FREEDOM OR ANARCHY,Campaign of Conscience.

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The Free Thought Project,The Daily Sheeple & FREEDOM OR ANARCHY Campaign of Conscience are dedicated to holding those who claim authority over our lives accountable. “Each of us has a unique part to play in the healing of the world.”
“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.” - George Orwell, 1984

"Until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned, everywhere is war and until there are no longer first-class and second-class citizens of any nation, until the color of a man's skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes. And until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race, there is war. And until that day, the dream of lasting peace, world citizenship, rule of international morality, will remain but a fleeting illusion to be pursued, but never attained... now everywhere is war." - - Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia - Popularized by Bob Marley in the song War

STEALING FROM THE CITIZENRY

The right to tell the Government to kiss my Ass Important Message for All Law Enforcers Freedom; what it is, and what it is not. Unadulterated freedom is an unattainable goal; that is what the founders of America knew and understood, which was their impetus behind the documents that established our great nation. They also knew that one of the primary driving forces in human nature is the unconscious desire to be truly free. This meant to them that mankind if totally left completely unrestricted would pursue all things in life without any awareness or acknowledgement of the consequences of his/her own actions leaving only the individual conscience if they had one as a control on behavior. This would not bode well in the development of a great society. Yet the founders of America chose to allow men/women as much liberty as could be, with minimum impact on the freedom or liberties of others

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Peace Activists Jailed, Stories From Prison


Peace Activists Jailed, Stories From Prison

1vafb1

Above photo: From Vandenberg Witness.
NOTE: The letters below were sent by Felton Davis and were written by three peace activists, David Omondi, Dennis Apel and Jeff Dietrich, who were recently sentenced to jail in Los Angeles for their nonviolent action at Vandenberg Air Force Base.
Felton writes:
Activists from California have been sentenced to federal prison following a nonviolent witness for peace at Vandenberg Air Force Base earlier this year.  They began their sentences at the Los Angeles Metropolitan Detention Center , but may be transferred to other prisons.  The updates — from the Los Angeles Catholic Worker blog — are in reverse chronological order.
Here in the East, four of us who were arrested at the Pentagon on March 25th have had our charges dropped.  Libby Johnson, Sr. Carol Gilbert, Sr. Ardeth Platte , and myself were scheduled for trial on May 20th for “failure to obey a lawful order,” but were informed by the US Attorney’s office that they would not be proceeding with the case.  In the old days we usually had to go to Alexandria and appear in court before learning whether they wanted to proceed, but now they just sent us legal notices in the mail.
It’s impossible to compare these short sentences handed out to people who are coming from a position of social privilege, with the fate of those who are entrapped, stigmatized, convicted through “guilt by association,” loaded with trumped-up charges, and taken away to be held in isolation for long periods.  When I was at M.C.C./NY in the 1980′s I had a mail subscription to the New York Times, I could listen to WBAI on a portable radio, there were no restrictions on who could visit me, and needless to add, a super-abundance of due process in court.  The most time I could get in solitary — at Lewisburg, Ray Brook, Danbury or Otisville FCI — was thirty days for refusing a work assignment.  For refusing work at M.C.C./NY I got nothing, not even confinement to my cell.
“Numbered with the Transgressors”
Congratulations to Jeff, Dennis, and David for going in and sharing the space with the less privileged, and continuing with their writings and efforts to communicate with society about these dark places of hopelessness and despair.  See you all back in front of M.C.C./NY in June!
Michael David Omondi (two months) #94638-020
John D. Apel (four months) #26142-112
Robert Jefferson Dietrich (four months) #81196-012
Los Angeles M.D.C.
PO Box 1500
Los Angeles , CA  90053
Release date: 8/28/2016

May 5, 2016:

We found out why Jeff has not yet called. They have yet to give him his “PAC” number, which allows an inmate to access the phones, purchase items from the commissary, and access the computer to see how much money is in their account, among other tasks. Our attorney visited both Jeff and David today to see how they were and if all was okay. He agreed to push the BOP to get Jeff his PAC number, which he should have received on the first day within four hours after being processed in.
David called and said he is okay, getting settled in, and was able to purchase long underwear because he has an A/C duct directly above his bed, which makes it exceedingly cold between midnight and 5 am.

