14 cited at anti-nuclear weapons demonstration

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 antinuclear 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.

See photos and raw video at https://1drv.ms/f/s!AjLnSR8uJSzyjRtJmZlhJd_M1-ki   Please download and allow time to see four videos.

Thirteen nuclear resisters arrested at Bangor Trident base

Photo by Fumi Tosu

The Pacific Life Community returned to Washington state for their annual gathering, concluding with a blockade of the main gate into the Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor. The base is the Pacific homeport of the Trident nuclear ballistic missile submarine fleet.Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

A two-day program at a nearby retreat center built on the legacy of now-retired Raymond Hunthausen. As Archbishop of Seattle in 1984, he declared that “Trident is the Auschwitz of Puget Sound.” Hunthausen’s wages were garnished when he publicly refused to pay the war tax percentage in protest.

Snow and rain did not deter the demonstration at the Trident base gate on March 7. More than 40 people joined together for prayer, reading Hunthausen’s words before peacekeepers safely blocked the incoming traffic and several banners were stretched across the road.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

“War is Immoral” read one, and another read, “Abolish Nuclear Weapons”.

Police soon moved in and arrested seven people who were blocking the road on the state side of the line.

Ticketed and released for “pedestrian leaving the curb” were Kelsey Chalmers, Susan Crane, Ed Ehmke, Allison McGillivray, Nick Mele, Mary Jane Parrine and Sam Yergler.

Photo by Clancy Dunigan

Six others who crossed over the marked property line onto the federal side read sections of the Nuremberg Principles out loud before being arrested by military police. Alexandria Addesso, Karan Founds-Benton, Fr. Steve Kelly, SJ, Betsy Lamb, Mary Mele and Charley Smith were charged with trespass and received ban and bar letters before being released.

For more information, visit pacificlifecommunity.wordpress.com.

Editor’s Note: This information was originally posted at The Nuclear Resister on March 10, 2017, http://www.nukeresister.org/2017/03/10/thirteen-nuclear-resisters-arrested-at-bangor-trident-base/

Here’s to Sanity and Abolition Efforts in the New Year

New Year’s Eve Greetings Friends of Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action,

One year is nearly over and another about to begin, and this is NOT a plea for donations. This is a different kind of request. I want you to read on and join us in building the world we know is possible, yet may seem so far off. Yes, it takes money. Yet, it takes so much more than that. As we have learned from the wisdom of Standing Rock, we need to “support, educate, protect, collaborate, unify, occupy and protest” and much more.

The horrible seeds of humanity’s destruction that were sown so many decades ago have been nurtured since then by the keepers of the bomb. Today, the keepers of the bomb continue to design and build a new generation of these devices of nuclear extinction. The US government is moving ahead with all speed, slated to spend $1 trillion over 30 years, to rebuild that devil’s progeny of the Cold War, which, along with Russia, is driving a new arms race that can only drive the Doomsday Clock even closer to Midnight. Is it not ironic that the two powers that drove the world to the brink during the Cold War are once again planting the new and improved seeds of humanity’s destruction? Is this not some form of insanity? The most recent comments by President-elect Trump and President Putin make it crystal clear that those who we elect (and I use that term with great reservation) have far less wisdom (and perhaps sanity as well) than they claim.

As President Obama leaves The White House, he also leaves a legacy we would never have expected following his now infamous Prague speech. It is tragic that the Nobel Peace Prize winner did not summon the courage of whatever convictions he retained to stand strong against the demands of Congress (and the Military-Industrial Complex) and instead build a bridge to Putin, negotiating a number of steps that would have ramped back the nuclear danger. Instead, he has facilitated what is inarguably a new arms race and Cold War that is moving ahead at an alarmingly increasing pace.

It is unconscionable that such a small number of nations, led by the US and Russia, have held, and continue to hold, the rest of the world under the threat of nuclear annihilation. Our task, then, is clear – to deepen our resistance to nuclear weapons and seeking their total abolition! A monumental, yet absolutely critical goal. Nothing less than ZERO will ensure the safety and survival of future generations. And THAT will require embracing a new paradigm, far different than that which has driven the nuclear age to this point. It is a paradigm of mutual security rather one of mutually assured destruction.

