Religious Freedom Restoration Act motions hearings for Kings Bay Plowshares

Carmen Trotta, Patrick O’Neill, Clare Grady, Martha Hennessy and Mark Colville, five of the seven Kings Bay Plowshares (Liz McAlister and Steve Kelly were taken to the courtroom from jail)

from the Kings Bay Plowshares Support Group

The Kings Bay Plowshares, seven Catholic anti-nuclear weapons activists, with their lawyers and over 30 supporters, spent nearly 9 1/2 hours in federal court on November 7 in Brunswick, Georgia. This was the first day of a motions hearing to argue that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) applies to their case. They contend that the three felony and one misdemeanor charges the seven face for their entry onto and actions within the Kings Bay Trident nuclear submarine base on April 4 pose an excessive burden on their religious practice. They ask that the charges be dismissed or reduced. After 7 p.m., with two expert witnesses for the defense and one for the prosecution and only two defendants having been able to testify, Judge Benjamin Cheesbro adjourned the hearing to a future date.

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Come to Nevada – Walk for peace, resist nuclear weapons, stand for indigenous people’s rights and fill the jails!

Photo by Seamus Knight

An Invitation from the Nevada Desert Experience, April 13-19, 2019

by Brian Terrell

On Indigenous People’s Day, formerly known as Columbus Day, October 8, 2018, Nye County, Nevada, prosecutors and Sheriff’s deputies ended a three decades old policy concerning arrests of protesters at the Nevada National Security Site, NNSS, formerly known as the Nevada Test Site, 60 miles from Las Vegas.

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Four arrests during road blockade into Beale drone base

4 Arrested on October 30 While Blocking Military Drone Base; 
Traffic Blocked at Beale Air Force Base Entrance for Nearly an Hour

BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, near Wheatland, California – Four demonstrators were arrested early in the morning of Tuesday, October 30 during a protest in opposition of the ongoing 17-year U.S. bombing campaign in Afghanistan and U.S. occupation of one of the poorest countries in the world. 

For nearly an hour, traffic was backed up for a half mile or more down two merging roads as protesters – arriving in the dark of early morning – blocked the main entrance road into Beale Air Force Base, near Wheatland, California. 

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After three decades, trespass prosecutions resume at Nevada nuclear test site

Nevada Desert Experience photo

by Jack Cohen-Joppa, the Nuclear Resister

With the United States ready to burst from the starting gate in a new nuclear arms race, a recent change in policy aims to rein in any renewed protest at the U.S. nuclear weapons test site in Nevada.

On October 8, Marc Page-Collogne was arrested with two others when they stepped across the line at the Mercury gate. He was jailed for a few hours and released pending trial for trespass on December 3.

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Seven peace activists arrested at Creech drone base on October 4

photo by Ann Wright

Report Back:  

4th Annual SHUT DOWN CREECH:  

“STOP the Murder, STOP the War Crimes”

September 30 – October 6, 2018 

by Toby Blomé

Seven protesters arrested while blockading Creech Assassin Drone Base…Just a week later over 75 Somali militants were killed in a single U.S. drone attack!

On Thursday, October 4, as part of this fall’s CODEPINK weeklong anti-drone protest at Creech Assassin Drone Base, seven protesters and a couple of supporters bravely stepped across the base entrance road to temporarily “halt” the cruel and illegal U.S. Air Force’s “remote killing machine” located in the beautiful Nevada desert. While holding large banners across the roadway, our voices repeatedly called out as loudly as we could muster:  “STOP the murder, STOP the War Crimes……The People Demand Peace!   

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Burghfield bomb factory blockaded by anti-Trident protesters

Trident Ploughshares photo

From Trident Ploughshares

Early on the morning of October 24, a group of Trident Ploughshares activists from across the U.K. converged on Burghfield Atomic Weapons Establishment near Burghfield. They blocked approach roads, preventing workers from entering.

Hidden in the leafy lanes of Berkshire, Burghfield A.W.E. and it’s partner facility Aldermaston are where the U.K.’’s nuclear warheads are planned and produced before being loaded onto lorries for trucking up public roads to the Trident submarine fleet in Scotland. The Mearings, a private road with access to the Main gate of AWE Burghfield, was blocked at both ends by a car with two people locked to it. The construction gate has a line of five people locked across it with their arms in “lock-on” tubes.

