Protesters will gather at noon Tuesday at the corner of State and Anapamu streets in Santa Barbara to bring attention to the launch of a Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile from Vandenberg Air Force Base.
The launch is scheduled for the early morning hours on Wednesday. It will travel more than 4,000 miles from Vandenberg AFB to the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.
Minuteman III missiles are on 24/7 high-alert status in silos in Montana, Wyoming and North Dakota. They carry thermonuclear warheads at least eight times more powerful than the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima.
David Krieger, president of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, will attend the protest.
“A provocative nuclear-capable missile test is not the message that President Obama should be sending the world just one week after his re-election,” he said. “Such tests encourage other countries to develop and test their own missiles and nuclear weapons. The tests are also extremely dangerous and disruptive to the Marshall Islanders, who have suffered enough from U.S. nuclear testing and strive to live in peace on their Pacific islands.”
In addition to opposing the testing of Minuteman III missiles, many protestors will be calling on the United States to decommission its land-based nuclear missiles. The missiles are located in fixed silos, making them easy targets for attack. There is an incentive to “use them first or lose them.” The high-alert status of these weapons could lead to accidental nuclear war.
— Rick Wayman represents the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.