If We Can Risk Nuclear War, We Can Risk Nuclear Disarmament

Save the Dates: August 12th through August 14

Ground Zero Center will hold its annual remembrance of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with a full weekend of events.

Starting on Saturday, August 12th we will have the second annual Boats By Bangor in which a full flotilla will sail by the Bangor Trident submarine base. Boats will launch from King Spit, and following the flotilla will be a beach picnic, followed by an evening concert at Ground Zero Center by folksinger Tom Rawson.

On Sunday, August 13th we have a full day that will include nonviolence training, updates on nuclear weapons issues, music, and preparation for Monday’s action.

On Monday morning we will have a vigil and nonviolent direct action at the Bangor base.

Ground Zero will also participate in the annual From Hiroshima to Hope lantern ceremony at Seattle’s Green Lake on August 6th.

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. 

Send your questions to info@gzcenter.org.

Ground Zero August 2017 SCHEDULE
IF WE CAN RISK NUCLEAR WAR, WE CAN RISK NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT
72nd Anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Atomic Bombings

Wednesday, August 2
Peace Fleet greets US Navy on Seattle waterfront; noon on the water; 1:00 PM on land; location TBD

Sunday, August 6
From Hiroshima to Hope, Green Lake Park, Seattle

Friday, August 11
6:00 PM – GZ Center house open; BYO dinner
7:00 PM – Private screening of Helen Young film “The Nuns, the Priests, and the Bombs” for cast, crew & GZ community

Saturday, August 12 “Boats By Bangor”
9:00 Continental breakfast
(Activity managers oversee watercraft transfer from Ground Zero Center to Kings Spit, Old Bangor)
10:00 Welcome, registration, review of safety procedures for “Boats By Bangor” activity; sign-up list for GZ House chores
11:00 Welcome gathering for arriving Peacewalkers
11:30 Potluck lunch
12:30 Carpool to Kings Spit
1:00 Launch kayaks with powerboat support
4:00 Kayaks/boats return to Kings Spit; barbecue picnic
5:30 Post-picnic cleanup & packout
6:00 Move boats off beach
6:30 Coffee and dessert at Ground Zero Center
7:00 Tom Rawson concert
Post-Concert: Collective Cleanup

Sunday, August 13
9:00 Breakfast & registration
10:00 Welcome & orientation to Ground Zero by Marianne Mabbitt
10:10 Briefing by Ground Zero and WPSR member Dave Hall on Trident issue
11:00-11:45 Keynote speech: Video presentation by author/antiwar activist David Swanson with follow-on discussion moderated by Elizabeth Murray
12:00 Lunch
12:45 Cleanup
1:00 Nonviolence training
2:00 Choosing roles, discernment & action planning for those considering risking arrest
Letter-writing, sign-making, or peace crane-folding, possible vigil in Silverdale (TBD)
4:00 Role-playing scenarios to rehearse for action
5:00 Affix peace cranes to fence bordering naval base
5:30 Dinner & cleanup
6:30 Hank ‘n Claire concert

Monday, August 14
5:30 Light breakfast & cleanup
6:15 Check-in for those risking arrest
6:30 Gathering Circle
7:00 AM Action at naval base
9:00 AM Closing circle/debriefing

 

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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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Preventing Nuclear “fire and fury” on Nagasaki Anniversary!

Editor’s Note: This post is the GZNonviolenceE-Newsletter sent out earlier this morning. If you would like to receive the E-Newsletters, please click here.

Dear Friends of a world free of nuclear weapons,

I wouldn’t normally send another GZNonviolenceE-Newsletter so soon, but these are anything but normal times! “Crisis” is not too strong a word to describe the situation!

Yesterday, on the eve of the 72nd anniversary of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, President Trump explicitly threatened to attack the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) with nuclear weapons! Here’s the exact quote:

“They [North Korea] will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. He [Kim Jong-un] has been very threatening … and as I said they will be met with fire, fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen.”

Trump’s extremely provocative statement was in response to news earlier in the day that North Korea can now arm its long-range missiles with nuclear warheads.

