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, March 27, 2012

GZ Nuclear Resisters were in Court on March 23rd

Louise Bollman and Carlo Voli were two of nine peace activists cited for blocking the roadway on January 14, 2012 during a vigil and nonviolent direct action at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor.  During a peaceful protest at the Main Gate the nine activists entered the roadway, blocking traffic for nearly a half hour before Washington State Patrol cleared the roadway and cited all nine for "Pedestrian on Roadway Illegally."

Louise and Carlo were in Kitsap County Court on March 23rd to go on record about their reasons for participating in the January 14th action, while also trying to get their charges dismissed or reduced.  The judge listened to their testimony, and then reduced each of their fines.  Here are some of Carlo's and Louise's thoughts as well as their statements to the court.

Exerpt from Carlo Voli's thoughts on his court experience:

Today's experience made the whole MLK 2012 Ground Zero action so much more meaningful..

The judge seemed to be very authentic and courteous towards all present. Louise was called up and as she was explaining the reasons for her action, all of a sudden it hit me and I became quite emotional. What hit me was the significance of us being there and getting a chance to speak out about such an important issue in that particular setting.
 Carlo's Statement to the Court

The reasons that led me to this action were because on a personal level I feel it is completely immoral to continue to build, store and maintain such weapons of mass destruction that can cause such devastating damage and destruction, not only to human beings, but to all living beings within range. And if all the roughly 1500 nuclear warheads in the USA were to be used simultaneously, it would most likely mean the end of human existence on this planet as we know it.

It is also immoral to spend so much money on storing and maintaining this excessively and unnecessarily large nuclear arsenal, when with just a fraction of that money we could solve a lot of the national and international problems such as education, healthcare, access to clean water, poverty, environmental degradation, etc… And I personally don’t feel comfortable with such a large percentage of the taxes I pay been used for military spending in general, and nuclear weapons in particular.

As has been stated in this court many times over the last 30 years, the existence of nuclear weapons is illegal according to several international laws and conventions, including the Geneva Convention of 1949, the Nuremberg Charter, and the ruling in 1996 by the International Court of Justice determining that the use of nuclear weapons is illegal.

Carlo at left, Louise at right (photo: Jay Bollman)
And lastly, on a much more personal and immediate level, the presence of this nuclear arsenal just 20 miles across from Seattle, and from Edmonds where I live, presents a huge imminent danger to me, my family, friends and neighbors. We’ve all seen what happened in Fukushima just over a year ago. Natural disasters do happen and we do live in a very earthquake prone region. If a natural disaster, accident, or "terrorist" attack were to happen at, or near, the Kitsap Bangor Nuclear Naval Base, that would seriously endanger our lives.

So my actions were to draw attention and protest the immorality, illegality, and danger of continuing to keep the nuclear missiles at Bangor, and by extension, anywhere in the USA or internationally, and I’m calling for a complete banishment of such weapons.

Exerpt from Louise Bollman's thoughts on the day:

After my statement, one of those seeking reduction or deferral was a man who had misplaced his proof of insurance and couldn't find it in the car when he was stopped for driving a little over the speed limit.  He was able to get rid of the insurance fine by showing his proof of insurance to the judge.  Later in the hall, he thanked us for being there.  I thought it was a good reminder that many people in the area do support our actions without us knowing about it.

Louise's Statement to the Court

Thank you for the opportunity to explain why I was in the roadway at the Trident Base on January 14, 2012

There are so many reasons! 

Most importantly, after observing and obediently acting for more than 40 years in three different states, I am well aware that not enough attention is being paid to the danger this planet and its peoples are in -- due to disregard for the care of Planet Earth,   including international proliferation of nuclear weapons of mass destruction.
I took this action in support of my almost grown grandchildren and all future generations of the world.

I took this action in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr who taught that it may be necessary to follow the path of nonviolent civil disobedience to bring economic justice to all citizens of the United States.

I took this action in protest against the billions of dollars that are being misdirected into the creation, upgrading, and maintenance of nuclear weapons, especially here in Washington State at the Trident Base on Puget Sound.

I took this action while caring about all those at the base who are engaged in an internationally illegal,   and threatening,   activity.  It is my belief that all of us in this country I love are involved in  “crimes against humanity.”
I took this action because I think our tax money should be used to employ people in retrofitting homes and businesses and infrastructure all around Kitsap County and the Puget Sound area.

I took this action in the road to Trident Base because nothing else seems to be enough to help residents of Washington State realize what is actually happening here.  I took a moral stand about doing “the right thing.”

Thank you for listening.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Sign the Petition to Defund the Bangor Second Explosives Handling Wharf


We've exhausted all our other options (short of an expensive lawsuit) for stopping construction of the Navy's planned Second Explosives Handling Wharf at the Bangor Trident Submarine base.  We decided to try a petition aimed at Congress to defund the project.

Click on the link to read the text of the petition and sign on in support.  After you've done that, please share it with as many people as you can. 

We can still stop this project, and we need a huge groundswell of support for the petition to make that happen. 



Sunday, March 4, 2012

Hanford Rally April 15th

Occupy Portland hosts Hanford Rally on April 15th!!!  Larn all about how you can attend and support this major effort at their Website, and you can also check out their Facebook page.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

On anniversary of catastrophic nuclear test, missile launch postponed

Action comes after arrest of 15 activists at earlier test.

A unarmed nuclear missile test launch scheduled for early this morning (Thursday) has been postponed, the Lompoc Record, the local newspaper in Lompoc, Calif., where the missile was set to be launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, is reporting.

The Record reports that the Air Force has blamed postponement of the launch, which was to come on the anniversary of the 1954 testing of the largest nuclear device ever detonated by the U.S., on technical problems.

“The test launch is delayed in order to replace a test-unique tracking component used only on test missiles,” said Air Force Global Strike Command officials.

Peace activists have been quick to say that the postponement may have been due to negative reaction regarding the timing of the launch on the anniversary of the 1954 test.

That test, which was known by the code name Castle Bravo and saw the detonation of a thermonuclear hydrogen bomb with a yield of 15 megatons, led to what has been called the largest accidental radioactive fallout of any nuclear test. Although conducted in the Marshall Islands, traces of radiation from the fallout were detected as far away as Australia, India, and Japan.

The radiation also affected a Japanese fishing boat, where one member of the crew eventually died from the effects, and significantly affected islanders who returned to the island after the test.

At the Nuclear Peace Foundation’s Waging Peace blog, Rick Wayman, the foundation’s director of programs and operations, pointed attention to the fact that his group had put out an action alert calling on people to contact President Barack Obama to demand a stop to the test.

News of the postponement also comes days after a separate unarmed nuclear missile test launch at Vandenberg saw activists gather in protest.

(Read the rest of this article and watch video of the Feb. 25th protest at National Catholic Reporter Online)