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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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

“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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Eight arrests at Pentagon mark Massacre of the Holy Innocents

by Art Laffin
From December 27-28, 2019, about 40 members from the Atlantic and Southern Life communities, and other peacemaking friends, gathered for a retreat at St. Stephen and the Incarnation Church in Washington, D.C., and a nonviolent witness at the Pentagon to commemorate the Massacre  of the Holy Innocents – past and present. Due to the fact that the actual feast of the Holy Innocents Martyrs was on Saturday, December 28, we held our nonviolent witness at the Pentagon on December 27, late afternoon, so we could be present to more Pentagon workers.
The retreat began at 1 p.m. on December 27 with introductions and a reading of Matthew’s account of the massacre of the innocents. (Mt. 2:1-18) This was followed by a rich community sharing focusing on these questions: Why do you think Herod saw Jesus as such a threat that he wanted him killed? What are the parallels for today? How do you identify with Rachel’s response to the massacre of the innocents? What are the parallels today? 

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The Pope and Catholic Radicals Come Together Against Nuclear Weapons

Daily Comment

“When something difficult is attempted,” Daniel Berrigan said, “it is like trying to break a rock with an egg.” Berrigan, a Jesuit priest and social radical, who died in 2016, at the age of ninety-four, spent the last third of his life doing something difficult: trying, through protest, civil disobedience, and a steady stream of books and articles, to persuade the nuclear powers to abolish their arsenals. For his efforts, he was frequently called an out-of-touch extremist who changed nothing. But now, when the jousting of Donald Trump and other would-be political strongmen on the world stage are making the nuclear threat appear particularly urgent, there are signs that the Catholic Church has come around to the position that Catholic activists such as Berrigan have resolutely maintained for the past four decades.

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Seven activists arrested at Volk Field mourning children killed by drones

photo by Bob Block

by Joy First 

Camp Douglas, WI – Seven peace activists walked onto the base at Volk Field on November 12, wearing black veils, carrying limp dolls and posters of children killed by drones, and reading a statement.  They were arrested by Juneau County officers, handcuffed and taken to the station in Mauston, where they were cited for trespassing and released.

The action was organized by the Wisconsin Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars.  This group of dedicated activists have been vigiling monthly at the gates of Volk Field since 2011. This is the sixth action leading to arrests at the base.

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A History of the Plowshares Movement – a talk by Art Laffin, October 22, 2019

Art Laffin speaking on the history of the Plowshares movement in Brunswick, Georgia

Plowshares activist and Catholic Worker Art Laffin is the editor (with the late Sr. Anne Montgomery) of two editions of Swords into Plowshares – Nonviolent Direct Action for Disarmament (Harper & Row, 1987 and Fortkamp, 1996). He delivered the following historical review to about 100 supporters of the Kings Bay Plowshares gathered in Brunswick, Georgia for their trial, October 21-24. His talk was also recorded on video

Plowshares History Talk 

by Art Laffin
Delivered October 22, 2019 at St. Athanasius Episcopal Church, Brunswick, GA.
This version includes some slight revisions.

I am honored to be invited to speak tonight and to share this presentation with Rosalie Riegel.

I would like to begin by thanking God for the miracle of this day, for the miracle of life and for the Kings Bay Plowshares7, for Martha, Liz, Clare, Steve, Patrick, Mark, Carmen and their families and communities, and for their amazing legal and support teams. Let’s give them all a standing ovation!!!

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Kings Bay Plowshares Found Guilty on All Charges – A summary of the trial

The Kings Bay Plowshares receive a blessing at the Festival of Hope on the eve of their trial

A JURY FOUND THEM GUILTY, BUT TRIDENT IS THE CRIME.

Late in the afternoon of October 24, the seven members of the Kings Bay Plowshares – Martha Hennessy, Clare Grady, Elizabeth McAlister, Patrick O’Neill, Carmen Trotta, Mark Colville and Fr. Steve Kelly – were convicted by a jury in federal court in Brunswick, Georgia. The 12 person jury deliberated for less than two hours before finding the nuclear disarmament activists guilty of conspiracy, destruction of property on a Naval Station, depredation of government property and trespass. Defendants and supporters all left the courthouse singing “Rejoice in the Lord always”…. except for Fr. Steve Kelly, SJ, who was returned to the Glynn County Detention Center, where he has spent the last 18 months. Sentencing will be scheduled after pre-sentencing reports are completed.

Ralph Hutchison prepared the following summary of the four-day trial from his contemporaneous notes (followed by links to articles about the trial, please scroll to the bottom of the page).

The Trial of the Kings Bay Plowshares
by Ralph Hutchison

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Ten arrests at Creech drone base demonstration

photo by Chris Knudson

On the morning of October 2, ten demonstrators blockaded the South Gate entrance to the Creech Air Force Base Drone Center with a large banner that read, “Stop Droning Afghanistan – 18 years: Enough!” The anti-military drone activists from across the U.S., including military veterans, were arrested by Las Vegas police and transported to a Las Vegas jail for processing. Toby Blomé, Michael Kerr, Susan Witka, Maggie Huntington, Don Kimball, George Killingsworth, Don Cunning, Denny Riley, Eleanor Levine and Norie Clarke vowed to “halt the killing business as usual” by the Trump administration.

“ENOUGH!” said the activists, who used street theatre and imagery to link the shared barbarism of U.S. drone killings and the historical oppression and reckless killing of black and native people in our country.

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