FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Civil Resistance at Vandenberg Air Base

by RICK WAYMAN

David Krieger is President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.

RICK WAYMAN: What made you decide after 30 years of working as President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation to get arrested protesting this missile launch?

DAVID KRIEGER: I felt it was necessary. The leaders in charge of our nuclear policies aren’t reacting swiftly enough and with serious determination to end the intolerable threat posed by these weapons of mass annihilation, and so more is needed from citizens. This is an action I took as a citizen, which I hope says to the members of the NAPF and to the public that more is needed – that words are not sufficient. We must speak with our actions as well.

It’s far past time that we stop accepting nuclear weapons as part of our national security strategy. Nuclear weapons do not make us more secure. They undermine the security of their possessors, and the security of innocent people throughout the world. What we know now from scientific studies is that the use of a few hundred thermonuclear weapons on cities would lead to putting smoke into the stratosphere that would block a significant percentage of sunlight from reaching the earth for 10 years or more. This would lead to crop failures and mass starvation that could result in the extinction of the human species and most other complex forms of life. How could anyone who cares about the future and cares about their children and grandchildren be indifferent to that?

RICK WAYMAN: How did you feel when you were approaching the green line and in the act of being arrested?

DAVID KRIEGER: I felt really good to be a part of a community of individuals willing to take risks to end the insanity of nuclear testing, nuclear threats and the ever-present danger of nuclear weapons use by accident or design. I also felt good to be taking this action with my wife and my good friend Daniel Ellsberg. Also Fr. Louis Vitale, who has set a great example as a religious and moral leader by being arrested hundreds of times for this cause; and Cindy Sheehan, a spirited woman whose son died in the Iraq War.

RICK WAYMAN: How were you treated during your time in detention?

DAVID KRIEGER: The young soldiers were like automatons – they were carrying out their orders to put handcuffs on us, search us and detain us, but they appeared to be ordered not to engage in conversation with us. For the most part, the soldiers were respectful, but the orders from their leaders left a lot to be desired; for example, after processing us, they dropped us off at 4:00 a.m. in an empty shopping center four or five miles from VAFB where our cars were located. This struck me as unnecessary harassment.

RICK WAYMAN: Do you know what penalties you’re facing?

DAVID KRIEGER: No. All I know is that they have charged us with entering military property and they told us we will be notified as to when we are to appear in federal court.

RICK WAYMAN: Do you intend to plead guilty or not guilty?

DAVID KRIEGER: My plan at this time is to plead not guilty by reason of necessity. I walked toward the base along with the others to try and stop a far greater crime, the reliance upon and potential use of weapons that can destroy cities, and potentially cause the extinction of complex life on the planet. With nuclear weapons we can do to ourselves what a meteor hitting the earth did to the dinosaurs. I hope that increasing numbers of people in the US and around the world will awaken to the necessity to speak out and act for nuclear weapons abolition.

    Rick Wayman is Director of Programs at the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation in Santa Barbara, California. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability and Co-Chair of the “Amplify: Generation of Change” network.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

May 24, 2017
Paul Street
Beyond Neoliberal Identity Politics
Daniel Read
Powder Keg: Manchester Terror Attack Could Lead to Yet Another Resurgence in Nationalist Hate
Robert Fisk
When Peace is a Commodity: Trump in the Middle East
Kenneth Surin
The UK’s Epochal Election
Jeff Berg
Lessons From a Modern Greek Tragedy
Steve Cooper
A Concrete Agenda for Progressives
Michael McKinley
Australia-as-Concierge: the Need for a Change of Occupation
William Hawes
Where Are Your Minds? An Open Letter to Thomas de Maiziere and the CDU
Steve Early
“Corporate Free” Candidates Move Up
Fariborz Saremi
Presidential Elections in Iran and the Outcomes
Dan Bacher
The Dark Heart of California’s Water Politics
Alessandra Bajec
Never Ending Injustice for Pinar Selek
Rob Seimetz
Death By Demigod
Jesse Jackson
Venezuela Needs Helping Hand, Not a Hammer Blow 
Binoy Kampmark
Return to Realpolitik: Trump in Saudi Arabia
Vern Loomis
The NRA: the Dragon in Our Midst
May 23, 2017
John Wight
Manchester Attacks: What Price Hypocrisy?
Patrick Cockburn
A Gathering of Autocrats: Trump Puts US on Sunni Muslim Side of Bitter Sectarian War with Shias
Shamus Cooke
Can Trump Salvage His Presidency in Syria’s War?
Thomas S. Harrington
“Risk”: a Sad Comedown for Laura Poitras
Josh White
Towards the Corbyn Doctrine
Mike Whitney
Rosenstein and Mueller: the Regime Change Tag-Team
Jan Oberg
Trump in Riyadh: an Arab NATO Against Syria and Iran
Susan Babbitt
The Most Dangerous Spy You’ve Never Heard Of: Ana Belén Montes
Rannie Amiri
Al-Awamiya: City of Resistance
Dimitris Konstantakopoulos
The European Left and the Greek Tragedy
Laura Leigh
This Land is Your Land, Except If You’re a Wild Horse Advocate
Hervé Kempf
Macron, Old World President
Michael J. Sainato
Devos Takes Out Her Hatchet
L. Ali Khan
I’m a Human and I’m a Cartoon
May 22, 2017
Diana Johnstone
All Power to the Banks! The Winners-Take-All Regime of Emmanuel Macron
Robert Fisk
Hypocrisy and Condescension: Trump’s Speech to the Middle East
John Grant
Jeff Sessions, Jesus Christ and the Return of Reefer Madness
Nozomi Hayase
Trump and the Resurgence of Colonial Racism
Rev. William Alberts
The Normalizing of Authoritarianism in America
Frank Stricker
Getting Full Employment: the Fake Way and the Right Way 
Jamie Davidson
Red Terror: Anti-Corbynism and Double Standards
Binoy Kampmark
Julian Assange, Sweden, and Continuing Battles
Robert Jensen
Beyond Liberal Pieties: the Radical Challenge for Journalism
Patrick Cockburn
Trump’s Extravagant Saudi Trip Distracts from His Crisis at Home
Angie Beeman
Gig Economy or Odd Jobs: What May Seem Trendy to Privileged City Dwellers and Suburbanites is as Old as Poverty
Colin Todhunter
The Public Or The Agrochemical Industry: Who Does The European Chemicals Agency Serve?
Jerrod A. Laber
Somalia’s Worsening Drought: Blowback From US Policy
Michael J. Sainato
Police Claimed Black Man Who Died in Custody Was Faking It
Clancy Sigal
I’m a Trump Guy, So What?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail