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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Police arrest and detain Indian experts opposing uranium mines

After being released by police, Dr. Babu Rao addresses the meeting.

Farmers near the uranium mine and mill at Tummalapalle, in India’s Andrha Pradesh state have been protesting contamination of soil and groundwater and the depletion of their irrigation wells by the operations of the nuclear industrial site. Some have had to abandon their homes to the invisible blight and have suffered health problems they blame on the widespread pollution. When independent testing documented the levels of contamination, the Uranium Corporation of India (UCIL) arranged for their own tests before scheduling, then postponing, a meeting with village leaders to dispute the findings and try to calm the growing protest in the heart of India’s richest uranium deposits.

The meeting was finally set for Monday, April 9. That day, police arrested three prominent activists as they traveled to the meeting at the invitation of the farmers.

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How do you tell the kids that Grandma is in jail for resisting nuclear weapons?

Mother-daugher Liz McAlister and Frida Berrigan

From Waging Nonviolence

by Frida Berrigan

“Our grandma is in jail,” Madeline tells a woman wrestling a shopping cart at Target.

“She went over a war fence and tried to make peace,” Seamus adds helpfully. “They arrested her, and she is in jail now.”

“Where?” the woman asks, looking from them to me in disbelief and maybe pity.

“We don’t remember,” the kids say, suddenly done with their story and ready to make passionate pleas for the colorful items in the dollar section over the woman’s shoulder.

“Georgia,” I say, but I don’t have a lot of energy to add detail to my kids’ story. They hit all the high points.

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Bond denied for Kings Bay Plowshares activists

Seven Catholic plowshares activists were arrested early Thursday morning, April 5 at the Kings Bay Naval Base in St. Mary’s, Georgia. They entered the base late in the evening of April 4, 2018 in an attempt to nonviolently transform weapons of mass destruction and inspire Americans to reject racism, militarism and economic injustice. They are being held at the Camden County Public Safety Complex in Woodbine, Georgia. 
On April 6 at 9:30 a.m. the seven had a first appearance in Camden County court before Chief Magistrate Judge Jennifer E. Lewis. They were charged with two felonies, Possession of Tools for the Commission of a Crime and Interference with Government Property, and a misdemeanor, Criminal Trespass. Despite their well-established commitment to nonviolence and integrity and a clear promise to reappear, the seven were denied bond for the felony charges. Magistrate Lewis acknowledged the seven posed no flight risk, but claimed they were a threat to the community because she believed they might return to the base. 

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Seven Kings Bay Plowshares activists arrested inside Trident nuclear submarine base

The Kings Bay Plowshares – Clare Grady, Patrick O’Neill, Liz McAlister, Steve Kelly SJ, Martha Hennessy, Mark Colville and Carmen Trotta (L-R)

(Updates at the Kings Bay Plowshares Facebook page here, and also below)

Seven Catholic plowshares activists were detained early Thursday morning, April 5 at the Kings Bay Naval Base in St. Mary’s, Georgia. 

They entered on Wednesday night, April 4.  Calling themselves Kings Bay Plowshares, they went to make real the prophet Isaiah’s command: “beat swords into plowshares”. 

The seven chose to act on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,  who devoted his life to addressing the triplets of militarism, racism and materialism. In a statement they carried with them the group quoted King, who said: “The greatest purveyor of violence in the world (today) is my own government.”

Carrying hammers and baby bottles of their own blood, the seven attempted to convert weapons of mass destruction.  

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Four women arrested at Creech protesting drone warfare

photo by Michael Kerr

Four women – Toby Blome, Eleanor Levine, Susan Witka and Maggie Huntingon – were arrested on April 3 while blocking the entrance to Creech drone base in Nevada. The funeral procession and action, protesting drone warfare, was part of the Codepink Drone Resistance Week at Creech.

