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)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

PLC Faith & Resistance Retreat coming to Puget Sound

Greetings Friends,

In just a little less than three weeks the Pacific Life Community 2013 Faith & Resistance Retreat is coming to Puget Sound. 
The retreat begins on Friday, March 1st and runs to Monday, March 4th. The retreat will be at the All Saints Camp on Raft Island, adjacent to Gig Harbor. It is a peaceful setting by the waters of Puget Sound. Our planning team is making all the arrangements for meals, audio visual needs, and more, so we can settle in for a full weekend of reflection, fellowship and planning for the hard work ahead.
You can register right up till the day of the retreat, although Joe Power-Drutis (who is coordinating registration and making sure there are enough beds and food for everyone) will certainly appreciate getting your registrations as soon as you can send them in. Click here to download the registration form.
PLC 2009 at the Bangor Trident submarine base
In addition to the weekend retreat we have put together a free public event at the University of Puget Sound starting 7:00PM, Saturday evening, March 2nd. "A Nonviolent Future Without Nuclear Weapons?" promises to be a rich evening for anyone interested in this subject. Click here for all the details on this evening event - including bios of presenters, maps, and the flyer.  Felice Cohen-Joppa, or The Nuclear Resister, will be the Master of Ceremonies for the event.
Click here to watch a short video that introduces you to four of the presenters for the Saturday evening event - Fr. Bill "Bix" Bichsel, Tacoma Catholic Worker; Capt. Tom Rogers, former nuclear submarine commander; Elizabeth Murray, former CIA analyst; and Michael Honey, UW Tacoma professor. 
Early Monday morning, March 4th we will gather at one of the entrance gates to Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor for a vigil and nonviolent direct action. Bangor is home port to eight of the Navy's Trident ballistic missile submarines and also home to the Strategic Weapons Facility, Pacific. Together they represent the largest concentration of operational nuclear weapons in the U.S., and possibly anywhere in the world. Now is the time to question the need for not only a large nuclear arsenal, but also archaic Cold War nuclear weapons systems like Trident.
2012 PLC action at Vandenberg Air Force Base
We welcome everyone who wishes to see the U.S. begin to make sincere efforts to move toward a nuclear weapons free world to join us Monday morning to stand vigil for the abolition of nuclear weapons. Bring your nonviolent spirit and we will provide signs and banners. Following the vigil and action we will gather at the nearby Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action (just a few minutes from the base) for breakfast and reflection.
We will continue to post (and update) information on all of these events at the Pacific Life Community Blog at http://pacificlifecommunity.wordpress.com/. This includes maps to each venue that you can plug in your starting address to get directions.
In closing this invitation, I extend another invitation - to watch a brief video of Fr. William "Bix" Bichsel reflecting on the deeper meaning of community and its relationship to our work building a nonviolent world. Click this link to watch: http://youtu.be/JNFJazCwZiw.
If you still have any questions about any part of the weekend, please get in touch with either Leonard Eiger or George Rodkey. If you have a question about your registration for the retreat, please email Joe Power-Drutis.
Please join us for one, two or all three of these events as we continue (together) on the journey of resistance to nuclear weapons and war making and towards a nonviolent world at peace with justice.
In Peace,

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Save Navy jobs by cutting explosives wharf project

(This published in the Kitsap Sun yesterday.  Glen Milner is a longtime "Quaker peace activist" (to quote an FBI report).  Glen has been at the forefront of the effort to stop the Navy from building a wasteful and destabilizing project at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor called the Second Explosives Handling Wharf.  More information in this blog and at www.gzcenter.org.  Thanks to the Kitsap Sun for giving voice to differing opinions.)

Kitsap Sun

MY TURN | Save Navy jobs by cutting explosives wharf project

Glen Milner is a member of the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action in Poulsbo.
Kitsap Sun, Posted February 6, 2013 at 3:20 p.m.

With budget cuts ahead, the Navy proposes to cut jobs in our communities. Locally, the Navy plans to cut $65 million in maintenance for the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis after it returns from the Middle East this spring.

Admiral Jonathan Greenert has offered a broader list of drastic remedies if Congress does not pass legislation by March 1 to avert an estimated $4.6 billion shortfall in the Navy’s $39.4 billion operations budget. These plans include canceling most maintenance at private shipyards, as well as all aircraft work at maintenance depots, from April to September.

But the logical plan would be to cut new construction spending and waste. Examples of wasteful military spending are numerous, but we have one in Hood Canal that many have questioned since it resurfaced in 2008.

The Navy’s second Explosives Handling Wharf is a $715 million boondoggle. Construction, which involves drilling up to 1,250 pilings over 6.3 acres of water, began on September 27 and is to continue for four years. It should stop now, both to protect Hood Canal’s sensitive environment, and to free up taxpayer money for projects deserving of support.

By the time the wharf is built in 2016, it will no longer be needed because the numbers of nuclear weapons will be greatly reduced by that time. The Obama administration is considering cuts from the negotiated 1,550 nuclear warheads in the New START accord to 1,000 to 1,100 for the U.S. launch-ready nuclear arsenal. Economic issues make the cuts more likely to happen.

Stop the second Explosives Handling Wharf now, and we will also save:

— up to $15.7 million for projects which admittedly will not repair the environmental damage caused by the wharf, but which are planned “in lieu of” real mitigation;

— the Hood Canal shoreline, which should not be industrialized;

— the safety of the Puget Sound region. The Kitsap Sun has reported that the Department of Defense Explosives Safety Board, responsible for all military explosives siting, refused to grant a permit for the project because the site is not safe;

— the cost of two pending lawsuits under the National Environmental Policy Act which should force the Navy to halt the project.

Navy contractors have stated that the second Explosives Handling Wharf at Bangor would create only 100 construction jobs over four years. That is only one job for every $7.15 million spent on the construction project. This region deserves a wiser and safer use of this nation’s defense resources.