Nuclear Resister E-bulletin February/March 2020

February/March 2020

Greetings at this time of physical distancing and global pandemic. During these uncertain days, our thoughts are particularly with all of the people who are more vulnerable, including those in care homes, jails and prisons, and those without a home. Friends, wherever you are, we hope you are staying well and able to enjoy the beauty of the spring flowers.

Felice and Jack










Activists detained after praying for peace inside Jeju Island naval base  

Two Gangjeong Village peace activists were detained after being summoned to court on March 30. On March 7, after the barbed wire fence was cut, Dr. Song Kang-ho and Ryu Bok-hee entered the naval base on Jeju Island, South Korea and walked to the remaining part of Gureombi Rock to pray for peace. Warrants were later issued for their arrest. Ryu Bok-hee’s warrant was dismissed soon after the court hearing and she was released from detention. Dr. Song Kang-ho’s arrest warrant has not been dismissed and he is still detained at the Jeju Dongbu Police Station. His lawyer is preparing a challenge of the warrant. Gureombi Rock – freshwater rock wetlands that harbored rare sea life and provided drinking water for many island inhabitants, long regarded by locals as sacred – was blasted in 2012 to prepare the site for construction of the naval base. 

Read more here.

Take action to support Rafil Dhafir    

Dr. Rafil Dhafir has been in prison for more than 17 years, is 71 years old and has multiple serious health problems. Attorney General William Barr recently sent a memo to the Director of The Bureau of Prisons titled “Prioritization of Home Confinement As Appropriate in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic”, particularly focusing on at risk inmates. The Iraqi-American oncologist was charged in 2003 with violating the economic sanctions against Iraq and money laundering. He was repeatedly denied bail, slandered by public officials as a funder of terrorists, convicted and sentenced to 22 years in prison. He has now served most of his sentence and is scheduled to be released on November 24, 2021. Please ask the warden at Federal Correctional Institution Allenwood Low in Pennsylvania to free Rafil Dhafir now. Click here for more information about his case and instructions re: writing to the warden.

Read more here.

COVID-19 crisis underscores need to release Leonard Peltier   

Amnesty International, an independent human rights organization, has long called for clemency and release for Native American activist Leonard Peltier, due to fair trial concerns, the exhaustion of his appeals and his having served more than 40 years in prison, some of which was spent in solitary confinement, for a crime he has always claimed he did not commit. The threat of COVID-19 underscores the urgency of this call, as Peltier is 75 years old and has serious health concerns. He suffers from diabetes, among a myriad of other health issues, and in January 2016 was diagnosed with an abdominal aortic aneurysm, which can be fatal if it ruptures. Amnesty International is asking people to call the White House comment line at (202) 456–6213 and urge President Trump to grant clemency to Leonard Peltier and release him. You can also email or write a letter. The contact info can be found at You can also contact the Federal Bureau of Prisons and urge them to transfer Leonard Peltier to a facility closer to his family:  

Read more here.

Thirteen arrested blockading Bangor Trident nuclear sub base 

Thirteen nuclear abolitionists blocked traffic leading into Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, Washington on March 2, as part of a public protest of the United States’ Trident nuclear-missile launching submarines based there. Washington state police arrested nine people for obstructing traffic after they carried banners that stretched across the roadway just outside the base main gate. Their banners read “Trident Threatens All Life on Earth” and “Abolish Nuclear Weapons”. While they stood in the road, one of the blockaders read aloud from the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. (Adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in July 2017, the Treaty will enter into force when ratified by 50 nations. Thirty-six nations have ratified to date.) Shortly thereafter, four people carrying signs crossed one at a time onto base property. Before stepping over a blue line painted on the pavement, each made a statement to the assembled activists, police and military personnel. Each in turn was arrested by Navy security and taken into custody. They were issued trespass citations and released shortly thereafter, pending arraignment in U.S. District Court in Tacoma. The nine arrested by state police had also been quickly cited and released.    

Read more here.

Judge orders Chelsea Manning’s release

On March 12, U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga ordered the immediate release from jail of whistleblower Chelsea Manning, who had been imprisoned since last March for refusing to cooperate with a grand jury investigation into WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange. This occurred the day after Manning attempted suicide and was taken to a hospital. Judge Trenga stated, “The court finds that Ms. Manning’s appearance before the grand jury is no longer needed, in light of which her detention no longer serves any coercive purpose.” Judge Trenga refused to dismiss the $256,000 in fines that had built up, at the rate of $1000 for each day that Manning refused to testify. It took just two days for supporters to raise that money.

While serving as an Army intelligence analyst in 2009, Manning was responsible for the largest leak of military and diplomatic documents in U.S. history, and received a 35-year sentence. Just before leaving office in January 2017, President Obama commuted most of her sentence.    

Read more here.

Kings Bay Plowshares still await sentencing 

In February, the seven members of the Kings Bay Plowshares were waiting for a sentencing date, after their conviction in October on four charges stemming from their nuclear disarmament action at the Kings Bay Trident nuclear submarine base in Georgia. But with the implementation of social distancing measures put in place to limit the spread of COVID19, federal courts around the country recently began postponing and delaying court hearings. A sentencing for the plowshares activists will not occur before May or June at the earliest.

Fr. Steve Kelly will remain in jail until sentencing, while the others remain out on bond, subject to travel restrictions and curfews. April 5 will mark two years since the seven nuclear abolitionists were arrested inside the Trident base, and since Fr. Kelly has been in jail. The time he is spending in jail will count towards his eventual prison sentence.   

Read more here.

Please support imprisoned anti-nuclear and anti-war activists – The Nuclear Resister needs YOU!

The Nuclear Resister is a bare bones operation that depends on grassroots support to chronicle anti-nuclear and anti-war resistance, and support the women and men in prison for their acts of conscience. We need your help to continue this work – please read more here!! Or go directly here to make a secure online donation and find information about how to send a check.  Each and every donation, large or small, will be gratefully received – thank you!