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, December 28, 2013

Join shared Eucharist at Bangor base on January 15th

Please join us at the Bangor Naval base on January 15th as we gather to celebrate together in Eucharistic Resistance to Dr. King’s triple evils of Racism, Materialism and Militarism.

All are welcome to this shared celebration of the Eucharist on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at the Main Gate of Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor and Strategic Weapons Facility, Pacific in Silverdale, Kitsap County, Washington.  Bangor (with its 8 OHIO Class ballistic missile submarines carrying Trident missiles with thermonuclear warheads) and SWFPAC (the Navy's West Coast nuclear weapons storage depot) together represent the largest concentration of nuclear weapons in the US, and quite possibly anywhere in the world. 

These nuclear weapons, deployed on the Trident ballistic missile submarines based there, are capable of destroying life on Earth as we know it. This nuclear Sword of Damocles, hanging over all of humanity, is totally immoral, and an abomination before God.

We come together this January 15th to not only say NO to nuclear weapons and YES to life, but also to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s great spirit and works and stand in solidarity with all people who struggle against oppression.  This day we will stand in particular solidarity with the people of Jeju Island in South Korea who have engaged in nonviolent struggle for many years against plans to build a new naval base there that will serve the US Military’s Asia-Pacific Pivot.

Fr. Bichsel, of the Tacoma Catholic Worker, joins others in nonviolent resistance on Jeju
The Catholic Church in Korea has been extraordinarily faithful in its support of the struggle of the people on Jeju, and has held daily mass at the entrance gate to the construction site for the new naval base.  Priests, nuns and lay people have come together in faith-filled, nonviolent resistance, prayer and shared Eucharist as an integral part of the ongoing struggle for life over the forces of destruction and death.

Dr. King’s struggle was rooted in that same faith, and we honor his life’s work.  We come together to share our bread, share our life, and share our peacemaking. 
As we pray for peace at such a powerful symbol of empire, violence and death, we tie together the Eucharist and Resistance.  By coming together in Eucharistic Resistance we help break the bonds that hold humanity in servitude to the forces of death.  We make a clear statement - We choose Life!

Celebrating Eucharist at the naval base construction site on Jeju
We will gather on January 15th at Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action, just down the road from Bangor, before leaving for the gate.  You may arrive between 10:30 and 11:30 AM.  We will leave for the gate at 11:45. Please dress appropriately for the weather (we will be out in the open while at the Bangor gate).  We will carpool down to the area near the gate on Clear Creek Road where we are able to park on the shoulder.  It is a short walk down the hill to the gate, although it is a bit rough; wear sturdy footwear. 

After our time together at the gate, you are welcome to join us at Ground Zero for fellowship. Bring a bag lunch if you wish; we will provide refreshments.  

Ground Zero is located at 16159 Clear Creek Road, Poulsbo, WA 98370.  You can get directions at the GZ Website at gzcenter.org. This information will also be posted at the “Local Events” calendar at the Puget Sound Nuclear Weapon Free Zone.

All are welcome to participate in this shared Eucharist. Please share this information with your faith communities, and carpool over and join us on January 15th.

For more information contact either Fr. William “Bix” Bichsel, SJ at the Tacoma Catholic Worker, bix.tacoma@gmail.com o253-304-6612; or Leonard Eiger at Puget Sound Nuclear Weapon Free Zone at subversivepeacemaking@gmail.com or 425-445-2190.

Learn more about the struggle to save Jeju at savejejunow.org.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Bangor Second Explosives Handling Wharf, an "Unacceptable Risk?"

KOMO 4 TV, Seattle, Washington recently ran a detailed investigative report on the controversial Bangor Second Explosives Handling Wharf project.

Part of it's Problem Solvers series, the program was aptly titled "Unacceptable Risk?", which raises the question - Why does the Navy (as it has from the beginning) continue to cover up the very real risks (to the environment and people) presented by the construction of the Second Explosives Handling Wharf???
 You can also see the video and read the full transcript at the KOMO 4 TV Website.

Friday, October 25, 2013

(Photographic) Memories of 2013 PLC Trial


Here are some memories of the gatherings surrounding the Federal trial of the March 2013 Pacific Life Community nuclear resisters.  It was a time of coming together in community as witnesses and to lift up those who give of themselves for the greater good.

In Peace,


P.S. - To watch the Full Screen version, click the image below, and then click on "Full Screen" at the upper left corner of the page.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Federal Trial for the 2013 PLC Resisters: The Wrap Up

Greetings Pacific Life Community members and friends,

Seven members of the Pacific Life Community stood trial in US District Court today. They were charged with trespassing, stemming from their arrests during the March 4, 2013 nonviolent direct action at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor.

William “Bix” Bicshel, SJ; Susan Crane; Ed Ehmke, Betsy Lamb; Denny Moore; Mary Jane Parrine and Jerry Zawada, OFM appeared before Chief Magistrate Judge Mary Alice Theiler in United States District Court, Western District of Washington in Tacoma.

The resisters had gathered together in community earlier in the day to celebrate the Eucharist as they prepared for the day ahead.

The defendants argued that although a defense based on international law has not been approved by federal courts in the United States, the Supremacy Clause requires that the court allow defendants to present such a defense.

The judge disagreed, and ruled that the defendants could not present any affirmative defense against the charge of trespassing to which they had all pleaded not guilty. She stated that the only issue before her was whether the defendants had violated the statute.
At Jean's House before walking to the courthouse
At Jean's House before walking to the courthouse
Bix attempted to introduce Raymond L. McGovern as witness to testify on behalf of the defendants as to the pervasive inability of individuals to seek redress of grievances and the importance of 1st amendment. The judge denied the request. Ray, a veteran 27-year CIA Analyst and advisor to seven presidents, had just returned from Russia where he had presented Edward Snowden with the Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence. Ray helped create Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

Ray spoke eloquently the night before at the Festival of Hope (where he quoted Dr. King's Letter From Birmingham Jail) about the need for us to shine a bright light on Trident.

Ray spoke eloquently the night before at the Festival of Hope (where he quoted Dr. King's Letter From Birmingham Jail) about the need for us to shine a bright light on Trident.

After the prosecution made its case, Judge Theiler allowed each defendant to make a statement to the court, reminding them that intention would have no bearing on her decision.

Jerry Zawada's testimony began with a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr - "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." Jerry stated that his actions on the day of the action were consistent with the life he has lived. His goal is simply to eliminate nuclear weapons. He stated that "all my co-defendants are of one mind and heart as in relation to nuclear weapons." Jerry also cited UN Secretary General Ban ki Moon at the 2010 Non Proliferation Treaty conference in New York. Moon said, "please do whatever you can with your governments to abolish nuclear weapons."
Prayer service in front of the courthouse before the trial
Prayer service in front of the courthouse before the trial
Mary Jane Parrine described how in her work as a caregiver and in chaplaincy she sees so much misery due to misappropriated funding that includes nuclear weapons. She described resistance movements and their successes - including HIV care, women's suffrage, civil rights. She said that "if I am guilty of anything I am guilty of coming to this work so late in life... We cannot stop talking about what we have seen and heard."

Betsy Lamb said that on March 4th she spent a great deal of time in prayer, and intended to deliver a letter to the base commander and have a conversation about nuclear weapons. She said that if international law supersedes federal law then it most definitely does so in this case. "As long as the judge limits the scope of what she will consider in this case, nothing will change. As long as the people go to work every day keeping the subs running smoothly, nothing will change."

Ed Ehmke described how in 2003 after a horrific attack on Iraq in which many innocent people died, he went to a demonstration in San Francisco. A newscaster put a microphone in his face and asked, "What do people of religion have to do with this?" Ed stated that "this gets to the heart of what we are talking about today. Fundamental to all of this is that these weapons are immoral by any standards." Ed referred to Fr. Richard McSorley who referred to nuclear weapons as the "taproot of violence in our society today."

Bill "Bix" Bichsel began by saying "thanks for allowing our friends to sit in the gallery here, I wish they were our jury. [There was such an overflow of supporters at the trial that the judge allowed people to sit in the jury section.] Bix continued that "we were there [at Bangor] to uphold article 6 of the Nuremberg Charter. Nuclear weapons are a sign of ultimate hopelessness and ultimate death... they rule us. I speaking of the inability to be heard about issues such as the one before us today Bix said that what is happening to Manning and Snowden "is an inversion of what we are as human beings." Bix expressed his grave concerns about the ability to seek redress of grievances. He stated how the normative channels of change have failed us, so that we have to take other steps, other methods.
(Left to right), Front row: Jerry, Denny; Back row: Bix, Susan, Betsy, Mary Jane & Ed
(Left to right), Front row: Jerry, Denny; Back row: Bix, Susan, Betsy, Mary Jane & Ed
Denny Moore made an impassioned plea for Mother Earth and for us to come together in our common humanity. He reiterated how we all want peace, and we have different ways of approaching it. We need to come together in respectful dialogue if we are to solve these problems. And - Time is short.

Susan Crane elaborated on the application of international law to nuclear weapons. "If we want to protect human dignity, human rights and human values, we need to consider the discipline of international law, which is the principal weapon of civilization against barbarism. International law and the recognized body of human rights is what stands between us and barbarism." Susan stated that "by deploying and stockpiling nuclear weapons, nuclear nations assert the right to commit indiscriminate slaughter and devastation of the environment."

Following the defendants' statements, the judge found all seven defendants guilty of the charge of trespassing, and moved right into sentencing.

The prosecution asked, based on each defendant's previous history with the court, for sentences ranging from 24 hours of prison confinement, up to two years of probation in addition to 90 days of electronic home confinement.

Judge Theiler did not order jail time for anyone. Instead, she imposed a fine of $500 for Bix, Jerry and Susan, along with two years of probation. Betsy, Denny, Ed and Mary Jane were fined $250 and given one year of probation. All were ordered to not enter any military base without permission of the base commander for the term of probation.

Some of the defendants told the judge that they would not pay the fine as they have no income, nor would they comply with probation. The judge washed her hands of the issue and deferred it to the probation department.

After dealing with the court paperwork, our courageous resisters travelled downstairs to report to the Probation Office.

The defendants had met for a five-day retreat before the trial, facilitated and supported by Fr. Steve Kelly. They prayed together, discussed the issues, and enjoyed good food, companionship and story-telling. They were supported and nurtured by Steve's loving care in the spirit of community.

And with that, the Pacific Life Community 2013 court saga comes to an end.

What will be in store for the 2014 PLC? Join us in Las Vegas from March 7th to March 10th as we gather in community, continuing to break the silence and speak truth to power.  Come join the ACTION!!!

In Faithful Resistance,


NOTE: You can access trial documents at the Pacific Life Community Blog (near the top of the right column).

Blogger's End Note: It was my humble intention here to help you connect with yesterday's events. I wrote from memory and my cryptic notes. In retrospect, my effort can not come close to conveying the individual (and collective) strength, passion and articulation that came through in the courtroom yesterday. The five resisters spoke truth to power, and each one from his and her own heart and mind; and, for the most part, extemporaneously. The spirit was, indeed, present, and filled the courtroom.

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Ghosts of Jeju coming to Seattle


Jeju Island is known as the "Island of World Peace," a name that does not begin to tell the story of the Island's extensive history of conflict, occupation, repression and genocide. The most horrific episode in this history occurred in 1948 when the South Korean military and national police hunted down and slaughtered approximately 30,000 people. The U.S., which was the occupying power at the time, was directly responsible for what is now known as the April 3 massacre.

Why did the government do such a horrific thing? 1948 was a tumultuous time of establishing two governments in Korea. The people of Jeju Island rose up to protest the long-term division of the nation by boycotting the elections that were occurring in Seoul. For this they were branded as Communists, and the terror began.

For decades following the massacre, public discussion of the April 3 massacre was ruthlessly repressed. Following democratization, the slow and painful process of fact finding and truth telling began, and continues today. In 2003, South Korean President Noh Moo Hyun travelled to Jeju Island and officially apologized.


Now, over 60 years after the April 3 massacre the people of Jeju Island are once again protesting. This time they are protesting the U.S. Missile Defense System and a provocative new naval base being built on their island. Why??? If you look at a map of Jeju
Artwork by Koh Gilchun
Island, you can see that it lies about 500 kilometers from the Chinese mainland. This military base is intended to project force towards China and to provide a forward operating installation in the event of a military conflict between the U.S. and China.

For years, South Korean activists have been protesting the plans for the new naval base on Jeju Island. During that time the response by the South Korean police and military has become more heavy-handed and brutal. Col. Anne Wright (former United States Army colonel and retired official of the U.S. State Department) reported at one point that "police broke arms of activists who had locked arms inside PCV pipes, beat up activists and threw them from kayaks."


The ghosts of Jeju cry out for recognition and righting of the wrongs perpetrated long ago.  Yet, the hubris of the National Security State (that was responsible for the original crimes) continues to create yet a new generation of crimes.  The difference is that today's crimes could lead to disaster not only for the people of Jeju Island, but for the entire region.  The "Island of World Peace" could literally be reduced to a pile of ash and rubble in a major conflict.


Independent filmmaker Regis Tremblay has produced a powerful documentary about the struggle of the people of Jeju Island to stop the military madness that threatens to destroy their island. What is so powerful about this film is how it links the current struggle to the earlier atrocities in a compelling context.  Here is the what the filmmaker has to say:

A shocking documentary about the struggle of the people of Jeju Island, S. Korea. Set in the context of the American presence in Korea after World War II, the film reveals horrible atrocities at the hands of the U.S. Military Government of Korea. 

Using previously secret and classified photos, film and documents, this will be the first English-language documentary about the struggle of the brave people of Gangjeong Village who are opposing the military advance of the United States, just as their parents and relatives did in 1947. As then, they are being arrested, jailed, fined, and hospitalized for resisting the construction of a massive naval base that will accommodate America’s “pivot to Asia,” and will destroy their 400 year old village and their UNESCO protected environment. 

And yet, the indomitable spirit of the villagers and their supporters, who have not lost hope in spite of overwhelming odds, will inspire and motivate everyone who believes there is a better way to live together on this planet.

This is a story that must be told, must be heard... and its lessons applied to stop the madness that threatens the world with destruction.  There are no military solutions to our problems, and the naval base on Jeju Island is ground zero in the struggle to seek a new way.


Learn more about the documentary at the filmmaker's Website, where you can also watch the trailer.  If you live around Puget Sound you will be able to see The Ghosts of Jeju and hear from the filmmaker this November.  Here are the current offerings.  Additional screenings will be posted on this blog's "EVENTS" page as they are confirmed.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 6:00 to 8:00 PM, Seattle University 
Wyckoff Auditorium, Bannan Engineering Building East Entrance 
901 12th Avenue, Seattle
Click here for a campus map.
Sponsored by Seattle University's Asian Studies Program and Korean Student Union
This event is FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC


FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2013, 7:00 to 9:30 PM at Friday Night at the Meaningful Movies

Keystone Congregational United Church of Christ 5019 Keystone Place N., Seattle
(…Please come at 6:30 and visit with your neighbors!)
And Co-Sponsored by VETERANS FOR PEACE
Light snacks.
Download the Flyer HERE.
For more information on Veterans For Peace, go to: http://www.vfp92.org/
(Event is FREE and open to the public! ...but Donations are kindly accepted).

Thursday, October 10, 2013

PLC Nuclear Resisters on Trial in Tacoma on October 21st

Greetings Nuclear Abolitionists Everywhere,

Please join in supporting the Pacific Life Community members who will soon stand trial before a Federal magistrate judge for their resistance to nuclear weapons.

Seven members of the Pacific Life Community who were arrested at the Bangor Trident base in Washington State will stand trial in Federal Court in Tacoma Washington on October 21st.

William "Bix" Bicshel, SJ; Susan Crane; Ed Ehmke, Betsy Lamb; Denny Moore; Mary Jane Parrine and Jerry Zawada, OFM will appear before Chief Magistrate Judge Mary Alice Theiler Chambers on Monday, October 21 at 1:30PM, Courtroom C, United States District Court, Western District of Washington.

The seven who will stand trial on October 21st were among fourteen protesters who walked onto the entrance roadway to Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor on March 4, 2013 symbolically closing the base and converting it to peaceful uses.  They carried banners and signs calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

All fourteen resisters crossed the blue line onto the base and knelt in prayer. Naval security personnel arrested the protesters and drove them to a base facility for processing. They were cited under Section 1382 of Title 18 prohibiting trespassing on military bases, and released a short time later.  

Each resister carried a letter addressed to the Bangor base commander stating that the "Trident II D-5 missiles with their W76 or W88 [thermocnuclear] warheads are illegal under international law and hence are also illegal per the Constitution of the United States."  Naval personnel declined to accept the letters.

We invite you to support these courageous peacemakers as you are able.  If you are in the Puget Sound area on the 20th and 21st please join us at Sunday's Festival of Hope, and on Monday as witnesses to the trial. We also invite your statements of support if you cannot attend.  Send email a brief statement to Leonard Eiger by October 17th at subversivepeacemaking@gmail.com. I will print them to share at the Festival of Hope.

October 21st Schedule of Activities:
  • Gather at Tacoma Catholic Worker before noon; the defendants and supporters will leave from here to walk (approximately 15 minutes) to courthouse.
  • Leave for courthouse at NOON.
  • Vigil in front of courthouse from 12:15 to 1:00PM.
  • Prayer service at 12:45
  • Trial begins at 1:30
OCTOBER 20th: Join us for a Festival of Hope the night before the trial, Sunday, October 20th at St. Leo's Church from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM. We will have music and guest speakers. Ray McGovern, former CIA officer during the George H. Bush administration and prominent whistleblower about the Iraq War, will be the main speaker. Ray has just returned from Russia where he and 3 other prominent whistleblowers presented the Integrity in Intelligence Award to Edward Snowden. Dr. David Price, an anthropologist at St. Martin’s University, will join Ray on the program, speaking on the “Militarization of Society”. 

Jeans House is located at 1414 Tacoma Avenue, Tacoma, WA 98405. We will begin our walk from the alley between G St. and Tacoma St (between Guadalupe House and Jean's House).

St. Leo Church is located at 710 South 13th St., Tacoma, WA 98405. Click here for directions.

The Tacoma historic Union Station Courthouse is located at 1717 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma, WA 98402. There is limited on-street parking, and paid parking behind the courthouse.  It is well served by public transportation. 

Updates will be posted at the Puget Sound Nuclear Weapons Free Zone and Pacific Life Community Blog. You can also learn more about last March's action at Bangor at the PLC Blog.

Feel free to address questions on these upcoming activities to me atsubversivepeacemaking@gmail.com.  I'll do my best to get you a quick answer.

And please do share this information widely.

In Resistance and Peace,


Leonard Eiger
NO To NEW TRIDENT Campaign (Coordinator) www.notnt.org  
Puget Sound Nuclear Weapon Free Zone  (Coordinator) www.psnukefree.org 
Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action (Media & Outreach) www.gzcenter.org

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Author Eric Schlosser at Seattle Public Library on the "Illusion of Safety" of Nuclear Weapons

Join the Seattle Chapter of Buddhist Peace Fellowship, Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action, and others for an important book event and a pre-event meditation at the Seattle Public Library on Tuesday, October 1st!!! 

Eric Schlosser, known for his book "Fast Food Nation", is back at it with a new book, "Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety." Of course, with nuclear weapons, safety is quite the grandest illusion. Besides the risks in handling nuclear weapons and keeping them out of the hands of those pesky terrorists, there is no safety in the continuing threat of use of nuclear weapons, and it is time for the declared nuclear powers to lead the way to global disarmament (for the sake of future generations). Please join us for these evening events.

What: WITNESS TO WHAT IS: a short public meditation, followed by a book talk by Eric Schlosser about the multiple risks of accidents, injury and devastation from nuclear weaponry.

