Ann Wright at Shut Down Creech

Twenty peace activists from around the United States were arrested as a result of their nonviolent protest against nuclear weapons at a U.S. Naval base

News Release

March 4, 2013

For Immediate Release

Contact:   Leonard Eiger, 425-445-2190, subversivepeacemaking@gmail.com

                  Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action

                  16159 Clear Creek Road NW Poulsbo, WA 98370

                  www.gzcenter.org

Silverdale, Washington, March 4, 2013 — Twenty peace activists from around the United States were arrested as a result of their nonviolent protest against nuclear weapons at a U.S. Naval base.

Members of the Pacific Life Community gathered at the Main Gate to Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor early Monday morning in resistance to the continued deployment of the Trident nuclear weapons system and the associated threat of use of nuclear weapons by the U.S. government.

The Bangor Trident base is home port to eight of the nation’s 14 Ohio class nuclear ballistic missile submarines and also home to the Strategic Weapons Facility, Pacific, where the Navy stores thermonuclear warheads for deployment on its submarines.  Bangor represents the largest operational concentration of nuclear weapons in the U.S. arsenal.

While maintaining a peaceful vigil along the roadway, six of the resisters entered the roadway with a banner, which they stretched across the entrance lanes in symbolic closure of the base.  The banner quoted Martin Luther King Jr.: “When scientific power outruns spiritual power, we end up with guided missiles and misguided men.”  The protesters also knelt in prayer.

Washington State Patrol officers ordered the protesters to leave the roadway.  All six protesters complied with the officers and were escorted to the median where they were briefly detained and issued citations for “Walking on roadway where prohibited.”

Meanwhile, another fourteen protesters walked onto the roadway carrying banners and signs calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons.  All crossed the blue line onto the base and knelt in prayer.  Naval security personnel arrested the protesters and drove them to a facility on the base for processing.  They were cited under Section 1382 of Title 18 prohibiting trespassing on military bases, and released a short time later.

The resisters carried a letter addressed to the Bangor base commander.  It stated that the “Trident II D-5 missiles with their W76 or W88 [thermonuclear] warheads are illegal under international law and hence are also illegal per the Constitution of the United States.” Naval security personnel declined to accept the letters. 

Those cited for Federal trespassing were Louis Vitale, OFM, Oakland, CA;  Rodney Herold, Seattle, WA; Ted Bracknan. Puyallup, WA; Tensie Hernandez, Santa Maria, CA; Betsy (Frances Elizabeth) Lamb, Bend, OR; Ann E. Havill, Bend, OR; Denny Moore, Bainbridge Island, WA; Bill Bichsel, SJ, Tacoma, WA; James G. Haber, San Francisco, CA; Ed Ehmke, Menlo Park, CA; Mary Jane Parrine, Menlo Park, CA; Jerry Zawada, OFM, Milwaukee, WI; Felice Cohen-Joppa, Tucson, AZ and Susan Crane, Redwood City, CA.

Cited by State Patrol were Tom Karlin, Tacoma, WA; Clancy Dunigan, Langley, WA; George Rodkey, Tacoma, WA; Marcus Page-Collonge, Albequerque, NM; Leonard Eiger, North Bend, WA and Cliff Kirchmer, Tacoma, WA.

The vigil and nonviolent direct action brought to a close this year’s Pacific Life Community (PLC) Faith and Resistance Retreat held near Tacoma, Washington.  The PLC is dedicated to abolishing nuclear weapons and war-making through nonviolent direct action. The annual event is held each year on the weekend around the anniversary of Castle Bravo, the most powerful nuclear device ever detonated by the U.S. 

Fallout from Castle Bravo contaminated a large portion of the Marshall Islands, and poisoned island residents as well as the crew of the Daigo Fukuryu Maru, a Japanese fishing vessel.  It also generated international concern about atmospheric testing.  The U.S. still occupies part of the Marshall Islands in its continued testing of intercontinental ballistic missiles.

This year’s Faith and Resistance Retreat was hosted by the Tacoma Catholic Worker community.  The event brought together people from around the Western U.S. Catholic Workers came from San Jose, CA;   Los Angeles, CA; Half Moon Bay, CA; Las Vegas, NV; Guadalupe, CA; Sheep Ranch, CA and Redwood City, CA. 

Fr. Bill Bichsel, of the Tacoma Catholic Worker community and 2012 Greater Tacoma Peace Prize laureate, commented on the significance of the Pacific Life Community’s work.  “We refuse to accept nuclear weapons as our security.  We owe it to our children and grandchildren to create a nonviolent world.  We are the future and the kingdom that we have been waiting for.”

