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The Daily Wildcat

70° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Peace activists commemorate D-M arrests

    Tuesday, October 23, 1984

    Twelve Tucson peace activists gathered near the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base Main Gate early last night to protest the deployment of nuclear weapons in Europe.

    The protest also commemorated an Oct. 22 demonstration last year where 55 people climbed over a chain-link fence onto the base. About 15 people were cited on federal trespassing charges in that act of civil disobedience.

    “”They are peaceful and quiet tonight,”” said Officer Al Nunley of the Tucson Police Department. DM security personnel also were on the scene.

    The demonstrators stood outside a white boundary line to protest the training of military personnel who maintain and operate the cruise missile. Davis-Monthan is the only facility in the United States where such personnel are trained.

    “”Some of us have been billboarding the cruise missile for one year,”” said James C. Murray, a local peace activist who teaches people non-violent techniques of demonstration.

    Edwina Vogan, another local activist, said she has been protesting the training since 1981.

    Peace activists have protested the cruise missile through a peace camp, rallies and civil-disobedience actions, Murray said. The peace camp was dismantled last November when Pima County sheriff’s deputies forced the evacuation of a strip of property along East Golf Links Road just off base property. The camp stood for 179 days.

    “”I think what this protest does is keep in perspective what actions have been taken since last year in the U.S. in Europe,”” Murray said.

    The protest did not involve politics, Murray said. “”We don’t see this as political. There is no party or candidate involved,”” he said. “”We are morally and ethically involved, stating our opposition.””

    “”We don’t consider them (base personnel) evil people. We know they are serving the country just as we are,”” he added.

    The activists are working on a “”conversion”” plan that would involve channeling skills used to build missiles for more constructive community benefit, Murray said.

    The activists are planning a community conference Jan. 18 and 19 to discuss the nuclear-arms race and U.S. foreign policies.

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