Quotable

"We could, in a moment in time, destroy everything—ourselves and all that we had every touched or loved—by means of our own technology and by our own hand." -Robert Jay Lifton, psychiatrist and the author of “Death in Life: Survivors of Hiroshima,” and a memoir, “Witness to an Extreme Century.”


Monday, November 2, 2009

Disarm Now Trident Plowshares Action

Friends,

In the early morning hours of November 2, 2009, the five members of the Disarm Now Trident Plowshares Action, ranging in age from 60 to 83, secretly entered Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, West Coast home port of the nation's Trident nuclear submarines, and also a major nuclear weapons storage facility. These brave peacemakers came to symbolically disarm one of the most deadly places on our planet, and expose it to the world. Read about it in the press release below. I have also included two other documents along with biographical statements about the participants.

Peace,

Leonard

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5 people arrested on Naval Base Kitsap- Bangor

The “Disarm Now Trident Plowshares Action”

Bill “Bix” Bischel, S.J., 81, of Tacoma, Washington; Susan Crane, 65, of Baltimore MD; Lynne Greenwald, 60, of Bremerton Washington; Steve Kelly, S.J., 60, of Oakland, CA.; Anne Montgomery RSCJ, 83, of New York, New York, were arrested on Naval Base Kitsap- Bangor. They entered the Base in the early morning hours of November 2, 2009, All Souls Day, with the intention of calling attention to the illegality and immorality of the existence of the Trident weapons system. They entered through the perimeter fence, made their way to the Strategic Weapons Facility – Pacific ( SWFPAC) where they were able to cut thru the first chain link fence surrounding SWF-PAC, walked to and cut the next double layered fence, which was both chain link and barbed wire, onto the grounds of SWFPAC. As they walked onto the grounds, they held a banner saying…… “Disarm Now Plowshares : Trident: Illegal + Immoral”, left a trail of blood and hammered on the roadway (Trigger Ave and Sturgeon) that are essential to the working of the Trident weapons system, hammered on the fences around SWFPAC and scattered sunflower seeds throughout the base. They were then thrown to the ground face down, handcuffed and hooded, and held there for 4 hours on the wet cold ground. They were taken, hooded, and carried out through the very holes in the fence that they had made, for questioning by Base security, FBI and NCIS. They refused to give any information except their names, and were cited as of now, for trespass and destruction of government property, given a ban and bar letter and released.

In a joint statement, the group stated that “The manufacture and deployment of Trident II missiles, weapons of mass destruction, is immoral and criminal under International Law and, therefore, under United States law. As U.S. citizens we are responsible under the Nuremberg Principles for this threat of first-strike terrorism hanging over the community of nations, rich and poor. Moreover, such planning, preparation, and deployment are a blasphemy against the Creator of life, imaged in each human being. “

There have been approximately 100 Plowshares Nuclear Resistance Actions worldwide since 1980. Plowshares actions are taken from Isaiah 2:4 in Old Testament (Hebrew) scripture of the Christian Bible, “God will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many people. And they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. And nations will not take up swords against nations, nor will they train for war anymore.”

The Trident submarine base at Bangor, just 20 miles from Seattle, is home to the largest single stockpile of nuclear warheads in the U.S. arsenal, housing more than 2000 nuclear warheads. In November 2006, the Natural Resources Defense Council declared that the 2,364 nuclear warheads at Bangor are approximately 24 percent of the entire U.S. arsenal. The Bangor base houses more nuclear warheads than China, France, Israel, India, North Korea and Pakistan combined.

The base has been rebuilt for the deployment of the larger and more accurate Trident D-5 missile system. Each of the 24 D-5 missiles on a Trident submarine is capable of carrying eight of the larger 455 kiloton W-88 warheads (each warhead is about 30 times the explosive force as the Hiroshima bomb.) The D-5 missile can also be armed with the 100 kiloton W-76 warhead. The Trident fleet at Bangor deploys both the 455 kiloton W-88 warhead and the 100 kiloton W-76 warhead.

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DISARM NOW PLOWSHARES

“I will purify you from the taint of all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you. I will remove the heart of stone from your body and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my Spirit within you and make you conform to my statutes.” Ez. 36:25-27

We walk into the heart of darkness, the Naval Submarine Base Kitsap-Bangor, housing and deploying over 2,000 nuclear warheads for Trident submarines. By their very existence they are endangering the environment, threatening the indiscriminate destruction of life on earth, and depriving the hungry, homeless, and jobless of billions of dollars that could supply human needs throughout the world.

