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Peace Activist Dennis Apel Opts to Suspend Prison Diary

Writings Chronicled Life Inside from a Compassionate Viewpoint


North County peace activist Dennis Apel opted to suspend his diary entries written from the Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles, which have been running with some regularity and frequency online at The Santa Barbara Independent. Apel, who is serving a four-month sentence for nonviolent civil disobedience conducted last August during a demonstration in front of Vandenberg Air Force Base, was placed in a Segregated Housing Unit, known as the SHU, for 14 days. He was released Wednesday after an adjudicated hearing. A SHU cell is 7 feet by 11 feet. Apel shared this unit with another prisoner. They were allowed out of the cell for only one hour every day.

Apel is now back in the general population, where he shares a floor with 130 other prisoners.

Dennis Apel has been protesting at Vandenberg for over 20 years and has been arrested multiple times for encroaching across what’s known as “the green line” painted on the road in front of the base entrance. The “green line” was established by base commanders to keep demonstrators a designated distance from the camp entrance.

Apel crossed that line last August 8 at a demonstration marking the 70th anniversary of the Hiroshima atomic bombing. He was arrested without incident, along with two other protestors. Apel was sentenced to four months and entered prison on May 9. He is scheduled to be released September 2.

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