Nuclear disarmament activists arrested at the Pentagon, Lockheed Martin, Bangor Trident Base, Kansas City nuclear weapons plant, Livermore Lab and Vandenberg AFB, marking 70th anniversary of atomic bombings of Hiroshima & Nagasaki


from Leonard Eiger

Twelve arrests at Trident nuclear submarine base marking the 70th Anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings

Fourteen peace activists risked arrest at a West Coast nuclear weapons base early Monday morning, August 10, in a nonviolent protest against the continued deployment and modernization of the Trident nuclear weapons system.

The Trident submarine base at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, just 20 miles from Seattle, Washington, contains the largest concentration of operational nuclear weapons in the U.S. arsenal. Each of the 8 Trident submarines at Bangor carries as many as 24 Trident II (D-5) missiles, each loaded with up to 8 independently targetable thermonuclear warheads. Each warhead has an explosive yield up to 32 times the yield of the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima.

The activists were among a larger group with Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent action holding a peaceful protest at the Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor Trigger Avenue entrance gate as employees entered the base for the Monday morning shift. The vigil commemorated the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Seven protestors entered the roadway and blocked traffic entering the base. The banners read, “We can all live without Trident” and “Abolish Nuclear Weapons.” The two incoming traffic lanes were blocked for approximately 48 minutes until Kitsap Sheriff’s Deputies and Washington State Patrol officers arrived and removed the protestors from the roadway. Meanwhile, Navy personnel diverted incoming traffic around the banners via the outbound lanes.

Cited for being in the roadway illegally were Mack Johnson, Silverdale, WA: Doug Milholland, Port Townsend, WA; Brenda McMillan, Port Townsend, WA; and Michael Siptroth, Belfair, WA.

Eight others walked onto the base, blocking the roadway, and staged a die-in. While three activists dropped down on the roadway, the others poured ashes around them representing the ashes of those incinerated in the atomic bombings. Naval security personnel arrested them, cited them for trespassing, and released them a short time later.

Two of those who entered the base attempted to deliver a letter to the commanding officer urging him to use every power availbable to him to call for an immediate halt to the updating and expansion of the Trident fleet under his command. The two were among those arrested.

In the letter addressed to Captain Thomas Zwolfer, Commanding Officer, Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, the activists said, “With the implementation of each and every step toward the refurbishing and upgrading of our nuclear arsenal, we continue to disregard prudence and morality; and with every deployment of a Trident submarine in international waters, we continue to violate international and humanitarian law that specifically prohibits the use and threat of use of any nuclear weapon (International Court of Justice decision, 1996). If we want to regain international respect we need to conform to what we expect of other nations: stop building and deploying these illegal and immoral weapons.”

Arrested and charged by the Navy were Mary Gleysteen, Kingston, WA; Anne Hall, Lopez Island, WA; Ann Kittredge, Quilcene, WA; Betsy Lamb, Bend, OR; Peggy Love, East Wenatchee, WA; Emilie Marlinghaus, Bend, OR; Elizabeth Murray, Poulsbo, WA; and Michael Siptroth, Belfair, WA.

The W-76 thermonuclear warhead deployed on the Trident II D-5 submarine launched ballistic missile has been undergoing a “Life Extension Program” in which the warheads are thoroughly refurbished and upgraded. The entire Trident fleet is slated for replacement, and the cost to build 12 OHIO Class Replacement submarines is estimated at approximately $100 billion (by the Congressional Budget Office).

Leonard Eiger, coordinator for Ground Zero Center’s NO To NEW TRIDENT campaign: “Trident has been deployed at near-Cold War levels since the fall of the Berlin Wall as a major symbol of global power projection. This, together with the continuing Trident modernization efforts, has led to the resurgence of Russia’s ballistic missile submarine force. A new Cold War is developing that, in a completely different and less stable global context than the previous Cold War, poses a new and even greater threat of nuclear war. Trident is at the heart of this new Cold War and must be addressed now, before production begins on New Trident. It is critical that the U.S. and Russian leaders change postures and come together to begin the necessary dialogue to lead the way to a nuclear weapons free world. 70 years is long enough; future generations are counting on it.”



from Mike Wisniewski

Five Catholic Workers and a member of Veterans For Peace were arrested at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Saturday, August 8, after an hour long vigil commemorating the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Thirty-five people attended the vigil, including members of the L.A, Guadalupe, and Kenya Catholic Worker communities, Veterans for Peace, and others.

