Nuclear Resister E-bulletin Summer 2018

Summer 2018

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ARRESTS AT NUCLEAR SITES MARK 73RD ANNIVERSARY OF ATOMIC BOMBINGS OF HIROSHIMA & NAGASAKI – at the Pentagon, Livermore Lab, Faslane Trident sub base, Bangor Trident sub base, Büchel Air Base, Offutt AFB, Des Moines Drone Command Center and Vandenberg AFB





Italian anti-war & plowshares activist Turi Vaccaro jailed      

Italian police, acting on a warrant from a 2015 criminal damage conviction, arrested fugitive Italian anti-war and plowshares activist Salvadore (Turi) Vaccaro on August 5 at a No MUOS action camp in Sicily. Vaccaro will serve an 11-month, 27-day sentence for his December 2014 action at the MUOS site, when he cut through the fence, hung banners proclaiming “NO MUOS” and “Spade in Aratri” (Swords into Plowshares), planted fig trees and grape vines and entered a building where he damaged electrical equipment with a boulder. MUOS is the acronym of a Pentagon satellite relay station critical to U.S. war-making in the Middle East and Africa. Vaccaro’s jail address can be found here

Read more here.

Japanese anti-nuclear activist arrested in Hiroshima

A Japanese woman was arrested in Hiroshima on August 6, the 73rd anniversary of the atomic bombing of that city. She is part of Go West, Come West, a group of evacuees from the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster and their supporters who are challenging the Japanese government’s response to the ongoing catastrophe. Members went to Hiroshima with the goal to “act together to end these ongoing disasters in the world.” The woman, whose name is unknown, was falsely accused of a crime by a passerby, and was finally released from jail on August 17.

Read more here.

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


On the morning of August 6, the 73rd anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, nuclear abolition activists blockaded the road leading to the main entrance of the Kitsap-Bangor nuclear submarine base in Washington state. Twelve were arrested in a nonviolent action that honored the life of retired Catholic Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen, who recently died at age 96. They held a large banner in the road that read, “’Trident is the Auschwitz of Puget Sound’ – Archbishop Hunthausen”. The twelve were cited for being in the roadway illegally, and released on the scene.

Read more here


In Scotland, at 6:55 a.m. on August 6, three anti-nuclear campaigners locked down and blockaded the access road leading to the South entrance to Faslane nuclear submarine base on the Clyde. Shortly after the start of the blockade, Ministry of Defence police decided to close the road and redirect traffic. A Ministry of Defence cutting team later removed the activists from the road and arrested them by 11 a.m. with charges of breaching the peace. Two were later released with a court date, while the third, Willemein H., refused bail and remains in jail.

Read more here.


On August 6, from 7 – 8 a.m., about 20 people from the faith-based peace community in D.C., Virginia and Maryland held a witness of repentance at the Pentagon to commemorate the 73rd anniversary of the U.S. nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and to call for the abolition of nuclear weapons. They gathered for a prayer service in the Pentagon’s police-designated-protest zone. Kathy Boylan left the protest area and proceeded to walk onto the sidewalk toward the entrance to the Pentagon, carrying a banner that said, “’Hiroshima and Nagasaki: A Butchery of Untold Magnitude’ – Pope Paul VI”. She was met by Pentagon police and soon handcuffed. After being processed, she was released with charges of “interfering with agency functions” and “failure to obey a lawful order”. 

Read more here


On August 6, the anniversary of the United States dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, activists in the San Francisco Bay area gathered for a March for Nuclear Abolition and Global Survival at the Lawerence Livermore Nuclear Weapons Laboratory. They  gathered at Livermore Lab to demand a stop to the creation of new and “more usable” nuclear weapons proposed by President Trump in his Nuclear Posture Review and fiscal 2019 budget. Over 86% of this year’s lab budget is exclusively for nuclear weapons development.

Following a rally with speakers including Jackie Cabasso, Marylia Kelly, Daniel Ellsberg and Joanna Macy, many of those in attendance had a die-in in the street. Afterwards, 41 people crossed onto lab property and were arrested.  