At Ground Zero Center we are already moving into 2017 with plans to reach out, educate and motivate others to act for change. Read on to find out what’s happening in our (nuclear-armed) corner of the world (also known as “the largest concentration of deployed nuclear weapons in the U.S.”).

January 2017 Ground Zero NewsletterJanuary 2017 newsletter for website-page-0

The January 2017 Ground Zero Newsletter is off to the presses, and the electronic edition is ready to read right now. It is full of articles, including a feature on Leafleting (that has a long history at GZ), a reflection on her experience at Standing Rock by a GZ member, a focus on war tax resistance, and much more. Click here to read it.

Spotlight on Ground Zero People

web1_161220-ISJ-SpotlightHalls_1Anne and Dave Hall, longtime GZ members, are featured in a recent article in The Islands’ Weekly. Spotlight on Lopezians: The Halls provides rich insights into the Halls’ long history of activism, and their personal and collective evolution to their current work in the world. Their story is a tribute to what, I believe, keeps so many of us going – a hope for the future. Anne is quoted at the end or the story as saying, “When I think about the world those children will inherit,” Anne said, “that’s enough to keep me going.” Amen to that! Click here to read the full article.

MLK Bangor action

Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action will host a vigil and nonviolent direct action at the Bangor Trident submarine base honoring the legacy of nonviolence (and vision) of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Saturday, January 14th.

The Ground Zero Stewardship Council will have its monthly meeting beginning around 11:00 AM; all are welcome to join us for the meeting. We will have an opening circle around 1:00 PM in preparation to leave for the Bangor Main Gate, about a 15 minute walk.

We have signs and banners that we will bring along for the vigil. Just bring your nonviolent spirit, and join us as we continue to bear witness to the insanity of the continued existence of nuclear weapons and Trident’s central role in US nuclear weapons policy (and the threat of nuclear annihilation).

Email info@gzcenter or gznonviolencenews@gmail.com with your questions.

MLK Seattle Celebration

People will gather at Garfield High School on January 16th to honor the Martin Luther King, Jr’s legacy at the MLK Seattle Celebration. This year’s event, under the theme Stop the Hate: Come Together, will include workshops, rallies, a march and opportunity fair.

The 2016b MLK Seattle March from Garfield High School to the Federal Building.

The 2016b MLK Seattle March from Garfield High School to the Federal Building.

Ground Zero Center will present a workshop titled Nuclear Weapons: Forgotten But Not Gone: Overcoming the Threat they Pose to Humanity. Our workshop will ask: how do we nonviolently challenge current U.S. plans to spend a trillion dollars rebuilding the entire U.S. nuclear arsenal? How do we redirect these resources to eliminating poverty, overcoming racism, and meeting the challenge of climate justice? After a 20 minute power point presentation/slide show, we will engage in Q&A about what workshop participants have been doing, plans currently underway, and new ways we might deal with the nuclear issues that continue to confront us.

The March from Garfield High School to the 2nd. Ave. Federal Building will start about 12:30. All are encouraged to assemble with us in front of Garfield H.S. (23rd. & E. Jefferson) beginning just before noon. We will have large banners and signs, and leaflets to hand out.

Learn more at mlkseattle.org.

PLC 2017

The Pacific Life Community 2017 gathering takes place from March 5th through March 7th at Port Orchard, Washington. This year’s theme is “The Passion of Resistance” — encompassing both the joy and pain that comes from struggling against the status quo — and will feature a retrospective on the remarkable life work of Raymond G. Hunthausen, archbishop of Seattle from 1975-1981. Archbishop Hunthausen gained national attention when he became the first US bishop to urge tax resistance as a way to oppose the nuclear weapons buildup. Click here to learn more about this year’s PLC gathering.