While it is true that North Korea has nuclear weapons (and says it is prepared to use them in response to any attacks by other nations), and that it can at least reach its neighbors with them, there is NO military solution to this situation.

Trump outrageous and inflammatory statement has brought tensions with North Korea to a new (and extremely dangerous) high. The consequences of any military action against North Korea would be catastrophic, and Trump’s words threaten not only North Korea, but potentially millions of people in South Korea, Japan and other nations in the region.

Amid the escalating war of words between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is reportedly visiting Seattle and the Bangor Trident nuclear submarine base 20 miles west of Seattle on the Kitsap Peninsula today and tomorrow.

The August 7th Department of Defense (DoD) news release said Mattis would be visiting Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor within the week to be briefed by Submarine Group 9 leaders, and taking a tour of the Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine USS Kentucky.

The Bangor submarine base, just 20 miles from Seattle, has the largest concentration of deployed nuclear weapons in the U.S.  If Washington state were a sovereign nation, it would be the third-largest nuclear-weapons state in the world.

Ground Zero member Glen Milner spoke of the upcoming visit by the Secretary of Defense and stated, “Hopefully, this is not as ominous as it sounds.  But it should remind citizens of the Pacific Northwest that our area will be in the forefront of any nuclear exchange, whether it involves North Korea, China, or Russia.”

At this moment it is likely that at least two of the eight Trident submarines home-ported at Bangor are on patrol in the Western Pacific region, ready to launch their thermonuclear-armed missiles on the direct order of President Trump.

The USS Kentucky, the Trident submarine that Defense Secretary Mattis will tour 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.

Mattis’ visit to the Bangor Trident base underscores the importance that the US Government places on nuclear weapons and particularly on what it calls its “strategic nuclear deterrent,” of which Trident is the most important “leg” of the nuclear triad (submarines, bombers and land-based missiles).

“Deterrence” is a relic of the Cold War; a doctrine that no longer applies in a post-Cold War world. And yet, the US continues to justify a more than $trillion nuclear weapons buildup (over 30 years) using this doctrine to justify it. And Trident will ultimately carry roughly 70-percent of the U.S.’ nuclear warheads under the U.S.-Russia New START treaty signed in 2010,

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.

The current situation is analogous to two unstable people standing with lighted matches on opposite sides of a swimming pool filled with gasoline. Without a change in course it is only a matter of time.

Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action condemns Trump’s statement, and we call on our members of Congress to respond immediately to de-escalate this crisis before the unthinkable occurs.

Please contact your members of Congress today and call on them to demand that President Trump immediately stop threatening North Korea and authorize the State Department to utilize all diplomatic tools at its disposal to reduce tensions with the North and resolve the nuclear crisis.

Click here to find contact information for your members of Congress.

If you live on the Kitsap Peninsula, Representative Derek Kilmer will hold a Town Hall Meeting this evening from 5:30 to 7:00 at North Kitsap High School Auditorium, 1881 NE Postmark St, Poulsbo, WA  98370. He will hold a second Town Hall Meeting tomorrow (Thursday, August 10th) from 5:30 to 7:00 at Mason High School, 200 E Campus Dr, Belfair, WA 98528.

Please also support the effort to restrict the president’s authority to launch a nuclear first strike. Although we never want to see nuclear weapons used again, the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act would, at least, prohibit a president from launching a nuclear first strike without a declaration of war by Congress. It’s a step in the right direction.

When you are done, please share this E-Newsletter with your network and, if you are in the Puget Sound region, join us this coming weekend to not only commemorate the anniversaries of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but to also speak out and take action to abolish these horrific devices of nuclear extinction that threaten all of humanity. Click here for information on this weekend’s events. 

Future generations rely on our actions! We must not let them down.

Let us keep working together to ensure that the horrific “fire and fury” that was unleashed on hundreds of thousands of our fellow human beings 72 years ago will never be seen again. No More Hiroshimas! No More Nagasakis!

On behalf of Ground Zero Center,

Leonard Eiger

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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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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.

 

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