Monthly Archive for September, 2020

Nuclear Resister E-bulletin Spring/Summer 2020


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Nuclear Resister #195

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A tribute to a jailhouse monk

3/14/18 – Fr. Steve Kelly, S.J. at the Nevada nuclear test site

from Radical Discipleship

by Dean Hammer

One of the amazing gifts of the Holy Spirit amongst believers is that we are afforded the capacity to be present to fellow travelers from a distance. Each day since the Kings Bay Plowshares (KBP) disarmament action (April 4, 2018), Steve Kelly and the other six of the KBP (Clare Grady, Patrick O’Neill, Elizabeth McAlister, Martha Hennessy, Mark Colville, and Carmen Trotta) gift me with their witness against omnicide on behalf of human survival. Liz McAlister has been sentenced and the others await sentencing, currently scheduled for mid-October. This reflection is meant as a tribute to the extraordinary example of Steve Kelly and the KBP community.

Steve Kelly has done ten years in prison and time underground for his witness against nuclear weapons. He will not be released when the KBP charges are “resolved.” Since the KBP witness, he has been remanded on a retainer from the West Coast judicial system. Steve will be transported there to address a warrant for a previous protest action at the Pacific Fleet Trident base. He will continue to dedicate his life to ridding the world of nuclear weapons. With his fellow jail mates, Steve is identified by his inmate number. As Kathy Kelly eloquently says, “Those eight numbers distinguish him.”

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A 40th anniversary Plowshares Eight reflection from John Schuchardt

John Schuchardt

My Letter of Love and Gratitude

by John Schuchardt

Dear Jack, dear Felice….

Your Chronicle of Hope has been a lifeline of Spirit for all the years since your first mimeographed edition, mailed at personal expense, to announce the Good News of September 9, 1980, “good news to the poor, liberty to the captives, freedom for the oppressed, Jubilee justice this day and every day into eternity.”

You have nourished and been our Book of Acts for our beloved community of conscience which has over and again brought light from “the brilliant light burning in the human heart” into the darkest of places.

Dear readers/friends of 40 years, you who have written with your lives the Nuclear Resister, our astonishing Chronicle of Hope, you who have enfleshed hope and incarnated the Word, I am sending you this, my letter of love and gratitude, to each of you.

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A 40th anniversary Plowshares Eight reflection from Molly Rush

Molly Rush

We’re vulnerable, but so are the warheads

by Molly Rush

I have admired Dan and Phil Berrigan since they burned draft records. I did visit Jonah House and met Liz McAlister and their young children.

I learned about a planned protest at General Electric (G.E.) from John Schuchardt and I expressed interest, so he drove me to the retreat to pray and plan for a nonviolent action to protest G.E.’s production of Mark 12A nuclear warheads.

It was a serious decision because my two youngest sons of our six children were just 12 and 15. But it was the height of the Cold War and we lived under the very real threat of nuclear war. I was very worried if they’d live to grow up.

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A 40th anniversary Plowshares Eight reflection from Dean Hammer

Dean Hammer

Filled with Gratitude for the Plowshares Conspiracy of Hope

by Dean Hammer

“It will take a long time before we really understand what we did at GE King of Prussia.” Phil Berrigan shared this reflection with me during a jail yard walk shortly after the Plowshares 8 action. This is one of the many gems from this treasured teacher and friend. When we did the Plowshares 8 action, we had no idea that over a hundred plowshares actions in the U.S., Europe, and Australia would follow ours. Indeed, this is amazing grace.

I share the following reflections with deep thanks for Phil’s leadership with Liz McAlister, the Atlantic Life Community, and the global network that evolved the past forty years. This resistance community provided immeasurable passion and skill to create, sustain, and expand the Plowshares movement. The gracious, wise, and stalwart spirits of Daniel Berrigan, Anne Montgomery, and Elmer Maas continue to inspire us in their heavenly witness — I feel buoyed by their vital presence in my life. The persistent lived commitment to peace and justice by Molly Rush, John Schuchardt, and Carl Kabat is a great blessing, bearing light in dark times.

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After 4 decades of Plowshares actions, it’s nuclear warfare that should be on trial — not activists

(l-r) Fr. Carl Kabat, Elmer Maas, Philip Berrigan, Molly Rush, Fr. Daniel Berrigan, Sr. Anne Montgomery, John Schuchardt, Dean Hammer

from Waging Nonviolence

by Frida Berrigan
Forty years ago, the Plowshares Eight sparked a movement of nuclear disarmers that continues to take responsibility for weapons of mass destruction. 

“Nuclear warfare is not on trial here, you are!” said Judge Samuel Salus, in exasperation.

Before him were eight activists, including two priests and a nun. As Judge Salus tried to preside over the government’s prosecution of them for their trespass onto — and destruction of — private property, the eight were trying to put nuclear warfare, nuclear weapons, nuclear policy and U.S. exceptionalism on trial.

That was 40 years ago this week — ancient history by some measures. And no one reading this will be surprised to find that the eight were found guilty and the human family is still threatened by almost 15,000 nuclear warheads. So, four decades later, why isn’t nuclear warfare on trial?

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Nuclear Resister coordinators among 2020 Nuclear Free Future Award recipients

Jack & Felice blocking the road leading into the Nevada nuclear test site. Photo by Mike Wisniewski

We are pleased to announce that we have received the 2020 Nuclear Free Future Award, in the Education category! Congratulations to the other 2020 winners: Canadian Ray Acheson, director of Reaching Critical Will (in the Solution category); journalist Fedor Maryasov and lawyer Andrey Talevlin from Russia (in the Resistance category); and Native American activist and New Mexico Democrat, U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland (an honorary award for Special Recognition).

It is an honor to receive this recognition as we near the 40th anniversary of the Nuclear Resister. We share this Nuclear Free Future Award with the thousands of activists over the years who have engaged in direct action and civil disobedience – many of them spending time in prison – to say a loud and clear NO to nuclear weapons, nuclear power, uranium mining and nuclear testing.

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British military refuser arrested 

Lance Corporal Ahmed Al-Babati stands vigil in London, August 24, 2020

An active duty British soldier in uniform was arrested outside the Ministry of Defence in London while engaged in a solo public protest. Yemeni-born Lance Corporal Ahmed Al-Babati recorded himself making this statement for social media that he posted on the morning of August 24:

Yemen is facing the worst humanitarian crisis… due to years of war. This proxy war is led by Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia are responsible for multiple airstrikes, killing innocents, targeting hospitals and breaking international law. Saudi Arabia are also responsible for blocking aid from going into the country.
This has left 80% of the population in need of emergency aid. That’s 24 million people in need of emergency aid. Yet our government continues to arm and support Saudi Arabia. We tried to make our voices heard by protesting in London, Manchester, Liverpool and many other cities. We’ve even tried to email our MPs, but clearly our words mean nothing to Boris Johnson.

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