Pacific Life Community at Bangor in 2009

Pacific Life Community at Bangor in 2009

Earth Day: Save the Date and Save the Planet

On Friday April 21, 2017 Ground Zero and allies will paddle, walk, and speak out against nuclear weapons and the destruction of our planet! We will gather in Seattle demanding that the Trillions of US Citizen Tax Dollars dedicated to destroying our Planet be redirected to healing her and serving human needs. Save the date and join us. More details will be available soon at gzcenter.org/event/save-our-planet/.

UN to launch negotiations in 2017 on a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons

First, I must correct President-elect Trump who recently Tweeted that “The United States must greatly strengthen its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.” In reality, it is a minority of nations that have not yet come to their senses on this subject, and the US ranks at the top of this list. A majority of nations – 113 countries in the UN General Assembly to be exact – approved a historic resolution to launch negotiations in 2017 on a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons.

14-10-2011nonukes

The nuclear-armed nations have stonewalled efforts toward disarmament for decades, and it is time to say ENOUGH! The multilateral negotiations that will begin in late March 2017 will produce a treaty that will likely include prohibitions on use, development, production, acquisition, stockpiling, retention and transfer, as well as assistance, encouragement or inducement of anyone to engage in any of these prohibited activities. The new treaty will not eliminate nuclear weapons overnight, but will place nuclear weapons on the same legal footing as other weapons of mass destruction like chemical and biological weapons.

A majority of UN member states view the ban treaty approach as the most viable and promising pathway forward. Of course, it already appears that at least some nuclear weapon states, such as the US, may not attend the negotiations, and this is unacceptable. We, as citizen activists, will need to bring the strongest possible pressure to bear on our government to fulfill its moral, ethical and legal obligations, and support these negotiations. Stay up-to-date and get involved at the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN): icanw.org

Command and Control airs January 10th

Command and Control: An American Experience Documentary, directed by Robert Kenner and based on the best-selling book by Eric Schlosser, will be broadcast on PBS affiliated stations nationwide. Many of us attended a special screening in Seattle; this is a documentary everyone must see. Check your local PBS station for air times.

And On Into 2017…

The longer I do this work the more I come to understand what I believe to be a form of insanity that has taken hold of those who have developed the weapons, the policies and the mechanisms that will, one day, so long as nuclear weapons exist, end civilization as we know it. And yet, there is always the nagging question, “How can such huge numbers of people go to work everyday planning and preparing for the inevitable destruction of humanity?”

In his book, Raids on the Unspeakable, the Trappist monk, Christian mystic and activist Thomas Merton wrote an essay titled, A Devout Meditation in Memory of Adolph Eichmann. He opened by saying that one of the things he found most disturbing about the Eichmann trial was that a psychiatrist examined him and found him “perfectly” sane. Had Eichmann (and the rest of the Nazis) been psychotic, it would have been easier for Merton to understand the horrific acts they conducted on a daily basis. But no; they were all quite sane, and that is the scary part. Here is how Merton put it (selected excerpts):

The sanity of Eichmann is disturbing. We equate sanity with a sense of justice, with humaneness, with prudence, with the capacity to love and understand other people. We rely on the sane people of the world to preserve it from barbarism, madness, destruction. And now it begins to dawn on us that it is precisely the sane ones who are the most dangerous.

It is the sane ones, the well-adapted ones, who can without qualms and without nausea aim the missile, and press the buttons that will initiate the great festival of destruction that they, the sane ones, have prepared… They will be obeying sane orders that have come sanely down the chain of command. And because of their sanity they will have no qualms at all.

The ones who coolly estimate how many millions of victims can he considered expendable in a nuclear war, I presume they do all right with the Rorschach ink blots too. On the other hand, you will probably find that the pacifists and the ban-the-bomb people are, quite seriously, just as we read in Time, a little crazy.

As we take our first steps into the New Year, may we “crazy” abolitionists move forward together with a renewed sense of purpose, inspired by the actions of all the crazy people who came before us and those who continue to do so. And may this coming year be the Year of the Ban!

