I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones
-Albert Einstein (contemplating nuclear devastation)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Continuing Jackie Hudson's Work: Going back to the scene of the (government's) crime

Dear Friends,

PaxChristi Denver is sponsoring a memorial service October 8th for Sister Jackie Hudson at the N8 missile site in Colorado where Jackie, Ardeth Platte and Carol Gilbert carried out a Plowshares action in Oct. 2002 known as Sacred Earth and Space Plowshares II.  They honor her legacy by their actions.  Let us all honor that legacy through our own actions for a peaceful and nuclear weapons-free world.

Click here to view or download the poster/flyer below as a PDF file.  Many thanks to everyone at PaxChristi Denver for their continuing witness for peace and nuclear abolition, and for honoring Jackie's memory in this way.



Monday, August 15, 2011

Photos & Video of Jackie Hudson's Memorial


Last Saturday people gathered at Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action to celebrate the life of a fellow peacemaker and nuclear abolitionist, Jackie Hudson, OP. It was more than the typical memorial. This one included tying origami cranes to the fence bordering the Bangor Trident nuclear submarine base and a vigil at the gate to that base. It was what one does to honor someone who spent her life giving so much of her own for the sake of others. Here are my photos of the day as well as a video by Mike McCormick; it was quite a day.




Friday, August 12, 2011

Photos of Ground Zero's Hiroshima/Nagasaki Weekend


The weekend in which we commemorate the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the only time nuclear weapons have ever been exploded in an act of war, is a memory now. The World Conference against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs has adjourned, and events honoring the memory of the victims of the bombings, remembering victims of nuclear weapons development and testing, and working for a nuclear weapons-free world are over.

This year, perhaps more than ever in recent years, I felt an urgency in our recalling the memories of our violent atomic past in order to prevent such a future.  We hear constantly in the mainstream press of the concerns over North Korea, Iran and Pakistan.  And yet the U.S. and Russia continue to maintain nuclear weapons ready to launch on warning.  The U.S. continues to pursue modernization across the board at all of its nuclear weapons research and production facilities, and it is laying plans for new nuclear weapons delivery systems even as it modernizes the very weapons they would carry.

So we who work for nuclear abolition continue to resist - to lay our own plans for a world without fear, a world where people and nations live together in peace, a world without need for weapons capable of destroying the world itself.  This past weekend the community of peacemakers at Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action in Poulsbo, Washington came together to continue our work. 

This year, in addition to fellowship, nonviolence training, vigils and nonviolent direct action at the Trident nuclear submarine base next door we heard a clear message from Congressman Dennis Kucinich who spoke to us on Sunday:  "that it is our responsibility to make war itself obsolete through direct action and through concrete steps that can take is in the direction of peace."  Kucinich also set out concrete recommendations including cancelling plans for 12 new ballistic missile submarines that would operate through the year 2082.

Speaking of memories, here are slide shows of this past weekend's events at Ground Zero.  I split the photos into 1) the daytime events on Sunday, 2) evening on Sunday, including Kucinich's speech, and 3) Monday morning's vigil and action.  Enjoy!



Note:  You can watch each slideshow full-screen.  Just click on the image, and then click "Slideshow" at the top left.

Sunday, Part 1 - including vigil at Kitsap Mall


Sunday, Part 2 - Music and Dennis Kucinich


Monday - Vigil and Action at Bangor

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Loose nuke sighted on roadway at submarine base


If you've never seen a Trident II (D-5) missile up close you have to check out this video of peace activists from Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action attempting to block Monday morning traffic entering Naval Base (where the Nukes are) Kitsap-Bangor, home of the really big nukes.  They used a full-scale inflatable model of a Trident II (D-5).  Besides being a little squishy it gives one a sobering perspective on the size of the real thing, 24 of which sit in launch tubes aboard each of the eight Trident (Ohio class) nuclear submarines based at Bangor.  Each missile carries up to eight warheads, although they probably only carry four these days as we make a token effort toward drawing down our still massive nuclear arsenal.  By the way; one of these subs could easily incinerate the residents of an entire continent (I know that's a little graphic, but let's face facts).

Well, enjoy this video of Monday morning's vigil and nonviolent direct action courtesy of ace videographer Todd Boyle.  You can read more about the action at a previous post.



Monday, August 8, 2011

Dennis Kucinich speaks at Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action


The weekend commemorating the anniversaries of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is over.  For all of us at Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action it was a particularly poignant weekend.  We had just lost a longtime member and one of the great peace activists of our time, Jackie Hudson, who died last Wednesday.  Earlier in the planning for this weekend we arranged for Dennis Kucinich to visit and speak.  However, it was contingent on Congress adjourning on time, which I assumed would never happen.  It did however, and Dennis showed up.  It was almost as if it was a gift to Jackie, whose spirit was with us throughout the weekend, lifting our spirits and urging us on in our work.

Congressman Kucinich got right to the heart of it as he began his speech:

"The human heart is Ground Zero. It’s in the human heart where blind fear hides in dark chambers. It’s there where murderous intensity is unleashed against our brothers and sisters and the world. It is there where nuclear explosions first take place. It’s there where the world ends.  The world also begins in the human heart. It’s where courage creates new possibilities..."

