” with Guest Speaker Liz McAlister of Jonah House.  Please Click here for more details.

Published in: on August 23, 2011 at 2:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

Stop the Keystone XL Pipeline!

Climate Courage – A Call for Civil Disobedience on August 29

Sojourners’ columnist and environmentalist Bill McKibben is leading thousands of U.S. and Canadian citizens in two weeks of sit-ins at the White House from August 20 to September 3, 2011. Calling on President Obama to stop construction of the Keystone XL transnational pipeline, this action is shaping up to be the largest climate change civil disobedience in U.S. history.

Sojourners is calling on people of faith to join this prophetic campaign on Monday, August 29, from 10 a.m. to noon at Lafayette Park across from the White House in Washington, D.C. Many Sojourners’ staff will be participating in civil disobedience and the legal public witness.

The Tar Sands Action will “draw a line in the sand” to stop construction of the Keystone XL pipeline from the Alberta tar sands to Galveston Bay in Texas. If Obama approves the Keystone XL pipeline by issuing the needed permits, he will light the fuse of the largest carbon bomb in North America.

The pipeline threatens America’s fresh water supply, endangers poor and rural communities, jeopardizes food security, and derails any attempt at a green energy future.

Find out more at www.tarsandsaction.org. To join the interfaith civil disobedience, e-mail Rose Berger rberger@sojo.net.

Published in: on August 23, 2011 at 2:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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