What We’re About

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.

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“He’s Got Eight Numbers, Just Like Everybody Else” by Kathy Kelly

3/14/18 – Fr. Steve Kelly at the Nevada Nuclear Test Site, photo by Felice Cohen-Joppa.

Trident nuclear disarmament activist Steve Kelly, a Jesuit priest, begins his third year imprisoned in a county jail as he and his companions await sentencing.

by Kathy Kelly

April 3, 2020

On April 4, 2020, my friend Steve Kelly will begin a third year of imprisonment in Georgia’s Glynn County jail. He turned 70 while in prison, and while he has served multiple prison sentences for protesting nuclear weapons, spending two years in a county jail is unusual even for him. Yet he adamantly urges supporters to focus attention on the nuclear weapons arsenals which he and his companions aim to disarm. “The nukes are not going to go away by themselves,” says Steve.

The Kings Bay Plowshares 7 now await sentencing for their action, performed two years ago inside the Kings Bay Trident Submarine base in southern Georgia. They acted in concert with many others who take literally the Scriptural call to “beat swords into plowshares.”  Commenting on their case, Bill Quigley, a member of their legal team, told me “their actions speak louder than  their words and their words are very powerful.” Bill encourages us to remember each of them in our thoughts, prayers, and, hopefully, through our actions. “The legal system is not big enough for the hearts, minds and spirits of these folks,” he adds. “The legal system tries to concentrate all of this down to whether you cut a fence or sprayed some blood.” Bill believes we should instead look at the impending disaster nuclear weapons could cause, and the continuing disaster they do cause by wasting crucially needed resources to potentially destroy the planet.

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Activists charged, detained after praying for peace inside naval base on Jeju Island, South Korea

Photo by Choi Sung-hee, of Dr. Song Kang-ho and Ryu Bok-hee before court, holding signs which read “Demilitarized Peace Island Jeju” and “I want to see Gureombi” (which could also be translated as “I Miss Gureombi”)

On March 7, peace activists on Jeju Island cut the fence to enter the naval base that has been opposed by residents of neighboring Gangjeong Village since it was first proposed in 1993, and became the focus of daily protests since 2007, before construction began. Once inside, Dr. Song Kang-ho and Ryu Bok-hee walked to the area of the remaining part of Gureombi Rock to pray for peace.

Dr. Song had applied multiple times with the Navy for permission to enter the base that day to visit Gureombi. March 7 marked the 8th anniversary of the blasting of Gureombi Rock  – freshwater rock wetlands that harbored rare sea life and provided drinking water for many island inhabitants, long regarded by locals as sacred – to prepare the site for the construction of the naval base.

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Immediate support action needed for Dr. Rafil Dhafir, Humanitarian Political Prisoner

Dr. Rafil Dhafir has been in prison for more than 17 years, is 71 years old and has multiple serious health problems. Please ask the warden at Federal Correctional Institution Allenwood Low in Pennsylvania to FREE HIM NOW!

Dr. Rafil Dhafir is an Iraqi emigre and oncologist. As a respected physician and Islamic community leader in upstate New York, he was an outspoken opponent of the 1991-2003 U.S. sanctions against Iraq. He established a charity for beleaguered Iraqis and donated over $1 million of his own earnings to their needs. 
On February 26, 2003, days before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, government agents arrested Dr. Dhafir as he drove to work, raided his home and office, and charged him with violating the economic sanctions against Iraq and money laundering. He was repeatedly denied bail, slandered by public officials as a funder of terrorists, convicted and sentenced to 22 years in prison. His case is emblematic of the malicious prosecution of Muslim philanthropists and charities in the post-9/11 era. 
He has now served most of his sentence and is scheduled to be released on November 24, 2021.

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The COVID-19 crisis underscores the need to release Leonard Peltier

https://medium.com/…/the-covid-19-crisis-underscores-the-ne…

March 26, 2020

by Zeke Johnson, Senior Director of Programs, Amnesty International USA

Amnesty International, an independent human rights organization, has long called for clemency and release for Native American activist Leonard Peltier, due to fair trial concerns, the exhaustion of his appeals and his having served more than 40 years in prison, some of which was spent in solitary confinement, for a crime he has always claimed he did not commit. The threat of COVID-19 underscores the urgency of this call, as Peltier is 75 years old and has serious health concerns. He suffers from diabetes, among a myriad of other health issues, and in January 2016 was diagnosed with an abdominal aortic aneurysm, which can be fatal if it ruptures.

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Judge Orders Chelsea Manning’s Release From Jail for Not Cooperating With WikiLeaks Grand Jury, Supporters Raise $256,000 Fines

By Andy Worthington (reprinted by permission of the author)

March 15, 2020

Good news from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, where, on Thursday (March 12), District Judge Anthony J. Trenga ordered the immediate release from jail of whistleblower Chelsea Manning (formerly Pfc. Bradley Manning), who has been imprisoned since last March for refusing to cooperate with a Grand Jury investigation into WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange.