Who: Meditation sponsored by Seattle Chapter of Buddhist Peace Fellowship, Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action and friends. Book talk sponsored by Elliott Bay Books, and co-presented with the Washington Center for the Book.

Purpose: To bear witness, and to prepare ourselves to receive the information in the talk with greater equanimity and intent for non-harming through coming generations, and hear a mighty fine book talk by a really interesting author.

Where: Meditation near the water sculpture at the 4th Ave. and Madison St. entrance to the Seattle Public Library. (In the event of rain, nearby on the north side of the Library entrance). Book event is inside the library.

When: Meditation: 6:25-6:55 pm. Book event: 7:00PM

More information about the book event at http://www.elliottbaybook.com/event/2013/10/01/day You can also call Elliott Bay Book Company at (206) 624-6600 or see www.spl.org. Contact for more information on the meditation event is Rick Harlan, ricksongrick@gmail.com, 206-271-8871

Click here to read a recent (September 16th) interview with Schlosser by Global Security Newswire.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Peace activists symbolically close nuclear sub base

News Release 

Peace activists symbolically close nuclear sub base

Silverdale, WA, August 11, 2013:  Peace activists symbolically closed the US Navy’s West coast Trident submarine base in remembrance of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Activists with Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action held a peaceful afternoon vigil and nonviolent direct action at the Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor Main Gate in remembrance of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The Trident submarine base at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, just 20 miles from Seattle, Washington, represents the largest concentration of operational nuclear weapons in the U.S. Arsenal.

Each of the 8 OHIO class submarines at Bangor carry as many as 24 Trident II(D-5) missiles, each capable of carrying up to 8 independently targetable warheads.  Each nuclear warhead has an explosive yield up to 32 times the yield of the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima.

At Sunday’s vigil people lined the roadside with signs and banners calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

After a half hour  three participants walked on to the roadway (Highway 3/Luoto Road) holding a banner reading “Give Peace a Chance. No, Seriously.”  Washington State Patrol officers escorted the resisters to the median where they were issued citations for being in the roadway where prohibited.


After a few minutes a second group blocked the roadway with a banner that said “Create a Peaceful World. Abolish Nuclear Weapons.”  They were also escorted to the median and cited.


A short while later a final group stretched a banner across the entrance lanes.  It read “We can all live without Trident.”  State Patrol officers escorted these last four nuclear resisters to the median for processing and release.


A total of ten (10) persons risked arrest.  All were issued citations for walking on the roadway where prohibited and released at the scene.

photo by Bryce Hall (all others by Leonard Eiger)

Those cited were Catherine Clemens, Lopez Island, WA; Robert Clemens, Lopez Island, WA; Susan Corbin, Lopez Island, WA; Anne Hall, Lopez Island, WA; Dave Hall, Lopez Island, WA; Mack Johnson, Silverdale, WA; Constance Mears, Poulsbo, WA; Elizabeth Murray, Bellingham, WA; Jean Sundborg, Seattle, WA; and Alice Zillah, Olympia, WA.

Sunday’s vigil, nonviolent direct action and leafleting were the culmination of a weekend of events at Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action. The weekend included nonviolence training, education on the Trident nuclear weapons system and US nuclear weapons policies and activities, a candlelight vigil at the Bangor base on August 9, and vigils and leafleting at multiple locations on Saturday, August 10.

Two Ground Zero members, Mona Lee and Bert Sacks, appeared in Kitsap District Court on Friday on charges related to their May arrests during Ground Zero's Mother's Day weekend action at Bangor.

A highlight of the weekend was the keynote presentation by Bernie Meyer, known in India as “The American Gandhi.” Meyer presented a portrayal of Gandhi and his journey of nonviolence.

According to Meyer, when asked by Margaret Bourke-White how he would address the atomic bomb, Gandhi replied, "Nonviolence is the only thing the atom bomb cannot destroy. When I heard that Hiroshima was bombed, I did not move a muscle. I thought unless humanity adopts nonviolence, it will be suicide for humanity."

Participants in the weekend included members of the 2013 Interfaith Peace Walk for a Nuclear Free Future and people from a number of Seattle Catholic parishes.

Ground Zero holds three scheduled vigils and actions each year in resistance to Trident and in protest of U.S. nuclear weapons policy.

The group has been working to stop the Navy’s construction of a $715 million Second Explosives Handling Wharf at Bangor.

Ground Zero will soon launch a campaign to defund the Navy’s next generation ballistic missile submarine, estimated to cost nearly $100 billion just to build.

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

Contact: Leonard Eiger, 425-445 2190, subversivepeacemaking@gmail.com Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action 16159 Clear Creek Road NW Poulsbo, WA 98370 www.gzcenter.org

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Peace Fleet's meaningful message - We can afford peace!!!

Ahoy me heartys!!!  The U.S. Navy's War Fleet was a no-show in Seattle's Elliott Bay today for the annual Seafair festivities thanks to the government's attempts to pinch pennies (well, actually millions $$$).  No cheerleading for militarism and warmaking today!!!  Landlubbers who showed up at the Seattle waterfront today were still treated to a seagoing (albeit nonviolent) spectacle.  The Peace Fleet was out to share the message that "We can afford peace."  That's pretty hard to argue with, considering the fact the warmaking is bankrupting our nation.  Check out the Peace Fleet in this KIRO News clip.

