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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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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From two Dominican sisters: a master class in why the bomb is bad

from Global Sisters Report, a project of National Catholic Reporter

Longtime activists teach peace

Update: Additional states joined as signatories and/or ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons Sept. 25 and 26, bringing the totals to 79 signatories and 32 ratifications. Check here for the latest numbers. Sept. 26 is the United Nations’ International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.

It’s Sunday, Oct. 6, 2002, and Dominican Sisters Ardeth Platte, Carol Gilbert and Jackie Hudson are walking a field in Weld County, Colorado. Scattered throughout are underground silos that harbor the LGM-30G Minuteman III, an intercontinental ballistic missile with a nuclear warhead that can obliterate most buildings and human beings inside a 4-mile-wide circle. More than 400 Minuteman III missiles lie buried in the farmlands of the Midwest, 49 within this field.

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Six activists arrested at Hancock Field during protest of U.S. drone attack in Afghanistan

photo by John Amidon

from Upstate Drone Action

30 Pine Nut farmers in Afghanistan killed by a U.S. Drone Strike – Was Hancock Drone Base Responsible?
Syracuse, NY – At approximately 10:30 a.m. on September 24, 2019, six members of Upstate Drone Action (UDA) were arrested while expressing deep anguish and grief over the recent U.S. drone attack in Afghanistan responsible for killing at least 30 pine nut workers, and for the numerous other civilians slaughtered by the U.S. government. Holding a banner reading “Drones Fly, Children Die – Our Hearts Are Breaking”, the six activists requested that the Sheriff’s department enforce the law and stop the killings by the drone assassination program conducted at Hancock Field and other Air Force bases across the U.S. They were arrested while standing in the road at the main gate entrance of Hancock Field in Syracuse, New York.

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Nuclear and war resister Frances Crowe dies, age 100 – Presente!

100 Years of love, persistence, resistance…Frances Crowe, Presente! (March 15, 1919 – August 27, 2019) With gratitude for her life, which has been an example and an inspiration to so many of us near and far, for her activism for a peaceful and nuclear-free future, and so much more. Rest in power – all of us who you have protested with, supported, mentored and encouraged will carry on!

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Democracy Now Remembers Frances Crowe – click here.
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Frances Crowe, Peace Activist and War Resister, Dies at 100

The bombing of Hiroshima led her to devote her life to antiwar protests. She was arrested often, but when asked how often, she said, “Not enough.”

by

In 1945, when she was at home in New Orleans ironing a place mat, Frances Crowe was alarmed to hear on the radio that in its efforts to end World War II, the United States had dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. The bomb instantly vaporized tens of thousands of people and ultimately killed as many as 135,000.

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Six arrested on Hiroshima anniversary attempting to deliver U.N. nuclear ban treaty to Lockheed Martin, #1 nuclear weapons contractor

from the Brandywine Peace Community
On August 6, Hiroshima Day, nuclear disarmament activists in Pennsylvania remembered the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, which obliterated the city and consumed more than 145,00 human beings in the unimaginable fire and radioactive fallout that was new in the brutal history of warfare. Radioactive fallout would kill thousands in the days following the first atomic bombing, invading generation after generation from 1945 till the present.
The Brandywine Peace Community held its annual remembrance of the bombing of Hiroshima, a remembrance that began in 1977 – 42 years ago – and has always included resistance to nuclear weapons and the threat of nuclear war that began in Hiroshima. 

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Federal judge rules against Kings Bay Plowshares’ motion to dismiss charges under RFRA, October 21 trial date set

UPDATE: Trial date set for October 21.
BRUNSWICK, GA  –  On August 26, a federal judge denied all the pre-trial motions of the Kings Bay Plowshares 7. The activists had urged U.S. District Judge Lisa Godbey Wood to dismiss their charges for numerous legal reasons as well as the fact that the hundreds of first strike nuclear weapons on the submarines based at Kings Bay Naval Base are illegal and immoral.
The judge found the Plowshares did establish a prima facie case under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act because they were sincerely religiously motivated to challenge the nuclear weapons at the Naval Base. Wood also found that the government’s actions substantially burdened their right to exercise their religious beliefs. However, the judge went on to rule that the government had a compelling interest in keeping unauthorized people out of the base and the prosecution of the Plowshares activists was the least restrictive means of protecting the safety of the base.

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Two blockaders arrested at Des Moines Drone Command Center

Ed and Frank

from Frank Cordaro

The Des Moines Catholic Worker and Veterans for Peace ended their third annual 24/7 Vigil from August 6 – 9 at the Des Moines Cathedral with a rally and direct action August 9 at the Des Moines Drone Command Center. Two protesters were arrested.

The peace gathering was an annual commemoration in Des Moines of the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan.

This year’s three day, three night 24/7 vigil at the St. Ambrose Cathedral was low key and personal. We did not have an opening or closing ceremony for the vigil. The reason? We are in-between Catholic Bishops in Des Moines. The Pope named Father William Joensen, a priest from the Diocese of Dubuque, to be installed as our new Bishop in September. Bishop Pates is retiring and moving back to Minnesota.

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Chelsea Manning will remain confined another year, steep daily fines continue

Judge Says Chelsea Manning Can Pay Fines, Despite Evidence to the Contrary

Alexandria, VA — On Monday, August 5, 2019, Judge Anthony Trenga denied Chelsea Manning’s Motion to Reconsider Sanctions imposed after he found her in civil contempt of court for her refusal to give grand jury testimony relating to her 2010 disclosures of classified information. 

While the judge has authority to sanction Ms. Manning in an effort to convince her to comply with his order to testify before the grand jury, he does not have the authority to impose sanctions for punitive purposes. In her motion, Ms. Manning argued that the sanctions, including both incarceration and steep daily fines, will never coerce her compliance with the Court’s order, and therefore impermissibly serve only a punitive function.

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France jails nuclear dump opponent after re-occupation of dump site

Opponents of France’s nuclear dump occupy a tree at the proposed site.

On July 18, opponents of the country’s planned underground nuclear waste dump announced that they had routed a small police presence from the contested site in northeast France.

Many people have moved into the place, on the ground as well as in the trees, to reaffirm their opposition to the Cigéo project for radioactive waste burial, to nuclear power and to the industrial, colonial, military world that goes with it. The police forces that occupied this strategic location until then … were forced to leave. From now on, we call for people to come here in Lejuc Forest, as well as in Bure and Mandres-en-Barrois, two villages located two kilometers from the forest.

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Federal judge hears Kings Bay Plowshares’ motion to dismiss charges under RFRA

2018 photo of the Kings Bay Plowshares

from the Kings Bay Plowshares

BRUNSWICK, GA – On August 7, the Kings Bay Plowshares 7 made oral arguments in federal court concerning the denial of the pre-trial motions to dismiss the charges against them.  Appearing for the first time before Judge Lisa Godbey Wood, who will be the trial judge, four of the pro-se defendants and two of the lawyers spoke about why they felt Magistrate Benjamin Cheesbro had improperly ruled against them after two days of hearings last November. The main focus of the August 7 hearing was the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which is being used for the first time in a case like this.

Defendants were only given 90 minutes for all arguments. The government used 30 minutes of its allotted time.  The courtroom was packed with more than 60 supporters inside, including actor and activist Martin Sheen, and 25 were kept outside for lack of space. It was the first time this year that the three defendants still incarcerated in the Glynn County Detention Center for 16 months – Mark Colville, Fr. Steve Kelly, SJ, and Elizabeth McAlister – saw their codefendants.  They have been prevented from in-person legal preparation since last November.

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