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)

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Mid-Summer Online Newsletter from Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action

Warm Summer Greetings from Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action,
The days are long and bright this time of year... and yet, we live in dark times. The madness of fear, hatred, bigotry, militarism (and more) fuel a maelstrom that - thanks to what Fr. Richard McSorley once called the "taproot of violence" (nuclear weapons) - threatens to suck humanity into its deadly vortex. I am therefore so thankful for the light of nonviolence that burns brightly for all (who have open hearts) to see. And yet, that beautiful and powerful light does not burn by itself; it is NOT self-sustaining. It requires a sustained and faithful effort on all our parts to reach out to the world with love, strength and persistence in what Walter Wink referred to as Jesus' Third Way. And so we continue the work of active nonviolence...
Members of Ground Zero Center have been active this Summer on many fronts. You can watch Mary Hanson and Bernie Meyer discuss the posturing of nuclear war with Russia over the Ukraine on Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation Television. Click here to read a thorough program description by Glen Anderson, producer and host of this TV series.
Glen Milner wrote an OP-ED: The Real Problem with Defense Spending, and David Hall wrote A Brief Case for Abolishing Nuclear Weapons. Click here to read both these compelling pieces.
Over this past week we have seen two extensive newspaper articles on the military's reach/footprint here in the Pacific Northwest, much of it related to the Navy AND the nuclear ballistic missile submarine force based here. These are really eye openers and the kind of investigative reporting we need to see more of in the corporate press. Read Navy enjoys Northwest building spree but faces lawsuits and other challenges in the Tacoma News Tribune. Navy stealthily targets Hood Canal development is from last Sunday's Seattle Times. Perhaps it will move you to write a letter to the editor on the subject.
Of course, Summer isn't just a time to sit in the shade reading and watching documentaries (although we can learn much from them). There is also much to do, and there are plenty of opportunities to get involved. Here's what we have in store for you:
2015 Pacific Northwest Interfaith Peace Walk

Join the 2015 Pacific Northwest Interfaith Peace Walk July 26 to August 10 as it travels from Salem, Oregon to Portland, Hanford, Olympia, Seattle, Ground Zero Center, and many other cities. The walk will finish at Ground Zero Center in time for the weekend event ther. You are welcome to join any portion (or all) of the walk. Click here for the schedule and everything you need to know, including contacts.
14th Annual PEACE FLEET

 Join the Peace Fleet on Wednesday, July 29, as it sails into Seattle's Elliott Bay confronting the the US Navy and saying No to Militarism!  For the fourteenth year, peace activists will address the public display of warships and warplanes in our community. Click here for more information, including a Fact Sheet.

What: Peace activists at Seafair. This is the fourteenth year for this demonstration.
When: Wednesday, July 29, noon, Peace Fleet in Elliott Bay. Demonstration on land at Piers 62/63 at 1 PM.
Where: Elliott Bay, near Pier 66. Demonstration on land at Piers 62/63.
Contacts: Glen Milner (206) 365-7865, Mary Gleysteen (360) 265-1589, or on the day of the event (206) 979-8319. You can also email questions to info@gzcenter.org.

Affirm Life/Abolish Nukes! A weekend commemorating the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima & Nagasaki: Never Again!

