PRESS RELEASE-FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 9, 2015
GOVERNMENT DROPS CHARGES AGAINST EIGHT ENVIRONMENTALISTS
Contact: Max Obuszewski  366-1637 or 727-543-3227 or
WHO: Members of the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance [NCNR] have been active in challenging U.S. invasions and attacks of Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries. Frequently NCNR members have been arrested, and then in court speak out against such U.S. policies. On May 23, 2013, for example, members of NCNR filed a criminal complaint with the U.S. attorney’s office in Alexandria, Virginia against the CIA’s use of drone strikes to assassinate people in various countries, including Pakistan. The citizen activists never received a response.
WHAT: More than thirty activists gathered at the Environmental Protection Agency on EARTH DAY, April 22, 2015, in a protest organized by NCNR. The purpose of the demonstration was to urge the EPA to challenge the Pentagon for its role in contributing to climate chaos, environmental destruction and threatening all life on the planet. A letter was sent to Gina McCarthy, EPA administrator, seeking a meeting with her or a representative to discuss what NCNR members perceive to be ecocide being committed by the Pentagon. The EPA has yet to respond to NCNR’s request for a meeting.
Later people gathered in Virginia for a march to the Pentagon. There a Pentagon official in the office of Ashton Carter, Secretary of Defense, came out to accept a copy of a letter sent to his boss requesting a meeting to discuss the Pentagon’s role in climate chaos. However, while he accepted the letter, he could only promise it would be delivered to Carter’s desk. Since there was no indication that a meeting would actually take place, eight citizen activists--Steve Bush, from Virginia, Felton Davis and Trudy Silver, from New York City, Joy First and Phillip Runkel, from Wisconsin, Malachy Kilbride, Maryland, Max Obuszewski, Baltimore, and Manijeh Saba, New Jersey--refused to leave and were arrested. They recognized that planet is in grave danger and that action must be taken.
NCNR has yet to hear back from Mr. Carter’s office about a meeting. But the eight environmentalists were informed that the charges would be dismissed.
WHEN: Friday, May 8, 2015
WHERE: by Paul A. Embroski, Special Assistant United States Attorney, 2100 Jamieson Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22314
WHY: It can only be speculated why the charges were dismissed. The eight activists were charged with "Failure to Comply With a Lawful Order" and were scheduled to appear for trial on June 4 at the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, VA. The group was well prepared to challenge the charge and to speak some truth to power in the courtroom. Perhaps the U.S. attorney recognized that the defendants at the Pentagon were simply exercising their constitutionally-protected right to speak out against our government’s wrong-headed policies. Or possibly he agreed with the defendants’ messages.
The Pentagon is the largest consumer of fossil fuels globally, has a nuclear arsenal that can destroy ALL LIFE on the planet, already used depleted uranium with lethal and drastic effects on human life and the environment in places like Iraq, and abused chemical agents in Latin America in the waging of the “war on drugs.” This war has destroyed livelihoods and inflicted lethal and life altering health effects on poor people in South America and brought profits to the large multinational corporations. The waging of and planning for war is destroying our planet!
The letter sent to Ashton Carter made this point: “As people of conscience, we are very concerned about the devastation that the U.S. military is causing to the environment. According to Joseph Nevins, in an article published on June 14, 2010 by CommonDreams.org, Greenwashing the Pentagon, ‘The U.S. military is the world’s single biggest consumer of fossil fuels, and the single entity most responsible for destabilizing the Earth’s climate.’” The activists still hope for a meeting with Pentagon officials to address the climate crisis. Unless the citizenry take further action to stop the Pentagon’s warmongering, Mother Earth is doomed.
"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs