Robert "Berd" Whitlock was one of six nuclear resisters arrested on January 15, 2011 during Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action's (GZ) vigil and non-violent direct action at Washington's Bangor Trident nuclear submarine base. These six exercised their rights and duties as citizens to speak out against our government's possession of and threat of use of illegal and immoral [Trident] nuclear weapons when they crossed onto the base that day. For that they have been charged with trespassing.
Berd as written a letter to the editor, and just in case the corporate press does not print it you can read it here without alteration.
People will come together once again this Saturday to vigil at Bangor, and some may once again choose to block the gate (symbolically closing the base) or try to enter the base to speak with the base commander. The day at GZ will include an orientation to Bangor and nonviolence training. All are invited to join in the spirit of nonviolence and resistance to nuclear weapons this Saturday as we honor nurturing women and work towards a peaceful, weapons-free world.
Click here for the full day's schedule.
P.S. - Berd has a Blog worth checking out called Peace is Possible.
Letter to the EditorMonday, 2 May, 2011
Earlier this year, on Martin Luther King Jr. day, Saturday the 15th of January, I participated in a protest with the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action [http://www.gzcenter.org/]. Ground Zero has been around for decades, and stands in principled resistance to the existence of nuclear weapons.
In Washington State, we have a significant (actually huge) arsenal of nuclear weapons, many of which are housed at the Kitsap Bangor Naval Base. This military installation is the focus of much of the local work of the Ground Zero Center, and the Trigger Gate of the Bangor Base is where the January protest occurred.
During the protest, five others and I attempted to approach the gate in order to address the command, in petition for redress of grievances. Our grievances relate to the establishment of an offensive (aggressive) and hence immoral and illegal establishment of weapons of mass destruction.
As we made our approach, we were confronted by military police. We told them that we wanted to speak with the commander. They told us that wasn’t an option. They told us to turn back, and when we remained, we were then “apprehended.”
Now the Navy has accused us of, as is prosecuting us for, trespassing. I believe these charges are unjust, and that our ability to peaceably assemble and petition for redress of grievances is the prevailing principle. Our next trial date will be the 1st of June, at US District Court in Tacoma.