May 9, 2016:

Guadalupe Catholic Worker Dennis Apel has now turned himself in to federal authorities and is also being housed at MDC Los Angeles, the same facility as Jeff and David. If you care to check on Dennis’ status, enter: John D. Apel #26142-112 at this LINK . To write to him use the same address listed below.
Jeff was able to make a very brief phone call this morning. He had enough time to say he has tooth ache and has yet to see a dentist with no indication when that will happen. His publisher sent him some books last week, but he said he received a notice saying they were returned because she sent more than allowed and thus all were considered contraband. The call then was cut off.
David again called and said that he again briefly saw Jeff this morning in passing and Jeff looked well. David also asked for more money to be deposited in his account to help his cellmate, who is in a state of depression. He has no money and has not had contact with family in several months, and David wants to help him.

May  11, 2016:

Catherine received a letter from Jeff today since he is having difficulties with the voice recognition system involved with the phones. He is well, has a cellmate, whose name is Wolverine, with a heart of gold and loves to share all that he has, however, he likes to talk–unceasingly. Jeff enjoys solitude while in jail, so they are trying to strike a balance. He is on the ninth floor, which is puzzling since that floor is normally for hardcore felons.
Have yet to hear from Dennis.
David is doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances. He has taken to e-mailing a few of us, but more so his family in Kenya . He is on the sixth floor and has a window where he can see us while we are on our Wednesday vigil, although we were unable to see him.
All three cannot have visitors except for immediate family. Once transferred to the fifth floor, that will change. The fifth floor is minimum security, where the other floors range from low to maximum security. Hence, they would love to receive mail from all who would care to write. If you have some time, please sit down and write to them, the address can be found below. Thank you.

May 17, 2016:

David lost his cellmate this morning (transferred to another floor), which allows him space and quiet, which is what he needs at the moment since he is having major lower back pain. He asks for prayers that the pain will subside.
Dennis Apel sent the following note:
Dear Friends,
Today marks one week (is that all?!!) since I arrived at MDC . It’s been quite a transition. Every time someone asks how long I’m in for and I respond, “four months” I get a reply something like, “Oh man! That’s nothing. That’s a breeze!” But THIS breeze is movin’ real slow.
It’s a difficult environment (I’m not complaining, that’s just the reality). There is a common area with 7 tables of eight (steel seats bolted to the floor), 4 TVs going simultaneously (no sound…you have to get a radio receiver with headphone to hear them), a microwave, and ice maker and a hot water dispenser. Most guys make meals from food they buy from the commissary (paid for with money on their books). Off the common room are 4 halls with cells lining both sides of them. Each cell has 2 bunks, a sink, a toilet and a locker. Everyone has a cell mate and there are 130 guys on the floor. All inmates are locked in their cells from 8:30 pm till 5:00 am when we are awakened and have about 60 seconds to get to breakfast. The cells are open most of the rest of the day and time can be spent in the common area or in the cell. Since there are 130 of us and only 56 seats, we are called to meals by “ranges” 4 ranges matching the four halls. By unwritten agreement, the 7 tables are assigned by race, 1 table for whites (the race with the fewest #s), 1 table for the “ChoMos” (the child molesters) and the other 5 divided between Blacks and Latinos. There are 8 common showers. There is a small outside deck for exercise or getting some fresh air.
The hardest parts are the constant din of 130 men yelling, guards yelling, the explosion of testosterone (I am by a long shot the scrawniest one here), the racial divides and sometimes tensions, and more than anything, the separation from family and friends.
So……why am I here???? I’m here because of a combination of conviction and stubbornness. Before I got here I would have told myself it’s mostly conviction, but the transition is so stark (scary even) that the whole environment conspires to convince me that conviction had less to do with this than stubbornness that my ego has betrayed me.
so….here is where you come in. You hold me. You support me. You hold my family and we all hold each other. Once I was able to communicate with them, my family brought me back to myself. Because, there IS a conviction, one that comes from faith and a desire for discipleship. Nuclear weapons are an atrocity beyond measure, and we cannot look the other way. I am not here for myself but for all of us. You are not there for me, but for all of us. We all have a role to play in the struggle to rid the world of nuclear weapons. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for your prayers, your love, and your support for me, Tensie, the kids, Jorge, and Beatitude House. We are the Body of Christ, we all have our part, and we all have each other, and I am grateful.
I am praying for you daily. Thank you, thank you. Love is the answer…
From the Santa Barbara Independent:  ‘Are You a “Cho-Mo”?’ Getting Sorted in Early Days
The first days on the floor are a huge transition. One is not only confronted by a completely different culture, but there is an urgency to adapt to that culture, a not-too-subtle sense that one’s safety is dependent on it.
As I walked onto the floor that first night, it took only a minute or two before I was approached by three white men. The very first words out of their mouths, “Are you a Cho-Mo?” I know from prior experience that they were asking if I was here because I was a child molester. “No” I replied. “Then why are you here?” I explained that I had been given four months for violating my probation, and they wanted to know the original charge. I explained that I was charged with trespassing on a military base. They seemed convinced and kindly pointed out the designation for the seven meal tables in the common area: one for the Cho-Mos, one for the whites, the rest divided between the blacks and the Latinos. They also brought me a pair of shorts and a T-shirt (so that I could get out of my white jumpsuit) and a bar of soap and a radio with dead batteries. It would be another day before I would get my clothes and another week before I could buy supplies from commissary.
Since I had arrived on the floor at about seven o’clock at night, I was assigned a bunk in the only cell that had one available. My cellmate was a “south-sider” (Latino). This presented the opportunity for all of his companions to stop by the cell, one at a time, and inform me of how I could expect to be treated after lockdown at 8:30 . I had no fear that what they were suggesting might come to pass; I was sure they were having a good laugh at my expense. But I felt exceedingly awkward not having the tools to respond in a way they would respect or understand.
I tossed and turned in the upper bunk that night and was grateful when, at five the following morning, I heard the bolt turn on my cell door, and we were released to the common area to have breakfast and start our day. I was sure to sit at the correct table.
Breakfast has been the same every morning since I arrived: one of those individual plastic containers of Malt-O-Meal bran flakes topped by a piece of dense oily cornbread, and a clear plastic pouch of milk. A white plastic “spork” is included for convenience. My white reception party from the night before stopped by to say they had heard about the taunts the night before, and not to worry, they would get me moved into a white cell as soon as possible.
The entire floor is painted gray, the walls, the pillars, the showers. The trim is painted a darker shade of gray. No surprise … my mood is about the same color.
Dennis Apel is serving four months in the federal Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles , having been found guilty of crossing the “green line” during peaceful protest at Vandenberg Air Force Base, and then refusing to comply with supervised probation.

May  18, 2016:

At 9 am today, Jeff was moved to the fifth floor and is now cellmates with Dennis. Rumor has it that David too will soon be moved to the same area. All will remain there for the duration of their sentence. Jeff is doing well, even better now that he and Dennis are reunited. David said he yearns to be with them. Jeff sent Catherine the signed form for her to be able to visit him; and he finally has the phone voice recognition issue resolved and is now calling on a regular schedule. He still has not seen the dentist for his toothache, but he has plenty of pain meds, which has helped a lot. He wants everyone to know he is safe and comfortable and is grateful for all the love and prayers.

May 21, 2016:

Jeff is doing good. He spends most of his time either reading, writing, exercising, or in prayer. The next Agitator will include some of Jeff’s writing.
This is a LETTER from David. David is still trying to deal with a mix up between the court’s sentence of two months and what the B.O.P. computer lists as six month sentence. An attorney friend of the LACW will again attempt to get this mix up corrected.
Below is another note from Dennis:
Dear family and friends,
I have “served” ten of my 120 days. If I can do that another 11 times, I will have made it. By some extraordinary stroke of luck or grace, I have ended up in a cell with my long-time friend and co-defendant Jeff Dietrich of the Los Angeles Catholic Worker. If all goes well, we will be spending most of our 4 months of custody in each other’ company. What a gift and a miracle!
After about four days here my mail began to filter in. Thank you if you have written. I am only allowed to purchase 10 envelopes per week, so apologies if you have written and not gotten a response. Know that your love and support mean the world to me.
I can now communicate with Tensie and the kids by phone. That too is limited to 15 minutes per call (5 minutes to talk to each of them) and 300 minutes per month (a little less than 10 minutes per day). I’ve had word from some who have shown Tensie and the kids incredible kindness, especially those in the Beatitude Community. It brings me so much comfort and gratitude that good friends and family are supporting them. It’s not easy for them either.
Please know that I hold you all in my prayers of gratitude.
Much love,
Dennis