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Join us at gzcenter.org, at our NO To NEW TRIDENT Campaign notnt.org, and at our Facebook pages: Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action and NO To NEW TRIDENT. Subscribe or unsubscribe to our email newsletters by sending an email to gznonviolencenews@gmail.com.

PEACE to All in the New Year,

Leonard (on behalf of all of us at Ground Zero Center)

Peace flotilla and nonviolent direct action at Trident nuclear submarine base mark anniversary of atomic bombings (Press Release)

Contact: Leonard Eiger (425) 445-2190 or Glen Milner (206) 365-7865

Silverdale, Washington: Local peace activists staged a water-based nonviolent protest and witness for peace in Hood Canal at the Trident nuclear submarine base on August 9th marking the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki. The activists travelled along the Bangor waterfront where nuclear warheads and Trident missiles are loaded onto submarines and where submarines are resupplied for ballistic missile patrols in the Pacific Ocean. On August 8th activists staged a vigil and nonviolent direct action in which some activists blocked the entrance gate to the same Naval base.

The August 9th peace flotilla, named “Boats by Bangor,” included the original peace ship, the Golden Rule, which set sail in 1958 to the South Pacific to stop nuclear weapons testing in the atmosphere. A National Project of Veterans for Peace, the Golden Rule continues to inspire many peacemakers and peace ships around the world.

The Golden Rule, skippered by Rich Giles of Winslow, Washington, led kayaks and another sailboat, the S/V Silent, along the entire length of the waterfront of Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, including the Delta Pier and the two Explosives Handling Wharves at Bangor where Trident submarines are maintained and nuclear warheads and Trident D-5 missiles are loaded into submarines.

The Golden Rule and kayaks with OHIO Class (Trident) submarine visible in background at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor Delta Pier on August 9th

The Golden Rule and kayaks with OHIO Class (Trident) submarine visible in background at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor Delta Pier on August 9th

The peace flotilla included 15 people aboard the Golden Rule, 5 people on S/V Silent, and 13 kayakers.

The flotilla was a collaborative effort by Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action and Veterans for Peace, and included members of the annual Pacific Northwest Interfaith Peace Walk led by the Bainbridge Island Nipponzan Miyohoji Buddhist Temple.

Hood Canal is tightly controlled by the Navy with multiple easements from State agencies that restrict access and development near the submarine base, and with a series of federally established security zones that are enforced by Coast Guard, Navy, and Marine Corps personnel. Military personnel were courteous and professional in their interactions with the August 9th peace flotilla.live streaming movie Rings 2017 online

This was the first year for a large water-based presence since the first Trident submarine, the USS Ohio arrived at Bangor in 1982. The flotilla is part of a continuing effort by activists to lift the veil of secrecy involving nuclear weapons in Puget Sound.

The “Boats by Bangor” event followed an early-morning action on August 8th by Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action at the Main Gate to the Trident submarine base. While people vigiled on the roadside, and after Ground Zero Peacekeepers safely stopped traffic, four activists risked arrest by entering the roadway carrying banners and blocking traffic into the base.

Sue Ablao, Bremerton, WA and Mack Johnson, Silverdale, WA carried a banner identical to the bus ad currently running on Seattle Metro Transit buses that reads, “20 miles west of Seattle is the largest concentration of deployed nuclear weapons in the U.S.” The banner included a map with a line drawn from Bangor to Seattle.

Sue Ablao and Mack Johnson blocking the roadway on August 8th

Sue Ablao and Mack Johnson blocking the roadway on August 8th

Washington State Patrol officers removed Ablao and Johnson from the roadway, and shortly thereafter two more activists, Philip Davis, Bremerton WA and George Rodkey, Tacoma WA, entered the roadway carrying a banner that read “No More Genocide In My Name,” a reference to the atomic bombing of Nagasaki.

State Patrol removed Davis and Rodkey from the roadway, and issued all four activists citations for being in the roadway illegally and released them.

