When the Interfaith Peace Walkers (see my previous post) arrive at Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action (GZ) on August 8 they will take part in Ground Zero's Hiroshima/Nagasaki commemoration that takes place every August with a variety of activities, ending with a nonviolent vigil and direct action at the gates of Submarine Base Bangor (now known officially as Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor), West Coast home for the U.S. Navy’s Trident Nuclear Submarine Fleet.
"The warheads assigned to the [Trident] ballistic missile submarines stationed at Bangor and at Kings Bay, Ga., now constitute more than half of the U.S. strategic weapons force" (source: Seattle Times). Ground Zero has been resisting Trident and working to abolish nuclear weapons for over 30 years. This August, Ground Zero will dedicate its new Peace House that will be a focal point for its nuclear weapons abolition activities.
This August's theme is Nuclear Abolition: Yes We Can! At a time when the words "nuclear weapons" are no longer "that which cannot be named", more and more people are becoming aware that the subject is not untouchable, that they can learn about it, and most importantly that they CAN do something about it. The movement to abolish nuclear weapons never went away, even though it has existed in the background for far too long.
The movement is prominent once again, and thanks in part to President Barack Obama's initial efforts and his famous Prague speech (watch it on YouTube), people in the U.S. are getting excited about the prospect of working towards a goal that for decades seemed like only a pipe dream. Well, it is no dream; in fact, it is a necessity if there is to be a future for citizens of this planet. We can reach the goal of nuclear zero, but it will take the efforts of literally millions of people being involved on many different levels and in every nation.
This August's event at Ground Zero Center will be about remembering - remembering the horrific events through which the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki suffered, and from which the survivors, the Hibakusha, still suffer to this very day. The remembering, however, is important to give us strength to move forward with the work of nuclear abolition, until the day that nuclear weapons are just an exhibit in a history museum.
Consider joining us this August on one or more days. There will be speakers, such as Dr. Arjun Mahkijani and veteran, peace activist, Brian Willson. There will also be music, films, panel discussion, street theatre, non-violence training, and of course a vigil and action at the sub base. Camping is available at the Center. Click here to see the full page flyer with more information on the weekend's schedule. There will be a subsequent flyer with more information and complete schedule (by July).
You can learn more about Ground Zero (and see slide shows and video of previous events) by clicking on "Ground Zero" under post categories on this blog. You can also check out the Website at http://gzcenter.org/. Hope to see you in August!
Photo Note: Mushroom cloud from the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, August 6, 1945.