Protesters at new Kansas City facility seek to open a door to a nuclear-weapons-free world.
On July 13, about 80 persons sang and prayed at the entry road to a new facility in the U.S. nuclear weapons complex. By 10:15 a.m., two dozen protesters had crossed the property line and were soon arrested. The five-building facility, the Kansas City Plant, at 14510 Botts Road in KC, Mo., will by next year house the operations of the current KC Plant (at Bannister and Troost in KC), where 85 percent of the non-nuclear parts for U.S. nuclear weapons are made or procured. During a brief ceremony, the 80 persons pledged “to strive for peace within myself and seek to be a peacemaker in my daily life … to persevere in nonviolence of tongue and heart … to work to abolish war and the causes of war from my own heart and from the face of the earth.”
|photo by Bee Lloyd|
Those arrested were:
--Fr Carl Kabat of St. Louis CW, Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI), who had entered the property and been charged with destruction of property in July 2011 and July 2012;
--Fr William Antone, OMI, of Washington, D.C., the OMI order’s U.S. provincial superior;
-- From the Kansas City area, including Sister of Charity of Leavenworth Cele Breen, Jim Everett - Independence MO, Lauren Logan, Notre Dame Sister of Omaha Theresa Maly, Community of Christ minister Lu Mountenay, Holy Family CWers Christian Brother Louis Rodemann and Nehemiah Rosell, Kelsey Schmidt, Jane Stoever, Ann Suellentrop, and Georgia Walker;
-- Frank Cordaro, Ed Bloomer, and Jessica Reznicek - Des Moines IA Catholic Workers
--Fr William “Bix” Bichsel SJ - Taoma WA CW
--Mary CW House, Oxford WI, Cassandra Dixon of Madison, WI,
--Paul Freid of Lake City MN CW Farm --Betsy Keenan - Strangers and Guest CW Farm, Maloy IA
--Chrissy Kirchhoefer St Louis CW and Anneliese Stoever of St. Louis,
--Janice Sevre-Duszynska, a Catholic womanpriest of Lexington, KY,
--Jerry Zawada, a Franciscan priest of Milwaukee, WI.
The 24 line-crossers were arrested, fingerprinted, photographed, and then detained in the Jackson County Police Department. Some were released July 13, some July 14, and some will be released July 15. The resisters received different trial dates, but lawyer Henry Stoever said he would try to secure a single trial date for them.
|photo by Bee Lloyd|
Zawada, when asked why he crossed the line, said, “It’s the children! And the future of the world. People are blind, people are deaf, to the fact that we’re producing these horrible bombs and creating an atmosphere of fear. It threatens the whole world.” He quoted a statement from deceased Jesuit Richard McSorley: “It’s a sin to build a nuclear weapon.” Zawada also said he wanted to accompany Kabat in this action; Kabat has spent 17 years in prison for acts of civil resistance to nuclear weapons. Referring to Kabat and the whole worldwide community of people seeking a nuke-free world, Zawada said, “It takes passion. And perseverance.”
Maly reflected, “I hope people that have positions of power, the ability to make decisions about nuclear weapons, hear our message.”
End Notes: This blog post is the complete news release from PeaceWorks. Read a National Catholic Reporter article on the Kansas City action by Kate Simmons here. Click here to see the Facebook page for the action.