May 23, 2016:

Below is a reflection David wrote for The Nuclear Resister.
Dear Friends,
While writing this I am continually lifted by the support and prayers of so many on the outside, inspired by the appearance of the Full Moon, Mars, and Sagittarius in my cell window over the last three nights, and encouraged that the forces of Love and Life will prevail over our many perversions of justice. It has been my great pleasure to meet someone here on 6 North MDC LA who has quite a storied relationship with VAFB. Using the alias “Kempachi”, we both would like to share some of this story with you:
“YOU! DON ’T MOVE !” Yelled the Lieutenant at a bewildered Kempachi. “Get him out of here, NOW ! Didn’t you check his file?!” And the confounded CO’s in VAFB’s “work factory” begin to escort him back to his unit at Lompoc Prison as he feigns a lack of English skills. The astounding levels of incompetence that allowed Kempachi into the factory in the first place are not surprising, considering the ease with which he had hacked into the base’s supposedly impenetrable mainframe computer system not too long ago. His incredible acumen with electronics and ability to encode and decode complex software with rudimentary appliances should have been a red flag to anyone on VAFB who might have perused his background.
These were pre-internet times, but the Video Cipher 3 security system on VAFB poised no challenge to Kempachi, who was able to penetrate it quite easily – on a dare from a fellow tech wiz – and send the base a message: “STOP KILLING CHILDREN.” He was not an activist or social justice advocate, just a jet-set, genius playboy carrying out an entertaining ruse. But when a third party heard of a reward for information on the transgressors, it wasn’t long before the federal security apparatus located the co-conspirators and found whatever charge that would stick, tax fraud, in order to lock them up. During his 18 months of incarceration at Lompoc , Kempachi spent a significant amount of time in the hole for refusing to work for the base in any way.
Now, over 20 years later, Kempachi is convinced that the same levels of incompetence still exist on VAFB and warns that it’s just a matter of time before their irresponsible practices precipitate an epic disaster on a nuclear scale. He is well aware of their use of depleted Uranium in the testing of nuclear weapons and finds their target practice exercises quite despicable as they contaminate the waters of the Pacific Ocean and wreak havoc on the people of the Marshall Islands . Not only is the term “depleted” a serious misnomer – the stuff still has a half life of 10,000 years – the B5 rockets used in VAFB’s launches are well known for having seal problems, and he warns that the base is courting serious catastrophe in their employ.
Further, VAFB possesses both the depleted and active variety of Uranium, both of which have to be cooled constantly. Situated on the coast, the ocean is the most convenient source of water for this purpose, which is either expelled back into the ocean or into the ground. In his words, non-contamination of this water is simply impossible. Although base officials claim that the levels of radiation escaping their facility are “safe”, Kempachi has learned through his own explorations that most of the patients treated at Lompoc General Hospital suffer from cancer of the kidney and liver. Meanwhile, the base is highly secretive about the ailments treated at their own internal hospital.
Now on trial for charges that include fraud and manufacturing of an illegal access device, he once again finds himself the victim of a snitch who was caught using one of his complex encoding devices to commit bank fraud. And despite dedicating the last 15 years of his life to voluntary service projects in places like Kenya and El Salvador, donating thousands for free water and education projects, the Assistant DA in his case is on the record as saying “Whatever charge I give you will be equal to life because you have to be locked up until technology changes,” and the judge too has declared “I know who you are and I wish I could give you life.”
Kempachi can go on unceasingly about the pitfalls of the nuclear age – over budget power plants constantly leaking, the military’s inexplicable use of Uranium tipped anti-aircraft bullets, the disposal of Thryntium into the environment (which causes kidney/liver damage and other untold ailments) – the list is quite lengthy. With VAFB’S adjacency to the ocean and proximity to extensive field agriculture and livestock industries, his warnings are indeed foreboding. His story is a real testament to the indiscriminate violence of the nuclear empire, and lends great credence to the acts of vigilers, protesters, resisters and truth-tellers all around the world. This insanity must end. Now.
KEMPACHI, and David Omondi

