Three people arrested in Mother’s Day demonstration at Trident nuclear sub base at Bangor, WA

Photo by Leonard Eiger. Larry Kerschner (in red shirt), Br. Gilberto Perez, and Bernie Meyer (in blue shirt) blocking traffic onto the Bangor Trident base during their nonviolent direct action.

Photo by Leonard Eiger of three men blocking traffic onto the Bangor Trident base during their nonviolent direct action.

from Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action

See report and photos of the trial, including court statements, here.

Thirty-five people were present on May 7 at the demonstration against Trident nuclear weapons at the Bangor submarine base. Five demonstrators attempted to block the main highway entrance into the base and three demonstrators were arrested.

At around 3:30 pm on Saturday, three demonstrators entered the main highway and briefly blocked traffic on the federal side of the Main gate at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor. The three demonstrators carried an illustration of Fr. Daniel Berrigan, revered anti-war and anti-nuclear weapons priest, with a statement by Fr. Berrigan, “Know where you stand and stand there.” The three also carried a colorful banner with symbols linking nuclear weapons and climate change.

Soon after the three were arrested, two demonstrators entered the highway on the County side of the main gate. Instead of arrests or citations, demonstrators were escorted from the highway by the State Patrol.

Mother’s Day in the United States was first suggested in 1872 by Julia Ward Howe as a day dedicated to peace. Howe saw the effects on both sides of the Civil War and realized destruction from warfare goes beyond the killing of soldiers in battle.

Those arrested by Naval Base security: Larry Kerschner of Centralia, Br. Gilberto Perez of Bainbridge Island, and Bernie Meyer of Olympia.

The three arrested by base security were booked and released at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor. They received citations pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 1382, for trespass on a military installation. Please see video by Tom Rogers, at

The Trident submarine base at Bangor, just 20 miles from Seattle, has become home to the largest single stockpile of nuclear warheads in the U.S. arsenal. The base at Bangor is the last active nuclear weapons depot on the West Coast.

Eight Ground Zero members were sentenced on April 1, 2016 in federal court and are currently serving a court-imposed one-year probation period and community service for a demonstration in August 2015.

At the demonstration on Saturday, members Elizabeth Murray, Bernie Meyer and others spoke of their relationships with Fr. Daniel Berrigan. Daniel Berrigan died on April 30, 2016, at the age of 94. Elizabeth Murray read:

We have assumed the name of peacemakers, but we have been, by and large, unwilling to pay any significant price. And because we want the peace with half a heart and half a life and will, the war, of course, continues, because the waging of war, by its nature, is total — but the waging of peace, by our own cowardice, is partial… We are instructed that deprivation and discipline, private grief and public obedience are to be our lot. And we obey. And we bear with it — because bear we must — because war is war, and good war or bad, we are stuck with it and its cost.

[from No Bars to Manhood, Fr. Daniel Berrigan, 1969]

The Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action was founded in 1977. The center is on 3.8 acres adjoining the Trident submarine base at Bangor, Washington. The Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action offers the opportunity to explore the roots of violence and injustice in our world and to experience the transforming power of love through nonviolent direct action. We resist all nuclear weapons, especially the Trident ballistic missile system.

The next planned demonstration will be the annual Ground Zero Peace Fleet demonstration on August 3, in Elliott Bay.

The next planned direct action at Bangor will be on August 8, 2016, in commemoration of the 71st anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan.

On August 9, 2016, Ground Zero members in kayaks and other vessels, along with the historical peace vessel, the Golden Rule, will conduct a sailby and nonviolent presence at the Bangor submarine base in Hood Canal.