Oct 152010

There are amazing chain reactions happening.

WHooo Hooo, here we come AND we are powerful!

I love it!

–        Another grassroots success story of Americans against Lockheed Martin!   (item #2)

–        Great news!  Father John Dear will come in the new year to Saskatoon for education related to Lockheed Martin and its training programme  (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles  (UAV’s)).  (item #1)

–        In a later email, the growing efforts of Canadians against $16 billion for Lockheed Martin’s fighter jets.   Mount the steeds!  Let’s join in the battle!

–        And then there was the email sent Oct 10,  Stunning victory: Breaking the law to obey a higher law   (unmanned drones), about the group in Nevada who used trespassing on Creech Airforce Base to draw attention to the UAV Lockheed Martin psychopaths.  (That email caused me to get in touch with John Dear – item #1).)

Canadians are pummeling Lockheed Martin,  Americans are giving them the what-for, and as you will see in item #3  (London Calling!),  the Europeans and Japanese have renewed their attacks, too!    Make war agains those who make war.

These are indeed exciting and interesting times.

My best to you all,


Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.”

— Dwight D. Eisenhower





= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =


We have already received a call with $500 anonymous support for bringing John Dear to Saskatoon!

And another call with help for organizing the event.

I am humbled.  We will be writing our own story to add to the list of citizen successes against illegal wars of aggression and Government collaboration with corporations that break Canadian and International Law with impunity.

You make me so very happy.

From: John Dear
Sent: Monday, October 11, 2010 11:00 AM
To: sabest1 AT  sasktel.net
Subject: RE: Training Programme for UAV’s, Saskatoon Sask, First Nations. Could you come here?

Dear Sandra,
Thanks so much.
Yes, sure, I would come and speak in Saskatoon; I’ve never been there….

Normally, I get $1000-$2000 plus travel expenses per talk …

If that’s possible, we could look at dates for next year, and I would need a formal letter of invitation in the mail …

Thanks for all you do for peace! God bless you!


Date: Sun, 10 Oct 2010 09:49:20 -0600
From: sabest1 AT sasktel.net
Subject: Training Programme for UAV’s, Saskatoon Sask, First Nations. Could you come here?
To: johndear

Dear Father John,

Would you be able to come to Saskatoon?

I just received your Sept 21st article about the court cast in Nevada over the “unmanned aerial vehicles”.

I live in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (Canadian prairies) where Lockheed Martin Corporation is establishing itself through economic bribery of First Nations people.  They donated $3.5 million to the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technology (SIIT) for the development of training related to the UAV’s.  In addition they are going into a business park on indigenous land south of the City.

I run an activist email network, but don’t  have a website.  (I was charged on April 15, 2008 for failure to fill in my census form which I would not do because Canadian census work was contracted-out to Lockheed Martin Corporation.  They have to be about the most evil corporation on the face of the Earth.  The decision on the court case is due (date changed).  I didn’t want to give anything to the prosecutor or Judge that might be misinterpreted against me, so I took down my website.  Now it’s a complicated story that has to do with the Charter of Rights to privacy of personal information.  The media seldom mentions the connection to Lockheed Martin.

It is difficult to inform people about Lockheed Martin’s role in the world, and increasingly in Canada.  There are “offset agreements” in Government contracts which mean that the military-industrial-congressional complex of the U.S. is being duplicated in Canada.

The peace activists in Saskatoon are strong.  People from the community would pitch in to organize public forums to hear you, and we’d arrange media interviews.  I think it would be hard for them to ignore the issue of our role in UAV’s.

I see where you were in Halifax, where I lived for 15 years ending in 1990.  Muriel Duckworth was among the great peace activists then.  Also, back in 2003-04 when we first became aware of the Lockheed Martin census contracts I contacted the Halifax Quaker community.  They had written a powerful letter to the Government.

Anyhow – – for your consideration, and bless you for the work you do!

Best wishes,

Sandra Finley

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =



From: Kevin Martin, Peace Action <peaceact AT mail.democracyinaction.org>

Date: Thursday, October 14, 2010, 1:34 PM


The following is a summary of a report prepared by Jean Athey, a leader of Montgomery Country (MD) Peace Action and a member of our national Board of Directors.  It is an excellent example of how local activists are building common cause with other progressives, making the impact of runaway military spending a local issue in our Peace Voter campaign and challenging the relations of power in our communities, state and nation that have, for too long, given the military-industrial complex a blank check and free pass.

Lockheed Martin’s corporate headquarters is located in Montgomery County, MD. A couple of years ago, the company built what can only be called a luxury hotel for the use of employees, vendors, contractors and other invited guests. The state of Maryland has a tax on hotel rooms, as does Montgomery County. Lockheed Martin didn’t want to pay this tax. So, they asked the state legislature last spring to relieve them of having to pay it. The legislature immediately complied, passing a special law that applied only to Lockheed Martin, costing the state $371,000/year—when 19,000 developmentally disabled Marylanders are on a waiting list for services and the education budget has been cut by $97 million. We were astounded and appalled.

When Peace Action Montgomery sent out its Peace Voter questionnaire to candidates for state office this summer, we included a question asking whether the candidate would work to rescind this outrageous bill.

In the meantime, County Executive Ike Leggett sent a legislative package to the County Council asking for County legislation that would mirror the state bill, legislation that would cost the County $450,000 per year, according to the fiscal note that was a part of the document. The County has furloughed fire fighters, cut library hours, and increased the class sizes of our schools, among other draconian budget cuts—and yet, we are being asked to subsidize a corporation that had sufficient resources to provide a total compensation to its chief executive last year of $42 million.