Join us for our weekend of events commemorating the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki from Friday through Monday, August 7-10.  It will be a full weekend of fellowship, fun and creative, active nonviolence. You are welcome to join us for any or all of the weekend. There are great camping spots around the beautiful GZ Center grounds. Put together a carpool and help pack the house. Click here to view the entire weekend schedule.
But wait; that's not all. There is even more going on around Puget Sound this Summer.
Fellowship Of Reconciliation's 57th Annual Northwest Regional Conference is coming to Seabeck, Washington July 2-5. This year's theme is “Peace, Justice and Sustainability: Strengthening the Links.” Jacqueline Patterson, Director of the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program, and Rev. Osagyefo Sekou who has been working on the ground in St Louis since mid August on behalf of the Fellowship of Reconciliation will be the keynote speakers. I recently heard Rev. Sekou speak in New York at the Peace and Planet Conference; he is an extraordinarily powerful speaker! Click here for all the details.
The folks at the Tacoma Catholic Worker are throwing a Retirement Party for Nuclear Weapons on July 18th from 4 - 9 PM "to really celebrate the 'work' that nuclear weapons has done." It will be full of satire, celebration, art and music. This is a retirement party you don't want to miss. Click here for more details and to download the event flier.
The annual Hiroshima to Hope Lantern Ceremony is happening at Seattle's Green Lake on Thursday, August 6th beginning at 6:00PM. Click here for the event website. They also have a Facebook page.
What's New with NO To NEW TRIDENT
And now, on to what's new with Trident. Everyone knows (or should by now) that the Navy is moving ahead with plans to build a new generation of ballistic missile submarines to replace the aging Trident fleet (why not just go for mandatory retirement?). At an estimated construction cost of $100 billion, it's caused some concern around the Pentagon about just how the Navy will be able to afford to build any other ships (you know, the one's it really needs). Well, have no fear; leading the funding charge are Rep. Joe Courtney (D-General Dynamics Electric Boat) and Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Newport News Shipyards)*, who introduced the novel idea of creating a slush fund to keep New Trident funding out of harm's way (or at least traditional budgetary funding methods). Who says bipartisanship is dead. The National Sea Based Deterence Fund is just that; an end run around the accepted Congressional budget process. Talk about fiscal irresponsibility!
Some in Congress tried to get rid of the fund, but weren't able to get enough votes. Yet for all the talk in Congress about how to fund New Trident, there has been no debate about why Congress should fund this archaic, Cold War nuclear weapons system at all. It is simply being pushed forward because of those other pesky nuclear weapons nations that are "modernizing" their arsenals and, of course, building ballistic missile submarines. Well, what should we expect when we have deployed Trident at near Cold War levels since the fall of the Berlin Wall and have upgraded the W76 warhead that is deployed on the Trident II D-5 missiles (in addition to all the other modernization of our nation's nuclear weapons infrastructure). That, in combination with our pressure on Russia (via NATO and more), has pushed Russian Bear up against the wall (not a wise move).
Unless the US and Russia come together in serious good faith negotiations to get the disarmament ball rolling, global nuclear weapons proliferation will be all but guaranteed to go through the roof! And then the US nuclear modernization merry-go-round will become a perpetual motion machine that will be virtually unstoppable. We must prevail!
Back to the subject of letters to the editor - these letters have an impact. Even though newspapers publish only a fraction of our letters (and they do occasionally publish them), they have multiple impacts. When published, they reach the intended audience. When newspapers receive enough letters on a particular subject - New Trident for instance - they are more likely to pay attention to the topic and be prodded into publishing one or more articles (or even op-eds). If you like to write, send in your letters and send us a copy so we know what people are writing about.
Keep up with the continuing New Trident saga and stay involved in our efforts to stop it at our NO To NEW TRIDENT campaign website - NOTNT.ORG! NO To NEW TRIDENT is also on Facebook, as is Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action
Please note (and our sincere apologies for this) that the Ground Zero website is still just a shell of its former self (after the unfortunate hack job). Again, we're a bunch of volunteers; please bear with us while we try to get it back up and running full speed. For now I am maintaining the full GZ events calendar at psnukefree.org. Just click on the "Local Events Calendar."
Questions? Email us at info@gzcenter.org or gznonviolencenews@gmail.com. You can also email me directly at subversivepeacemaking@gmail.com with questions, concerns and suggestions (or to update your email or unsubscribe to these pesky newsletters).
Thanks to all who support our work. This is truly a labor of love, and it's NOT our day job. I am honored to work with such a dedicated bunch of abolitionists. Keep spreading the word and invite new people to check out our work. Share and "Like" us on Facebook; DON'T underestimate the power of social media!
From all of us at Ground Zero Center - Keep that light burning.
In Peace, 
* Note: In the original email message I incorrectly referred to Rep. Randy Forbes as representing Electric Boat, which is in Connecticut. Forbes is from Virginia.

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