Dennis Apel lead the group in a short prayer of repentance, and read a poem by Nuclear Age Peace Foundation Founder David Krieger, entitled: “God Responded With Tears” from the book of poetry God’s Tears: Reflections on the Atomic Bombs Dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Dennis also reminded us that this date also marks the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Nuremberg Charter by the U.S. and other European nations. The charter stipulated that crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity by the European Axis Powers could be tried. How ironic that this agreement was signed two days after the bombing of Hiroshima and one day before the bombing of Nagasaki, yet NOBODY has been held accountable.

Those arrested: Dennis Apel (Guadalupe Catholic Worker), Mike Wisniewski and Jeff Dietrich (L.A. Catholic Worker) Chris Knudson (Veterans For Peace), David Omondi (formerly of the L.A. Catholic Worker, now at the Kenya Catholic Worker) and Erica Brock (L.A. Catholic Worker summer intern and now an L.A. Catholic Worker community member). The six resisters were cited for trespass and released at Vandenberg Village an hour later. No court date is scheduled at this time.



by Dan Lawton, Bay Area News Group

LIVERMORE — About 300 activists from a wide range of Bay Area organizations converged early Thursday (August 6) on Lawrence Livermore Laboratory to protest nuclear weapons on the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima.

Dozens of the protesters — many of them elderly — were peacefully arrested after refusing an order by the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office to disperse. According to organizers, the gathering had a dual focus: to raise awareness about the money spent on nuclear weapons research at the lab and to pay respect to the Hiroshima victims. The Aug. 6, 1945, bombing, along with the subsequent bombing of Nagasaki three days later, are credited with expediting the end of World War II.

Similar events were held across the world.

“U.S. plans to modernize the arsenal are also underway at Livermore Lab,” said Marylia Kelley, a lead organizer and executive director of Tri-Valley Cares, which was one of about 40 organizations taking part in the protest.

Kelley said a large part of the lab’s funding in the 2016 fiscal year — about 85 percent, or $1 billion — is earmarked for weapons. Those statistics are backed up by documents from the Department of Energy.

She said that money is being spent on tasks such as designing new long-range warheads and other improvements to the nuclear arsenal.

The United States is prohibited from manufacturing new nuclear weapons by a nonproliferation treaty signed in 1968.

According to Don Johnston, a spokesman for the lab, the facility does not house any nuclear weapons and ceased nuclear testing in 1992. Johnston said much of the nuclear work done at the lab is related to ensuring safety, security and reliability of the current nuclear stockpile.

Takashi Tanemori, who was an 8-year-old boy living in Hiroshima when the atomic bomb was dropped, told the crowd that he has made peace with losing his family in the bombing, as well as his eyesight.

“The greatest way to avenge your enemy is by learning how to forgive,” he said.

But Tanemori, dressed in flowing black robes and wearing sunglasses, also cautioned the crowd that the threat of nuclear weapons will be extremely hard to eradicate. “The cat is out of the bag, the genie out of the bottle,” he said.

Also speaking at the event was Daniel Ellsberg, the whistleblower and former military contractor who released the Pentagon Papers in 1971. The documents were a top-secret study of U.S. strategy in Vietnam. Ellsberg was sentenced to 109 years in prison for his actions, but his conviction was eventually overturned.

Now a prominent anti-nuclear weapons activist, Ellsberg, 84, said he still remembered the “ominous feeling” he had when the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

Daniel Ellsberg speaks during a demonstration to protest nuclear weapons outside the fence of the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in Livermore, Calif., on Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015. (Kristopher Skinner/Bay Area News Group)

“The killing at Hiroshima was mass murder,” he said.

Ellsberg was one of about 50 protesters who were arrested at the event. After the speakers ceased, the group beat drums and sang while snaking down Patterson Pass Road and eventually camping out in front of the lab.

There, many of them laid on the ground, encircled by chalk outlines representing victims of the bombing.

At the gate, a phalanx of the lab’s police force, dressed in riot gear, clasped black batons. They were backed up by members of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office.

Scott Yundt, a staff attorney for Tri-Valley Cares, said he was monitoring the arrests. At his side was his 4-year-old son, Cyrus.

“He’s starting to realize there are these dark forces in the world and that his dad works against them,” Yundt said.

Chelsea Page, 31, said she and a handful of other protesters were in the early stages of a 70-hour fast to raise further awareness about nuclear weapons.

Page said she participates in a monthly vigil at the lab.

“Our message to the workers,” she said, “is that we want to see their brilliance dedicated to research that brings us life.”

