Wisconsin peace activists put drone warfare on trial

Raging Grannies take a stand against dronesOn September 24, seven peace activists from across Wisconsin who were arrested during a drone protest at Camp Williams / Volk Field had their first court date in nearby Mauston.  (Photo of the Raging Grannies supporting the drone protesters by Joyce Ellwanger, defendant and WNPJ Lifetime Achievement Award winner.)

Joy First explained, "We were arrested by the Juneau County Sheriff just inside the gates of the base on April 24 after peacefully walking onto the base to hand deliver a letter to base commander, Col. Gary Ebben.  We have been vigiling at the base monthly since December 2012, and sending letters to Col. Ebben stating our urgent concern about the training they are doing in operating Shadow drones.  Our letters have been ignored and so on April 24 we decided to try to hand deliver a letter.  We were arrested, handcuffed, and transported to Mauston, the county seat of Juneau County.  There we were processed and charged with criminal disorderly conduct and released."

Wisconsin joins call for no more Hiroshimas

August 6th is the anniversary of the atomic bombing of the Japanese city of Hiroshima, an attack that killed nearly 200,000 people, the vast majority of them civilians. An estimated 200,000 additional Hiroshima residents died in the years to follow from cancer caused by the radiation from the bomb. On August 9th, the U.S. bombed the city of Nagasaki, killing nearly 100,000 more. Each year, people around the world mark Hiroshima day as a day to remember the horrific effects of the atomic bomb, and to call for the abolition of nuclear weapons. Four Wisconsin cities - Milwaukee, Lacross, Dodgeville and Madison - will be joining in these solemn remembrances with "Lanterns for Peace" events. Details below... (Photo: Marc Becker.)

Wisconsin doctor on his own "Countdown to Zero"

While some antinuclear organizations are raising questions about the film "Countdown to Zero" and a national campaign tied to the film that claims as a goal the total abolition of nuclear weapons, one WNPJ board member has embarked on a campaign of his own, speaking to grassroots groups about the growing global movement for nuclear abolition, with a scheduled appearance in Fon du Lac on August 5.  Chuck Baynton, a retired physician from Whitefish Bay, attended the UN Conference on the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty held in New York in May, and has returned with some pointed criticisms of the U.S. and other nuclear-armed states. Speaking of the 121 Non-governmental organizations (NGO's) that participated in the Conference, Baynton says, “They are virtually unanimous in their belief that the nuclear armed countries are not living up to their treaty obligation to negotiate their own disarmament.”  

Wisconsin activists involved in Pentagon action

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 8, 2011 Contact:  Joy First    608 239-4327

WI Defense Transition


WI activists risking arrest in DC to call attention to killer drones

WASHINGTON, DC –   Phil Runkel, Milwaukee, and Joy First, Mt. Horeb, are joining other activists from across the country in an action of nonviolent civil resistance in Washington, DC on Monday. The action is being organized by the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance (NCNR) during the inauguration, calling attention to the hypocrisy of President Obama taking an oath to uphold the constitution while he continues to ignore its most basic principles through his extra-judicial killing of innocent children, women, and men, including US citizens, through drone warfare.

Which candidates support bringing our war dollars home?

Of the candidates appearing on ballots across Wisconsin, who is willing to call out runaway war and weapons spending?

To find out, the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice (WNPJ), a coalition of 166 member organizations from across the state, conducted a one-question survey of state candidates.  WNPJ is a non-partisan, non-profit organization and does not endorse candidates.

Please see below for the responses we received from candidates running for U.S. Senate, U.S. Congress, State Senate and State Assembly, to our "war dollars home" survey question. 

What's your share of the Afghanistan war?

Rethink Afghanistan has developed a handy "Cost of War Calculator" that can tell you how much of your federal taxes this year went to pay for the Afghanistan war and other military spending. Calculations are based on a budget analysis by the National Priorities Project. Rethink Afghanistan also offers an option to send an "IOU" certificate to your Congressional representative. Click on the image to launch the Cost of War Calculator.

West Bank report: 'Some hopeful days, some less so'

WNPJ member Cassandra Dixon sends greetings and this report from Tuwani and the South Hebron Hills:

The past week has brought both rebuilding and new destruction of homes in the South Hebron Hills. In the village of Amnyir Palestinians were joined by internationals and Israeli peace activists as they built tents to replace the five homes destroyed by the Israeli army days before. (They are pictured erecting a tent)

Welcome Home, Bonnie!

Bonnie Urfer, left, a 25-year staff member of Nukewatch, a WNPJ member group, spent eight months in Federal prison for a trespass conviction stemming from a July 5, 2010 protest at the Y12 nuclear weapons complex in Oak Ridge, Tenn. Her release date was January 6th.  You can mail Bonnie at: NUKEWATCH, 740 "A" Round Lake Rd, Luck, WI 54853, 715-472-4185 or  Bonnie's statement to the court is a powerful indictment, not only of our nuclear weapons complex, but also of our nation's prison-industrial complex. Read and comment at the WNPJ blog, here...

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