Monthly Archive for March, 2024

Good Friday arrests at Lockheed Martin in Pennsylvania

from Ariel Gold, Fellowship of Reconciliation-USA Executive Director

Yesterday, Susan, Rev. Fahed Abuakel, I, and others finished walking 20 miles (about the length of Gaza) from the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia to Lockheed Martin. Gathered with families and children too young to yet comprehend the horrors of war, twenty-five of us crossed onto the property of the largest weapons manufacturer in the world. 

Some lay down holding a list of the over 13,000 children who have been killed since October 7, 2023. Others held a banner reading, “Lockheed Martin, you have blood on your hands.” I was the first to be taken into police custody.

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Four peace activists arrested at Pentagon Good Friday witness

Photo by Dan Moriarty

by Art Laffin

March 29, 2024
Early this Good Friday morning, beginning at 7:00 a.m. as a beautiful sunrise unfolded, about 40 peacemakers from the DMV held a nonviolent witness at the Pentagon to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus and to call for an end to the crucifixion of people today. The witness, which was coordinated by the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker, included members from the Little Flower Catholic Worker, Norfolk Catholic Worker, Pax Christi, Franciscan Action Network, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, Eighth Day Community, Holy Redeemer Church, Our Lady Queen of Peace (Arlington), and other faith communities. Our witness was yet another prayer of intercession at the center of warmaking on our planet. We carried in our hearts many from our extended communities who could not be with us physically but joined us in spirit for this witness.
As Pentagon police kept a watchful eye on us from a distance, Pentagon workers and soldiers walked by us in the designated protest area, located behind bicycle fences on the southeast side of the building. We hung on the fence a large banner with a quote from the late renowned peacemaker, Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen: “Nuclear Arms Are The Global Crucifixion Of Jesus.” Standing behind this huge banner, some people held signs while others held crosses remembering different victims and wore photos of Gaza victims.

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Three peace activists arrested at Creech Air Force Base 

Sylver Pondolfino

from Nevada Desert Experience

On the morning of March 27, during an anti-drone protest, 89-year-old retired pastor George Killingsworth of Berkeley, California was arrested for drawing a peace sign with chalk on a large boulder near the gate of Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs, Nevada. He was charged with defacing public property and released outside the base. 

Karen Pettit of Las Vegas, Nevada and Sylver Pondolfino of Staten Island, New York were also arrested while blocking traffic at the drone base. They were taken to the Clark County Jail in Las Vegas, charged with failure to disperse and later released. Prior to their arrests, a driver wearing a USAF flight suit lurched forward with her vehicle and made contact with Karen. No injuries resulted.

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Nuclear disarmament activist arrested after writing messages on the Ministry of Defence building

from Catholic Peace Action

On March 13, Ray Towey marked the Ministry of Defence in London, as a witness against the nuclear war preparations of the U.K. government.

Ray was supported by Carmel and Dan Martin.  

As usual, we started in the nearby park with prayers and readings from the Bible and “Follow Me – The Way of the Cross”, with reflections taken from the writings of Blessed Franz Jagerstatter (pub Pax Christi).  Prepared and led by Carmel, see below.

The police arrived after Ray had written several messages along with the sign of the cross under the MoD plaque:   

“Trident is Genocide”

“Choose Life not Terror”

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Two nuclear abolition activists arrested at Nevada nuclear test site

Jim Haber (photo by Felice Cohen-Joppa)

by Felice Cohen-Joppa

Members of the Pacific Life Community converged outside of Las Vegas from March 16 – 18 for their annual gathering to protest nuclear weapons. Two of them were arrested on Monday morning, March 18 during a nonviolent action at the Nevada nuclear test site.  

Before Rush Rehm and Jim Haber crossed the line onto the site, 40 people gathered for a ceremony in the desert outside of the boundary fence of the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS). They placed a plaque honoring the life of Fr. Louis Vitale, OFM under a creosote bush. Vitale was a co-founder of the Nevada Desert Experience in the early 1980s, who often protested and was arrested at the Nevada test site over the years. The activists then joined hands in a circle to take part in the Elm Dance, which “celebrates commitment to life and solidarity with activists the world over”.

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U.S. Peace Activist Given Longest Prison Term in German Campaign to Oust U.S. Nuclear Bombs

Nukewatch photo

from Nukewatch

First Ever U.S. Woman Sentenced to Prison in Decades-Long Effort

Susan Crane, of the Redwood City, California Catholic Worker, has been sentenced to 229 days in prison in Germany for daring to interfere with the U.S. nuclear weapons stationed at Germany’s Büchel Air Force base, southeast of Cologne.

Crane participated in six nonviolent go-in actions, confronting the air force system on base which routinely trains to drop the U.S. H-bombs on targets in Russia,[1] most provocatively this winter in operation “Steadfast Defender 24” — which was launched in the midst of NATO’s war in Ukraine.[2]

As a result of convictions on misdemeanor charges of trespass and damage to the chain-link fence, Crane was fined a total of twenty-five-hundred Euros. Now, for refusing to admit guilt or pay, a mid-level court on Jan. 18, 2024 ordered Crane to report June 4, 2024 to Rohrbach penitentiary, a 450-bed, co-ed in southwest Germany. Crane’s 7.6- month penalty is the longest prison sentence ever imposed in the 25-year-long series of rallies, protests, marches, peace camps, and civil resistance directed at the NATO nuclear weapons base. Crane is also the first U.S. woman to be ordered to German prison in the decades-long effort.

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Drone whistleblower Daniel Hale released from prison

Daniel Hale (Photo posted on Twitter by the Daniel Hale Support Network.)

Daniel Hale’s case was part of a continuation of the U.S. government’s war on whistleblowers under President Joe Biden

Drone whistleblower Daniel Hale was released from prison in February after spending 33 months in some of the harshest confinement conditions ever imposed on a person for disclosing classified information to the press.

Hale remains in federal custody but is living in home confinement until July.

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Five nuclear abolition activists arrested at General Dynamics/Electric Boat

Photo by Bill Ofenloch

At 6 a.m. on March 4, 20 anti-nuclear activists brought banners and 27 life-size images of Robert Oppenheimer to block the main entrance gates at the General Dynamics Electric Boat facility in New London, Connecticut, where the Columbia class nuclear submarines are being designed and constructed. Some of the banners read: “Don’t be a ‘Destroyer of Worlds’ – Stop the Columbia Sub”. The aim of the demonstrators was to bring attention to a new nuclear arms race which is now heating up between the nuclear superpowers in violation of international arms control treaties. They also were protesting the fact that an Ohio class Trident submarine, built at Electric Boat, has been deployed in the Mediterranean Sea to enforce Israel’s genocide in Gaza.

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