300 activists protest nuclear weapons at Livermore lab

by Associated Press – Friday, August 7, 2015

LIVERMORE, Calif. (AP) – Dozens of Bay Area activists were peacefully arrested as they gathered at a Livermore laboratory to protest nuclear weapons on the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima.

The Oakland Tribune reports that hundreds of activists from about 40 different Bay Area organizations attended the protest Thursday on Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. Authorities arrested about 50 people after they refused to disperse.

Organizers were there to pay respect to Hiroshima victims and to bring awareness to the money spent on nuclear weapons research at the lab. Lead organizer of Tri-Valley Cares, Marylia Kelley, says $1 billion of the lab’s funding for fiscal year 2016 will go toward modernizing weapons.

A spokesman for the lab said the facility doesn’t house nuclear weapons and ceased its nuclear testing in 1992.



IMG_20150806_081609_996 Rfrom Art Laffin

To commemorate the 70th year since the U.S. began the Nuclear Age by dropping an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, 30 friends from the Atlantic Life Community and other peace groups participated in an early morning peace witness on August 6 at the Pentagon that was organized by the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker. The group carried signs, photos of the aftermath of the Hiroshima bombing and banners, two of which read: “Remember the Past, Repent the Sin, Reclaim the Future–Hiroshima and Nagasaki” and “Abolish Nuclear Weapons.”

The group then processed from Army-Navy Drive to the regular protest site near the Pentagon metro station. While most people entered the police designated protest area, five people remained on the sidewalk a good distance behind the main procession, and were prevented by police from walking any further. They proceeded to kneel or stand across the sidewalk, holding photos of Hiroshima victims, as several people spread ashes on the pavement. Bill Streit, Nancy Gowen, Kathy Boylan and Andrea Eiland were arrested within ten minutes. Steve Baggarly, who handed out at least a dozen leaflets about the conversion of Fr. George Zabelka, the Enola Gay military chaplain, was also arrested for leafleting. They were all charged with “disobeying a lawful order.” Steve was given an additional charge under a “soliciting” statute. They were all processed and released after several hours, and given a trial date of October 1 in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia.

As the five were awaiting arrest, the community that had gathered in the designated protest area held a prayer service of repentance (see below). During the course of the service, which was repeated twice during the one-and-a-half hour witness, there were periods of silence. Shortly before 8:15 a.m., which was the exact time the bomb was dropped, the leaflet with George Zabelka’s testimony was read and the song of the A-Bomb survivors was offered. We ended our witness with a centering Shalom prayer, followed by a blessing for five friends, including recently-released Transform Now Plowshares prisoners Sr. Megan Rice and Mike Walli, who were immediately leaving to attend peace events in Knoxville, Tennessee, organized by the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance (OREPA). Our closing circle ended with the singing of “Vine and Fig Tree.”

We pray and act in solidarity with peacemakers around the U.S. and worldwide today who are acting to bring about a nonviolent disarmed world. Let us pray for each other as we strive to build the Beloved Community and make God’s reign of justice, love and peace a reality.

Prayer Service of Repentance for August 6, 2015 Pentagon Peace Witness

Good morning to all Pentagon workers. We greet you in a spirit of peace. Seventy years ago, today, the U.S. ushered in the Nuclear Age by committing the unspeakable act of using nuclear weapons against the people of Hiroshima. Three days later, on August 9, the U.S. used a second nuclear weapon against the people of Nagasaki. We, members of the Atlantic Life Community and other peace groups, come to the Pentagon this morning to repent for this colossal sin and crime and to resist ongoing nuclear war preparations. The U.S., along with the other nuclear powers, refuses to disarm. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists: “There are still more than 16,000 nuclear weapons on the planet, most of them in the United States and Russian arsenals, and most of them are many times more destructive than those dropped on Japan. Many of these nuclear missiles are on hair-trigger alert. Our current policies make the risk of an accidental or unauthorized launch of a nuclear weapon all too real.” The U.S. government plans to spend $1 trillion over the next three decades to modernize its nuclear arsenal, a blatant violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Moreover, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has turned its “Doomsday Clock” to three minutes to midnight due to “unchecked climate change, global nuclear weapons modernizations, and outsized nuclear weapons arsenals which pose extraordinary and undeniable threats to the continued existence of humanity.” The Hibakusha (Japanese A-Bomb survivors), declare: “Humankind can’t coexist with nuclear weapons. Let us heed their plea. We invite everyone here at the Pentagon to join in this witness of repentance, and to work with us and people worldwide who are committed to eliminating these omnicidal weapons and abolishing war.

