Monthly Archive for August, 2018

Fukushima evacuees’ friend arrested, jailed at Hiroshima memorial

Speaker at the Go West Come West memorial, Hiroshima, August 6, 2018

UPDATE: August 17 – the jailed activist was released from custody today.

Among the many commemorative events all around the Peace Park in Hiroshima, Japan on August 6 was an evening memorial service for victims of both the Bomb and nuclear power by Go West, Come West. It is a civic association of evacuees from the March, 2011 Fukushima disaster and their supporters who are challenging the Japanese government’s response to the ongoing catastrophe affecting all of eastern Japan as inadequate and cruel.

This is their story about how police then arrested one of their members on trumped-up charges. [The headline of this post was corrected 8/15/18 to reflect that the jailed activist is a friend of Fukushima evacuees, and not herself an evacuee. The gender of the arrested person was also corrected from the error in the machine translation of this story.]

Emergency Statement on the Oppression at the Hands of the Local Police against the Fukushima Nuclear Evacuees’ August 6 Hiroshima Action.

Hiroshima Police Unlawfully Arrested a Citizen to Silence Evacuees Appealing about Ongoing Fukushima Disaster.

A Serious Threat to Human Right and Free Speech.

We demand that the Hiroshima police immediately release the arrested friend of the nuclear evacuees who participated in August 6 Hiroshima actions!

We, an organization of evacuees from the Fukushima nuclear disaster and their supporters, attended various peace rallies and events held in Hiroshima on August 6th 2018, commemorating the 73rd anniversary of 1945 nuclear atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, killing hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians. Survivors of Hiroshima atomic bombing and Fukushima nuclear evacuees are both victims of nuclear disaster and radiation.

Our goal was to unite with Hiroshima and act together to end these ongoing disasters in the world.

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Plowshares activist Turi Vaccaro jailed in Sicily

Turi Vaccaro hangs his Swords into Plows banner inside the MUOS base in Sicily, December 2, 2014. Photo by Fabio d’Alessandro

Fugitive Italian anti-war activist Turi Vaccaro has been arrested and imprisoned in Gela, Sicily, where he will serve an 11-month, 27-day sentence.

Acting on a warrant issued in November, 2017, DIGOS, the Italian special police, determined that the well-known practitioner of nonviolent direct action would attend this summer’s annual NO MUOS protest camp near Niscemi. MUOS is the acronym of a Pentagon satellite relay station critical to U.S. war making in the Middle East and Africa. The massive dish antennas and transmission towers are planted on land cleared from a beloved cork-oak forest preserve, and their ultra high frequency radiation bathes neighboring residents.

Police observed Vaccaro among hundreds of others on the big August 4 march, where some demonstrators tried to bring down a section of chain-link and barbed wire fence only to be rebuffed by police firing tear gas.

The next day, as protesters relaxed and broke their camp, police decided to execute the warrant for Vaccaro’s arrest and imprisonment on a criminal damage conviction from 2015. When Vaccaro again approached the fence, DIGOS agents shouted at him to stop. Police gave chase on foot as the notoriously barefoot activist scampered away down the rural lane. About fifty activists quickly mobilized a cordon to slow the police pursuit, and Vaccaro disappeared into the countryside. Hours later, police reported his arrest as he hid in thick vegetation less than a mile away.

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Arrests at nuclear sites mark 73rd anniversary of atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

photo by Leonard Eiger, Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action

from the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action

Activists honor Catholic archbishop, who was a prophetic voice for peace, on anniversary of atomic bombing

by Leonard Eiger

Silverdale, Washington: 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.

Activists with Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action held a vigil at the Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor Main Gate beginning on the evening of August 5th and continuing into the morning of August 6th, the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Approximately sixty activists were present at the morning vigil, and twelve participated in a nonviolent direct action in which participants blockaded the base at the peak of the morning shift change by carrying a banner onto the roadway of the main entrance gate.

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Truth on Trial – Kings Bay Plowshares court report on August 2, 2018 hearing

Kings Bay Plowshares photo

by Bill Quigley, attorney

For four hours on Thursday, August 2, 2018, the Kings Bay Plowshares appeared before U.S. Magistrate Stan Baker in federal court in Brunswick, Georgia to argue that all charges against them be dropped.  The peace activists set out six reasons why the charges of conspiracy, trespass, and two counts of felony damage to property should be dismissed.  Fully detailed arguments are available at https://www.kingsbayplowshares7.org/

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Fill the Jails!

by Brian Terrell

[This reflection was offered by Brian Terrell on July 29, 2018 to Catholic Workers gathered at Nazareth College, Rochester, NY, celebrating the 85th anniversary of the founding of the movement.]

Fifty years ago, in 1968, a time when state violence was running rampant in foreign wars and in the streets of our cities and when the reckless arrogance of insane men with power brought the world to the precipice of destruction, Dorothy Day drew from the tradition of the Industrial Workers of the World and offered a solution to the peril of the age- ‘Fill the jails!’ ‘Social betterment,’ Gandhi said earlier, ‘never comes from parliaments, or pulpits, but from direct action in the streets, form the courts, jails and sometimes even the gallows.’

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