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"News Fit to Transmit in the Post Cassini Flyby Era"

TV's Mr. President arrested at Vandenberg protest * Nuclear Storage * Ancient City--Atomic Blast!

1) TV's Mr. President arrested at Vandenberg protest

2) Nuclear Waste Storage on Utah Tribal Land Wins Safety Approval

3) Environmentalists, Nuclear Workers At Odds
Over New Uranium Enrichment Facility

4) Russian Villagers Dump Radioactive Soil on Duma's Doorstep

5) Ancient City Found, Irradiated from Atomic Blast!


-- Martin Sheen --

"..It's foolhardy, it's destructive, it's wasteful and it can't work."

"My producers have a life and I have a life. That's what I do for a living, this is what I do to stay alive."

1) TV's Mr. President arrested at Vandenberg protest

October 7 2000

By Rick Tuttle, Lompoc Record Staff

America's television president, Martin Sheen, was among 23 peace activists arrested Saturday during a non-violent but tense standoff at Vandenberg Air Force Base's main gate - the culmination of local protests against a developing national missile defense system and the perceived "militarization of space." Sheen, the veteran actor who plays the U.S. president in the Emmy-winning drama "West Wing," ignored numerous warnings by base security forces and attempted to walk into Vandenberg hand-in-hand with two Bay Area Catholic priests and two activist friends.

Like all of those arrested, Sheen was quickly placed in plastic handcuffs, amid a shower of cheers from fellow protestors, and loaded onto a bus.

A human wall of helmeted and baton-carrying members of the Vandenberg's Confrontation Management Team met protestors as they approached base property alone or in small groups.

When the crowd of about 140 protesters finally dispersed, the arrested were transported to an on-base processing center for booking on charges of trespassing and failure to disperse, authorities report.

All were released from custody last night, each handed a letter from 30th Space Wing Commander Col. Steve Lanning barring them from entering the base for at least one year, with the exception of required appearances in Vandenberg's federal magistrate court to face the charges.

Some of the arrested may face other charges, base officials said, including a female protester caught on videotape striking a member of the security force, which included about 50 personnel, two dogs and a water cannon. The cannon would have only been used if the group had stormed the base en masse, according to Maj. John Cherry, Vandenberg spokesman.

"We're very sure that the level of response was appropriate for the level of action from the protesters," he said. "I hope you all saw what I saw which was people being treated very fairly, no one being force down to the concrete or anything like that."

The tense confrontation came after a "Stop Star Wars" rally, sponsored by the Vandenberg Action Coalition, which included two and a half hours of folk singing and speeches amplified from a flatbed truck parked on the northwest corner of the intersection of Highway I and Lompoc-Casmalia Road.

The protests, often drowned out by base helicopters patrolling overhead, were part of similar actions taken in 16 other countries and 39 U.S. cities.

Protesters had promised stealthy invasion of base security zones to disrupt base operations, but base officials reported no back country arrests were made. Three local hikers were stopped and quickly released after they wandered on base near Point Sal, Cherry said.

Prior to his arrest, Sheen, no stranger to political activism, told the Record that he had traveled to the Vandenberg rally "to protest the continuation of Star Wars research and planning. It's foolhardy, it's destructive, it's wasteful and it can't work."

"Star Wars" is the term used by protesters to describe the ground-based system the Pentagon is developing to protect the United States from limited long range missile attacks by rogue nations. The name is taken from a space-based program proposed two decades ago.

The next $100 million intercept test of the NMD system, in which a "kill vehicle" launched from Kwajalein Atoll - 4,200 miles away - attempts to strike a "target vehicle" launched from Vandenberg, is scheduled for next January.

Before the main gate action occurred, Sheen said he was unsure whether he would try to enter the base and risk arrest.

"I leave that to the Holy Spirit,' he said. "I just stand on line and let the spirit lead me where I have to go."

When asked if his voice was significant considering his commander-in-chief television role, he said, "You tell me. I do this for myself. I'm not the president, I'm the acting president."

"My producers have a life and I have a life. That's what I do for a living, this is what I do to stay alive."

As he was being loaded onto the bus, witnesses heard Sheen offering in-character presidential humor and spiritual encouragement. He also spoke at the rally, but limited his remarks to the recitation of a poem.

Other speakers included Green Party Senatorial candidate Medea Benjamin and Bruce Gagnon, coordinator for the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space.

"They are not here to protect us, we are here as slaves to feed this machine to build these pyramids to the heavens," said Gagnon, referring to base personnel across the street. "The aerospace corporations are the Pharaohs of our age and we the taxpayers will be the slaves to build these pyramids to the heavens."

Some demonstrators carried large puppets representing companies that fund defense research. These include Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, Raytheon and TRW which rally organizers said have split more than $2.2 billion in missile defense research and development in the last two years - approximately 60 percent of Pentagon contracts.

Vandenberg Action Coalition member Frank Nolan, of Los Osos, an English and philosophy professor at Allan Hancock College's Lompoc Valley campus, said he opposed the NMD system because it would start a new arms race.

