Please donate to help the Nuclear Resister continue it’s work in 2021!

Jack & Felice Cohen-Joppa

December 2020

Dear friends,

As John Lennon sings in his song Beautiful Boy: “Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.” We think that pretty well sums up a lot of 2020! It certainly describes the whirlwind of recent months for us…

The new issue of the Nuclear Resister newsletter (12 pages instead of 8) should arrive in your mail during the first week of the new year — later than we hoped for. This fall our long-time newsletter printer closed up shop, another business casualty of the COVID pandemic. We finally found a new printer in Phoenix, but the holiday-schedule press time was booked until the very end of the year.

We write now with deep gratitude for the support that has kept the important work of the Nuclear Resister going for 40 years. Thank you! We have been concerned about the Nuclear Resister’s credit union account during the difficult times we all find ourselves in, and know that it might be a challenging time for some people to make donations. But we need to ask you as 2020 draws to a close, if you are able, to make a contribution now to help ensure that the work of the Nuclear Resister continues through 2021.

It certainly is no time to stop! Martha Hennessy and Carmen Trotta of the Kings Bay Plowshares began their 10 and 14 month prison sentences on December 14. In coming months, Patrick O’Neill and Clare Grady will also report to prison, and Mark Colville will be sentenced. On December 15, Fr. Steve Kelly was moved from the Glynn County jail in Brunswick, Georgia after two and a half years there. (More information and prison addresses are at and www.

From the time of his arrest in April 2018, we’ve been Steve’s jail support people. Along with friends Tensie and Dennis, we stayed in very close contact with Steve after he was sentenced in October to 33 months in prison, knowing he’d be moved into the federal system at any time. After not receiving an expected call from Steve last week, we phoned the jail in Brunswick. They confirmed that he was no longer there. In shackles and handcuffs, in the custody of federal marshals, he began his Bureau of Prisons travel to Tacoma, Washington to face an outstanding warrant and possibly more prison time. May his journey be safe and swift!

Hands down, the most exciting event of 2020 occurred on October 25, when the threshold 50th nation ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. That started the 90-day count down until January 22, the historic day that the treaty enters into force and nuclear weapons are unequivocally illegal under international law!

In the September issue of the Nuclear Resister, we raised the critical question that was to have been addressed at the Stop the New Nuclear Arms Race conference planned last May in Tennessee that had to be cancelled: What should we do when the Treaty enters into force?

With the final few ratifications in sight, we began discussing the question with Sr. Ardeth Platte and Sr. Carol Gilbert. Sadly, our friend Ardeth passed away peacefully on September 30, on the morning that Malaysia became the 46th country to ratify the Treaty. Just weeks later, Honduras became the 50th country to ratify the Treaty — a wonderful, celebratory day!

We soon began planning in earnest with Ralph, Bonnie, Kelly and John at the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance and Nukewatch, who we’d worked with on the cancelled conference… and it’s been full tilt ever since! We have invited groups and individuals around the country to plan activities on January 22, the day the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) calls “the beginning of the end of nuclear weapons.” We’ve been busy with Zoom planning meetings, creating and compiling resources to share, and much more. Please visit the ICAN, OREPA, Nukewatch and Nuclear Resister websites for more information. There will also be information in the upcoming newsletter that you will receive shortly! There are things you can do on January 22 at your nearby nuclear weapons related site, federal building, street corner and even from home on social media! Feel free to email us at for more information about how you can get involved.

Other good news in 2020: We were honored to receive the 2020 Nuclear Free Future Award in the Education category! We share out 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.

We hope you will help celebrate this recognition of the Nuclear Resister by making a donation, if you are able. The honor came with an award of €5,000, which is particularly helpful this year! It’s a lot to hope for, but if we could match or surpass that amount now — in donations large and small from YOU, the Nuclear Resister’s supporters — it will go a long way towards guaranteeing that we begin 2021 on solid footing.

A final note of gratitude is well worth sharing. Last week, Jack answered the phone when the caller ID said “FEDERAL PRISON”. It was a prisoner he’s been corresponding with who, like Jack, has celiac disease and wasn’t getting the required gluten-free meals, greatly jeopardizing his health. Jack had made phone calls and written letters on his behalf, and helped him document the food he was served during months of lockdown. Recently the man was placed in solitary confinement after demanding his meal trays not be contaminated by, for example, slices of wheat bread thrown on top. He was calling to share that he was now out of solitary, and had just learned that his appeal of a criminal conviction was successful. Just days later, after 20 years in prison, he was released!

When we lit the Hanukkah candles that night, we thought of him, and of Martha and Carmen (who had just spent their first night in prison), and Steve (about to spend his first night in a new jail in two and a half years).

As we continue to work for a peaceful, just and nuclear-free world, we’re often not able to know if our efforts make a difference. But still, together, with hope, faith, determination and love, we forge ahead! Friends, we are glad to be on this journey with you… let us
all continue to bring light into the darkness.

We hope you are staying very well, and wish you a happy and healthy Hanukkah, Solstice, Christmas and New Year.


Felice and Jack Cohen-Joppa

Coordinators, the Nuclear Resister

P.S. Checks can be made payable to the Nuclear Resister. Contributions of $50 or more may be tax- deductible if made payable to the Progressive Foundation, with “Nuclear Resister” written on the memo line. Monthly donations are greatly appreciated and can be sent by check or set up via PayPal at the Donate link at