The manufacture and deployment of Trident II missiles, weapons of mass destruction, is immoral and criminal under international law and, therefore, under United States law. As U.S. citizens we are responsible under the Nuremberg Principles for this threat of first-strike terrorism hanging over the community of nations, rich and poor. Moreover, such planning, preparation, and deployment is a blasphemy against the Creator of life, imaged in each human being.

We are called by Isaiah to take seriously our own responsibility to act as citizens of the nation that subjected the civilians of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to the hell of nuclear bombing and its deadly consequences. The United States continues to research and develop even more inhumane weapons of mass destruction.

We are called by Ezekiel to transform our own hearts and to invite all those whose hearts are hardened by blindness, fear, and mistrust of the “other” to allow theirs to be transformed into “hearts of flesh:” disarmed, compassionate, and generous.

We bring carpenters’ hammers to symbolically transform these weapons of death into material useful for homes and factories. On this day of remembrance, All Souls Day, we bring our own blood in solidarity with the victims of war, who are invisible to those who target them. We bring sunflower seeds to plant the hope of new life in this violated earth. We intend to beat swords into plowshares as one step up the holy mountain where all nations can unite in peace.

At the beginning of the International Decade of Disarmament, we join with the survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the 2020 Vision Campaign to abolish all nuclear weapons by that year at the latest. Nuclear weapons can never be guardians, defenders, or upholders of peace. They are sheathed in stainless steel and metal coverings that conceal the evil incarnate lying within. They are filled with death-dealing agents that tear apart humans and leave survivors scarred for life. They leave no place for human care for the thousands who suffer and die in agony. Nuclear weapons are a lie. Their “protection” is an illusion. They must be abolished.

“God will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.” Isaiah 2:4

Washington State , November 2, 2009

Steve Kelly, S.J., Lynne Greenwald, Anne Montgomery, RSCJ, Susan Crane, Bill Bichsel, S.J.

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Disarm Now Plowshares

November 2, 2009

Hand Delivery

Captain Mark Olsen
Commander US Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor
120 South Dewey St
Bremerton, WA 98314

YOU have been involved in the housing, deployment and threatened use of immoral and illegal nuclear weapons on Naval Base Kitsap/Bangor. These weapons and their delivery systems include Trident submarines, Trident II D-5 missiles, and W-88 and W-76 nuclear warheads. These weapons, and their delivery systems, threaten the destruction of other nations and people and as such constitute violation of International Law and of Ruling of the International Tribunal of Justice of 1996.

You are hereby notified that effective upon receipt of this letter that the disarmament of all nuclear weapons at Naval Base Kitsap/Bangor is to begin immediately and continue until all nuclear weapons are disarmed and removed.

You are further informed that delay or failure to begin disarmament will lead to the prosecution before the International Tribunal of Justice of all naval and civilian personnel responsible for the delay.

This barment letter is issued for the protection and security of people, animals, and all creation of our world.

Any compelling reason for naval or civilian exemption from prosecution by the International Tribunal can be entered with the secretariat of the International Tribunal.

(Address; International Tribunal, International Court of Justice, The Hague, Netherlands)


Steve Kelly, S.J., Lynne Greenwald, Anne Montgomery, RSCJ, Susan Crane, Bill Bichsel, S.J.

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Disarm Now Plowshares Biographical Statements

Steve Kelly, S.J. During his religious formation in our inner cities, in Sudan, Africa, as well as refugee work in Central America following ordination, he encountered the messiah, Jesus incarnate in the poor. At the same time, the relevance of Jesus as a real shepherd inserting himself between the danger of wolf or thief and the flock in his care inspired this Jesuit to try to imitate Jesus. His current collaboration with Catholic Workers and the Pacific Life Community confirms the analysis that the nukes represent, just in their making, a contemporary larceny from the poor, while the wolf, the imminent danger of their use, demands the embodiment of Isaiah 2:4. Will that hammering wake us, those professing faith in a loving God, from our idolatrous slumbers?