Also represented at the retreat were Nevada Desert Experience, The Nuclear Resister and Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action.  Ground Zero, a community in resistance to nuclear weapons, particularly Trident, hosted this morning’s vigil and action at Bangor.

The U.S. Navy is building a Second Explosives Handling Wharf at the Bangor Trident base, and is engaged in research and development to build twelve new ballistic missile submarines designed to replace the existing Trident submarines.  Estimated cost to build the twelve submarines is almost $100 billion.  Rear Admiral Joseph Tofalo, commander, submarine Group 10, Kings Bay, Georgia has stated that “A single Trident submarine is the sixth nuclear nation in the world all by itself.” 

Full text of letter to base commander follows.

###

March 4, 2013

Dear Captain Pete Dawson, Commander, Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor:

We are members of the Pacific Life Community, a network of people from the western United States working for the abolition of nuclear weapons. We come today, near the anniversary of the March 1, 1954 Bravo hydrogen bomb test in the Bikini Atoll, in memory of the people of Rongelap who died from radiation poisoning as a result of fallout from that test. We stand with their survivors who do not trust the assurances of the United States government that it is safe for them to return there, even now. Any pressure on the former residents of Rongelap to return must stop now.

Trident II D-5 missiles with their W76 or W88 warheads are illegal under international law and hence are also illegal per the Constitution of the United States. It is a violation of the Nuremberg Principles to threaten destruction of a city, and it is a violation of the Geneva Conventions to threaten use of weapons of indiscriminate power. The July, 1996 International Court of Justice ruling was clear; nuclear weapons are not consistent with international humanitarian law.

It is obvious that nuclear weapons are stored at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor. Please inform us if we’re wrong. We have a responsibility as citizens to be informed enough to weigh in on military and foreign policy issues. Local governments and residents have a need to plan for public safety given the surety that one of the largest collections of nuclear weapons in the world is only 20 miles from Seattle and Tacoma and its 1 million residents.

We want to stop the continued pollution and radioactive contamination from the ongoing nuclear weapons stockpile. The problem of uranium leaks at Hanford cannot be divorced from the problem of nuclear weapons on Trident submarines that threaten nuclear war on every nation and person in the world. Nuclear weapons are killing people now.

We need and deserve a response. We’re waiting.

Sincerely,

cc: Commander-in-Chief Barack Obama, United States Armed Forces
cc: Rear Admiral Dietrich H. Kuhlmann III, Commander, Submarine Group 9

WA: Week of Sentencing! March 26th for the Disarm Now Plowshares

From: Disarm Now Plowshares

Week of Sentencing!

Here is the most current schedule of events leading up to and including the sentencing of the Disarm Now Plowshares. Please note that changes might occur, and we will keep this schedule updated, so check back on the day of each event for any last minute changes.

Please also note that you can still write letters of support on behalf of the Disarm Now Plowshares co-defendants. Go to the “Support Us” page to learn more. Thanks!

SATURDAY MARCH 26 – 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm. Vigil at the US Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor Main (Trident Ave.) Gate.

SUNDAY MARCH 27 – 10:30 a.m. MASS AT ST. LEO CHURCH, 710 South 13th St., Tacoma, Fr. Pat Lee, SJ, Oregon Provincial

SUNDAY MARCH 27 – 5:30 p.m. FESTIVAL OF HOPE AT ST. LEO CHURCH, Potluck Dinner, Music by St. Leo’s Choir, Mooncoyne, Native American Drummers. Speakers include BISHOP THOMAS J. GUMBLETON– longtime peace activist and founding member of Pax Christi.

MONDAY MARCH 28 – 9:00 a.m. SENTENCING for all five Disarm Now Plowshares co-defendants begins at the U.S. District (Union Station) Courthouse, Tacoma. 8:00 a.m. Vigil in front of the Union Station Courthouse in support of Disarm Now Plowshares. Come out and support them!

Click here for directions and parking information for the Tacoma Union Station Courthouse.

Post Sentencing Gathering to be determined.

For more information and/or if you need hospitality, please call Bix at 253-304-6612.

For housing, contact Karen at karenh@harbornet.com or call her at 253-627-0486.

Nuclear abolitionists to face trial at the birthplace of the bomb

For Immediate Release: January 19, 2011

On February 8, a jury in Los Alamos, New Mexico, will hear the case against six people charged with trespass during a demonstration against expansion of the nuclear weapons production complex at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The August 6, 2010 demonstration involved over 120 people, led by Think Outside the Bomb youth at the conclusion of their ten-day Disarmament Summer encampment in nearby Chimayo. They observed the 65th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, with a spirited march through the town and up to the gate of the plutonium processing facility.