A reporter for the local community newspaper saw this legislative package, noted the footnote, and tracked me down for a story he was doing on the legislation. This is how we found out about the new bill! The story quoted me, and a couple of weeks later, I was able to get a letter in opposition to the legislation published in our community newspaper, prominently placed.

Progressive groups in Maryland, in particular Peace Action Montgomery, started to mobilize against the bill. We set up an automated e-mail letter to Council members. We tabled at fairs in September, featuring a poster about the bill and a petition that people could sign in opposition to it. We lobbied the candidates running for County Council at campaign events. And we organized a coalition of speakers from a range of perspectives to testify in opposition to the bill at the Sept. 21 County Council Public Hearing.

Speakers at the hearing who opposed the bill included:

Ana Sol Gutierrez, Delegate to the Maryland General Assembly

Jamie Raskin, State Senator (represented by Emily Koechlin, since Sen. Raskin was in the hospital)

Gino Renne, president of the Montgomery County Government Employees Organization

Patrick McCann, board member of the Montgomery County Education Association

Rion Dennis, Executive Director, Progressive Maryland

George Gluck, candidate for County Council, Green Party

Shelley Fudge, Progressive Neighbors

Jean Athey, Peace Action Montgomery

By pulling together a strong coalition of groups; doing effective lobbying via email, tabling and personal conversations with Council members; doing a small amount of media work; and organizing the hearing in a strong way, we are preventing Lockheed Martin from raiding the treasury of our local community at a time of fiscal crisis.

We solidified our relationships with the other groups that were a part of the hearing. The president of the employees’ union, whom I hadn’t met before, told me after the hearing, “This was great. We support you and you support us.”

The hearing was extraordinary: we had logic, data, passion and political power on our side.  Three Council members stated publicly that they would not support the legislation. Subsequently, the bill was pulled from the agenda of the committee that was to review it—effectively killing it.

And rightly so.  Why should the citizens of Montgomery County subsidize one of the wealthiest companies in the nation, one that is profiting from the very wars that are killing our young people and bankrupting our nation?


It turned out to be a beautiful October day as an estimated 175,000 people gathered on the national Mall in Washington DC to send an important message to policy makers grappling with economic dysfunction – Fund Jobs, Not War.

Peace Action members from the Midwest and all along the East Coast joined Labor and other progressives in a show of support for a federal budget that serves the needs of its people.  For Peace Action it was an important opportunity make the connection between mounting federal debt and runaway military spending.

As the President’s deficit task force deals with a range of options from increasing taxes to cutting even deeper into federal support for police, firefighters, and teachers in our communities its imperative that ending the blank check afforded the Pentagon is included in the final plan.

This week a report issued by 80 transportation experts estimated it will cost between 134 billion and 262 billion dollars per year until 2035 to rebuild and repair our roads, bridges, rail and air transportation systems.  You may have GPS in your car, but air traffic controllers are still waiting for an upgrade.

At a time when labor is plentiful and interest rates and costs for materials at a low point, there is probably no better time than now to invest in infrastructure.

To overcome the entrenched interests that profit from weapons and war – both inside government and out – progressive activists pressing for jobs, healthcare, education and the environment need to join peace activists in our demand to shift spending priorities away from war and gold-plated weapon systems to fund the needs in our communities.  Meeting those needs will put people back to work and that is the way out of the recession.

During the final weeks before Election Day, Peace Action and its allies will push back  against fear-mongering justifications for ever increasing military spending.  In 2011, look for local actions that make the connection between the needs in your communities and tax revenues being sent to support the bottomless pit of endless war and a military budget equal to the rest of the world combined.  Those concerned with wasteful government spending should set their sights first on the Pentagon, the largest bureaucracy in the world.

You can help by signing our petition to curb bloated Pentagon spending at  (Link no longer valid)  http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/161/t/288/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=797.

In the end, it was one of America’s greatest generals who put it best:

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.”

— Dwight D. Eisenhower

34th President of the United States (1953–1961)

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = == = = = = = = = =


Just got back from London, where I had a spectacular time at the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament’s annual conference (yep, CND is the group known for the peace symbol!) and seeing quite a bit of that most enchanting city. I spoke about the chimera of Star Wars “missile defense” and how it harms efforts at disarmament, and also on future policy and organizing priorities for peace, in the US and internationally.

While in London, I also participated, with European and Japanese peace movement leaders, in a terrific planning meeting where we discussed possible future collaboration on ending the Afghanistan/Pakistan War, campaigns to slash military spending in order to reinvest in human needs, and international efforts for nuclear disarmament, including a potential campaign around the UN’s 2012 conference on a Middle East Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone.

While in England, it was clear the economic and opportunity costs of the wars (plural, Iraq is still a terrible mess) and addiction to militarism are perhaps even more politically salient in Britain, France, Germany and other countries than they are here. But also the reality is even if one analyzes the US/NATO policies in Iraq and Afghanistan on their (the war-makers’) terms (not ours) the situations in Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan are abject failures.

My sense is the organizing climate to reach new audiences with our peaceful and just alternatives to these endless, calamitous wars and boundless military budgets — in many, many countries — is now as ripe as I can remember in quite some time. It should be clear to all we simply can’t afford these wars or this militaristic foreign policy anymore, in human and economic terms. 2011 could be a real turning point, not just in bringing about short-term solutions, but in striking a powerful, non-violent blow against the vile sickness of militarism.


Kevin M. Martin
Executive Director
Peace Action

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>