Six arrested protesting role of Hanscom AFB in nuclear war preparations

Photo of John Schuchardt by Doug Stuart

from Massachusetts Peace Action

Six peace activists were arrested on May 27 at the gate of Hanscom Air Force Base in Lincoln, Massachusetts as they protested the role of the base in nuclear war planning.
Hanscom is the location of the Program Executive Office (PEO) for Nuclear Command, Control and Communications (NC3), which seeks to improve the communications system that would be used by U.S. forces in a nuclear war.
“The money being poured into the ‘NC3’ program are an early warning sign that the government is abandoning any pretense that the U.S. seeks arms control or nuclear disarmament and is rather preparing for nuclear war with Russia, China or both,” said Dr. Jonathan King, a board member of Massachusetts Peace Action, at the protest.  “The money being spent on nuclear annihilation could fund free college and free health care for every American,” he continued.

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Two peace activists arrested on Armed Forces Day at drone command center in Iowa

photo by Aaron Jorgensen-Briggs

Veterans for Peace and Des Moines Catholic Worker 2nd Annual Armed Forces Day “Stop the Killing” Rally and Direct Action at Iowa Air National Guard Drone Command Center

On May 19, Armed Forces Day, members of Veterans for Peace, Des Moines Catholic Worker and Iowa’s religious community held a rally and direct action at the Iowa Air National Guard’s Drone Command Center on the south side of Des Moines.

Elliott Adams, former national president of Veterans for Peace, stressed the fundamental importance of diplomacy, rather than violence, in resolving international conflicts. 

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Kings Bay Plowshares in court for arraignment, bond hearing

by Patrick O’Neill, Kings Bay Plowshares

At a May 17 bond hearing in United States District Court in Brunswick, Georgia, U.S. Attorney Karl Knoche told U.S. Magistrate Stan Baker that the government recommended that the seven Kings Bay Plowshares activists be held without bond pending their federal trial for conspiracy, destruction of property on a Naval Station, depredation of government property and trespass.  

Calling the action “serious criminal activity” carried out by defendants with “long criminal histories” who were a threat to the safety of the community, Knoche asked Baker to withhold bond.

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Ten arrested blockading entrance to Bangor Trident nuclear sub base

Photo by Glen Milner

from Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action

Ten cited in peaceful demonstration at Trident nuclear submarine base at Bangor, WA

Silverdale, WA, May 12, 2018: Forty-two activists were present at the Bangor Trident submarine base to celebrate the true meaning of Mothers Day for Peace and to protest nuclear weapons.  

Ten activists symbolically closed Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor for about 20 minutes by blocking the road to the Main Gate in a nonviolent direct action on the Saturday before Mothers Day. They held two banners across the inbound lanes. One read “The Earth is our Mother. Treat her with Respect”, the other stated “We can all live without Trident”.

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Police arrest and detain Indian experts opposing uranium mines

After being released by police, Dr. Babu Rao addresses the meeting.

Farmers near the uranium mine and mill at Tummalapalle, in India’s Andrha Pradesh state have been protesting contamination of soil and groundwater and the depletion of their irrigation wells by the operations of the nuclear industrial site. Some have had to abandon their homes to the invisible blight and have suffered health problems they blame on the widespread pollution. When independent testing documented the levels of contamination, the Uranium Corporation of India (UCIL) arranged for their own tests before scheduling, then postponing, a meeting with village leaders to dispute the findings and try to calm the growing protest in the heart of India’s richest uranium deposits.

The meeting was finally set for Monday, April 9. That day, police arrested three prominent activists as they traveled to the meeting at the invitation of the farmers.

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How do you tell the kids that Grandma is in jail for resisting nuclear weapons?

Mother-daugher Liz McAlister and Frida Berrigan

From Waging Nonviolence

by Frida Berrigan

“Our grandma is in jail,” Madeline tells a woman wrestling a shopping cart at Target.

“She went over a war fence and tried to make peace,” Seamus adds helpfully. “They arrested her, and she is in jail now.”

“Where?” the woman asks, looking from them to me in disbelief and maybe pity.

“We don’t remember,” the kids say, suddenly done with their story and ready to make passionate pleas for the colorful items in the dollar section over the woman’s shoulder.

“Georgia,” I say, but I don’t have a lot of energy to add detail to my kids’ story. They hit all the high points.

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Bond denied for Kings Bay Plowshares activists

Seven Catholic plowshares activists were arrested early Thursday morning, April 5 at the Kings Bay Naval Base in St. Mary’s, Georgia. They entered the base late in the evening of April 4, 2018 in an attempt to nonviolently transform weapons of mass destruction and inspire Americans to reject racism, militarism and economic injustice. They are being held at the Camden County Public Safety Complex in Woodbine, Georgia. 
On April 6 at 9:30 a.m. the seven had a first appearance in Camden County court before Chief Magistrate Judge Jennifer E. Lewis. They were charged with two felonies, Possession of Tools for the Commission of a Crime and Interference with Government Property, and a misdemeanor, Criminal Trespass. Despite their well-established commitment to nonviolence and integrity and a clear promise to reappear, the seven were denied bond for the felony charges. Magistrate Lewis acknowledged the seven posed no flight risk, but claimed they were a threat to the community because she believed they might return to the base. 

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Seven Kings Bay Plowshares activists arrested inside Trident nuclear submarine base

The Kings Bay Plowshares – Clare Grady, Patrick O’Neill, Liz McAlister, Steve Kelly SJ, Martha Hennessy, Mark Colville and Carmen Trotta (L-R)

(Updates at the Kings Bay Plowshares Facebook page here, and website here)

Seven Catholic plowshares activists were detained early Thursday morning, April 5 at the Kings Bay Naval Base in St. Mary’s, Georgia. 

They entered on Wednesday night, April 4.  Calling themselves Kings Bay Plowshares, they went to make real the prophet Isaiah’s command: “beat swords into plowshares”. 

The seven chose to act on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,  who devoted his life to addressing the triplets of militarism, racism and materialism. In a statement they carried with them the group quoted King, who said: “The greatest purveyor of violence in the world (today) is my own government.”

Carrying hammers and baby bottles of their own blood, the seven attempted to convert weapons of mass destruction.  

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Four women arrested at Creech protesting drone warfare

photo by Michael Kerr

Four women – Toby Blome, Eleanor Levine, Susan Witka and Maggie Huntingon – were arrested on April 3 while blocking the entrance to Creech drone base in Nevada. The funeral procession and action, protesting drone warfare, was part of the Codepink Drone Resistance Week at Creech.

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U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal Agree: Facts about Nuclear Weapons Can be Kept from Juries in Protest Cases

U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal Agree: Facts about Nuclear Weapons Can be Kept from Juries in Protest Cases

Judicial Protection Racket Keeps the Bomb Behind a Wall of Silence

by John LaForge, Nukewatch

(Originally published in the Nuclear Resister #187, March 14, 2018. This version has been corrected by the author.)

If you were thinking that protest and resistance against the Bomb will be easier in the United States now that the United Nations General Assembly, on July 7, 2017, overwhelmingly approved a treaty outlawing the possession and threatened use of nuclear weapons (voting 122 to 1), think again.

Between 1980 and 2005, seven U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal have ruled that federal district courts may (in one case must) prevent juries from hearing a defense of necessity or any expert testimony about international treaty law, etc. in nuclear weapons protest cases.[i]

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