Peace campers in Scotland arrested, one at Trident nuclear warhead loading jetty

Faslane Peace Camp photo

from Faslane Peace Camp

Two Faslane peace campers were arrested on January 28, one of them just a few yards from the Trident warhead loading jetty at Coulport on Loch Long, Scotland. 

Sylvia Boyes and Willemien Hoogendoorn hung banners at the pedestrian gate, and a hole (first cut on October 8) was re-opened. After about an hour, Sylvia went through the hole with a banner to hang directly in front of the warhead loading bay. The banner read “TRIDENT – An atrocity waiting to happen”. 

Despite openly carrying out these actions, it took at least 1.5 hours for the Ministry of Defence police to arrive. Willemien was arrested at the pedestrian gate, and Sylvia was arrested immediately in front of the loading bay. 

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On Martin Luther King Day, in support of the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, five activists arrested at Lockheed Martin

Brandywine Peace Community photo

by Robert M. Smith, Brandywine Peace Community

Another Martin Luther King Day has passed. 
A new decade, January 20, 2020.  It was cold, real cold, with a wind that always seems to accompany the Martin Luther King Day peace demonstrations at Lockheed Martin from 1995 til now (and for 17 years before that at General Electric).  
Our large banners attached to a-frames wouldn’t hold. We had to adapt. Our heavy wooden sign reading “We’re making a killing! and painted with the Lockheed Martin logo in the background, was grounded to an iron light post at the main entrance to the King of Prussia, Pennsylvania corporate complex of the world’s #1 war profiteer.  We shared a Statement of Commitment, and Brandywine troubadour singer-songwriter, Tom Mullian, did some verses from his song, I may not get there with you.   
As our bell of peace tolled loudly, crime scene tape was stretched across the driveway as five people attempted to deliver poster size copies of our statement to Lockheed Martin personnel.  

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Eight arrests at Pentagon mark Massacre of the Holy Innocents

by Art Laffin
From December 27-28, 2019, about 40 members from the Atlantic and Southern Life communities, and other peacemaking friends, gathered for a retreat at St. Stephen and the Incarnation Church in Washington, D.C., and a nonviolent witness at the Pentagon to commemorate the Massacre  of the Holy Innocents – past and present. Due to the fact that the actual feast of the Holy Innocents Martyrs was on Saturday, December 28, we held our nonviolent witness at the Pentagon on December 27, late afternoon, so we could be present to more Pentagon workers.
The retreat began at 1 p.m. on December 27 with introductions and a reading of Matthew’s account of the massacre of the innocents. (Mt. 2:1-18) This was followed by a rich community sharing focusing on these questions: Why do you think Herod saw Jesus as such a threat that he wanted him killed? What are the parallels for today? How do you identify with Rachel’s response to the massacre of the innocents? What are the parallels today? 

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The Pope and Catholic Radicals Come Together Against Nuclear Weapons

Daily Comment

“When something difficult is attempted,” Daniel Berrigan said, “it is like trying to break a rock with an egg.” Berrigan, a Jesuit priest and social radical, who died in 2016, at the age of ninety-four, spent the last third of his life doing something difficult: trying, through protest, civil disobedience, and a steady stream of books and articles, to persuade the nuclear powers to abolish their arsenals. For his efforts, he was frequently called an out-of-touch extremist who changed nothing. But now, when the jousting of Donald Trump and other would-be political strongmen on the world stage are making the nuclear threat appear particularly urgent, there are signs that the Catholic Church has come around to the position that Catholic activists such as Berrigan have resolutely maintained for the past four decades.

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Seven activists arrested at Volk Field mourning children killed by drones

photo by Bob Block

by Joy First 

Camp Douglas, WI – Seven peace activists walked onto the base at Volk Field on November 12, wearing black veils, carrying limp dolls and posters of children killed by drones, and reading a statement.  They were arrested by Juneau County officers, handcuffed and taken to the station in Mauston, where they were cited for trespassing and released.

The action was organized by the Wisconsin Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars.  This group of dedicated activists have been vigiling monthly at the gates of Volk Field since 2011. This is the sixth action leading to arrests at the base.

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A History of the Plowshares Movement – a talk by Art Laffin, October 22, 2019

Art Laffin speaking on the history of the Plowshares movement in Brunswick, Georgia

Plowshares activist and Catholic Worker Art Laffin is the editor (with the late Sr. Anne Montgomery) of two editions of Swords into Plowshares – Nonviolent Direct Action for Disarmament (Harper & Row, 1987 and Fortkamp, 1996). He delivered the following historical review to about 100 supporters of the Kings Bay Plowshares gathered in Brunswick, Georgia for their trial, October 21-24. His talk was also recorded on video

Plowshares History Talk 

by Art Laffin
Delivered October 22, 2019 at St. Athanasius Episcopal Church, Brunswick, GA.
This version includes some slight revisions.

