Creech 18

 

Catholic Workers Protest Nuclearism & Drones in Nevada

(Las Vegas) Over 100 people held an interfaith service at the entrance to Nevada’s nuclear testing grounds on
October 9. After the prayers, the group processed towards the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS, formerly
called the Nevada Test Site). At 11:30am 37 men and 22 women were arrested by Nye County Sheriffs for crossing
onto the NNSS. Upon release, many of the nuclear abolitionists then went to Creech Air Force Base, where 18 were
arrested around 3:00 pm by Las Vegas Metro Police. The activists at both locations prayed for peace at both
locations in historical Shoshone and Paiute territory. Most of the arrestees were in the area for the international
Catholic Worker gathering.

People arrested at the NNSS were quickly cited and released, and no further prosecution is expected, per the custom
for Test Site main gate arrests for many years. Those arrested at Creech were taken to Clark County Detention
Center where they were cited and released before midnight on a range of charges including “illegal assembly” and
“jaywalking.” Court appearances are scheduled for Monday December 5 in Clark County regional court. Yesterday’s
arrests were part of the largest anti-war demonstration ever at Indian Springs, Nevada, and the largest antinuclear
civil resistance action in at least six years at NNSS.

Over 200 radical Christian and other pacifists from around North America swelled the ranks of local activists
because of the international Catholic Worker (CW) gathering in Las Vegas October 7 and 8. Yesterday’s CW
antinuclear, anti-drone demonstrations marked the 10th tragic anniversary of the US invasion of Afghanistan.
Creech is the headquarters of the USAF’s 432nd Air Wing of Predator and Reaper drones which operates armed
remotely piloted aircraft in various foreign countries. The NNSS continues to support the country’s nuclear
weapons programs, has a mandate to restart full-scale nuclear bomb tests within two years if so ordered by the
President, and receives and stores radioactive waste on land that belongs to the Western Shoshone Nation.
Some of those arrested at Creech had been arrested before there. “In the time since I was arrested at Creech the first
time in April of 2009, the number and variety of drones has only continued to multiply as has the number of
innocent people killed. The drones’ lethal capabilities have grown, as well, and with along with advances in
technology, infractions against law and morality grow even more flagrant,” says Brian Terrell of Maloy, Iowa, who
is also awaiting a November 1 trial in New York for protesting the expansion of the drone program to Hancock
airbase near Syracuse.

Yesterday’s Catholic Worker prayer-actions were also part of the Keep Space for Peace Week: International Week
of Protest to Stop the Militarization of Space taking place October 1-8. Keep Space for Peace Week is co-sponsored by the Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (UK), Swedish Peace Council, Drone Campaign Network (UK), and United Against Drones (US).

Those arrested at Creech Air Force Base, awaiting prosecution, the “Creech 18” are:
Matt Campbell from Arizona
Huntley Hoffman from Arizona
Nancy Mancias from Arizona
Betsy Lamb from Arizona
Fr. Jerry Zawada, from Arizona
John Heid from Arizona
Toby Blome from California
Mike Wisniewski from California
Christine Nelson from California
Fr. Louis Vitale, ofm from California
Mary Moody from Iowa
Brian Terrell from Iowa
Rosalie Riegle from Michigan
Rebecca Lambert from Minnesota
Theo Kayser from Missouri
Robert Majors from Las Vegas, Nevada
Jim Haber from Las Vegas, Nevada
Rachel Winch from Wisconsin

(Source: http://www.nevadadesertexperience.org/issues/2011/creech.htm)

 

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