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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During Fast for Yemen, 11 activists were arrested at the U.S. Mission to the U.N.

Photo by George De Castro Day

from Voices for Creative Nonviolence

On January 2, 2019, eleven people including Voices for Creative Nonviolence organizers Kathy Kelly and Brian Terrell were arrested blocking the entrance to the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York City, part of an on ongoing two-week “Fast for Yemen” in New York and Washington D.C.  The group and their supporters held signs and banners reading, “Food, Fuel, Medicine for Yemen” and “Stop U.S./Saudi War Crimes in Yemen”.  The eleven activists were taken to One Police Plaza for processing, charged with disorderly conduct and released 5:30 that afternoon with a court date of Monday, February 25.  

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Witness Against Torture activists arrested for sit-in at Senator Mitch McConnell’s office

Photo by Steve Pavey

from Witness Against Torture

Activists call on McConnell to schedule a vote on the War Powers Act, allowing discussion in the Senate regarding the war on Yemen, and to fully support closure of Guantanamo prison

Four human rights activists were arrested on January 10 and charged with unlawfully demonstrating inside Senate office buildings after sitting-in at the office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. They were among a group of about twenty-five Witness Against Torture activists who entered the office at 3:00 p.m. Many were clad in orange jumpsuits resembling those worn by prisoners in Guantanamo. They delivered a letter requesting McConnell’s assistance on two matters concerning human rights violations.

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Five activists arrested for bannering on the Supreme Court steps as part of “Stop Torture” protest

Photo by Steve Pavey, Hope In Focus with Witness Against Torture

from Witness Against Torture

Activists participate in weeklong fast calling on the U.S. to stop support for the murderous war in Yemen and close the prison camp at Guantanamo

On January 9, 2019, five human rights activists protesting all forms of torture were arrested while bannering on the Supreme Court steps. Their banner stated: “We Target. We Torture. We Terrify,” followed by the question “Who Are We?” 

Joining them were dozens of protesters who formed a tableau to denounce U.S.-backed war on Yemen and call for closure of Guantanamo.

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Four arrests at Pentagon during Holy Innocents witness

from Art Laffin, Dorothy Day Catholic Worker

From December 27-28, about 20 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.  

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Update on the Kings Bay Plowshares

from the Kings Bay Plowshares Support Group

December 22, 2018

Friends, 

We are waiting for the decision on the Religious Freedom motions, fitting in this Advent season of waiting. A decision is expected by the end of January and then a trial date may be set. A memo from lead attorney Bill Quigley follows, explaining in more detail how he expects the legal process to proceed. There is also a note about Mark Colville’s decision to go back to jail after his successful cancer surgery.  As the season of giving comes upon us, we also come to you to ask for more donations.  

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Protests and arrests at arms fairs in Belgium and New Zealand

BRUSSELS

The European Defence Agency’s 2018 Annual Conference in Brussels was devoted to unmanned and autonomous systems, a subject high on the European decision makers’ agendas.

As part of the ongoing I Stop the Arms Trade campaign, the Belgian group Vredesactie (Peace Action) organized nonviolent direct actions at the conference. While dozens demonstrated outside on opening day, November 29, nineteen European citizens entered the conference hall with the delegates. When they continued to protest, police roughly evicted and arrested them. They were held for seven hours and had their identities registered before being released.

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Case dismissed in Kansas City court against five nuclear disarmament activists

In court after his case was dismissed, Tom Fox used the metaphor of the burning building to convey the urgency for opposing nuclear weapons: “This is our planet on fire. We must stand up and rescue the children and grandchildren!”—Photo by Jeremy Ruzich

Nukes on trial: tables are turned
After prosecution no-show, defendants speak;
verdict — nukes guilty of crimes against humanity

by Jim Hannah

The December 7 hearing at Kansas City Municipal Court was dubbed “Nukes on Trial,” but there was no trial because the lone witness for the prosecution did not come to court; no witness appeared to testify against the five defendants’ act of civil disobedience.

Nonetheless, nuclear weapons were tried and found guilty as the defendants held their own court following Judge Martina Peterson’s dismissal of charges. The five civil resisters spoke forcefully about why they had risked arrest for “crossing the line” at the new nuclear weapons parts plant in south Kansas City on May 28, 2018, during PeaceWorks-KC’s annual Memorial Day resistance.

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Plowshares activist Mark Colville to return to Brunswick, Georgia jail

From Catholic Worker and Kings Bay Plowshares activist Mark Colville, sharing his statement before he self-surrenders to jail in Brunswick, Georgia on December 11, 2018

Greetings in the peace that the world cannot give…

Please pardon my spottiness in terms of keeping in touch with all of you since getting out of jail in early September. It has never been my custom to allow the federal government to indulge the fantasy that supervising me is a legitimate use of their time or resources, and to be honest, it’s been a bit difficult to find my footing out here in minimum security for the past three months. In our case, magistrate judges Baker and Cheesbro have clearly seen fit to use bail, house arrest, curfews and ankle monitors as preemptive punishment for the accused. (This was made amply plain when in that same court, four persons arrested in October for allegedly stealing explosives and ammunition from Kings Bay Naval Base were released without restrictions, on a promise to return for court appearances!) Nevertheless I cheerfully opted to accept these bail conditions on an emergency basis, when it became clear that the Glynn County Jail was not terribly interested in allowing me access to adequate medical care after a diagnosis of skin cancer. As things turned out, this proved to be a good decision, because after two successful surgeries back home in New Haven, I’ve been given a clean bill of health with no further follow-up care required.

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NCR’s Fox crosses the line, goes to trial to protest nuclear weapons

Tom Fox at the 2018 Memorial Day protest at the Kansas City National Security Campus May 28 in Kansas City, Missouri (Jeff Davis)

From the National Catholic Reporter

by Thomas Fox

December 3, 2018

I go to trial Dec. 7.

With four other nuclear weapons protesters, I will appear in Kansas City, Missouri, Municipal Court, charged with trespassing at a sprawling 122-acre nuclear weapons manufacturing complex 12 miles south of the city. It’s officially called the Kansas City National Security Campus, conjuring up images of college courses being taught, not weapons capable of leveling cities being built there.

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Religious Freedom Restoration Act motions hearings for Kings Bay Plowshares

Carmen Trotta, Patrick O’Neill, Clare Grady, Martha Hennessy and Mark Colville, five of the seven Kings Bay Plowshares (Liz McAlister and Steve Kelly were taken to the courtroom from jail)

from the Kings Bay Plowshares Support Group

The Kings Bay Plowshares, seven Catholic anti-nuclear weapons activists, with their lawyers and over 30 supporters, spent nearly 9 1/2 hours in federal court on November 7 in Brunswick, Georgia. This was the first day of a motions hearing to argue that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) applies to their case. They contend that the three felony and one misdemeanor charges the seven face for their entry onto and actions within the Kings Bay Trident nuclear submarine base on April 4 pose an excessive burden on their religious practice. They ask that the charges be dismissed or reduced. After 7 p.m., with two expert witnesses for the defense and one for the prosecution and only two defendants having been able to testify, Judge Benjamin Cheesbro adjourned the hearing to a future date.

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