Eight from “The Heartland Speaks” arrested at Kansas A-10 Warthog air show
Eight of us were arrested Wednesday at the site of the Salina, Kansas “bombing and strafing” air show after “crossing the line” during a demonstration against increased U.S. militarization and the use of depleted uranium munitions. Five of the jailed were over age 70.
The arrested were part of a three-day gathering of about 40 activists from throughout the U.S. called “The Heartland Speaks,” which included presentations on militarization and the environment, impact of the use and production of depleted uranium munitions, the lethal use of the A-10 Thunderbolt (Warthog) military jet, the face of warmaking, and nonviolent peacebuilding.
Arrested and jailed for criminal trespass were Janie Stein, 50, and Martin Bates, 53, conference organizers in Salina; Sister Agnes Caroline Teter, 79, of Salina; Frank Cordaro, 57, of Des Moines Catholic Worker; Ralph Kresin, 71, of the Salina peace community; Gerald Paoli, 48, of Voices of Creative Nonviolence in Chicago; Sister Margaret Rourke, 80, of Salina, and Wes Rehberg, 72, of Wild Clearing in Chattanooga, TN. Sisters Caroline and Margaret are connected with the Sisters of St. Joseph.
The A-10 Warthog competition was called “Hawgsmoke,” and jets were taking off and landing in practice runs during the demonstration. The military jets,can fire up to 60 30mm rounds a second in their bombing and strafing attacks, including DU rounds, and have been deployed extensively in recent U.S. military incursions.
The local media lauded the “Hawgsmoke” competition with headlines like “They’re Heeeere …” and “Successful Takeoff,” but also covered the demonstration and arrests. About 50 persons were present at the demonstration, which included a three-mile march to the site of the air competition, live music and talks by participants.
Attending the conference and demonstration as well were activists from Veterans for Peace, the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance in Baltimore, Christian Peacemaker Teams, the Land Institute, the Manhattan, KS, peace community, and an activist musician from Australia.