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Nuclear dump opponent jailed in France

The Owls of Bure on the march, June, 2018

In rural northeast France, the 20-year resistance to a planned underground nuclear waste dump still flourishes, despite ongoing police and judicial intimidation. Government largess and a cultivated aura of technical and scientific respectability have coopted local governments, but the opposition has long tilled deep grassroots support.

Authorities have lately sought with no success to divide the opposition by targeting individuals accused of damaging the property of ANDRA, the nuclear waste authority. More were arrested and jailed this summer.

Two summers ago, ANDRA erected unpermitted concrete walls in the communal Lejuc woods, blocking access to the site where they plan to drill ventilation tunnels. The walls were pushed over in an act of collective public sabotage by hundreds of opponents in August, 2016. Fast-forward through two years of escalating struggle to February 22, 2018, when the “Owls” – resisters who had since lived in and among the trees of Lejuc – were forcefully evicted. Police patrols, surveillance and searches of area inhabitants intensified through the spring.

Undeterred, about 3,000 opponents from across France joined a day-long teach-in, march and rally on June 16 in the town of Bar-de-Luc.

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Fukushima evacuees’ friend arrested, jailed at Hiroshima memorial

Speaker at the Go West Come West memorial, Hiroshima, August 6, 2018

UPDATE: August 17 – the jailed activist was released from custody today.

Among the many commemorative events all around the Peace Park in Hiroshima, Japan on August 6 was an evening memorial service for victims of both the Bomb and nuclear power by Go West, Come West. It is a civic association of evacuees from the March, 2011 Fukushima disaster and their supporters who are challenging the Japanese government’s response to the ongoing catastrophe affecting all of eastern Japan as inadequate and cruel.

This is their story about how police then arrested one of their members on trumped-up charges. [The headline of this post was corrected 8/15/18 to reflect that the jailed activist is a friend of Fukushima evacuees, and not herself an evacuee. The gender of the arrested person was also corrected from the error in the machine translation of this story.]

Emergency Statement on the Oppression at the Hands of the Local Police against the Fukushima Nuclear Evacuees’ August 6 Hiroshima Action.

Hiroshima Police Unlawfully Arrested a Citizen to Silence Evacuees Appealing about Ongoing Fukushima Disaster.

A Serious Threat to Human Right and Free Speech.

We demand that the Hiroshima police immediately release the arrested friend of the nuclear evacuees who participated in August 6 Hiroshima actions!

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Plowshares activist Turi Vaccaro jailed in Sicily

Turi Vaccaro hangs his Swords into Plows banner inside the MUOS base in Sicily, December 2, 2014. Photo by Fabio d’Alessandro

Fugitive Italian anti-war activist Turi Vaccaro has been arrested and imprisoned in Gela, Sicily, where he will serve an 11-month, 27-day sentence.

Acting on a warrant issued in November, 2017, DIGOS, the Italian special police, determined that the well-known practitioner of nonviolent direct action would attend this summer’s annual NO MUOS protest camp near Niscemi. MUOS is the acronym of a Pentagon satellite relay station critical to U.S. war making in the Middle East and Africa. The massive dish antennas and transmission towers are planted on land cleared from a beloved cork-oak forest preserve, and their ultra high frequency radiation bathes neighboring residents.

Police observed Vaccaro among hundreds of others on the big August 4 march, where some demonstrators tried to bring down a section of chain-link and barbed wire fence only to be rebuffed by police firing tear gas.

The next day, as protesters relaxed and broke their camp, police decided to execute the warrant for Vaccaro’s arrest and imprisonment on a criminal damage conviction from 2015. When Vaccaro again approached the fence, DIGOS agents shouted at him to stop. Police gave chase on foot as the notoriously barefoot activist scampered away down the rural lane. About fifty activists quickly mobilized a cordon to slow the police pursuit, and Vaccaro disappeared into the countryside. Hours later, police reported his arrest as he hid in thick vegetation less than a mile away.

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Arrests at nuclear sites mark 73rd anniversary of atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

photo by Leonard Eiger, Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action

from the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action

Activists honor Catholic archbishop, who was a prophetic voice for peace, on anniversary of atomic bombing

by Leonard Eiger

Silverdale, Washington: Activists blockaded the West Coast nuclear submarine base that would likely carry out a nuclear strike against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) should President Donald Trump give the order.

Activists with Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action held a vigil at the Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor Main Gate beginning on the evening of August 5th and continuing into the morning of August 6th, the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Approximately sixty activists were present at the morning vigil, and twelve participated in a nonviolent direct action in which participants blockaded the base at the peak of the morning shift change by carrying a banner onto the roadway of the main entrance gate.

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