We apologize to the people of Japan for our country’s atomic bombing of Hiroshima 70 years ago, and ask forgiveness for these atrocities, and for the ongoing suffering of those affected by nuclear radiation. We repent for the continued proliferation of nuclear weapons at the expense of unmet human needs. Further, we offer repentance for the over 40 times the U.S. has threatened to use nuclear weapons since the first atomic bombings of Japan. We believe it’s a sin to build a nuclear weapon. We firmly resolve, with the help of your grace, O God, to reject the false idols of nuclear weaponry, to embrace the life-affirming work of abolishing these weapons of terror, and to beat all the swords of our time into plowshares.

Response: Forgive us O God
For the U.S. development, use, and continued threatened use of nuclear weapons, Forgive us O God
For the over 250,000 people who are estimated to have died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki as a direct result of the U.S. nuclear bombings, Forgive us O God
For the countless Japanese A-Bomb survivors who have suffered and died from the effects of nuclear radiation, Forgive us O God
For the unknown numbers of people who have suffered and died from nuclear testing in the South Pacific, Forgive us O God
For workers in nuclear facilities who have been exposed to radiation and who have suffered and died, Forgive us O God
For those living downwind from nuclear facilities who have contracted cancer and other illnesses and who have died, Forgive us O God
For those prisoners and people with mental disabilities who were subjects of nuclear radiation experiments, Forgive us O God
For the U.S. use of highly toxic radioactive depleted uranium weapons in Iraq, Yugoslavia, and Afghanistan which have claimed untold lives and have caused dramatic increases of cancer, leukemia and birth defects in each of the countries where these weapons have been used, Forgive us O God
For the millions who needlessly suffered and died–past and present–because of the money and resources squandered on weapons and war instead of on alleviating poverty and preventable diseases, Forgive us O God
For the desecration of the earth and the environmental damage caused by the mining, testing and use of nuclear technology, Forgive us God
For the U.S. military being the world’s single biggest consumer of fossil fuels, and the single entity most responsible for destabilizing the Earth’s climate, Forgive us O God
For placing our trust in the false security of weapons and mammon rather than in God, Forgive us, O God

Let us pray that we can truly listen to Jesus and be transfigured by God’s love. Let us renounce what Dr. King called the triple evils of poverty, racism and militarism, as we seek to follow the way of nonviolence and create the Beloved Community. We stand in solidarity with people in Japan, the U.S. and worldwide who are acting today to bring about the abolition of all weapons of mass murder and an end to all war.

Read: “SHADOW ON THE ROCK” by Daniel Berrigan, S.J.
At Hiroshima there’s a museum
and outside that museum there’s a rock,
and on that rock there’s a shadow.
That shadow is all that remains
of the human being who stood there on August 6, 1945
when the nuclear age began.
In the most real sense of the word,
that is the choice before us.
We shall either end war and the nuclear arms race now in this generation,
or we will become Shadows On the Rock.

I come and stand at every door
But no one hears my silent prayer
I knock and yet remain unseen
For I am dead, for I am dead.
I’m only seven although I died
In Hiroshima long ago
I’m seven now as I was then
When children die they do not grow.
My hair was scorched by a swirling flame
My eyes grew dim, my eyes grew blind
Death came and turned my bones to dust
And that was scattered by the wind.
I need no fruit, I need no rice
I need no sweets nor even bread
I ask for nothing for myself
For I am dead, for I am dead.
All that I ask is that for peace
You work today, you work today
So that the children of this world
May live and grow and laugh and play.



from Bob Smith

On August 6, the 70th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima, people gathered again in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, in a Brandywine Peace Community-organized plea for peace and the abolition of nuclear weapons, as the group has repeatedly done throughout the year over the past three decades. Lockheed Martin is the world’s #1 war profiteer, and the U.S.’s chief nuclear weapons and delivery systems contractor.

There were some recent songs byTom Mullian, the intoning of the group’s decade old peace bell 70 times, once for every year of war and the threat of nuclear war, readings and a litany signifying the meaning of Hiroshima Day and its forewarning to us today. In a ceremony of remembrance and peace, incense was burned for the memory of the victims, ladles of water were shared remembering all those who perished by the thousands rushing to the rivers seeking relief, and handfuls of sunflower seeds (the symbol of nuclear disarmament) were flung against the large Lockheed Martin sign marking the main driveway entrance.

