Why Did I Stand In The Road?

Editor’s Note: The following is the statement that Susan Delaney read at a mitigation hearing on November 7, 2017 at Kitsap District Court. Susan and others had entered the roadway carrying banners during a protest vigil at the Bangor Trident nuclear submarine base in August. All were cited for being in the roadway illegally and released. Some of the resisters, including DeLaney, appeared in Kitsap District Court to mitigate their charges.

Why Did I Stand In The Road?

I was born in Seattle 70 years ago and in all those years I have been a follower of rules and a law-abiding citizen.  I have never received a citation from the police, not even a traffic ticket.  This is the first time.  So why did I decide to get up early one morning and deliberately break the law?  Why did I go stand in the road?

Let me explain.  Most people in the Seattle area don’t know about the existence of the Bangor Submarine base located right in our front yard.  When the base was being built decades ago, there were big protests against it being constructed here but now that is mostly forgotten.  I believe it is time to remind people that the base is dangerous and very close to home.  And so as a way to call attention to the issue, I decided to stand in the road to see if anyone would want to know why I did that.

What are the dangers of having more than half of our nuclear-armed submarines serviced in one location?  The situation reminds me of Pearl Harbor where the Pacific fleet was concentrated in one

Susan DeLaney, after receiving her citation during the August vigil.

place making it possible for Japan to destroy all the ships in one attack.
In addition to all the nuclear missiles deployed on multiple submarines, Bangor is a storage site for other nuclear weapons.  All of this makes our region a first strike target and an accident waiting to happen.

I have a list here of 75 different military nuclear accidents and those are just the ones that are on the public record.  That says to me that the probability of a significant accident is just a matter of time.  The consequences of an accidental detonation or a release of nuclear materials is terrifying.  These realities must be recognized.  That is why I stood in the road.

There is a great precedent for changing things.  Up until 1991, our country had nuclear bombers on alert in the sky 24 hours a day.  There were numerous accidents and close calls.  A conservative Republican president, George Bush Sr. made the wise decision to end that era.  In 1991 he stood down the bombers.  I still remember hearing about it on the evening news.

It is time to take another big step to make our world a safer place.  Attention must be directed to the problem before people will start figuring out how to change things. I know that my protest was small and that it was not enough but I am not discouraged. Mother Teresa taught us that doing the right thing may not be enough, but that we should do the right thing anyway.  I believe that there is a special responsibility for what happens in our own front yard.  And so that is why I stood in the road.

Susan DeLaney
November 7, 2017

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August Resisters’ Arraignment in US District Court

UPDATED Monday, November 2nd at 7:00PM

Eight activists who were arrested by US Navy security personnel at the Bangor Trident base in August have received notices to appear for arraignment in US District Court, Tacoma on Wednesday, November 4th at 8:30AM. NOTE: It is possible that (as has happened on some previous arraignments) the government could cancel the arraignments at the last moment (literally the day before). If that happens, we will post an update to this calendar listing and send out an email announcement as well. AS of Monday, Nov. 2 the arraignment is still on!

We invite supporters to come out in support. We will hold a pre-arraignment vigil earlier in the morning in front of the Union Station Courthouse on Pacific Avenue, beginning at 7:30AM.

Supporters can also observe the proceedings in the courtroom. Anyone entering the courthouse must carry government issued identification, and must go through a security checkpoint (like airport security). Note: No photography is allowed in any area beyond the security checkpoint.

During the August vigil at the Bangor base, the eight protesters walked onto the base, blocking the roadway, and staged a die-in. While three activists dropped down on the roadway, the others poured ashes around them representing the ashes of those incinerated in the atomic bombings. Naval security personnel arrested them, cited them for trespassing, and released them a short time later.

Two of those who entered the base attempted to deliver a letter to the commanding officer urging him to use every power available to him to call for an immediate halt to the updating and expansion of the Trident fleet under his command. The two were among those arrested.

Those arrested (and who have received arraignment notices) are Mary Gleysteen, Kingston, WA; Anne Hall, Lopez Island, WA; Ann Kittredge, Quilcene, WA; Betsy Lamb, Bend, OR; Peggy Love, East Wenatchee, WA; Emilie Marlinghaus, Bend, OR; Elizabeth Murray, Poulsbo, WA; and Michael Siptroth, Belfair, WA.

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“Being Arrested for Peace is an Honor”

Editor’s Note: Doug Mulholland, one of the participants in Ground Zero’s August blockade of the Bangor Trident submarine base, wrote the following report on his August experience, the subsequent court hearing and his thoughts on nonviolent civil resistance. With great thanks to all of the resisters willing to take an extra step (out into the road) for peace.   

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Tuesday Oct 27th Brenda McMillan, Mack Johnson, Michael Siptroth and I went to Port Orchard and paid $25 traffic tickets for being pedestrians in the roadway at the Trident Base Trigger gate on August 10th. We did this act of civil disobedience on the 70th anniversary of the nuclear bombing of 2 Japanese cities- Hiroshima & Nagasaki. Our action impeded the flow of a thousand cars – driven by workers at the Trident Sub base, homeport for a substantial proportion of the United States strategic nuclear bombs. Thousands of workers saw us holding up a sign that said, “We can all live without Trident.” After our arrest several of us were thanked by one of the Marines guarding the base entry. The civil disobedience was a deeply courteous, successful and moving event.