Philip Davis, Bremerton WA and George Rodkey blocking the roadway at the Bangor Main Gate on August 8th

Philip Davis, Bremerton WA and George Rodkey blocking the roadway at the Bangor Main Gate on August 8th

The two-day witness for peace at the nuclear submarine base marked the 71st anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan.

The Trident submarine base at Bangor employs the largest concentration of deployed nuclear weapons in the U.S. and is the home port for 8 of the Navy’s 14 Trident nuclear powered submarines. 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 submarine base.

One Trident SSBN submarine at Bangor is 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. One submarine deployed at Bangor is equal to more than 1,400 Hiroshima sized nuclear bombs.

Aerial view of Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor waterfront

Aerial view of Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor waterfront

The nuclear warheads at SWFPAC and on submarines based at Bangor have the combined explosive power equivalent to more than 14,000 Hiroshima bombs. 

On March 11, 2016, the 10th bi-annual Nuclear Deterrent Symposium was held in Silverdale to discuss the future of U.S. strategic forces. Rear Adm. Charles Richard criticized opposition to the Navy’s $100 billion plan for 12 new replacement SSBN submarines, proclaiming, “It’s a matter of priorities.” The new SSBNs would replace the submarines at Bangor. Richard noted that the USS Ohio arrived at Bangor in 1982 to much protest, and stated, “We have taken that [nuclear weapons] out of the national psyche.”

Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action and Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility are involved in an environmental lawsuit against the Navy’s second Explosives Handling Wharf at Bangor. As a result of the lawsuit, plaintiffs discovered that while the Navy insisted the second wharf posed no new safety risk at the base, the federal agency responsible for explosives siting refused to grant approval. The case was filed in federal court in June 2012 and is currently pending in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

On December 14, 2015, the Navy filed a lawsuit in federal court to block the release of emergency response plans that might benefit the public in the case of a nuclear accident at Bangor. The lawsuit is still pending.

The U.S. is currently spending more on nuclear weapons programs than during the height of the Cold War.

The U.S. currently plans to spend an estimated $1 trillion dollars over 30 years for rebuilding the nation’s nuclear facilities and modernizing nuclear weapons.

The New York Times reported that the U. S., Russia and China are aggressively pursuing a new generation of smaller and less destructive nuclear weapons. The buildups threaten to revive a Cold War-era arms race and unsettle the balance of power among nations.

On May 27, 2016, President Obama spoke in Hiroshima and called for an end to nuclear weapons. He said that the nuclear powers “…must have the courage to escape the logic of fear, and pursue a world without them.”  Obama added, We must change our mindset about war itself.” 

On July 30, 2016, the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki sent a letter to the U.S. Embassy in Japan asking U.S. President Obama to step up his nuclear disarmament efforts.

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. Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action offers the opportunity to explore the roots of violence and injustice in our world and to experience the transforming power of love through nonviolent direct action. We resist all nuclear weapons, especially the Trident ballistic missile system.

 

Peace flotilla to visit waterfront of Trident nuclear submarine base in Hood Canal on August 9th

Media/Press Contacts:

  • Leonard Eiger (425) 445-2190
  • Mary Gleysteen (360) 265-1589
  • Glen Milner (206) 365-7865
  • Day of the event (206) 979-8319

Local activists will stage a water-based nonviolent protest and witness for peace in Hood Canal at the Trident nuclear submarine base.  Peace activists will travel along the Bangor waterfront where nuclear warheads and Trident missiles are loaded onto submarines and where submarines are resupplied for ballistic missile patrols in the Pacific Ocean.2015-09-01_4921_LLGoldRuleCoronado

The witness for peace at the nuclear submarine base marks the 71st commemoration of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan.

What:  Peace activists at nuclear submarine base waterfront.  This is the first year for the demonstration, called “Boats by Bangor.”Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV 2016 movie trailer

When:  Tuesday, August 9, around 9:30 am, kayaks enter Hood Canal south of Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor at King Spit.  Sailboats will come from various locations.            