Seven people then formed a prayer circle, blocking the driveway. The circle broke as signs and pictures of the Hiroshima child were carried one by one further down the drive. One by one each of the seven were stopped by Lockheed Martin security and arrested by Upper Merion police. They were taken to the Upper Merion Police Station, from where they were released on disorderly conduct citations The seven arrested and cited were: Paul Sheldon, of Media, PA; Theresa Camerota and Tom Mullian of Wyncote, PA; and Father Rev. David Reppert of Conshohocken, PA, and Patrick Sieber, ofm, Berndetter Cronin-Geller, and Robert M. Smith, all of Philadelphia.

From the Hiroshima Day Litany of Memory, Hope, and Peace

Reader: Sixty-eight years ago today, on August 6, 1945, the U.S. dropped the world’s first atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima. The thermal flash and blast started fires that quickly became a firestorm until the whole city was ablaze. Birds ignited in midair. People became shadows on walls and streets. Those that ran to the rivers to escape the heat, perished instantly, and the rivers soon became streams of thousands of drifting dead bodies. Despite every horrifying statistic of violence and war we’ve ever heard, the statistics and memory of that day 70 years ago are still staggering. Sixty percent of the city was destroyed — hospitals, hotels, rail stations, temples, factories, houses, and scores of other buildings reduced to flaming rubble.

All: The next morning the sun rose and revealed the dawning of the nuclear age. The city of Hiroshima was a wasteland of ashes and ruin, destruction and death. Three days later, Nagasaki.

Reader: August 6 – 9, 1945, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the atomic clouds that changed the world, resonates in the world’s memory with repeated slaughters and massacres of the innocent and despite treaties and politician pledges, there are still a combined 16,000 nuclear warheads in the American and Russian arsenals, both of which are being “modernized”, now another word for another nuclear weapons build-up. As a society, we’ve stopped thinking about nuclear weapons, what they can do and what they really mean, globally. The U.S. plans to spend $348 billion over the next decade to “modernize” it nuclear arsenal and delivery systems, far more than to address the climate change catastrophe.
On this Hiroshima Day…The child of Hiroshima looks out from the atomic cloud to the decades of nuclear threats and the poisoning of bodies, spirit, and hopes that, after 70 years, continue to this day.
On this Hiroshima Day, the child of Hiroshima looks out onto violence of poverty in North Philadelphia and Camden, Baltimore, looks out onto the children, and the 1% super rich whose wealth exists at the expense of the rest of us to varying degrees.

All: On this Hiroshima Day, we remember the dictum of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel that ‘Few are guilty, all are responsible.’ We remember all the victims of nuclear weapons and all those that peer out from the rubble, the lies, and clouds of war. As we have for these long decades, we bring a commitment to stopping the injustice and criminal enterprise of Lockheed Martin. Peace is a plea to save ourselves, our children, our communities, the world. On this Hiroshima Day at Lockheed Martin, we continue to hang on to the hopes of justice, and our commitment to peace and nonviolent action. We join the child of Hiroshima in her prayer: No more Hiroshimas, No More Nagasakis, Abolish Nuclear Weapons



from Jane Stoever

On August 9, at about 7 a.m., Fr. Carl Kabat splashed red paint on a National Security Campus sign at the new Kansas City nuclear weapons plant.

“The deed is done,” Kabat told lawyer Henry Stoever in a call at 7:19 a.m. “I came to the back gate—there was a car (a guard’s car) at the main gate. Two guards are coming.” Kabat said something about splashing paint on a sign and then hung up, reported Stoever. “He sounded happy,” added Stoever.

Friends said Kabat, 81, had taken with him a briefcase of baby bottles filled with red paint and planned to “slosh” the paint on a sign at the National Security Campus, home to the new plant in Kansas City, Missouri for making and procuring non-nuclear parts for nuclear weapons.

On July 4, 2014, Kabat had “sloshed” red paint from baby bottles on the huge sign at the main entrance to the National Security Campus. His action this August 9, marking the 70th anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Nagasaki, follows his civil resistance work since the first Plowshares action in 1980 against nuclear weapons. It also follows Kabat’s actions in July in the past four years on the property of the new plant. The facility, which the federal government identifies as costing $900 million a year to operate, makes or orders 85 percent of the non-nuclear parts for the WMDs, including fuses, wires, radar, security devices, containers for tritium, and the bomb trigger mechanisms.

Kabat was released the following afternoon from the Jackson County Detention Center.