"One of the reasons I'm here is to be an example to my students, that they should be active and they should speak out on issues of conscience," he said.

Despite being from where protesters consider to be the base's "company town," first-time protester Lisa Williams, of Lompoc, said her presence at the rally showed "that there is a concern even among people that are part of the immediate community ... about our children, about what we're showing our children about violence and about nuclear arms."

Terms of the protests were negotiated two weeks ago, which included a time limit on the protests and vows of non-violence from both sides. But base officials feared many out-of-towners- many of the protesters came down from the San Francisco Bay Area - would not comply with the predetermined conditions.

"One of the main reasons why we were out with our Confrontation Management Team is that they had made threats that they would break the line," Cherry said, "and a couple hundred feet (from the main gate) you have family housing. We were not going to allow anyone to go into family housing and infiltrate that area."

Vandenberg received security and traffic control assistance from the U.S. Marshal's office, the FBI, the California Highway Patrol and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department.

Base officials estimated it was the largest protest at the main gate since the actions against the Peacekeeper missile in the early 1980s.

For more information contact

Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
Coordinator: Bruce Gagnon
PO Box 90083
Gainesville, FL. 32607
(352) 337-9274


2) Nuclear Waste Storage on Utah Tribal Land Wins Safety Approval

By Brian Hansen

ROCKVILLE, Maryland, October 9, 2000 (ENS) - A controversial proposal to build a spent nuclear fuel storage facility on an Indian reservation in the Utah desert cleared another procedural hurdle last week, as the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission ruled that the proposed facility would meet key safety and regulatory requirements.

In its safety evaluation report, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) concluded that the facility proposed by the Skull Valley Band of the Goshutes Indian Tribe would meet all federal safety standards during "normal, unusual and accident conditions."

But a growing contingent of environmentalists and elected officials see things differently. According to these critics, the proposed nuclear waste storage facility would pose a host of environmental and public health risks.

For Full Text and Graphics Visit:


3) Environmentalists, Nuclear Workers At Odds Over
New Uranium Enrichment Facility

WASHINGTON, DC, October 10, 2000 (ENS) - In a move that drew cheers from disaffected nuclear industry workers and jeers from environmental activists, Energy Secretary Bill Richardson announced last week that the federal government will build a new uranium enrichment facility in Piketon, Ohio.

For Full Text and Graphics Visit:


4) Russian Villagers Dump Radioactive Soil on Duma's Doorstep

MOSCOW, Russia, October 10, 2000 (ENS) - Villagers from the Chelyabinsk region in the Ural Mountains delivered contaminated soil to the Russianparliament Monday. The soil comes from the gardens and farms that surround the giant Mayak nuclear site. The villagers' protest, which has attracted more than two million signatures on a petition, is at a proposal to allow imports of radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel.

For Full Text and Graphics Visit:



[Excerpt from the World Island Review, January 1992.]

Radiation still so intense, the area is highly dangerous

A heavy layer of radioactive ash in Rajasthan, India, covers a three-square mile area, ten miles west of Jodhpur. Scientists are investigating the site, where a housing development was being built.

For some time it has been established that there is a very high rate of birth defects and cancer in the area under construction. The levels of radiation there have registered so high on investigators' gauges that the Indian government has now cordoned off the region. Scientists have unearthed an ancient city where evidence shows an atomic blast dating back thousands of years, from 8,000 to 12,000 years, destroyed most of the buildings and probably a half-million people. One researcher estimates that the nuclear bomb used was about the size of the ones dropped on Japan in 1945.

The Mahabharata clearly describes a catastrophic blast that rocked the continent. "A single projectile charged with all the power in the Universe...An incandescent column of smoke and flame as bright as 10,000 suns, rose in all its was an unknown weapon, an iron thunderbolt, a gigantic messenger of death which reduced to ashes an entire race.

"The corpses were so burned as to be unrecognizable. Their hair and nails fell out, pottery broke without any apparent cause, and the birds turned white.

"After a few hours, all foodstuffs were infected. To escape from this fire, the soldiers threw themselves into the river."


Historian Kisari Mohan Ganguli says that Indian sacred writings are full of such descriptions, which sound like an atomic blast as experienced in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He says references mention fighting sky chariots and final weapons. An ancient battle is described in the Drona Parva, a section of the Mahabharata. "The passage tells of combat where explosions of final weapons decimate entire armies, causing crowds of warriors with steeds and elephants and weapons to be carried away as if they were dry leaves of trees," says Ganguli.

"Instead of mushroom clouds, the writer describes a perpendicular explosion with its billowing smoke clouds as consecutive openings of giant parasols. There are comments about the contamination of food and people's hair falling out."


Archeologist Francis Taylor says that etchings in some nearby temples he has managed to translate suggest that they prayed to be spared from the great light that was coming to lay ruin to the city. "It's so mid-boggling to imagine that some civilization had nuclear technology before we did. The radioactive ash adds credibility to the ancient Indian records that describe atomic warfare."

Construction has halted while the five member team conducts the investigation. The foreman of the project is Lee Hundley, who pioneered the investigation after the high level of radiation was discovered.


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