PLC Nuclear Resisters to be Arraigned in Federal Court

Nuclear resisters who engaged in a nonviolent direct action at the US Navy’s Trident nuclear submarine base in Washington State will be arraigned in Federal Court.

Alex (Alexandra) Addesso, Los Angeles Catholic Worker, Los Angeles, CA; Karan Founds-Benton, Los Angeles Catholic Worker, Los Angeles, CA; Steve Kelly, SJ Oakland, CA; Betsy Lamb, Bend, Oregon; Mary Helene Mele, Bellingham, WA; Charley Smith, Eugene Catholic Worker, Eugene OR are charged with “trespassing” on a U.S. military installation.

The six resisters crossed the marked property line onto the military base while reading sections of the Nuremberg Principles out loud before being arrested by military police. They were charged with trespassing and received ban and bar letters before being released.

They were part of a demonstration at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor in Silverdale, Washington on March 7, 2017 at the conclusion of the Pacific Life Community’s (PLC) annual gathering. Bangor is the Pacific homeport of the Trident nuclear ballistic missile submarine fleet. The PLC 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.” The government garnished Hunthausen’s wages when he publicly refused to pay the war tax percentage in protest.

The defendants will appear for arraignment on Wednesday, June 7, 2017 a 8:30 AM at the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, Tacoma Courthouse, 1717 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma, Washington.

On June 7th at 7:30 AM we will meet at 1418 South G Street, across the street from the Tacoma Catholic Worker and walk to the Court House on Pacific Ave, across from the University of Washington. If you wish to drive you can meet us at the court house at 8 AM. For more information call Joe Power-Drutis 253-779-8362

Supporters are welcome and encouraged to be in the courtroom to witness the arraignment.

Official, government issued photo I.D. is required for entry. Please be aware that no photography is allowed once past the security checkpoint.

The courthouse is well served by public transportation and paid parking is available at and around the courthouse.

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Honoring Mother’s Day at GZ – “FOR THE KIDS”

Save the date  – Saturday, May 13th – to join us at Ground Zero Center as we honor the original intention of Mother’s Day (for Peace) beginning at 9:00 AM!

Join us as we imagine (and work for) a world without nuclear weapons for our children (and all the children of the world).

We have a full day of activities scheduled for our protest. Highlights include keynote speaker and Plowshares activist Susan Crane. Additionally, The Seattle Peace Chorus Action Ensemble will perform during our direct action at the Bangor Base gate.  The day’s schedule is as follows:

9:00 am – Arrival and light breakfast at Ground Zero Center
10:00 am – Introduction to Ground Zero and Mother’s Day action
10:15 am – Keynote speaker Susan Crane
11:30 am – Nonviolence training and letter writing to elected officials. Those willing to risk arrest at the gate meet to plan for action
12:15 pm – Potluck lunch
1:00 pm – Direct action rehearsal
1:30 pm – Opening circle and procession to Bangor base gate
2:00 pm – Direct action at gate. Performance by SPC Action Ensemble
3:30 pm – Closing circle back at GZ Center
4:00 pm – Tree planting ceremony in memory of Mira Leslie

We hope to see you at Ground Zero May 13! If you have any questions about the event please email us at info@gzcenter.org.

If you don’t get our newsletters and would like to subscribe, send your email request to gznonviolencenews@gmail.com.
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Resisters’ “Charges dismissed in the interest of justice”

In an extraordinary decision yesterday, Friday, September 30, 2016 a Kitsap County Court Judge dismissed charges against two nuclear resisters.

Sue Ablao and Mack Johnson appeared before Judge Marilyn Paja in Kitsap County District Court on charges of being in the roadway illegally stemming from their nonviolent direct action on August 8th during a vigil at the Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor Main Gate.Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

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

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

During the vigil, Ablao and Johnson carried a banner onto the roadway, blocking traffic entering the base. The banner was 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.

Both were subsequently removed from the roadway by Washington State Patrol officers and issued citations for being in the roadway illegally before being released.

Both Ablao and Johnson appeared in court to mitigate their charges.

At the courthouse; Sue Ablao (l) and Mack Johsnon (r).

At the courthouse on September 30th.

In her statement to the court, Ablao said (in part):

Our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren deserve better. They deserve a life. They deserve a nuclear free world. And that is why I stepped in the road to say, never again, no business as usual, at this base.

Ablao also quoted from a recent Op-Ed in the Seattle Times by David Hall and Leonard Eiger of Physicians for Social Responsibility and Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action:

The use of nuclear weapons is illegal under international law and humanitarian law – unusable because there is no way to limit escalation, are exorbitantly expensive, and are a massive diversion of human talent and resources away from resources, diplomacy, foreign assistance, innovation and public health.

After listening to each defendant’s testimony, Judge Paja dismissed the infractions for both Ablao and Johnson “in the interest of justice.”  She also thanked them both for their service and action.

And we also thank our fellow resisters for their service and (nonviolent direct) action. Through our continuing and concerted actions may we hasten the day when there will be a totally different, peaceful and sustainable “business” at what is now the Bangor Trident ballistic submarine base.

Click here to read Sue Ablao’s full statement to the court.

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August Resisters in County Court

Ground Zero members Mack Johnson and Sue Ablao were cited by the Washington State Patrol for their nonviolent direct action at the Bangor Trident submarine base during Ground Zero’s August vigil at the Bangor Main Gate.

They will have mitigation hearings on September 30 at 3:00 pm in Kitsap County District Court in Room 104.

They welcome supporters to observe the proceedings.

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RESISTERS TO BE ARRAIGNED SEPTEMBER 7TH

The three resisters who were arrested and charged with trespassing by the Navy during during last May’s Mother’s Day vigil will soon have their day in court. They have been notified to appear for arraignment – trial will be at a later date – at the US District Court in Tacoma, Washington. Although the Navy is not seeking jail time – the statute specifies 6 months imprisonment, a $500 fine, or both – this could change as it is likely the defendants will challenge the charge. Click here to read more about the Mother’s Day action. 
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***Please note that there is a possibility (based on some previous cases) that the government could drop the charges at the midnight hour. If you plan to join us in court on the 7th, please be sure to check our Facebook page or this calendar event listing the night before or morning of arraignment for any updates.
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