US Army to Invade Southern Colorado

In January of this year, 2006, I Kerry Appel, director of Cafe Rebelion, bought 41.38 acres in Southern Colorado after a long search for a place to develop a model that would demonstrate that it is possible for individuals or groups to resist the racism, the militarism, the exploitive capitalism, the materialism, the environmental destruction, and the corruption of the dominant political, economic, and social model as exercised by the US government, the transnational corporations, and the mainstream society in the US (especially in this current time under the criminal government of George W. Bush).

I planned on doing this on my land by having a fair trade, social justice oriented economy (which I have already developed with Cafe Rebelion), making my own fuel without the use of petroleum and the war and environmental crimes associated with it (I've already been making my own fuel from vegetable oil since Bush invaded Iraq), building an off-the-grid barn and house that are heated and powered by solar electricity and wind power, growing most of my own food, and having some animals for eggs, milk, cheese, and yoghurt and perhaps most important, by refusing to participate in the current capitalist, militaristic and racist policies and practices of the US mainstream. Many people that I talk to say that they disagree with the wars and the corporate policies of the US but feel that they are forced to participate because "there is no other option".

Well, I say that there are other options, that they are not that difficult, and that I intend to use my time, efforts, and resources to demonstrate that "Another World is Possible". Three months after I bought that land and started my project by fencing it to keep the cows out (but let the deer and the antelope in) so that the natural grasses could grow back, I found out that the US Army already had plans to invade my land and to take it from me (and from thousands of other citizens).

The US Army is planning on taking from 500,000 to 1,000,000 acres from thousands of landowners in Southeastern Colorado in order to expand the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site (PCMS) into the largest military training site in the United States. The army claims that this is necessary to train more soldiers to fight in Iraq and in future "robotic" style warfare, to be able to strike, from long distance, "at anyone, in any country, at any time".

The current plans of the army are to try to find willing sellers for these hundreds of thousands of acres or, that failing, to seize the land by force, that is, through the condemnation and seizure of the land. The army will not answer questions from private citizens or from elected reprentatives about the reasons for the expansion plans, the timeframe of the seizure of the lands, the economic impact to the local communities involved, the alternatives to the expansion, the environmental impact of the military exercises, the compensation to the landowners, the lost tax revenues for the counties involved, or any other information.

But these plans, which originate at the Ft. Carson military base in Colorado Springs, Colorado, are not approved or funded yet. I intend to oppose and to resist any plans to expand the army or the training of our children to conduct wars and I hope to go ahead with construction of my autonomous territory which I have named "La Dignidad".

It is my position that more military training equals more illegal wars which equals untold thousands more innocent civilians killed and more of our own sons and daughters brought home in body bags. Before another dime is spent on the military Bush and his regime should be brought up on war crimes charges and held accountable for their crimes and reparations made for all of the innocent civilians that they have killed.

So far the only group that is organized to oppose the Pinon Canon Maneuver Site Expansion is the Pinon Canyon Expansion Opposition Coalition which is primarily made up of several hundred conservative farmers, ranchers, and landowners whose lands are threatened by the army's plans and the only elected officials that are publicly opposed to the expanion of PCMS are some very conservative politicians such as Marilyn Musgrave and Wayne Allard (and a few others). As far as I know there are no liberal groups or politicians or anti-war or peace activists that are active in opposing the military's plans for expansion.

The website of the opposition group is http://www.pinoncanyon.com. There is a lot of information available there that I am not going to try to reproduce on this page. My suggestion would be that interested persons go to that site, learn more about the situation, and either participate with that group to oppose the army's plans or start your own opposition efforts or opposition group.

Kerry Appel - "La Dignidad" is Not For Sale to the Army!
Cafe Rebelion
August 2006

P.S. The person designated by Ft. Carson Military Base to be in charge of public relations/media/answering questions/etc. is:

Karen Edge
Ft. Carson
719-526-5160

Perhaps you could give her a call to express your feelings or ask questions about the proposed expansion of Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site.