Although the Navy's parade of warships and flying exploits by the Blue Angels (in Seattle) costs taxpayers $millions$ every year, the Peace Fleet didn't cost taxpayers a dime.  And when it comes down to the bottom line, peace is priceless.  Linda Newton, who is a member of Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action and Veterans for Peace, explained on the six o’clock news, “We don’t need funding to come here with our hearts and our souls and make a stand for what we believe in.”

YES, We Can!!!
Ooooh Aaaargh.  Here's to an end to militarism and to a nonviolent, peaceful world for all.  Peace IS Priceless!!!

Monday, July 15, 2013

HIROSHIMA: Remembering (and honoring) the Hibakusha

Barefoot Gen: Nakazawa’s Writing the Truth

Keiji Nakazawa was born in Hiroshima, Japan on March 14, 1939.  On Aug. 6, 1945, when the atomic bomb was dropped, he was walking to school and stopped to answer a question from an adult.  At 8:15 am, Nakazawa’s whole world changed: “a pale light like the flash of a flashbulb camera, white at the center, engulfed me, a great ball of light with yellow and red mixed at its out edge.”

Keiji was standing next to a concrete wall and was partially shielded from the blast.  The adult he had been speaking to was burned to death on the spot. There was more horror to come: His father, brother and sister were burned alive while trapped in the rubble of their home.  His mother, who was nine months pregnant, gave birth on the day of the bombing to a girl who died a few weeks later.

Like many Japanese people, Nakazawa and his family suffered from poverty and hunger after the war, and survivors of the bombing (known in Japanese as hibakusha) were often actively discriminated against in postwar Hiroshima.  In 1961, Nakazawa moved to Tokyo to become a full-time cartoonist, and produced short pieces for manga1 anthologies.  Even after he moved to Tokyo, the discrimination persisted

If you said that you were a hibakusha matter-of-factly, among friends, they made weird faces.  … if someone says, “I’m a hibakusha,” Tokyo people won’t touch the tea bowl from which he’s been drinking, because they’ll catch radioactivity.  They’ll no longer get close to you.

For six years, Nakazawa kept quiet about his experiences.

Following the death of his mother in 1966, Nakazawa returned to his memories of the destruction of Hiroshima and began to express them in his stories.   Kuroi Ame ni Utarete (Struck by Black Rain), the first of a series of five books, was a fictional story of Hiroshima survivors involved in the postwar black market.  Nakazawa chose to portray his own experience of the Hiroshima bombing in the 1972 story, Ore wa Mita, later published in the U.S. by Educomics as I Saw It.2

Immediately after completing I Saw It, Nakazawa began his major work, Hadashi no Gen (Barefoot Gen).  This series, which eventually filled ten volumes (six volumes in the English translation), was based on the same events as I Saw It but fictionalized, with the young Gen as a stand-in for the author.  Barefoot Gen depicted the bombing and its aftermath in graphic detail but also turned a critical eye on the militarization of Japanese society during World War II and on the sometimes abusive dynamics of the traditional family.  Barefoot Gen was adapted into two animated films and a live action TV drama.

Keiji Nakazawa died of lung cancer on December 19, 2012.

For all his efforts, Nakazawa published millions of books addressing his first-hand knowledge of the horrors of nuclear weapons.  Who will tell the story now?

[1] Manga are comics created in Japan, or by Japanese creators in the Japanese language, conforming to a style developed in Japan in the late 19th century.  In Japan, people of all ages read manga.  The medium includes works in a broad range of genres: action-adventure, romance, sports and games, historical drama, comedy, science fiction and fantasy, mystery, suspense, detective, horror, sexuality, and business/commerce, among others.

[2] Nakazawa’s I Saw It is available from Educomics in Seattle, at 206-985-9483 or rifas@earthlink.net.


Editor's Note:  This post is from a leaflet created by Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action as part of its commemoration of the anniversaries of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  You can view and download the PDF version of the leaflet by clicking here.

Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action
16159 Clear Creek Rd NW, Poulsbo WA  98370
360-930-8697   info@gzcenter.org

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Gandhi Says "Never Again"...No Nukes! (This August)

Dear Friends,

Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Center for Nonviolent Action (GZ) will commemorate the anniversaries of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki this August with a full weekend of events.  

This year's event, under the theme Gandhi Says "Never Again"... No Nukes! takes place from Friday, August 9th through Sunday, August 11th at Ground Zero Center.

Highlights of the weekend will be the keynote presentation by Bernie Meyer, the American Gandhi (on Saturday), and a day of nonviolent action against nuclear weapons (on Sunday).

All are welcome to attend any part or all of the weekend's activities (see below for the schedule of activities).  There is ample camping space available on the beautiful Center grounds, and bathrooms (one with a shower) are available in the Center House.  Dinner on Friday evening will be potluck (please bring something to share), and all other meals will be provided by GZ.

