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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Clowns draw attention to French boycott of nuclear ban treaty

Clowns en marche for Nuclear France – photo by desobeir.net

On August 8, about fifteen “clowns-in-reverse” demonstrated in front of the headquarters of La République En Marche, the new political party of French President Macron. “We came to thank him, because the war is a lot better than the Treaty!” said the Chief of Staff of the Clown Armies. Under a super-sized inflated bomb, the clowns celebrated “Jupiterian France” for opposing with all its might the introduction of the international treaty to ban nuclear weapons. They were soon joined by some fifty men in blue who forcibly expelled the clowns from the building and detained them, recording their identities before they were released.

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Natick Peace Chain action opposes nuclear war with North Korea

Lewis Randa kneels before his arrest. Daily News and WickedLocal photo by Kathleen Culler

On Sunday, August 27, more than two dozen people formed a Peace Chain in Natick, Massachusetts. Carrying a length of heavy steel links, they walked from Natick Common to the entrance of the U.S. Army Natick Soldier System Center to call upon the military to refuse any order to launch a nuclear attack on North Korea. Hanging from the chain were 12 large tags explaining “why nuclear war is not an option for the holder of the nuclear codes, unless, however, the President is mentally disturbed.”

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Bill Doub, Presente!

Photo by Bob Thawley, taken in San Francisco, March 19, 2017

William Coligny Doub II

San Francisco, Spring 2017. Several years into worsening dementia, Bill listened to a recording of Pete Seeger singing Little Boxes. The lyrics include:

And the people in the houses all go to the university
And they all get put in boxes, little boxes all the same
And there’s doctors and there’s lawyers
And business executives
And they’re all made out of ticky tacky and they all look just the same

After the song ended there was a pause.  Then Bill declared: “Not me, baby!”

Bill “Terry” Doub died peacefully in San Francisco the evening of August 3, 2017, with his daughter and her family singing a gentle chant of passage:  

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Four nuclear disarmament activists arrested at Lockheed Martin in Pennsylvania

Stand & Demand: Abolish Nuclear Weapons, Resist Lockheed Martin

On Saturday, August 5, in anticipation of the anniversaries of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (August 6-9, 1945), people were back in front of Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest war profiteer and the U.S. chief nuclear weapons contractor. Members of the Brandywine Peace Community had a “meet-up” on the large grassy area in front of Lockheed Martin.
Colorful banners and signs surrounded the extremely well-traveled corner. A few bold banners – Hiroshima! We Shall Not Repeat the Sin – hung from the wall leading up to Lockheed Martin’s main entrance. 

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Activists blockade west coast nuclear base in plea to de-escalate nuclear crisis with North Korea

Photo by Leonard Eiger, Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action

from Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action

Activists blockaded the West Coast nuclear submarine base that would likely carry out a nuclear strike against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) should President Donald Trump give the order.

Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, just 20 miles from Seattle, is home to the largest concentration of deployed nuclear weapons in the U.S. More than 1,300 nuclear warheads are deployed on Trident D-5 missiles on the eight ballistic missile submarines based at Bangor or stored at Strategic Weapons Facility Pacific (SWFPAC) at the Bangor base.

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Two men arrested during nonviolent action at Pentagon as nuclear tensions between the U.S. and N. Korea escalate

Hiroshima Day at the White House, Photo by Felton Davis

by Art Laffin

On August 9 from 12:30-1:30 p.m., about 30 people from the faith-based peace community in D.C., Virginia and Maryland, held a witness of repentance at the Pentagon to commemorate the 72nd anniversary of the U.S. nuclear bombing of Nagasaki. 

Displaying a lead sign saying “U.S. Nuclear Bombing of Nagasaki, August, 9, 1945 – Repent,” and carrying other disarmament signs and photos of the carnage and victims of the atomic bombings, we processed from Army-Navy Drive to the police designated protest zone, which is located in an enclosed space with a bicycle fence on the southeast corner of the Pentagon near the south parking lot. Once at the site, we encountered numerous Pentagon police and security as well as some Pentagon workers. Bill Frankel-Streit and Eric Martin proceeded past the protest zone and were told by police that they could not continue further or remain on the sidewalk. When they refused to comply with an order to go into the designated protest area after several warnings they were placed under arrest. 

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Four dozen nuclear disarmament activists arrested following die-in at Livermore Lab on anniversary of U.S. atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan

Photo by Leon Vo

from Marylia Kelley

The August 9 “March for Nuclear Abolition & Global Survival” to Livermore Lab was at once moving, solemn, joyous, powerful and timely – with the opportunity to address the U.S. atom bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the context of Trump’s threat to unleash “fire and fury” on North Korea. One element of our August 9 program was the delivery to Livermore Lab of the “Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons” adopted July 7 at the United Nations by a vote of 122-1-1. Since the Lab director declined to accept it in person, the pages were strung across the West Gate, where peace advocates would soon risk arrest. There were about 250 people at the rally and 48 were peaceably arrested after a die-in in the road. 

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Protester arrested at Vandenberg Air Force Base during vigil marking Hiroshima & Nagasaki anniversary

Los Angeles Catholic Worker Photo

from the Los Angeles Catholic Worker 

On Saturday, August 5, the Los Angeles Catholic Worker joined the Guadalupe Catholic Worker and others in a prayerful witness at Vandenberg Air Force Base commemorating the 72nd anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and calling for the elimination of ICBM missile testing, nuclear weapons, and U.S. imperial war-making.

Three Los Angeles Catholic Workers – Jeff Dietrich, Mike Wisniewski, and Karan Benton – were faced with arrest for “ban and bar” violations if they did not immediately leave the protest area. (They had each received ban and bar letters after previous arrests at the base.)  Jeff and Mike chose to leave rather than face arrest, while Karan refused to leave.  She was immediately arrested, cited for trespass and later released facing a future court date and certain jail time. 

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Jerry Zawada, Presente!

Jerry Zawada on March 6, 2016 at Pacific Life Community gathering, Photo by Felice Cohen-Joppa

There will be a peace vigil to honor the life of Fr. Jerry Zawada on Monday, November 13 at 8 a.m. at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, Arizona (details will be updated on the Future Actions page).

Fr. Jerry Zawada OFM – nuclear resister, peace and justice activist, Franciscan friar – died on the morning of July 25 at the age of 80. Jerry served his early years as a Franciscan priest in the Philippines, and later worked with the homeless, war refugees and survivors of torture in Chicago, Milwaukee, Mexico, Las Vegas, Tucson and elsewhere. Jerry was imprisoned for two years in the late 1980s for repeated trespass at nuclear missile silos in the midwest; served three six-month prison sentences (2001, 2003, 2005) for trespass at the School of the Americas in Fort Benning Georgia, and two months in prison in 2007 after crossing the line to protest torture training at Fort Huachuca, Arizona.  A few years ago, his advocacy for and celebration of mass with women priests earned a disciplinary letter from the Vatican.

He never stopped standing up and speaking out for a peaceful, just and nuclear-free world, even when in recent years he slowed down physically and wasn’t quite sure how fast his legs would carry him.  His life will remain an example and inspiration to so many – those who knew and loved him, and those he never had an opportunity to meet.

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Activists cut fences, occupy nuclear weapons bunker in protest of U.S. nukes in Germany

Activists prepare to enter Büchel Air Base in Büchel, Germany to challenge U.S. nuclear weapons deployment. From left, Bonnie Urfer, Steve Baggarly, Susan Crane, John LaForge and Gerd Buentzly. (photo by Ralph Hutchison)

An international group of five peace activists got far inside the Büchel Air Base in Büchel, Germany, after nightfall on Monday, July 17, 2017, and for the first time in a 21-year-long series of protests against the deployment of U.S. B61 thermonuclear bombs there, climbed on top of one large bunker used for nuclear weapons. After cutting through two exterior fences and two more fences surrounding the large earth-covered bunkers, the five spent more than one hour unnoticed sitting on the bunker. No notice of the group was taken until after two of them climbed down to write “DISARM” on the bunker’s metal front door, setting off an alarm. Surrounded by vehicles and guards searching on foot with flashlights, the five eventually alerted guards to their presence by singing, causing the guards to look up. The internationals were eventually taken into custody more than two hours after entering the base.