Where:  Sailboats and kayaks will travel along the entire length of the waterfront of Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, including the Delta Pier and the two Explosives Handling Wharves at Bangor where Trident submarines are maintained and nuclear warheads and Trident D-5 missiles are loaded upon submarines.  Participants will not be risking arrest in Hood Canal.

The peace flotilla, titled “Boats by Bangor”, will include the original peace ship, the Golden Rule, that set sail in 1958 to the South Pacific to stop nuclear bomb testing in the atmosphere.  A National Project of Veterans for Peace, the Golden Rulecontinues to inspire many peacemakers and peace ships around the world.

The flotilla will also include members of the annual Pacific Northwest Interfaith Peace Walk led by the Bainbridge Island Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist Temple.

Bangor waterfront map-page-0This is the first year for a large water-based presence since the first Trident submarine, the USS Ohio arrived at Bangor in 1982.  The flotilla is part of a continuing effort by activists to lift the veil of secrecy involving nuclear weapons in Puget Sound.

The Trident submarine base at Bangor employs the largest concentration of deployed nuclear weapons in the U.S. and is the home port for 8 of the Navy’s 14 Trident nuclear powered submarines.  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 submarine base.

One Trident SSBN submarine at Bangor is 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.  One submarine deployed at Bangor is equal to more than 1,400 Hiroshima sized nuclear bombs.

The nuclear warheads at SWFPAC and on submarines based at Bangor have the combined explosive power equivalent to more than 14,000 Hiroshima bombs.

The Boats by Bangor event follows an early-morning action on the previous day by the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action at the entrance to the Trident submarine base.  Demonstrators on Monday, August 8, may risk arrest in commemoration of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Hood Canal is tightly controlled by the Navy with multiple easements from State agencies that restrict access and development near the submarine base, and with a series of federally established security zones that are enforced by Coast Guard, Navy, and Marine Corps personnel.  Participants in the flotilla do not intend to enter the federally designated exclusion zone around the Bangor waterfront.Bangor waterfront chart (compressed)-min

On March 11, 2016, the 10th bi-annual Nuclear Deterrent Symposium was held in Silverdale to discuss the future of U.S. strategic forces.  Rear Adm. Charles Richard criticized opposition to the Navy’s $100 billion plan for 12 new replacement SSBN submarines, proclaiming, “It’s a matter of priorities.”  The new SSBNs would replace the submarines at Bangor.  Rear Adm. Richards noted that the USS Ohio arrived at Bangor in 1982 to much protest, and stated, “We have taken that [nuclear weapons] out of the national psyche.”

Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action and Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility are involved in an environmental lawsuit against the Navy’s second Explosives Handling Wharf at Bangor.  As a result of the lawsuit, plaintiffs discovered that while the Navy insisted the second wharf posed no new safety risk at the base, the federal agency responsible for explosives siting refused to grant approval.  The case was filed in federal court in June 2012 and is currently pending in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

On December 14, 2015, the Navy filed a lawsuit in federal court to block the release of emergency response plans that might benefit the public in the case of a nuclear accident at Bangor.  The lawsuit is still pending.

The U.S. is currently spending more on nuclear weapons programs than during the height of the Cold War.

The U.S. currently plans to spend an estimated $1 trillion dollars over 30 years for rebuilding the nation’s nuclear facilities and modernizing nuclear weapons.

The New York Times reported that the U. S., Russia and China are aggressively pursuing a new generation of smaller and less destructive nuclear weapons. The buildups threaten to revive a Cold War-era arms race and unsettle the balance of power among nations.

On May 27, 2016, President Obama spoke in Hiroshima and called for an end to nuclear weapons.   He said that the nuclear powers “…must have the courage to escape the logic of fear, and pursue a world without them.”  Obama added, We must change our mindset about war itself.” 

On July 30, 2016, the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki sent a letter to the U.S. Embassy in Japan asking U.S. President Obama to step up his nuclear disarmament efforts.image001

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.  The Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action offers the opportunity to explore the roots of violence and injustice in our world and to experience the transforming power of love through nonviolent direct action. We resist all nuclear weapons, especially the Trident ballistic missile system.