Report of Today’s AFA “Arms Bazaar” Witness

Dear Friends,


On this International Day of Peace, and in solidarity with all who are participating at this time in Campaign Nonviolence and the Catholic Days of Action.

Verleah Kosloske, Bob Cooke,Jack McHale and I vigiled today from Noon-1PM outside the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, MD which is once again hosting the annual Air Force Association (AFA) “Air-Space-Cyber Conference and Technology Exposition,” what we call an “Arms Bazaar.” (see above photos)


Yesterday, as I was leaving the weekly Dorothy Day Catholic Worker Pentagon Peace Vigil, I took photos of Northrop Grumman Ads that are displayed throughout the Pentagon metro area (see above photos). These Ads displayed by Northrop Grumman, a prominent weapons contractor, highlight what they are exhibiting at this year’s Arms Bazaar.

During our vigil we were present to both weapons contractors and military who were on their lunch break. We conducted a prayer service which included a “Prayer of Exorcism and Conversion,” a reading of the Beatitudes from Matthew’s Gospel (today is the Feast of St. Matthew), a Reflection and Response (see below), and a recitation of the CPT Litany of Resistance and Pax Christi Litany of Repentance and Conversion. We closed with singing “Down by the Riverside” and praying “The Lord’s Prayer.” 

In these perilous times, let us live in the hope that Jesus offers: “All things are possible for the one who has faith.” (Mk. 9:23) We beckon the holy cloud of witnesses, including Henri Nouwen (on this 25th anniversary of his death), Troy Davis (on this 10th anniversary of his execution), and all peace and justice makers who have gone home to God, and who are now interceding on our behalf. Hope abounds in the actions of countless people worldwide who are seeking to make God’s reign of justice and peace a reality. Let us redouble our efforts to do all we can to nonviolently resist the forces and systems of violence, racism, oppression and death and witness to the God of Life and Love as we strive to create the Beloved Community.

In hope and peace,

Art


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

From September 20-22, the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center is once again playing host to the Air Force Association (AFA) “Air-Space-Cyber Conference and Technology Exposition,” 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 theme marking the 75th anniversary of the AFA is: 

“AIR AND SPACE LEADERSHIP FOR OUR NATION – TODAY AND TOMORROW.” 

Response: God Commands Us Not to Kill and To Beat Swords into Plowshares! Stop the AFA Arms Bazaar! Disarm Now!

More than 140 exhibitors taking part in this year’s Arms Bazaar have played a prominent role in U.S. warmaking. Weapons contractors like Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and BAE, 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.

Response: God Commands Us Not to Kill and To Beat Swords into Plowshares! Stop the AFA Arms Bazaar! Disarm Now!

During its three-day Arms Bazaar, the AFA will hold forums addressing how the U.S. can refine its warmaking apparatus and cyber capability so it can dominate earth and space. Here are titles for three of the forums: “Total Force–Air and Space,” “From Acquisition to Lethality,” “Fighting and Winning in Space.” Additionally, there will be two gala banquets. 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 and the environment worldwide! 

Response: God Commands Us Not to Kill and To Beat Swords into Plowshares! Stop the AFA Arms Bazaar! Disarm Now!

The victims cry out for justice, and the earth, under daily assault, groans in travail! Who will speak for the poor and the victims, as arms dealers reap huge profits from their lethal weapons and death technology? 

Response: God Commands Us Not to Kill and To Beat Swords into Plowshares! Stop the AFA Arms Bazaar! Disarm Now!

Who will protect our sacred earth and environment? Who will help to convert the U.S. war economy to meet urgent human needs? We need, more than ever, to nonviolently resist all U.S. warmaking, racism and oppression–from Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Gaza and elsewhere, and all systemic violence in every city and town in our country. 

Response: God Commands Us Not to Kill and To Beat Swords into Plowshares! Stop the AFA Arms Bazaar! Disarm Now!

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, and to beat all the swords of our time into plowshares, it’s time to end this Arms Bazaar! 

Response: God Commands Us Not to Kill and To Beat Swords into Plowshares! Stop the AFA Arms Bazaar! Disarm Now!

Please join with us as we seek to say YES to Life and a resounding NO to the merchants of death and war profiteers. 

Response: God Commands Us Not to Kill and To Beat Swords into Plowshares! Stop the AFA Arms Bazaar! Disarm Now!

Published in: on September 21, 2021 at 9:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

Protest the Air Force Association Arms Bazaar

When: Tuesday, September 21, 2021, from 12 Noon – 1:00 p.m.  

What: A Nonviolent Safe Distance Vigil and Prayer Service for Peace and Justice during the annual AFA Air-Space-Cyber Conference and Technology Exposition, what we call an “Arms Bazaar.” This year the Arms Bazaar is being held in person and virtually for those not able to attend. This witness is being held on the International Day of Peace, and in-solidarity with Campaign Nonviolence, who will be sponsoring a week-long series of actions nationwide from September 18-26. Over 4,200 actions are being planned in the U.S. and abroad this year.

For more info see: https://paceebene.org/action-week.

For more info about the AFA Arms Bazaar see: 
https://www.afa.org/events/calendar/2021-09-20/air-space-cyber-conference


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 the Dorothy Day Catholic WorkerFor more info contact: Art Laffin – 202-360-6416,  artlaffin@hotmail.com

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 thearmstrade.”                                                                                                                                               –Pope Francis, September 24, 2015 Speech to the U.S. Congress

Dear Friends, 

From September 20-22, the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center is once again playing host to the Air Force Association (AFA) “Air-Space-Cyber Conference and Technology Exposition,” 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 theme marking the 75th anniversary of the AFA is: “AIR AND SPACE LEADERSHIP FOR OUR NATION – TODAY AND TOMORROW.” According the AFA web site, “Over 12,000 people registered for the last in-person Air, Space & Cyber Conference and Technology Exposition including top decision-makers from the Air Force. The last in-person conference broke records for attendance and we fully expect another record-breaking crowd this fall.”

More than 140 exhibitors taking part in this year’s Arms Bazaar have played a prominent role in U.S. warmaking. Weapons contractors like Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and BAE, are profiting from war and literally are making a killing! See:https://www.afa.org/events/airspacecyber2021/sponsor-listing.

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.

During its three-day Arms Bazaar, the AFA will hold forums addressing how the U.S. can refine its warmaking apparatus and cyber capability so it can dominate earth and space.
See: https://www.afa.org/events/airspacecyber2021/agenda.Here are titles for three of the forums: “Total Force–Air and Space,” “From Acquistion to Lethality,” “Fighting and Winning in Space.” Additionally, there will be two gala banquets. 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 and the environment worldwide! 

The victims cry out for justice, and the earth, under daily assault, groans in travail! 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? Who will help to convert the U.S. war economy to meet urgent human needs? We need, more than ever, to nonviolently resist all U.S. warmaking, racism and oppression–from Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Gaza and elsewhere, and all systemic violence in every city and town in our country. 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, and to beat all the swords of our time into plowshares, 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. 

Please share this with your contacts and network.

With gratitude, 
Art Laffin

Directions 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. directly across from the Gaylord National Resort. If you are coming from Maryland or Virginia use Map Quest for the most precise route to the Gaylord. 
For public transportation go https://www.wmata.com/ and click on TRIP PLANNER.

Published in: on September 14, 2021 at 9:18 pm  Leave a Comment