Activists blockade west coast nuclear base in plea to de-escalate nuclear crisis with North Korea

Activists blockaded the West Coast nuclear submarine base that would likely carry out a nuclear strike against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) should President Donald Trump give the order.

Naval Base Kitsap-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 the eight ballistic missile submarines based at Bangor or stored at Strategic Weapons Facility Pacific (SWFPAC) at the Bangor base.

Activists with Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action held a vigil and nonviolent direct action at the Bangor base on August 14th, several days after the 72nd anniversaries of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Participants briefly blockaded the base during the morning shift change by carrying banners onto the roadway at the main entrance gate.

(left to right) Nuclear resisters Susan DeLaney, Philip Davis and Charles (Charley) Smith

All were removed from the road by Washington State Patrol Officers, cited for being in the roadway illegally, and released on the scene.

Those cited were Philip Davis, Bremerton, WA; Susan DeLaney, Bothell, WA; Ryan DeWitt, Olympia, WA; Sarah Hobbs, Portland, OR; Mack Johnson, Silverdale, WA; Ben Moore, Bainbridge Island, WA; and Charles (Charley) Smith, Eugene Catholic Worker, Eugene, OR.

One of the banners implored the Trump administration to stop its incendiary rhetoric toward North Korea. It read, “No Nuclear Strike On N. Korea!”

(from left to right) Sarah Hobbs, Ben Moore and Ryan DeWitt

Ground Zero spokesperson Leonard Eiger said, “No one knows where this escalating rhetoric of President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will end. To take either leader at his word, a nuclear holocaust is an acceptable event. There is no acceptable military solution to this nuclear standoff. Diplomacy is the only way out of this mess.”

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.

Click here to see photos of the action, as well as events that took place on the Sunday prior to the action. You are welcome to download and use photos (taken by Leonard Eiger, Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action).

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David Swanson to be keynote speaker at GZ Hiroshima/Nagasaki Weekend

Noted peace activist David Swanson, director of WorldBeyondWar.org and author of numerous books including “War Is a Lie,” will be keynote speaker at the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action’s (www.gzcenter.org) Hiroshima-Nagasaki commemoration event Aug. 11-14th and will address the gathering by video on Sunday, August 13th. More about David Swanson here: davidswanson.org/about

Swanson’s speech will highlight a weekend of nuclear resistance events at the Poulsbo, WA peace house, which sits on 3.8 acres and shares a border fence with the Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, West Coast home port to the Trident nuclear weapon system.

The public is invited. All events are free.

On August 12th – for the second consecutive year – the Ground Zero Center will sponsor the “Boats by Bangor” action, a ship and kayak flotilla action on the Hood Canal in which activists sail/paddle directly in front of the Trident submarine base in a demonstration of resistance against Trident and nuclear weapons.

Last year “Boats by Bangor” featured the presence of “The Golden Rule,” the peace ship whose nuclear resistance mission is sponsored by Veterans for Peace (more information at http://www.vfpgoldenruleproject.org/). For information on participating in “Boats by Bangor” contact Rodney Brunelle at rodney.brunelle@gmail.com.

Click here for more information including a detailed schedule of events.

Please check out the following resources at World Beyond War:
Sign the Declaration of Peace.Find events all over the world that you can take part in.

Join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Support World Beyond War’s work by clicking here.

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Peace activists to meet the U.S. Navy Fleet arrival at Seafair

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Peace activists to meet the U.S. Navy Fleet arrival at Seafair on Wednesday, August 2, 2017 in Elliott Bay

Contact:    Glen Milner (206) 365-7865
Mary Gleysteen (360) 265-1589
Day of the event (206) 979-8319

Local activists will stage a water-based nonviolent protest against the glorification of weapons of war at the Seattle Seafair festival.  Peace activists will meet the U.S. Navy fleet in Elliott Bay.

Other peace activists will meet on land at Waterfront Park on the Seattle waterfront at the same time for a nonviolent demonstration against weapons of war.  The rooftop of Bell Harbor Marina is closed to the public this year, and Piers 62/63 are construction areas.

What:  Peace activists at Seafair.  This is the sixteenth year for this demonstration. 

When:  Wednesday, August 2, noon, Peace Fleet in Elliott Bay.  Demonstration on land at Waterfront Park (just south of the Seattle Aquarium) at 1 PM.

Where:  In Elliott Bay, near Pier 66.  Demonstration on land at Waterfront Park (just south of the Seattle Aquarium.)

For the sixteenth year, peace activists will address the public display of warships and warplanes in our community.

Why would we demonstrate for peace at a Seattle maritime festival?  Because the celebration of warships in our harbor helps bring about the normalcy of modern war.

The fleet arrival at Seafair is a public relations and recruiting event for the U.S. Navy.  Previous years have brought Trident nuclear submarines complete with nuclear warheads and Navy warships used to launch Tomahawk cruise missiles in the first and second Wars on Iraq and the War on Afghanistan.  The fleet is displayed for four days in downtown Seattle at tremendous cost to taxpayers while crucial social services in education, health care, and transportation are being cut for lack of funds.