Todd Boyle captured the entire speech with crisp, clear audio so you won't miss a word of this important speech in which Kucinich states in very clear terms his vision of a world free of fear, free of nuclear weapons and free of war. 



The second video is the question and answer period following the speech.

Read about Congressman Kucinich's visit to Ground Zero at the Kitsap Sun: Kucinich clear on nukes, mum on political plans

Peace activists block road to sub base – Kucinich calls for nuclear abolition

Four peace activists were arrested while attempting to block the entrance to the U.S. Navy's West coast Trident nuclear submarine base.

The Trident submarine base at Bangor, just 20 miles from Seattle, contains the largest concentration of operational nuclear weapons. Each of the 8 Trident submarines at Bangor carry 24 Trident II (D-5) missiles, each capable of carrying up to 8 independently targetable warheads. Each nuclear warhead has an explosive yield of between 100 and 475 kilotons (up to 32 times the yield of the Hiroshima bomb).

Members and supporters of Ground Zero Center for NonviolentAction (Ground Zero) in Poulsbo, Washington commemorated the anniversaries of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by vigiling at the New Main Gate entrance to Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor while some protesters blocked the entrance during the early morning rush hour on Monday, August 8, 2011, symbolically closing the base.

Demonstrators lined the side of the roadway, many holding signs and banners calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons. At 6:45am four participants attempted to block the base entrance roadway using an inflatable full-scale Trident missile. Ground Zero Peacekeepers had already entered the roadway to safely stop traffic, after which the protesters lifted the missile over the barricades marking the designated protest zone.

As the four moved the missile onto the roadway, WashingtonState Patrol officers immediately moved in and attempted to push the missile back towards the designated protest zone. The missile was pushed back and forth on the roadway before State Patrol officers lifted it back over the barricades.
Loose Nuke sighted outside Bangor base!!!
The four missile handlers were arrested, processed at the scene, issued citations for “pedestrian on roadway unlawfully,” and released. Those arrested were Rev. AnneHall of Seattle, WA; Betsy Lamb of Bend, OR; Brenda McMillan of Port Townsend,WA; and Tom Rogers of Poulsbo, WA.
The Nuclear Missile Drill Team (from left): Rev. Anne Hall, Brenda McMillan & Tom Rogers

Tom Rogers is a retired U.S. Navy Captain who once commanded a nuclear submarine. Although active in Ground Zero for many years, this was Rogers’ first nonviolent direct action. Following the action Rogers remembered Sister Jackie Hudson,longtime peace activist, nuclear abolitionist and member of Ground Zero, who died last week. He said that Jackie had a big impact on him and that she helped him to take that first step outside of his comfort zone, and then go just a little further.

A memorial will be held for Hudson at Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action on Saturday, August 13th at 1:30 pm. Following the memorial, participants will be invited to gather for a vigil at the Bangor entrance gate to honor Hudson.

The weekend commemorating the Hiroshima and Nagasaki anniversaries included a nonviolence workshop, a vigil at the Kitsap Mall, music, and a special appearance by Congressman Dennis Kucinich who spoke to the gathering on Sunday evening. Kucinich spoke passionately about the need to abolish nuclear weapons, and his message was well received!
Kucinich stated that the doctrines of “unilateralism, preemption and first strike must be set aside as profoundly dangerous relics,”and that “it is our responsibility to make war itself obsolete through direct action and through concrete steps, which can take us in a direction of peace.” Regarding nuclear weapons Kucinich said that “we cannot hope to abolish nuclear weapons unless we change the thinking that created those weapons and unless we change dramatically the U.S.role in the world.” Kucinich elaborated on how he would achieve what he referred to as “a new doctrine of strength through peace”,which would rely on diplomacy and other non-military means.

The purpose of the vigil and nonviolent action was to raise awareness of the dangers of nuclear weapons and our continuing reliance on them (particularly the Trident nuclear weapons system), and the importance of working towards a nuclear weapons-free world. GZ holds vigils and nonviolent direct actions every year on the anniversaries of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

For over thirty-three years Ground Zero Center for NonviolentAction has engaged in education, training in nonviolence, community building, resistance against Trident and action toward a world without nuclear weapons.

Contact: Leonard Eiger, Media and Outreach
              Ground Zero Center for NonviolentAction

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Photo Tribute to Jackie Hudson


In my sorrow over the loss of our dear Jackie Hudson I found myself going through photos in a sort of meditation on her remarkable, full life.  Since I first posted the photos of the last decade I was able to scan a multitude of photos from Jackie's earlier years.  I hope you enjoy this glimpse into Jackie's life as I have.



Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Jackie Hudson - Presente!

My Friends,

Our dear friend and colleague Sister Jackie Hudson died early this morning.  You can read more at Disarm Now Plowshares where we will be posting more information and reflections in the coming days.

from left: Jackie Hudson and Sue Ablao

Joe Power-Drutis summed up Jackie's life beautifully:

To the very end, peacemaking was her road of choice and she walked it well.