Eight people joined a sit-in at the gatehouse for half an hour until they were taken into custody by Los Alamos police. They were cited and released the same day. Two later pled no contest, and were sentenced to fines and probation.

Defendants Jason Ahmadi, 25, and Jeff Freitas, 26, from California; Bryan Martin, 24, from Boise, Idaho; Lisa Fithian, 49, from Austin, Texas; and Sr. Megan Rice, 80, from Las Vegas, Nevada, will be represented by attorney Mary Lou Boelcke, while defendant Jack Cohen-Joppa, 54, from Tucson, Arizona, and will represent himself. Their trial is set to begin at 9:00 a.m., Tuesday, February 8, in the Los Alamos County courtroom of Magistrate Pat Casados, 2500 Trinity Drive, Los Alamos. Jury selection will begin at 8:00 a.m.

Expert testimony about the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the proposed expansion of the plutonium pit facility is expected to be heard from Jay Coghlan of Nuclear Watch of New Mexico, and Greg Mello of the Los Alamos Study Group. The recent passage of the START Treaty has created an illusion about disarmament. The Obama Administrations is seeking $180 billion + to rebuild the nation’s nuclear weapons production capacity and delivery systems.

Opposition to the Obama administration’s plan is growing and resulted in arrests last year at the three major factory sites in Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Kansas City, Missouri; and Los Alamos.

The February 8 trial in Los Alamos will be the first of these cases heard by a jury. Fines, probation and short jail sentences resulted from state trials in Missouri and Tennessee, while thirteen people still await trial May 9 in federal court in Knoxville, Tennessee, after crossing the line at Oak Ridge last July 5.

For more information contact:

Lisa Putkey, 505-351-0970 or 650-303-1353 (messages)

Updates posted at http://tna.lovarchy.org/trial.html
###

Dear friends and supporters:

On August 6, 2010, the 65th Anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, eight people were arrested blocking the gate to the plutonium pit production facility at Los Alamos Nuclear Laboratory, following a demonstration against the expansion of the nuclear weapons complex. Six of us will face a jury trial on February 8 in Los Alamos, New Mexico. We could use your support.

We are asking for donations from both individuals and groups – even $6 – one dollar for each of us will be a big help! Your contribution will support educational work around the trial, expenses for the volunteer expert witnesses and our pro bono attorney.

Take a stand with us against new nuclear weapons production and help protect our right to do it.

Contributions can be made payable to TOTB and mailed to Think Outside the Bomb, c/o Lisa Putkey, POB 508, Chimayo, NM 87522.

You are also invited to be present at our trial! Details about other events at the time of the trial are forthcoming. (We invite you to circulate the preceding media/movement advisory on activist lists along with this appeal for donations! Thanks!)

With great appreciation,

The LANL Six:

Jason Ahmadi
Jack Cohen-Joppa
Lisa Fithian
Jeff Freitas
Bryan Martin
Sr. Megan Rice

War is the Obscenity!

On October 2nd 2010, Veterans For Peace hung banners inside and on the outside of the Newseum in Washington, DC. See the photo and film here. No one got arrested, the banners were returned, and as you can see it attracted a lot of attention!

Here is a link to the Newsbulletin:

WAR IS THE OBSCENITY

The ‘F’-word vs. the ‘W’-word

by Kim Carlyle

Our culture views the “f”-word as vulgar and offensive—even obscene, yet accepts the “w”-word with no such sense of revulsion.
Strange!

Read more: http://indypendent.org/pdf/WCT_Special.pdf

Louie Vitale, Richard Sauder both out of jail

From: The Nuclear Resister

Posted on July 27, 2010
Fr. Louis Vitale completed a six month prison sentence for trespass at Ft. Benning, Georgia, on Friday, July 23. He walked out of the federal prison at Lompoc, California.

Read about Vitale’s November 2009 arrest here.

Also on July 23, Richard Sauder was convicted in federal court in Minot, North Dakota, of trespassing at a nuclear missile silo last April. He was sentenced to time served, 100 days, and released. Sauder spent most of his time on federal hold at the Heart of America Correctional and Treatment Center in Rugby North Dakota.

Sauder wrote to the Nuclear Resister:

I want to thank everyone who wrote to me in jail to voice their support. It was very meaningful to me. Jail is a very isolating place and a psychopathic, harsh environment, so letters of support are and were an extremely welcome and vital tie with the outside. I also want to thank all who wrote to the jail administration to express concerns about the poor diet. The jail security chief informed me after my release that the food service company that prepares the inmates’ meals does so at a cost of 60 cents per inmate per meal. And that one factoid speaks volumes about the unpleasant conditions at the heart of America.

Read more here.