May 26, 2016:

David has been moved from 6 North to 5 South and he was officially designated to MDC to serve his sentence. He said that he should be on 5 North (with Jeff and Dennis), but it is full, and since his time is short, it is doubtful that he will end up there. David also was able to get the confusion about the length of his sentence straightened out. He will be released after serving 60 days. He also said that he still can see us on our Wednesday afternoon anti-war vigil (we have a slow procession around the entire downtown federal complex), but now he can observe us on the opposite side of the building.

Peace Activists Jailed, Stories From Prison

1vafb1

Above photo: From Vandenberg Witness.
NOTE: The letters below were sent by Felton Davis and were written by three peace activists, David Omondi, Dennis Apel and Jeff Dietrich, who were recently sentenced to jail in Los Angeles for their nonviolent action at Vandenberg Air Force Base.
Felton writes:
Activists from California have been sentenced to federal prison following a nonviolent witness for peace at Vandenberg Air Force Base earlier this year.  They began their sentences at the Los Angeles Metropolitan Detention Center , but may be transferred to other prisons.  The updates — from the Los Angeles Catholic Worker blog — are in reverse chronological order.
Here in the East, four of us who were arrested at the Pentagon on March 25th have had our charges dropped.  Libby Johnson, Sr. Carol Gilbert, Sr. Ardeth Platte , and myself were scheduled for trial on May 20th for “failure to obey a lawful order,” but were informed by the US Attorney’s office that they would not be proceeding with the case.  In the old days we usually had to go to Alexandria and appear in court before learning whether they wanted to proceed, but now they just sent us legal notices in the mail.
It’s impossible to compare these short sentences handed out to people who are coming from a position of social privilege, with the fate of those who are entrapped, stigmatized, convicted through “guilt by association,” loaded with trumped-up charges, and taken away to be held in isolation for long periods.  When I was at M.C.C./NY in the 1980′s I had a mail subscription to the New York Times, I could listen to WBAI on a portable radio, there were no restrictions on who could visit me, and needless to add, a super-abundance of due process in court.  The most time I could get in solitary — at Lewisburg, Ray Brook, Danbury or Otisville FCI — was thirty days for refusing a work assignment.  For refusing work at M.C.C./NY I got nothing, not even confinement to my cell.
“Numbered with the Transgressors”
Congratulations to Jeff, Dennis, and David for going in and sharing the space with the less privileged, and continuing with their writings and efforts to communicate with society about these dark places of hopelessness and despair.  See you all back in front of M.C.C./NY in June!
Michael David Omondi (two months) #94638-020
John D. Apel (four months) #26142-112
Robert Jefferson Dietrich (four months) #81196-012
Los Angeles M.D.C.
PO Box 1500
Los Angeles , CA  90053
Release date: 8/28/2016

May 5, 2016:

We found out why Jeff has not yet called. They have yet to give him his “PAC” number, which allows an inmate to access the phones, purchase items from the commissary, and access the computer to see how much money is in their account, among other tasks. Our attorney visited both Jeff and David today to see how they were and if all was okay. He agreed to push the BOP to get Jeff his PAC number, which he should have received on the first day within four hours after being processed in.
David called and said he is okay, getting settled in, and was able to purchase long underwear because he has an A/C duct directly above his bed, which makes it exceedingly cold between midnight and 5 am.

May 9, 2016:

Guadalupe Catholic Worker Dennis Apel has now turned himself in to federal authorities and is also being housed at MDC Los Angeles, the same facility as Jeff and David. If you care to check on Dennis’ status, enter: John D. Apel #26142-112 at this LINK . To write to him use the same address listed below.
Jeff was able to make a very brief phone call this morning. He had enough time to say he has tooth ache and has yet to see a dentist with no indication when that will happen. His publisher sent him some books last week, but he said he received a notice saying they were returned because she sent more than allowed and thus all were considered contraband. The call then was cut off.
David again called and said that he again briefly saw Jeff this morning in passing and Jeff looked well. David also asked for more money to be deposited in his account to help his cellmate, who is in a state of depression. He has no money and has not had contact with family in several months, and David wants to help him.