Please see Fact Sheet

Fact Sheet — Peace activists at Seafair on August 2, 2017

The Peace Fleet is an incarnation of earlier demonstrations: the People’s Blockade of U.S. Navy vessels carrying munitions during the Vietnam War; and the Peace Blockade in Hood Canal, demonstrating against the arrival of the first Trident submarine, the USS Ohio, at the Trident submarine base at Bangor in 1982.

The Peace Fleet began on August 2, 2000 when the Trident submarine, USS Alabama, arrived in downtown Seattle for Seafair, complete with up to 192 nuclear warheads.

In 2011, Seafair and the Navy changed the public viewing area on the rooftop of Pier 66 into a private event.  This is the location where in previous years the public had been invited to view the Parade of Ships.  In past years, the number of peace activists including the singing group, the Raging Grannies, equaled the number of other rooftop observers.  In 2016, the rooftop was open to the public for the first year since 2010 without incident.  The rooftop is closed again this year to the public.

2012 was the first year for the Coast Guard’s permanent rule for its no-protest zone, or so-called “safety zone,” in Elliott Bay.  The Coast Guard agreed with the ACLU that Peace Fleet boats should be able to remain in the area between the Coast Guard’s 100-yard exclusionary zone from Navy vessels and the safety zone which extends 100 yards from Pier 66.  See below the Coast Guard map for Pier 66 for 2014 showing the Seafair Parade of Ships route along the waterfront.

In 2013, the US Navy did not attend Seafair due to military budget cuts in FY 2013 resulting from the Budget Control Act of 2011, also known as sequestration.  The Department of Defense decided in 2013 to halt participation in community relations or outreach events that come at additional cost to the federal government.  In April 2013, a spokesperson for the Navy’s 3rd Fleet said that the round-trip bill for fuel alone for three warships from San Diego to attend the Seattle Seafair festival in 2012 cost $1.1 million.

On July 14, 2017, on a vote of 344-88, the House of Representatives passed a $696 billion National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2018.  Of the 10 Washington State representatives, only Representative Jayapal voted against the defense bill.  The bill far exceeded the amount of money sought by the Pentagon and the Trump administration.

On June 14, 2016, on a vote of 85-13, the Senate passed a $602 billion National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2017.  Both Senators Murray and Cantwell voted for the defense bill.  Likely they will both support the Senate bill this year.

The Peace Fleet this year, as in past years, will require no public funds or public resources.

The next Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action event is August 12-14 at the Ground Zero Center in Poulsbo, and at the Bangor submarine base, in commemoration of the bombing of Hiroshima and NagasakiOn August 12, Peace Fleet vessels and other vessels will sail past the Trident submarine base in Hood Canal in a Boats by Bangornonviolent demonstration.

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Ground Zero’s annual August action is coming up!

“IF WE CAN RISK NUCLEAR WAR, WE CAN RISK NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT”

By Mack Johnson

Concerned about nuclear war? How about the CBO’s new estimate that the US nuclear modernization program will cost $1.2 TRILLION DOLLARS? And what about that guy in the White House with his tiny finger on the button? If these issues occupy your mind, and if you want some fun and fellowship while trying the save the planet, here is a suggestion: please come to the Ground Zero Center for our August activities to help stand up against the madness of preparing for nuclear war. 2017 is the 72nd anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and is a vital time to work against the Trident weapons system and its immense costs and dangers.

This has been a busy year for GZ, with many new or resumed activities such as leafleting, a workshop at the Seattle MLK Rally, a second round of bus ads, an Earth Day action, a gate action in coordination with PLC, and more. Both regular GZ activists and newcomers have been joining in for everything from weeding the grounds to risking arrest. With all of this, it is good to reflect that the anniversary of the atomic bombings is the most important opportunity to remind the public of the horrendous destructiveness of nuclear weapons and to take both concrete and symbolic steps to oppose them.

Our events take place this year a bit later in the month due to the From Hiroshima To Hope ceremony’s being on Sunday August 6. The Ground Zero Center will be open for visitors and overnight participants beginning the evening of Friday, August 11, with a private screening of Helen Young’s film, The Nuns, the Priests, and the Bomb. Peacewalkers arrive at GZ Saturday August 12 in time for the second Boats By Bangor waterborne protest on Hood Canal, with an evening concert by musician and longtime GZ stalwart, Tom Rawson. Sunday the 13th is a full day of events at Ground Zero, including a Trident orientation and slide show, nonviolence training, planning and discernment for action at the Bangor gates, and time to vigil, write messages to the federal government, or make peace cranes as attendees desire. That evening is a second concert, a special Pete Seeger tribute by local folkies Hank ‘n’ Claire with a multimedia slide show. GZ’s vigil and nonviolent direct action at Bangor is bright and early on the morning of August 14. Workers arriving for the morning shift will have time to consider the costs and consequences of America’s nuclear weapons programs when Ground Zero activists bring our message of love and sanity right before their eyes.

A detailed schedule is at the Ground Zero Events Calendar.

Click here to view and download the full-page event flyer. A quarter-page version is also available, and is great for handing out. Click here for the quarter-page version. 

Co-organizers Mary Gleysteen, Mack Johnson, and Elizabeth Murray are looking forward to seeing as many people as possible for our gathering. Invite your partner! Tell your friends! Helpers and kayakers wanted! Bring your dog! Take a few steps for peace and the earth, and GZ will help you take more.

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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.

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