I am honored to be invited to speak tonight and to share this presentation with Rosalie Riegle.

I would like to begin by thanking God for the miracle of this day, for the miracle of life and for the Kings Bay Plowshares7, for Martha, Liz, Clare, Steve, Patrick, Mark, Carmen and their families and communities, and for their amazing legal and support teams. Let’s give them all a standing ovation!!!

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Kings Bay Plowshares Found Guilty on All Charges – A summary of the trial

The Kings Bay Plowshares receive a blessing at the Festival of Hope on the eve of their trial

A JURY FOUND THEM GUILTY, BUT TRIDENT IS THE CRIME.

Late in the afternoon of October 24, the seven members of the Kings Bay Plowshares – Martha Hennessy, Clare Grady, Elizabeth McAlister, Patrick O’Neill, Carmen Trotta, Mark Colville and Fr. Steve Kelly – were convicted by a jury in federal court in Brunswick, Georgia. The 12 person jury deliberated for less than two hours before finding the nuclear disarmament activists guilty of conspiracy, destruction of property on a Naval Station, depredation of government property and trespass. Defendants and supporters all left the courthouse singing “Rejoice in the Lord always”…. except for Fr. Steve Kelly, SJ, who was returned to the Glynn County Detention Center, where he has spent the last 18 months. Sentencing will be scheduled after pre-sentencing reports are completed.

Ralph Hutchison prepared the following summary of the four-day trial from his contemporaneous notes (followed by links to articles about the trial, please scroll to the bottom of the page).

The Trial of the Kings Bay Plowshares
by Ralph Hutchison

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Ten arrests at Creech drone base demonstration

photo by Chris Knudson

On the morning of October 2, ten demonstrators blockaded the South Gate entrance to the Creech Air Force Base Drone Center with a large banner that read, “Stop Droning Afghanistan – 18 years: Enough!” The anti-military drone activists from across the U.S., including military veterans, were arrested by Las Vegas police and transported to a Las Vegas jail for processing. Toby Blomé, Michael Kerr, Susan Witka, Maggie Huntington, Don Kimball, George Killingsworth, Don Cunning, Denny Riley, Eleanor Levine and Norie Clarke vowed to “halt the killing business as usual” by the Trump administration.

“ENOUGH!” said the activists, who used street theatre and imagery to link the shared barbarism of U.S. drone killings and the historical oppression and reckless killing of black and native people in our country.

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From two Dominican sisters: a master class in why the bomb is bad

from Global Sisters Report, a project of National Catholic Reporter

Longtime activists teach peace

Update: Additional states joined as signatories and/or ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons Sept. 25 and 26, bringing the totals to 79 signatories and 32 ratifications. Check here for the latest numbers. Sept. 26 is the United Nations’ International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.

It’s Sunday, Oct. 6, 2002, and Dominican Sisters Ardeth Platte, Carol Gilbert and Jackie Hudson are walking a field in Weld County, Colorado. Scattered throughout are underground silos that harbor the LGM-30G Minuteman III, an intercontinental ballistic missile with a nuclear warhead that can obliterate most buildings and human beings inside a 4-mile-wide circle. More than 400 Minuteman III missiles lie buried in the farmlands of the Midwest, 49 within this field.

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Six activists arrested at Hancock Field during protest of U.S. drone attack in Afghanistan

photo by John Amidon

from Upstate Drone Action

30 Pine Nut farmers in Afghanistan killed by a U.S. Drone Strike – Was Hancock Drone Base Responsible?
Syracuse, NY – At approximately 10:30 a.m. on September 24, 2019, six members of Upstate Drone Action (UDA) were arrested while expressing deep anguish and grief over the recent U.S. drone attack in Afghanistan responsible for killing at least 30 pine nut workers, and for the numerous other civilians slaughtered by the U.S. government. Holding a banner reading “Drones Fly, Children Die – Our Hearts Are Breaking”, the six activists requested that the Sheriff’s department enforce the law and stop the killings by the drone assassination program conducted at Hancock Field and other Air Force bases across the U.S. They were arrested while standing in the road at the main gate entrance of Hancock Field in Syracuse, New York.

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