May  11, 2016:

Catherine received a letter from Jeff today since he is having difficulties with the voice recognition system involved with the phones. He is well, has a cellmate, whose name is Wolverine, with a heart of gold and loves to share all that he has, however, he likes to talk–unceasingly. Jeff enjoys solitude while in jail, so they are trying to strike a balance. He is on the ninth floor, which is puzzling since that floor is normally for hardcore felons.
Have yet to hear from Dennis.
David is doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances. He has taken to e-mailing a few of us, but more so his family in Kenya . He is on the sixth floor and has a window where he can see us while we are on our Wednesday vigil, although we were unable to see him.
All three cannot have visitors except for immediate family. Once transferred to the fifth floor, that will change. The fifth floor is minimum security, where the other floors range from low to maximum security. Hence, they would love to receive mail from all who would care to write. If you have some time, please sit down and write to them, the address can be found below. Thank you.

May 17, 2016:

David lost his cellmate this morning (transferred to another floor), which allows him space and quiet, which is what he needs at the moment since he is having major lower back pain. He asks for prayers that the pain will subside.
Dennis Apel sent the following note:
Dear Friends,
Today marks one week (is that all?!!) since I arrived at MDC . It’s been quite a transition. Every time someone asks how long I’m in for and I respond, “four months” I get a reply something like, “Oh man! That’s nothing. That’s a breeze!” But THIS breeze is movin’ real slow.
It’s a difficult environment (I’m not complaining, that’s just the reality). There is a common area with 7 tables of eight (steel seats bolted to the floor), 4 TVs going simultaneously (no sound…you have to get a radio receiver with headphone to hear them), a microwave, and ice maker and a hot water dispenser. Most guys make meals from food they buy from the commissary (paid for with money on their books). Off the common room are 4 halls with cells lining both sides of them. Each cell has 2 bunks, a sink, a toilet and a locker. Everyone has a cell mate and there are 130 guys on the floor. All inmates are locked in their cells from 8:30 pm till 5:00 am when we are awakened and have about 60 seconds to get to breakfast. The cells are open most of the rest of the day and time can be spent in the common area or in the cell. Since there are 130 of us and only 56 seats, we are called to meals by “ranges” 4 ranges matching the four halls. By unwritten agreement, the 7 tables are assigned by race, 1 table for whites (the race with the fewest #s), 1 table for the “ChoMos” (the child molesters) and the other 5 divided between Blacks and Latinos. There are 8 common showers. There is a small outside deck for exercise or getting some fresh air.
The hardest parts are the constant din of 130 men yelling, guards yelling, the explosion of testosterone (I am by a long shot the scrawniest one here), the racial divides and sometimes tensions, and more than anything, the separation from family and friends.
So……why am I here???? I’m here because of a combination of conviction and stubbornness. Before I got here I would have told myself it’s mostly conviction, but the transition is so stark (scary even) that the whole environment conspires to convince me that conviction had less to do with this than stubbornness that my ego has betrayed me.
so….here is where you come in. You hold me. You support me. You hold my family and we all hold each other. Once I was able to communicate with them, my family brought me back to myself. Because, there IS a conviction, one that comes from faith and a desire for discipleship. Nuclear weapons are an atrocity beyond measure, and we cannot look the other way. I am not here for myself but for all of us. You are not there for me, but for all of us. We all have a role to play in the struggle to rid the world of nuclear weapons. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for your prayers, your love, and your support for me, Tensie, the kids, Jorge, and Beatitude House. We are the Body of Christ, we all have our part, and we all have each other, and I am grateful.
I am praying for you daily. Thank you, thank you. Love is the answer…
From the Santa Barbara Independent:  ‘Are You a “Cho-Mo”?’ Getting Sorted in Early Days
The first days on the floor are a huge transition. One is not only confronted by a completely different culture, but there is an urgency to adapt to that culture, a not-too-subtle sense that one’s safety is dependent on it.
As I walked onto the floor that first night, it took only a minute or two before I was approached by three white men. The very first words out of their mouths, “Are you a Cho-Mo?” I know from prior experience that they were asking if I was here because I was a child molester. “No” I replied. “Then why are you here?” I explained that I had been given four months for violating my probation, and they wanted to know the original charge. I explained that I was charged with trespassing on a military base. They seemed convinced and kindly pointed out the designation for the seven meal tables in the common area: one for the Cho-Mos, one for the whites, the rest divided between the blacks and the Latinos. They also brought me a pair of shorts and a T-shirt (so that I could get out of my white jumpsuit) and a bar of soap and a radio with dead batteries. It would be another day before I would get my clothes and another week before I could buy supplies from commissary.
Since I had arrived on the floor at about seven o’clock at night, I was assigned a bunk in the only cell that had one available. My cellmate was a “south-sider” (Latino). This presented the opportunity for all of his companions to stop by the cell, one at a time, and inform me of how I could expect to be treated after lockdown at 8:30 . I had no fear that what they were suggesting might come to pass; I was sure they were having a good laugh at my expense. But I felt exceedingly awkward not having the tools to respond in a way they would respect or understand.
I tossed and turned in the upper bunk that night and was grateful when, at five the following morning, I heard the bolt turn on my cell door, and we were released to the common area to have breakfast and start our day. I was sure to sit at the correct table.
Breakfast has been the same every morning since I arrived: one of those individual plastic containers of Malt-O-Meal bran flakes topped by a piece of dense oily cornbread, and a clear plastic pouch of milk. A white plastic “spork” is included for convenience. My white reception party from the night before stopped by to say they had heard about the taunts the night before, and not to worry, they would get me moved into a white cell as soon as possible.
The entire floor is painted gray, the walls, the pillars, the showers. The trim is painted a darker shade of gray. No surprise … my mood is about the same color.
Dennis Apel is serving four months in the federal Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles , having been found guilty of crossing the “green line” during peaceful protest at Vandenberg Air Force Base, and then refusing to comply with supervised probation.