Other related events that are connected with the weekend at GZ are the Interfaith Peace Walk, beginning on July 26th and arriving at Ground Zero Center on August 9th, and the Peace Fleet in Seattle on July 31st.  Click here for more information on the Peace Walk.  Contact Rev. Senji Kanaeda at senji@nipponzan.net or (206) 780-6739 temple  • (206) 419-7262 cellular . For information on the Peace Fleet email info@gzcenter.org.

Ground Zero Center is located at 16159 Clear Creek Rd. NW Poulsbo, WA 98370.  You can learn more about GZ and get directions at our website.

Click here to download the event poster/flyer.

Contact me at gznonviolencenews@gmail.com if you have questions about the weekend.  Hope you can join us; bring your nonviolent spirit.



Schedule of Activities (Still a couple of loose ends to tie up):

Friday p.m. Aug. 9th 
1:30PM __ Mitigation hearing at Kitsap County Couthouse for Mona Lee and Bert Sacks
?        __ Peace-walkers arrive?
5:30   __ Welcome and informal orientation
6:00   __ Potluck meal
8:00   __ Program/candlelight vigil(? At Bangor)/letter writing/movie/campfire

Saturday, August 10th
7:30   __ Light Breakfast provided
9:00   __ Intro/orientation to GZ/David Hall on Trident & Bangor/Glen Milner speaks about his projects and current issues/Peace Fleet/GZ Community/Risks of arrests/Recent experiences with arrest/citations and prosecution
10:30 __ Plan multi-site vigils and leafleting/make signs, etc.
12:00 __ Lunch provided
1:00   __ Multi-location banners/leafleting/Target and multi-location vigils
4:00   __ Keynote presentation - Bernie Meyer as Gandhi
6:00   __ Dinner (provided)
7:00   __ Possibility for Music/letter writing/movie

Sunday, August 11th
7:30   __ Breakfast
9:00   __ Quiet reflection time/spiritual practice for those who wish
9:30   __ Welcoming/orientation to the day of non-violent action
10:00 __ Action Planning
11:00 __ Non-violence training
12:00 __ Lunch
1:00   __ Opening circle/Pledge of Nonviolence/Peace Keepers’ instructions
1:30   __ Depart for Action/vigil
3:00   __ Return to GZ
4:00   __ Greet arrestees/closing circle
5:00   __ Departure and clean-up

Fundraising Concert for Greater Seattle Veterans For Peace

Jim Page and Tom Neilson will come together in concert in a benefit for Veterans For Peace, Greater Seattle Chapter 92. 

The concert is at 7:00PM, July 27th, at University Temple United Methodist Church, 1415 NE 43rd Street, Seattle.

Tickets are available at Brown Paper Tickets.

Click here to view or download the event poster/flyer.

Here's what folks have to say about these two musicians: "If Jim Page ain't the bastard son of Woody Guthrie, I'm T-Bone Walker." - Robert Hunter "This is very good music. And very good politics." - Tom Paxton

See what VFP 92 has been up to at www.vfp92.org

Sunday, May 26, 2013

"Listen to Learn": Rosalie Riegle speaks on resistance and Plowshares

Dear Friends,

Author and activist Rosalie Riegle spent considerable time around Puget Sound during her recent book tour. Doing Time for Peace and Crossing the Line are her two most recent books containing oral narratives of war resisters.

While in Seattle Rosalie was invited to appear on KEXP's Community Forum on May 18th.  In a conversation with KEXP's Mike McCormick, Rosalie focused a large part of the half hour on Plowshares, and particularly the Transform Now Plowshares.

Click on the following link to listen to the interview: http://hotpotatomedia.com/mpgs/051813cf.mp3

Rosalie at Kings Books, Tacoma, Washington with Tom Karlin, whose oral
narrative appears in Doing Time for Peace.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Youth lead the way toward a nuclear weapons free world

Dear Friends,

A group of youth from St. Leo Church in Tacoma led a vigil at the Bangor Trident nuclear submarine base on April 14th in witness against nuclear weapons. You can watch a video of the day below (with thanks to videographer Rodney Herold), and read an article about their vigil in the National Catholic Reporter (NCR) written by Julie Gunter: Washington youth pair anti-nuclear action with Scottish protests.
The NCR article quotes (among others) Bill Bichsel who laments the state of the world that current and previous generations have created for the young people and future generations, and says ”My generation, and the generation following, have left so much violence, so many systems of exploitation, to our young people,” he said. “I believe we have the obligation to let them know we’ve made mistakes, and help give them the strength to resist what we didn’t have the strength to resist.”
With gratitude to these young people, and their strength and courage, AND for models like Bix and others who show the way (to PEACE).




Monday, April 15, 2013

News Flash!!! Youth Witness Against Trident at Bangor Base

Yesterday (Sunday, April 14th) a contingent of young people led a vigil at the Bangor Trident nuclear submarine/weapons base in witness against the scourge of nuclear weapons.  They were also showing solidarity with activists in Scotland who, on the same day, held an action at Faslane, the UK's Trident sub base.

During the vigil the young people held a Skype call with the activists at Faslane. George Rodkey said, "Skyping the Scots was great!  We even sang 'We Shall Overcome' in unison, over skype, across the world to each other!"

