Protest the Air Force Association “Arms Bazaar”

When: Monday, September 19, 2016, from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. 

 

What: A Nonviolent Vigil and Prayer Service for Peace during the AFA $300+ per plate banquet (please bring a candle) As we undertake this vigil, we do so in solidarity with Campaign Nonviolence, who will be sponsoring a week-long series of actions nationwide from September 18-25. See: http://www.paceebene.org/programs/campaign-nonviolence

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 (See Directions Below)

Sponsored by the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker

For more info contact: Art Laffin – 202-360-6416, artlaffin@hotmail.com

 

                                                                                                                                 

War should always scandalize the faithfulThink of the children starving in refugee camps, these are the fruits of war. And then think of the great dining rooms, of the parties held by those who control the arms industry, who produce weapons. Compare a sick, starving child in a refugee camp with the big parties, the good life led by the masters of the arms trade.”                                                                                                                                                                                      — Pope Francis, February 25, 2014 Mass at the Vatican’s Santa Marta Chapel                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Why are deadly weapons being sold to those who plan to inflict untold suffering on individuals and society? Sadly, the answer, as we all know, is simply for money: money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood. In the face of this shameful and culpable silence, it is our duty to confront the problem and to stop the arms trade.” 

— Pope Francis, September 24, 2015 Speech to the U.S. Congress

 

Dear Friends,

 

From September 19-21, the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center is once again playing host to the Air Force Association (AFA) “Air & Space Conference and Technology Expo,” what we call an “Arms Bazaar.” The AFA, according to its web site, is “the voice for aerospace power and the Air Force family.” This year’s Arms Bazaar will focus on: “Air, Space & Cyber Theme: Airmen, Industry, and Allies-A Global Security Team.” Some 150 arms contractors taking part in this years Arms Bazaar have played a prominent role in U.S. warmaking. These arms contractors, like Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon, are profiting from war and literally are making a killing! But that’s not all. The Pentagon and numerous arms dealers are committed to U.S. nuclear/military/cyber superiority and militarizing and controlling space.

 

As the world’s preeminent military superpower, the U.S. is the #1 arms dealer with $46.6 billion in foreign military sales for 2015. The U.S. supplies weapons to much of NATO and Middle Eastern allies like Turkey, Israel, and Saudi Arabia. U.S. arms sales in the Middle East are fueling widespread wars in the region, as the U.S. continues its quest to destroy ISIS. In concert with weapons contractors participating in the AFA Arms Bazaar, the U.S. is engaged in direct military intervention in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria, continues its military support for the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, threatens Russia over its involvement in the Ukraine, proceeds with its military “pivot” in the Asia-Pacific to threaten and contain China, and wages killer drone attacks in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere.

 

Additionally, the U.S. continues its “Missile Defense” deployments encircling China and Russia, constituting a flagrant violation of its Anti-Ballistic missile treaty with Russia. Moreover, the U.S. plans to spend $1 trillion over the next thirty years to modernize its own nuclear arsenal, instead of pursuing a real path to disarmament. And the U.S. military, the world’s single biggest consumer of fossil fuels, is directly destabilizing the earth’s climate. The victims cry out for justice, and the earth, under daily assault, groans in travail!

 

During its three day Arms Bazaar, the AFA is sponsoring nearly 40 forums addressing how the U.S. can refine its warmaking apparatus and cyber capability so it can dominate earth and space. Tonight the AFA is holding a $300+ per plate banquet honoring outstanding airmen. On Wednesday night there will be a similar banquet. We decry the AFA Arms Bazaar for what it is: a scandalous affront to God, a theft from the poor, and a threat to people worldwide and all of creation!

 

Who will speak for the poor and the victims, as arms dealers reap huge profits from their lethal weapons and death technology? Who will protect our sacred earth and environment? We urgently need, more than ever, to nonviolently resist all war and violence–from Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Gaza, to Ferguson, NYC, Baltimore, Charleston, Orlando, D.C. and elsewhere. Together, let us continue to do all we can to establish the Beloved Community, end the climate crisis, eradicate poverty and create a world free of nuclear and conventional weapons, killer drones, war, racial hatred and oppression. In the name of God, who calls us to love and not to hate, demonize and kill, it’s time to end this Arms Bazaar!
Please join with members of the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker, Pax Christi and other peacemakers as we seek to say YES to Life and a resounding NO to the merchants of death and war profiteers.

With gratitude,

Art Laffin

Theme for AFA “Arms Bazaar” (from AFA web site): Air, Space & Cyber Theme:  Airmen, Industry, and Allies – A Global Security Team

  • Airpower success in the future will depend on close relationships between our Air Force, industry, and our international partners.
  • We leverage our capabilities, through cooperation, to mitigate risk and respond to global crises as a global security team.
  • As defense budgets shrink and threats increase, it is critical that industry and our international partners come together to provide the air, space, and cyber capabilities and effects essential to ensuring the freedom and security of our nation and its allies.

AFA Technology Exposition Agenda (From AFA web site-see: http://www.afa.org/airspacecyber/conference/agenda)

The Air Force Association’s Annual Air, Space & Cyber Conference and Technology Exposition is the premier event for defense focused aerospace industry professionals. This event brings you face to face with key decision makers from the United States, as well as international Air Forces, DoD, members of Congress, and industry leaders and innovators.

Your attendance at AFA’s yearly Air, Space & Cyber Conference is the ideal opportunity to preview and discuss the latest developments in air-power, space and cyber capabilities vital to the Air Force Mission.

The speaker line-up will include top leaders of the U.S. Air Force, including the Secretary of the Air Force – Deborah Lee James, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, and the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force – James A. Cody.

Directions and Public Transport Info to Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center

Directions from Downtown D.C., Parking and Meeting Place
Take 395 South (off of New York Ave. or Constitution Ave. at 9th St. NW) Merge onto 295 South via exit on left (crossing into Maryland) – 7.4 miles. Take the exit toward National Harbor. Take ramp to National Harbor Blvd. Bear left on National Harbor Blvd. and go two blocks to St. George Blvd. Make a right on St. George Blvd. Go to one block before Waterfront St. and look for street meter parking. Also St. George Parking Garage is on right in case you can’t find street parking (just past the cross street called Mariner Passage). The garage is one block before Waterfront St., where the Gaylord National Resort is located. We will meet for the vigil at the corner of Waterfront St. and St. George Blvd. on the sidewalk in front of the Gaylord National ResortIf you are coming from Maryland or Virginia use Map Quest for the most precise route to the Gaylord.

Public Transportation
If you would like to use public transportation, take the Green Line to Branch Ave. Get off at Branch Ave. and take the NH1 National Harbor bus line. This bus takes you to the corner of St. George Blvd. and Waterfront St. across from the Gaylord National Resort. Call 202-637-7000 and select “ride guide” for best directions. Or go WMATA web site.
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Published in: on September 12, 2016 at 7:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

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