Lynne Greenwald is the mother of three children and has worked professionally as a Registered Nurse, Family Therapist and Social Worker for nearly 40 years. She has also been actively involved in the Nonviolent Peace Movement since the mid-1970s. Lynne moved to Kitsap County in Washington State 26 years ago to join Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action and to become a neighbor to families involved with the Trident Base and other facilities in this predominately military community. “While the existence of Trident is obvious, the truth of Trident’s nuclear threats and illegality remains hidden. My action of conversion today is one committed out of love for all life.“

Anne Montgomery is an eighty-three year old Religious of the Sacred Heart and former teacher in high schools and programs for dropouts and learning disabled children. As a member of the Gulf Peace Team in 1991 and of Christian Peacemaker Teams from 1995 to 2009 she served in Iraq and Palestine. Since 1980 she has been active in the Plowshares movement and other forms of civil resistance to U.S. militarism, especially nuclear weapons. Since 2005 she has also participated in Witness Against Torture and the Free Gaza boat trip to open the port of Gaza. She acts now to support all efforts to convert weapons of death into resources for human life, especially for the most neglected and oppressed of the threatened earth.

Susan Crane is the mother of two sons, and has taught at a school for marginalized youth in California. More recently she has lived at Jonah House, a nonviolent community in Baltimore, which speaks out against all warmaking, and specifically nuclear weapons. Aware that we take better care of nuclear weapons than of our nation’s children, and that we spend more than half of every federal tax dollar on warmaking rather than human needs, she acts to transform these weapons of mass destruction to life- giving materials.

Bill Bichsel, a Tacoma native, entered the Jesuit Order in 1946 and after studies and teaching was ordained a Jesuit in 1959. He has served in parishes, taught in high schools, and was Dean of Students at Gonzaga from 1963-1966. In 1969 he returned to Tacoma where he served at St. Leo’s Parish for over 7 years and then co-founded the Tacoma Catholic Worker (Guadalupe House) which offers hospitality and transitional housing to the homeless. The Guadalupe Community lives in the nonviolent tradition of Dorothy Day, the Catholic Worker foundress. Bichsel still resides and serves at the Tacoma Catholic Worker—one mile from where he was born and raised. He has served jail and prison terms many times for his resistance to the violence of the Trident nuclear weapon system and the violence of the S.O.A. training at Ft. Benning, GA. He believes that unless we, the American people, actively work to abolish nuclear weapons we as a people will continue to threaten destruction to the global community and continue to deprive the poor of the world of resources necessary for life.

9 comments:

  1. Thank you all who struggle for peace and to those in jail=, I love you and am thing about you!

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  2. You guys are a bunch of jagoffs! You are lucky to not be riddled with bullets right now. You are complaining you were on your faces for four hours.... I would much rather be on my face in the cold then have a hot bullet penetrate my stomach and throat at the same time. The fact that priests are involved with things like this is unbelievable. You are friggin hypocrits! Try it again and see what happens! I am a member who serves his country and am disgusted by your actions!

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  3. Alleluia!! Amen!! Beautiful banner, beautiful people.

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  4. "Alleluia!! Amen!! Beautiful banner, beautiful people." You are a friggin' idiot too! Don't associate any of this with religion. You put a lot of people in a very bad predicament. Your lives could have been taken because of your actions. I believe what you did was moral suicide and the young men and women of this country who honorably serve almost took the lives of their fellow Americans, because of it. A useless act or your behalf, not the men and women who are protecting and serving!

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  5. The five of you are very lucky. You put young men and women in charge of our nations defense in a bad situation. They had to make a choice and they chose to let you walk away. You didn't prove anything to anyone other than you are ignorant people. You think this is a place of death. If this place didn't exist you wouldn't have the ability to pull a foolish stunt like this. This place protects the United States from those who would do us harm. All you did was possibly weaken that defense. SHAME ON YOU ALL!

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  6. This action could have easily resulted in the needless deaths of good people. The way to win nuclear disarmament is to support the ongoing nuclear disarmament talks between Russia and the U.S. and any future negotiations for the reduction and eventual elimination of these weapons. The deaths of activists on nuclear installations will only draw comparisons to terrorists attacking the U.S.!

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  7. That was both foolish and brave we need more people willing to stand up and say no more!

    James Ketola
    RA68045915
    11B2P
    RVN 3/69-12/69,
    1/70- 10
    12/70-7/71

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  8. The protesters have lived lives of service as I know from personal experience- visiting those in hospitals and jails, giving food, shelter and comfort. This, for some possibly their last action, is in remembrance of those who died needlessly at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and is a gift to future generations. They prayed for a year to search their minds and hearts whether this was a right action and concluded that they could go forward in peaceful non-violent protest. I support them and hope that I will someday have some part of their courage.

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  9. I am very inspired by your work! Thank you so much.

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