Vandenberg AFB Protest Verdicts

July 15 2010

From: Bruce Gagnon

Eddy, Apel and Kelly convicted for trespass at Vandenberg
for legal protests.

Two trials were held in federal court today in Santa Barbara CA.  All resulted in convictions of trespass.

The first trial was for co-defendants Dennis Apel and MacGregor Eddy.  The pre trial motion, to establish that the designated protest area was a public forum, was denied to the defense.  Judge Magistrate Federman rejected the arguments that free speech is protected in the area selected and defined by the Vandenberg.
 Dennis Apel and MacGregor Eddy were convicted of violating a "ban and bar" order on 12/31 protest of a Star Wars "NMD" interceptor and of being present at a peace vigil on March 3rd.  

The judge-magsitrate  imposed a sentence of a fine of $125 for each count,  plus some court charges, for a total of $320 fine due from each defendant.  No other sentence was imposed.

In the afternoon there was a second trial with co-defendants Fr. Steve Kelly and Dennis Apel again and the result was two more convictions.

There will be some follow up information soon about what is the next step.. This is the first time an arrest for violating a ban and bar, without leaving the designated protest area, has been prosecuted.

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