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U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal Agree: Facts about Nuclear Weapons Can be Kept from Juries in Protest Cases

U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal Agree: Facts about Nuclear Weapons Can be Kept from Juries in Protest Cases

Judicial Protection Racket Keeps the Bomb Behind a Wall of Silence

by John LaForge, Nukewatch

(Originally published in the Nuclear Resister #187, March 14, 2018. This version has been corrected by the author.)

If you were thinking that protest and resistance against the Bomb will be easier in the United States now that the United Nations General Assembly, on July 7, 2017, overwhelmingly approved a treaty outlawing the possession and threatened use of nuclear weapons (voting 122 to 1), think again.

Between 1980 and 2005, seven U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal have ruled that federal district courts may (in one case must) prevent juries from hearing a defense of necessity or any expert testimony about international treaty law, etc. in nuclear weapons protest cases.[i]

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Two arrests at Creech drone base during Sacred Peace Walk

Nevada Desert Experience photo

The 24th annual Sacred Peace Walk, organized by the Nevada Desert Experience, took place from March 24-30. The group of peace walkers began in Las Vegas and concluded a week and 60 miles later at the Nevada National Security Site (formerly known as the Nevada Test Site).

From the Nevada Desert Experience website: “We walk in the footsteps of a long legacy of peace walkers and spiritual leaders to draw attention to the nuclear dangers that continue to threaten our planet, and the violent robots (RPAs or drones) continuing to kill people monthly, damaging the community of life in the desert. We also focus on the threats of nuclear waste to the Sacred Yucca Mountain.” 

Early in the morning of March 28, the Peace Walkers held signs and banners at Creech drone base in Indian Springs. Darcy Ike and Robert Majors were arrested for blockading the entrance road into the base.  (See video of action here.)

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Good Friday arrests at Lockheed Martin, the Pentagon, Livermore Lab and Nevada nuclear test site

Photo by Paul Sheldon

LOCKHEED MARTIN, PENNSYLVANIA

Thanks to Paul Sheldon for this report:

The Brandywine Peace Community held its annual Good Friday action at Lockheed Martin in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania on March 30. Seven of the activists attempted to carry a message of peace and understanding onto Lockheed Martin property, in order to speak with those building world-destroying weapons. They were arrested, cited for disorderly conduct (praying in the driveway), and released. Paul Sheldon writes, “I view these actions as faithfulness to a continuing campaign at Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest war profiteer and nuclear weapons’ contractor.”

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Six people arrested during protest at Arms Fair in Cardiff, Wales

from WalesOnline

Activists were protesting outside the Motorpoint Arena where an exhibition is taking place

by Cathy Owen and Marcus Hughes
March 27, 2018

Six people were arrested at a protest outside a defence industry event at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff on Tuesday.

Campaign groups Cardiff Stop the Arms Fair, Welsh Kurdish Activists and members of Cardiff Animal Rights were among those protesting against the Defence Procurement, Research, Technology and Exportability (DPRTE) event.

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A Catholic Worker discussion on property destruction and nonviolence

Christian Nonviolence: Theory and Practice

by Tom Cornell

[Tom Cornell is a longtime editor of The Catholic Worker and former co-founder of the Catholic Peace Fellowship. In a slightly different form his essay was published in the December 2017 issue of The Catholic Worker. With Jim Forest and Robert Ellsberg, he co-edited A Penny a Copy, an anthology of writings from The Catholic Worker.]

“To me nonviolence is the all-important problem or virtue to be nourished and studied and cultivated” (Dorothy Day, Diaries, Oct. 1968). And Thomas Merton agreed: “You are right going along the lines of satyagraha [Gandhi’s term for nonviolent action; literally the power of truth]. I see no other way….”  Merton held nonviolence to be essential. Nonviolent action embodies a moral truth in response to a serious moral crisis by way of protest and acts of resistance, including civil disobedience, that do no harm, conducted in openness and truth with willingness to pay the legal penalties. Nonviolent action may be acts of witness only, but they may also lead to mass mobilization and real change.

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