May  18, 2016:

At 9 am today, Jeff was moved to the fifth floor and is now cellmates with Dennis. Rumor has it that David too will soon be moved to the same area. All will remain there for the duration of their sentence. Jeff is doing well, even better now that he and Dennis are reunited. David said he yearns to be with them. Jeff sent Catherine the signed form for her to be able to visit him; and he finally has the phone voice recognition issue resolved and is now calling on a regular schedule. He still has not seen the dentist for his toothache, but he has plenty of pain meds, which has helped a lot. He wants everyone to know he is safe and comfortable and is grateful for all the love and prayers.

May 21, 2016:

Jeff is doing good. He spends most of his time either reading, writing, exercising, or in prayer. The next Agitator will include some of Jeff’s writing.
This is a LETTER from David. David is still trying to deal with a mix up between the court’s sentence of two months and what the B.O.P. computer lists as six month sentence. An attorney friend of the LACW will again attempt to get this mix up corrected.
Below is another note from Dennis:
Dear family and friends,
I have “served” ten of my 120 days. If I can do that another 11 times, I will have made it. By some extraordinary stroke of luck or grace, I have ended up in a cell with my long-time friend and co-defendant Jeff Dietrich of the Los Angeles Catholic Worker. If all goes well, we will be spending most of our 4 months of custody in each other’ company. What a gift and a miracle!
After about four days here my mail began to filter in. Thank you if you have written. I am only allowed to purchase 10 envelopes per week, so apologies if you have written and not gotten a response. Know that your love and support mean the world to me.
I can now communicate with Tensie and the kids by phone. That too is limited to 15 minutes per call (5 minutes to talk to each of them) and 300 minutes per month (a little less than 10 minutes per day). I’ve had word from some who have shown Tensie and the kids incredible kindness, especially those in the Beatitude Community. It brings me so much comfort and gratitude that good friends and family are supporting them. It’s not easy for them either.
Please know that I hold you all in my prayers of gratitude.
Much love,
Dennis

May 23, 2016:

Below is a reflection David wrote for The Nuclear Resister.
Dear Friends,
While writing this I am continually lifted by the support and prayers of so many on the outside, inspired by the appearance of the Full Moon, Mars, and Sagittarius in my cell window over the last three nights, and encouraged that the forces of Love and Life will prevail over our many perversions of justice. It has been my great pleasure to meet someone here on 6 North MDC LA who has quite a storied relationship with VAFB. Using the alias “Kempachi”, we both would like to share some of this story with you:
“YOU! DON ’T MOVE !” Yelled the Lieutenant at a bewildered Kempachi. “Get him out of here, NOW ! Didn’t you check his file?!” And the confounded CO’s in VAFB’s “work factory” begin to escort him back to his unit at Lompoc Prison as he feigns a lack of English skills. The astounding levels of incompetence that allowed Kempachi into the factory in the first place are not surprising, considering the ease with which he had hacked into the base’s supposedly impenetrable mainframe computer system not too long ago. His incredible acumen with electronics and ability to encode and decode complex software with rudimentary appliances should have been a red flag to anyone on VAFB who might have perused his background.
These were pre-internet times, but the Video Cipher 3 security system on VAFB poised no challenge to Kempachi, who was able to penetrate it quite easily – on a dare from a fellow tech wiz – and send the base a message: “STOP KILLING CHILDREN.” He was not an activist or social justice advocate, just a jet-set, genius playboy carrying out an entertaining ruse. But when a third party heard of a reward for information on the transgressors, it wasn’t long before the federal security apparatus located the co-conspirators and found whatever charge that would stick, tax fraud, in order to lock them up. During his 18 months of incarceration at Lompoc , Kempachi spent a significant amount of time in the hole for refusing to work for the base in any way.
Now, over 20 years later, Kempachi is convinced that the same levels of incompetence still exist on VAFB and warns that it’s just a matter of time before their irresponsible practices precipitate an epic disaster on a nuclear scale. He is well aware of their use of depleted Uranium in the testing of nuclear weapons and finds their target practice exercises quite despicable as they contaminate the waters of the Pacific Ocean and wreak havoc on the people of the Marshall Islands . Not only is the term “depleted” a serious misnomer – the stuff still has a half life of 10,000 years – the B5 rockets used in VAFB’s launches are well known for having seal problems, and he warns that the base is courting serious catastrophe in their employ.
Further, VAFB possesses both the depleted and active variety of Uranium, both of which have to be cooled constantly. Situated on the coast, the ocean is the most convenient source of water for this purpose, which is either expelled back into the ocean or into the ground. In his words, non-contamination of this water is simply impossible. Although base officials claim that the levels of radiation escaping their facility are “safe”, Kempachi has learned through his own explorations that most of the patients treated at Lompoc General Hospital suffer from cancer of the kidney and liver. Meanwhile, the base is highly secretive about the ailments treated at their own internal hospital.
Now on trial for charges that include fraud and manufacturing of an illegal access device, he once again finds himself the victim of a snitch who was caught using one of his complex encoding devices to commit bank fraud. And despite dedicating the last 15 years of his life to voluntary service projects in places like Kenya and El Salvador, donating thousands for free water and education projects, the Assistant DA in his case is on the record as saying “Whatever charge I give you will be equal to life because you have to be locked up until technology changes,” and the judge too has declared “I know who you are and I wish I could give you life.”
Kempachi can go on unceasingly about the pitfalls of the nuclear age – over budget power plants constantly leaking, the military’s inexplicable use of Uranium tipped anti-aircraft bullets, the disposal of Thryntium into the environment (which causes kidney/liver damage and other untold ailments) – the list is quite lengthy. With VAFB’S adjacency to the ocean and proximity to extensive field agriculture and livestock industries, his warnings are indeed foreboding. His story is a real testament to the indiscriminate violence of the nuclear empire, and lends great credence to the acts of vigilers, protesters, resisters and truth-tellers all around the world. This insanity must end. Now.
KEMPACHI, and David Omondi

May 26, 2016:

David has been moved from 6 North to 5 South and he was officially designated to MDC to serve his sentence. He said that he should be on 5 North (with Jeff and Dennis), but it is full, and since his time is short, it is doubtful that he will end up there. David also was able to get the confusion about the length of his sentence straightened out. He will be released after serving 60 days. He also said that he still can see us on our Wednesday afternoon anti-war vigil (we have a slow procession around the entire downtown federal complex), but now he can observe us on the opposite side of the building.


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