55 people were present on May 13, at the demonstration against Trident nuclear weapons at the Bangor submarine base. 14 demonstrators attempted to block the main highway entrance into the base and were cited by the Washington State Patrol.
At around 3:30 pm on Saturday, six demonstrators entered the highway carrying a large banner stating, “THE EARTH IS OUR MOTHER—TREAT HER WITH RESPECT”, and briefly blocked traffic at the Main Gate at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor. They were removed from the highway by the Washington State Patrol.
After a short period of time, eight other demonstrators entered the highway with a full-size replica of a Trident D-5 missile and were removed by the Washington State Patrol.
During the event, some demonstrators were threatened by the Washington State Patrol with arrest and a weekend in jail with an arraignment in court on Monday. In the end, all 14 demonstrators were cited for violating RCW 46.61.250, Pedestrians on roadways, and released within an hour.
Those cited by the Washington State Patrol: Margarita Munoz, Kim Loftness, and Paul Kikuchi of Seattle; Elizabeth Murray of Poulsbo; Ed Digilio of Shoreline; Ramon Nacanaynay of Lynnwood; Lisa Johnson and Mack Johnson of Silverdale; Chris Rogers and Tom Rogers of Keyport; Cliff Kirchmer of Fircrest; James Brecht of Tacoma; Michael Siptroth of Belfair; and Susan Crane of Redwood City, California.
Mother’s Day in the United States was first suggested in 1872 by Julia Ward Howe as a day dedicated to peace. Howe saw the effects on both sides of the Civil War and realized destruction from warfare goes beyond the killing of soldiers in battle.
The Trident submarine base at Bangor, just 20 miles from Seattle, is home to the largest concentration of deployed nuclear weapons in the US. More than 1,300 nuclear warheads are deployed on Trident D-5 missiles on SSBN submarines based at Bangor or stored at Strategic Weapons Facility Pacific (SWFPAC) at the Bangor base.
Trident SSBN submarines at Bangor are estimated to carry about 108 nuclear warheads. The W76 and W88 warheads at Bangor are equal respectively to 100 kilotons and 455 kilotons of TNT in destructive force. Each of the eight submarines deployed at Bangor is capable of producing a destructive force equal to more than 1,400 Hiroshima-sized nuclear bombs.
At the demonstration on Saturday, Susan Crane, a longtime anti–nuclear peace activist, spoke of Daniel Berrigan and his warning–that a nuclear war will be legal; that the courts and judges will approve. But our faith and conviction reminds us of the command: no killing, and no war.
Susan Crane stated, “We are here to act for the next generations, and we are here for active nonviolent solutions and actions. And we are not alone. There are many signs of resistance, signs of hope around the world. Every nonviolent action, no matter how small, creates hope. And together, these small instances of hope are precursors, a taste, a glimpse, of a nonviolent world.”
Ground Zero member Tom Rogers stated, “our kids deserve to grow up in a world without nuclear weapons. It is a failure of our generation that they must live in fear of nuclear annihilation and bear the cost of a massive modernization of our nuclear weapons complex.”
The Seattle Peace Chorus Action Ensemble provided demonstrators a strong voice and music for the day. Members of Veterans for Peace, the Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist order, and other peace groups in the area provided additional support for the event.
Throughout the day, Ground Zero members were mindful of the recent passing of friend and colleague Mira Leslie. A small redwood tree was planted near the Gendai Hoto in honor of Mira.
The next planned demonstration will be the annual Ground Zero Peace Fleet demonstration on August 2, 2017 in Elliott Bay.
The next planned demonstration at Bangor will be on August 12, 2017, a Boats by Bangor event in Hood Canal. The next planned direct action will be on August 14, 2017 at Bangor in commemoration of the 72nd anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan.
The Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action was founded in 1977. The center is on 3.8 acres adjoining the Trident submarine base at Bangor, Washington. We resist all nuclear weapons, especially the Trident ballistic missile system.
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