Read more here


On August 6, 30 people gathered at the main entrance to Vandenberg Air Force Base in California to commemorate the 73rd anniversary of the U.S. bombing of Hiroshima. The vigil included readings from John Hersey’s “Hiroshima”, a nuclear abolitionist statement by Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen, and the Prayer of St. Francis.  Seven vigilers held pictures of the seven Kings Bay Plowshares activists. Tensie Hernandez of the Guadalupe Catholic Worker walked onto the Base and refused to leave, talking with security police about the bombing of Hiroshima.  She was arrested, handcuffed, cited for trespas, driven off base and released. Vandenberg is the location of U.S. testing of I.C.B.M.s, one of the delivery systems for nuclear warheads. 

Read more here


On Monday morning, August 6, Fr. Jim Murphy was arrested after crossing the line at the Kenney Gate entrance to STRATCOM, the strategic nuclear command center at Offutt Air Force Base in Bellevue, Nebraska. Fifteen nuclear abolition activists and Catholic Workers were gathered on that day in remembrance of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan on August 6 and 9, 1945.   

Read more here


Members of the Des Moines Catholic Worker and other activists held a three-day vigil outside St. Ambrose Cathedral in Des Moines – starting on the August 6 anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima and going through the August 9 anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Nagasaki. With their banners, flyers and sidewalk speak-outs, they implored Bishop Richard Pates to speak out against the Iowa National Guard Drone Command Center in the city. Upon conclusion of their Cathedral vigil on August 9, a small group went to the Drone Command Center, where Frank Cordaro and Jakob Whitson attempted to enter in protest. They were arrested for trespass and released with a citation and initial court date.

Read more here


Two American nuclear disarmament activists were arrested inside Germany’s Büchel Air Base on August 6 during a nuclear weapons inspection action. Susan Crane and John LaForge clipped through exterior fencing and gained access to the inner security area of the base. For more than an hour, they searched part of the base with a radiation monitor for signs of nuclear weapons deployment. Büchel is a reported deployment site for 20 U.S. nuclear weapons. The pair were eventually observed, detained, and kept face down in the grass for an hour. After being searched, identified, and turned over to local police, they were released without conditions.

Read more here

Nuclear disarmament action at Germany’s Büchel air base

On July 15, 2018, 18 peace activists from The Netherlands, U.S., England and Germany cut through fences to reclaim German Air Force Base Büchel, which hosts about 20 U.S. nuclear bombs. After cutting through razor wire and other fences, several made it to the runway. Three of them climbed to the top of a nuclear weapons bunker, where they were undetected for an hour. All 18 were eventually found by soldiers and handed over to the civil police. They had their ID checked, and were released from the base after 4-½ hours.

This action was part of the international week during 20 weeks of protests by the German campaign ‘Buechel is everywhere! Nuclear weapons-free now!’. The campaign demands the withdrawal of nuclear weapons from Germany, the cancellation of the upcoming nuclear modernization and compliance with international treaties. 

Read more here.

Kings Bay Plowshares in court for pre-trial motions hearing     

The Kings Bay Plowshares, along with supporters and their legal team, were in federal court in Brunswick, Georgia for a pre-trial motions hearing on August 2, 2018 to argue that the charges against them be dropped. They are still waiting for a ruling. Their arguments are as follows: 1) Trident nuclear weapons are illegal under U.S. domestic law, 2) these weapons of mass destruction are illegal under U.S./international law, 3) the property protecting these illegal weapons is not deserving of legal protection, 4) the government’s choice to only prosecute those who seek to disarm nuclear weapons while turning a blind eye to presidential threats to use these illegal weapons, demonstrates this prosecution is selective and vindictive, 5) because the government charged the plowshares activists with two counts of felony damage to property and conspiracy to damage property, some of the charges must be dropped because they allow the government to criminalize the same conduct in several ways and 6) the prosecution violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which says the government can’t interfere with religious faith or practices unless the government proves there is a compelling interest in doing so and the government proves that they have chosen the least restrictive way of doing it. 

During their nuclear disarmament action this past April, the seven Plowshares activists entered the Kings Bay nuclear submarine base in Georgia. (Read more information here.) Carmen Trotta, Martha Hennessy, Patrick O’Neill and Clare Grady were later released on bond with an ankle monitor. Elizabeth McAlister, Mark Colville and Fr. Steve Kelly, SJ remain in jail. No trial date has yet been set. Jail addresses can be found here

Read more here.

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