While serving as an Army intelligence analyst in 2009, Manning was responsible for the largest leak of military and diplomatic documents in US history, and received a 35-year sentence — described by Charlie Savage in the New York Times as “the longest sentence by far in an American leak case” — in August 2013.

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Thirteen disarmament activists arrested in nonviolent blockade of Trident nuclear submarine base

George Rodkey, Gary Cavalier, Sue Ablao, Julia Ochiogrosso

by Felice & Jack Cohen-Joppa, the Nuclear Resister

Thirteen nuclear abolitionists blocked traffic leading into Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, Washington on March 2, as part of a public protest of the United States’ Trident nuclear-missile launching submarines based there.

The direct action came at the conclusion of the annual gathering of the Pacific Life Community, a network of spiritually motivated activists from the Pacific Coast and other western states committed to nonviolent action for a nuclear-free future.

Washington state police arrested nine people for obstructing traffic after they carried banners that stretched across the roadway just outside the base main gate. Their banners read “Trident Threatens All Life on Earth” and “Abolish Nuclear Weapons”. While they stood in the road, one of the blockaders read aloud from the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. (Adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in July 2017, the Treaty will enter into force when ratified by 50 nations. Thirty-five nations have ratified to date.)

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Kings Bay Plowshares 7 still await sentencing

from the Kings Bay Plowshares support group, February 6, 2020

Dear Friends,

We continue to wait for a sentencing date to be announced. There have been delays in getting all the necessary pre-sentencing reports done by the probation officers. The defendants were originally told that sentencing would be 60-90 days from the conviction date on October 24th. After the reports are received each defendant has two weeks to make any corrections of their record and challenge the probation office’s findings. Then there is additional time for more responses from the government. Sentencing may take place in March.

Shortly after the trial an appeal was filed to drop one of two charges; one for destruction of government property or another for depredation of property on a naval base. The attorneys argued that the two charges are redundant, and one should be dropped (the 2 charges appear to be for the same thing). Each additional felony charge can add substantially to the possible sentences. There has been no decision on this appeal so far.

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Conference & demo in May: Stop the New Nuclear Arms Race

From OREPA, Nukewatch and the Nuclear Resister, COVID 19 update, April 6, 2020:
Maryville College’s campus is closed through the end of May, and Tennessee has instituted travel and gathering restrictions, so we have taken the disappointing but necessary decision to cancel STOP THE NEW NUCLEAR ARMS RACE. If you are registered for the conference, you will receive a refund in the near future. The conference is off, but the work is not! A world free of nuclear weapons is possible if we all work for it.

“Those who say a world without nuclear weapons is impossible need to get out of the way of those who are making it happen.” – Beatrice Fihn, ICAN

REGISTER NOWSPONSOR OR ENDORSESPREAD THE WORD! 

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Peace campers in Scotland arrested, one at Trident nuclear warhead loading jetty

Faslane Peace Camp photo

from Faslane Peace Camp

Two Faslane peace campers were arrested on January 28, one of them just a few yards from the Trident warhead loading jetty at Coulport on Loch Long, Scotland. 

Sylvia Boyes and Willemien Hoogendoorn hung banners at the pedestrian gate, and a hole (first cut on October 8) was re-opened. After about an hour, Sylvia went through the hole with a banner to hang directly in front of the warhead loading bay. The banner read “TRIDENT – An atrocity waiting to happen”. 

Despite openly carrying out these actions, it took at least 1.5 hours for the Ministry of Defence police to arrive. Willemien was arrested at the pedestrian gate, and Sylvia was arrested immediately in front of the loading bay. 

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On Martin Luther King Day, in support of the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, five activists arrested at Lockheed Martin

Brandywine Peace Community photo

by Robert M. Smith, Brandywine Peace Community

Another Martin Luther King Day has passed. 
A new decade, January 20, 2020.  It was cold, real cold, with a wind that always seems to accompany the Martin Luther King Day peace demonstrations at Lockheed Martin from 1995 til now (and for 17 years before that at General Electric).  
Our large banners attached to a-frames wouldn’t hold. We had to adapt. Our heavy wooden sign reading “We’re making a killing! and painted with the Lockheed Martin logo in the background, was grounded to an iron light post at the main entrance to the King of Prussia, Pennsylvania corporate complex of the world’s #1 war profiteer.  We shared a Statement of Commitment, and Brandywine troubadour singer-songwriter, Tom Mullian, did some verses from his song, I may not get there with you.   
As our bell of peace tolled loudly, crime scene tape was stretched across the driveway as five people attempted to deliver poster size copies of our statement to Lockheed Martin personnel.  

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