Doug (at far left) during the August blockade as State Patrol officers move resisters off the roadway. (photo by Glen Milner)

Doug (at far left) during the August blockade as Sheriff and State Patrol officers move resisters off the roadway. (photo by Glen Milner)

In early August Jefferson County residents Brenda McMillan, Kit Simian and I had joined other activists living in Puget Sound for several days at The Ground Zero center for Nonviolent Resistance located next to the Trident base. I was among kindred spirits who focus on waking the people, and protecting our ability to live on this planet. After much consideration I decided that blocking traffic, and having to pay a pedestrian in the roadway fine would be a reasonable and decent life-affirming act. Kit and others risk a 6 month federal sentence by laying down on the road and sprinkling ashes around their bodies, leaving an outline similar to what was left of people who were vaporized by the nukes used in Japan.

Judge Steve Olsen of the Kitsap district court reduced our fines from $63, and thanked us for what we had done. When it was my turn to speak in front of the judge I talked about what a nuclear attack on the Trident base would be like, where I believe multiple thermonuclear bombs are targeted. Hundreds of thousands of us dead, our hospitals destroyed, Seattle in ruins, vast amounts of radioactive fallout, a f______ nightmare.

The likelihood of a nuclear war at this moment in time is substantial. Currently NATO is playing a war game in Europe called “Trident Juncture 2015” practicing for an all-out war, with the military industries of 15 countries participating. Our government has declared economic war on Russia, Russia is bombing the terrorists we have been incubating in Syria. Missile launch pads are being built in the Ukraine. The nuclear noose around Russia is being tightened. We’re talking brinksmanship people! The noose is around our necks as well.

I am one of thousands questioning the latest round of military growth here in Puget Sound. When I hear the growlers, airplanes designed to detect and destroy radar systems, I know that a nuclear war is being prepared and is practiced for daily. I think of the military not so much as servants of our freedom, but rather part of the military industrial congressional media drug thug complex. War is very profitable for a few, and a job for many thousands of us. Our government is constantly sowing seeds of war. More guns, bombs, planes, subs must be sold, the empire must have control of oil, the global marketplace must be in dollars, military full spectrum dominance must be upgraded, all paid for by borrowing money our children will have to pay so that the 1/10th of 1% billionaire class that that owns capitalism inc. can rule the world.

Being arrested for Peace is an honor. Helping the coming lawsuit that will challenge the Navy’s abuse of the Environmental Impact Statement process is a duty. Come together! We can change the direction the rulers of the world are headed (dead end). In the names of our grandchildren let’s claim the power to survive! We are many and all of us want a world that is not at the edge of destruction.

Doug's wife Nancy (holding grandaughter Inez) and daughter Amanda (photo by Gabe Van Lelyveld)

Doug’s wife Nancy (holding granddaughter Inez) and daughter Amanda  (photo by Gabe Van Lelyveld)

 

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Judge reduces fines for activists who blocked Bangor gate in August

Editor’s Note: Thanks to the Port Townsend Leader for the following story on yesterday’s hearings in Kitsap District Court where resisters, who were cited by the State Patrol at Ground Zero’s August vigil and nonviolent direct action, had mitigation hearings before a judge. Although not mentioned in this article, Mack Johnson and Michael Siptroth also appeared in court on October 28th and had their fines reduced.

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Kitsap judge reduces fines for PT residents who blocked Naval Base-Kitsap Bangor gate in August

By Nicholas Johnson, Port Townsend Leader, October 28, 2015

Two Port Townsend residents who were cited in August after blocking an entrance to Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor during a demonstration against nuclear weapons proliferation say a Kitsap County judge was “very sympathetic” upon reducing their fines.

Douglas Milholland, 66, and Brenda McMillan, 81, both of Port Townsend, said they appeared Oct. 27 in Kitsap County District Court where Judge Stephen Olsen reduced each of their $63 fines to $25.

photo by Glen Milner, Ground Zero Center

photo by Glen Milner, Ground Zero Center

Milholland and McMillan were among some 11 demonstrators cited and released Aug. 10 during a demonstration organized by the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action of Poulsbo, Washington.

Also, Ann Kittredge, 57, of Quilcene was cited that day with trespassing on military property by Navy security personnel after she and seven others walked onto the base to stage a die-in while blocking the roadway.

Photo by Glen Milner, Ground Zero Center

Photo by Glen Milner, Ground Zero Center

The demonstration was intended to draw attention to the continued deployment and modernization of the U.S. Navy’s Trident nuclear weapons system, according to organizers. It also commemorated the 70th anniversary of the United States’ atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan, which led to the end of World War II.

Source URL:  http://www.ptleader.com/news/kitsap-judge-reduces-fines-for-pt-residents-who-blocked-naval/article_7b8a9490-7dc0-11e5-8a47-3f2b6adab1b1.html  

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Mitigation Hearings for August Action Resisters

The group of resisters cited by the State Patrol for blocking the roadway during the August nonviolent direct action at the Bangor Trident base will have their mitigation hearings this month. If you can make it they would love to have people pack the courtroom in support. There will also be an opportunity to hand out leaflets in front of the courthouse before and after the hearings. It’s on Tuesday, October 27th at 3:00PM at the Kitsap County District Courthouse, Room 104.

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