The Nuclear Resister networks the anti-nuclear and anti-war resistance movement while acting as a clearinghouse for information about contemporary nonviolent resistance to war and the nuclear threat. Our emphasis is on support for the women and men jailed for these actions. This blog is the online companion to the quarterly Nuclear Resister newsletter, a more comprehensive chronicle.
A Spanish anti-nuclear campaigner has been sent to prison for 17 weeks for refusing to pay €6,000 for what he called “energy and harmful pollutants” as a protest against the Almaraz nuclear power plant, located west of Madrid in the Spanish Extremadura.
“It’s the only option left to me,” said Máximo González García, president of the Association of People Affected by Nuclear Almaraz. He has been campaigning against the two-reactor plant for nearly 20 years. His son, now an amputee, is the only survivor among up to nine people in the immediate Jaraiz de la Vera region diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare bone cancer, following a 1988 radiation leak at the plant. Many other cases of birth defects and rare cancers are reported from the area since the first Almaraz reactor opened in 1981.
Cape Downwinders amped up their campaign to shut down the aging Pilgrim nuclear power plant with a Mad As Hell Mother’s Day Rumble on May 10. “Bring food, noisemakers and all your frustrations – We will make racket” announced the flyer for the event, which began with a picnic and rally at White Horse Beach on the western shore of Cape Cod Bay, next to the 42-year-old reactor. There was song, drumming, three original poems about Pilgrim by Cape resident Marge Piercy, and an update on the shut-down effort in the wake of two reactor shutdowns last winter due to storm threats and damage, including one emergency scram.
The Catholic nun and two military veterans & Catholic Workers spent 2 years in prison for their 2012 Transform Now Plowshares direct disarmament action at the Y-12 nuclear weapons complex in Tennessee. Sr. Megan Rice was due out in November, 2015; Greg Boertje-Obed and Michael Walli were due out in fall, 2017. But their lawyers appealed their sabotage conviction… and it was overturned! Today (May 16) all three were released from prison!!! Their message – and the work – continues: DISARM NUCLEAR WEAPONS!
Sixth circuit orders immediate release of Michael, Megan and Greg
In an amazing turn of events, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals this evening ordered the immediate release of Megan Rice, Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed, the Transform Now Plowshares activists who were serving time in federal prison for their action at the Y12 Nuclear Weapons Complex in Oak Ridge, TN to protest plans for a new multibillion dollar nuclear bomb plant there.
Activists Make Statement at Nuke Base: Our Children Deserve Better!
Activists briefly blockaded the entrance to a West Coast nuclear weapons base in a statement against U.S. Nuclear modernization efforts on the eve of Mothers Day.
On Saturday, April 9, anti-nuclear weapons activists gathered at the main entrance gate to Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, Silverdale, Washington, home to eight of the nation’s fourteen OHIO Class (Trident) ballistic missile submarines. Carrying signs saying “Our children deserve better”, five protesters walked into the roadway and blocked traffic entering the base. Washington State Patrol officers moved in and escorted the protesters off the roadway.
A three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned the sabotage convictions of Megan Rice, Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed, the Transform Now Plowshares nuclear disarmament activists who were arrested inside the Y-12 nuclear weapons complex at Oak Ridge, Tennessee on July 28, 2012. They were convicted in May, 2013 of sabotage and depredation of government property for cutting through four fences to reach an enriched uranium storage fortress where, the panel notes, “the trio spray-painted antiwar slogans, hung crime tape and banners with biblical phrases, splashed blood, and sang hymns.”
In its 2-1 decision, the panel found the three lacked the requisite intent of an accused saboteur to “injure the national defense”, because their actions, while damaging property and motivated by a desire for disarmament, did not functionally affect the nation’s ability to initiate or defend attacks.
Activists stop loggers clearing nuclear reactor site. Photo by Tiina Prittinen.
Before permits have been issued for the Pyhäjoki (Holy River) nuclear power plant in Finland, contractors newly hired for their willingness to proceed nevertheless rushed this month to resume clearing dense forest habitat at Hanhikivi, a remote headlands on the northern Gulf of Bothnia. Anti-nuclear activists from the Rising Tide network were arrested last fall blocking roadwork into the site as the work began, and since then the original contractor refused to continue until a challenge by conservationists and local opponents was resolved.
Activists were already planning a protest camp for the second week of June, but faced with the audacious assault on the environment, they put out the call for immediate help with site occupation, treesits and blockades.
Sixty nuclear abolition activists rallied at the Isaiah Wall near the United Nations on April 27 before marching to the U.S. Mission to the U.N. The group was surprised to discover that police had not barricaded off the sidewalk between the two as part of securing the Mission from any planned demonstration. They walked right up to the main entrance and held a long banner in front of it which read, “Shadows and Ashes: All That Remain”. Some of the group circled around the city block, and sat on the sidewalk in front of the side entrance with signs that read “Sit-In For Survival” and “Abolish All Nuclear Weapons Now”.
The doors were blocked for about half an hour before police moved in to arrest them. Fourteen activists were arrested at the front entrance, and eight were arrested at the side entrance. All 22 were taken to the 17th Precinct station for processing. They were released by 1 p.m. with two “disorderly conduct” summons to appear in court on June 24.
NEW YORK, NY — At the United Nations here this month, talk is focused on the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT). At about 11 a.m. Apr. 28, I was handcuffed with 21 other nuclear realists after blocking an entrance to the US Mission. I say “realists” because US media won’t pay much attention to US nuclear weapons unless somebody is taken off to a jail.
Barrels of ink are used detailing Iran’s non-existent nuclear arsenal. The US has about 2,000 nuclear weapons ready to launch and used as ticking time bombs every day by presidents the way gunslingers can extort the loot without ever pulling the trigger. Deterrence it is not.
When we were ordered to leave or face arrest, we called ourselves crime-stoppers and asked the officers to arrest the real scofflaws. We were packed into vans and driven to the 17th Precinct. Our band of nuclear abolitionists concluded a long time ago that US nuclear banditry and pollutionism was worth dramatizing for a day, or a month, or a lifetime.