We'll have more to share later on yesterday's vigil.  For now, here are a few photos (with thanks to George Rodkey).  More details about the vigil in the earlier announcement.

Reading the Pledge of Nonviolence at
Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action
before walking to the Bangor gate.
Vigiling at the Bangor Trident submarine base Main Gate

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Japanese visit Bangor as part of "Extended Deterrence Dialogue"

Nuclear deterrence is alive and well at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor in Silverdale, Washington.  The Bangor base showcased its capabilities to Japanese officials who are currently a bit uneasy about what crazy stunt North Korea might pull any day now.  Officials at Bangor assured the Japanese that "US extended deterrence continues to be credible, capable and enduring."  It must make the Japanese feel much less jittery knowing that (God forbid) should the North Koreans launch anything remotely resembling a nuclear attack the US would reduce North Korea to a pile of cinders, while rendering surrounding nations (including Japan) to radioactive wastelands (think Fukushima on Steroids).  Read more in the AFP article below.

US, Japan review nuclear 'deterrence' amid Korea crisis
WASHINGTON — The United States reaffirmed Friday a longstanding commitment to protect Japan through nuclear "deterrence" after talks that coincided with mounting threats from nuclear-armed North Korea.
The three days of discussions between US and Japanese diplomats and defense officials focused on "maintaining a credible deterrence posture in a changing security environment," said a Pentagon statement.
The meeting, part of what the Defense Department called a biannual "extended deterrence dialogue," was held at Naval Base Kitsap in Washington state.
Japanese officials were given tours of a naval submarine and Trident missile facilities, which form part of America's nuclear arsenal.
The talks are designed to make "clear to our allies that US extended deterrence continues to be credible, capable and enduring," the statement said.
As North Korea has progressed in its nuclear weapons program, South Korea and Japan have weighed developing their own capability but US officials have sought to reassure their allies that the American "triad" of nuclear-armed bombers, submarines and land-based missiles can counter potential threats.
The Pentagon statement made no explicit reference to North Korea.
Japan, meanwhile, vowed it would respond to "any scenario" after a threat by North Korea that Tokyo would be "consumed in nuclear flames."
North Korea is widely expected to launch medium-range missiles off its east coast in the run-up to April 15 national celebrations, in defiance of UN resolutions and international warnings.
Japan, the only country ever to have suffered a nuclear attack, has ordered its forces to shoot down any North Korean missile headed toward its territory.
Along with US military forces in the region, Japan and South Korea have bolstered missile defenses to prepare for a possible North Korean launch.
Copyright © 2013 AFP. All rights reserved..

Source URL: http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/world/16711353/us-japan-review-nuclear-deterrence-amid-korea-crisis/

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Youth-Led Vigil this Sunday at Bangor Nuclear Weapons Base

Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action (in Poulsbo, Washington) welcomes all who come with nonviolent spirit to build a better world.  

This Sunday, April 14th, Ground Zero welcomes young people from St. Leo Church, Tacoma (and other young people who will join them) who will hold an afternoon vigil at the Bangor Trident submarine and nuclear weapons base in Silverdale, Washington

The Bangor Base, officially known as Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor and Strategic Weapons Facility, Pacific, is home to the largest operational concentration of nuclear weapons in the U.S. nuclear arsenal (and quite possibly the entire world).  The Trident submarines deployed from Bangor patrol the seas prepared (24 hours a day, seven days a week) to launch their missiles armed with thermonuclear warheads at the President's command.

This group of young people - junior high and high school students, and Jesuit Volunteers - has come together on its own to plan an event at the Bangor Trident submarine base in witness to the immorality of nuclear weapons and the continuing threat of use of these horrific weapons of mass destruction.  

Individuals from Ground Zero are volunteering (as Peacekeepers, etc.) to assist these young people.  Participants will gather at Ground Zero this Sunday (April 14th) by 1:00PM.  At approximately 1:15PM, after an opening circle, they will walk down to the Bangor sub base Main Gate where they will hold their vigil in witness against nuclear weapons.  The young people will lead those assembled in songs and prayers.  After the vigil they will walk back to Ground Zero for a closing circle and reflection.  Note: They are NOT planning any sort of action (i.e., risking arrest); this will be a vigil only event, and of course strictly in the spirit and practice of nonviolence).

They are holding this Sunday's vigil in global solidarity with "SCRAP TRIDENT: WEEKEND OF PROTEST AND ACTION" held by Faslane Peace Camp at the UK's Faslane Submarine Base in Scotland.  Faslane is the home port of the UK's nuclear ballistic missile submarine fleet that carries the same Trident II D-5 ballistic missiles (armed with thermonuclear warheads) that are deployed on US Trident submarines.

All are welcome (young and old and everyone in between) to join this youth-led vigil.  Bring your non-violent spirit and your walking shoes.  It is a short (approximately 10 minute) walk from Ground Zero to the Bangor Main Gate.  

Directions to Ground Zero at our Website.  For more information on Sunday's event please send an email to Eli Rodkey.  

Please join in supporting these young people in their commitment to nonviolence and a nuclear weapons free world.