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)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Moms Against Bombs Four in Court Tomorrow

Elaine Hickman, Tom Rogers, Bert Sacks, and Carlo Voli are scheduled to appear in Kitsap County Court on Tuesday, July 31st at 3:00 in Room 104 for a mitigation hearing related to their arrests on May 12, 2012 at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor. 

Activists from Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action held a peaceful vigil and nonviolent direct action On May 12th at the Bangor main [entrance] gate .  They protested the U.S. government’s continued deployment and upgrading of the Trident nuclear weapons system. 

The theme of the Mother's Day Weekend event was "Moms Against Bombs."

(holding banner, from left) Bert Sacks, Carlo Voli, Elaine Hickman and Tom Rogers
While the group maintained a peaceful vigil on the roadside outside the base entrance, the four mentioned above walked onto the roadway and unfurled a banner stretching across all entrance lanes.  The banner read, “Give PEACE a chance. No, seriously.”

All four protestors complied with Washington State Patrol officers when ordered to leave the roadway.  Hickman, Rogers, Sacksand Voli were cited for “Pedestrian in Roadway Illegally” (a traffic offense) and released at the scene.  The banner was not cited.

None are contesting their charges, and are prepared to go on record as to why they engaged in this action.

If you are able to attend the proceedings in support of the resisters, here is everything you need to know:
The courthouse is located at 614 Division Street, Port Orchard.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

NUCLEAR WEAPONS: The Most Inconvenient Truth - August events

Celebrating thirty-five years of nonviolent resistance to theTrident nuclear weapons system, Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action will honor two of its co-founders, Jim and Shelley Douglass, who will speak at its annual August event at the Ground Zero Center in Kitsap County, Washington. 

By the 1980s the Douglasses and a community of activists were organizing people across the county to protest the “White Trains” that carried nuclear weapons to Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor. In subsequent years the community that became Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action has continued the spirit of resistance to the Trident nuclear weapons system with regularly scheduled vigils and nonviolent direct actions at the Bangor Trident submarine base.

The theme for the August 4th – 6thevent, “NUCLEAR WEAPONS: The Most Inconvenient Truth”, will focus participants on the history, current status, cost, and future plans for more nuclear new subs and missiles. 

Cindy Sheehan and Dorli Rainey will also speak about their experience with this “Most Inconvenient Truth.” 

Sheehan’s son Casey was killed in Sadr City during the U.S.occupation of Iraq in 2004.  Her makeshift camp outside President GeorgeW. Bush’s Texas Ranch in 2005 launched her career as a dedicated peace activist.  She continues to be a vocal critic of the continuing aggressive U.S. foreign policy under President Obama.

Rainey, at 84, pepper sprayed in the face at Seattle Occupy, became a “poster child” for the Occupy movement through national media attention to her picture and story.  Rainey has been a peace activist for five decades, and has a strong commitment tononviolence in foreign affairs.

In addition to speakers, on Saturday, August 4, participants in the Interfaith Peace Walk for a Nuclear Free Future will arrive at Ground Zero Center, ending their 13-day walk that will begin on July 23rd in Portland, Oregon.  The Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist order conducts annual peace walks as a reminder of the very real dangers presented by all uses of nuclear materials.

The weekend includes education about nuclear weapons and the Trident base, nonviolence training, music, movies, and a vigil at the Kitsap Mall.  There will also be special sessions on the Navy’s plans for a Second Explosives Handling Wharf at Bangor and its plans for a new generation of ballistic missile submarines.

Participants at the weekend event will walk down to the Bangor entrance gate early Monday morning for a traditional vigil and nonviolent direct action.  Monday, August 6th, marks the anniversary of the atomic Bombing of Hiroshima.

According to one estimate, the Bangor base, just 20 miles from downtown Seattle, has the largest concentration of operational nuclear weapons. As Rear Adm. Joseph Tofalo, Commander, Submarine Group 10, said on April 18: “A single Trident Submarine is the sixth largest nuclear nation in the world all by itself.” 

In related action the Peace Fleet will arrive in Seattle’s Elliott Bay on Wednesday, August 1st.  The Peace Fleet is a water-based nonviolent protest against the glorification of weapons of war at the Seattle Seafair festival.  Peace activists will simultaneously demonstrate near Pier 66.

All or any part of the weekend gathering at Ground ZeroCenter for Nonviolent Action, at 16159 Clear Creek Road NW, Poulsbo, WA is open to anyone interested in the nature and practices of nonviolent action and working toward a nuclear weapons-free world.  More information and schedule at our Events page. 

Direct questions to info@gzcenter.org or 360-930-8697.

Another local event surrounding the atomic bombings of Hirsohima and Nagasaki is the annual Hiroshima to Hope Lantern Floating Ceremony held on August 6th at Seattle's Green Lake.  The program begins at 6:00PM, and the lantern floating ceremony begins at 8:30PM.  Learn more at their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FromHiroshimaToHope

Thursday, July 5, 2012

No Ear Plugs for Threatened Marine Mammals!


Continuing in the Pentagon's out-of-control expansion of the U.S. military empire, the Navy plans to expand its sonar testing ranges and frequency of testing in a BIG way.  AND - The new plans relate to submarine (think TRIDENT) operations.

Here's some of what a recent MSNBC article had to say about the Navy's new plans (in italics).

The numbers are in the Navy's new draft environmental impact statement for exercises planned from 2014-2018. In it, the Navy says that, under its preferred alternative, sonar training and testing might unintentionally harm marine mammals 2.8 million times a year over five years.

"The numbers are staggering and there is absolutely no corresponding mitigation to account for this harm," Zak Smith, an attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, told msnbc.com.

That's up from about 150,000 instances a year in the Navy's impact statement for 2009-2013, Smith added.

But the Navy said the numbers were misleading since the new area is much larger and more activities have been added since the last statement. "It's like comparing three grapes to a watermelon," Pacific Fleet spokesman Mark Matsunaga told msnbc.com.

"These are just worst-case estimates," he added. "That's not to say we're going to go out there and hurt them all."

Of course not Mark!  Just a whole bunch of them!!!  It is, indeed, "like comparing three grapes to a watermelon" (the Navy said it!!!).  Think of the existing training and testing as the grape, and the new plan as the watermelon.  Hmmmm...  We're talking some major collateral (mammalian) damage here folks.  And just so the U.S. military can keep ramping up to control more of the land, the sea, and the air (and don't forget space).

Flipper says, "I do not approve of the Navy's Draft EIS/OEIS!!!
Is all this increased testing and training really necessary?  Does it really have anything to do with our nation's (the people's) security (or is it the security of the National Security State, aka: Military Industrial Complex?)?  Is it OK to sacrifice scores of marine mammals in the name of national security?  Here's the Navy's official (and rather boilerplate) reasoning (from Draft EIS, V.1, P.3):

"The purpose of the Proposed Action is to conduct training and testing activities to ensure that the Navy meets its mission, which is to maintain, train, and equip combat-ready naval forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression, and maintaining freedom of the seas."
The United States (U.S.) Department of the Navy's Hawaii-Southern California Training and Testing Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement (OEIS) website has the Draft EIS/OEIS for your reading pleasure (OK, so it's not exactly light reading).

You can get right to the section on marine mammals (and skip the section on marine invertebrates) by clicking here.

Most importantly - Click here to go directly to the online comment form where you can easily submit your comments to go on the record.  They will accept comments through July 10th, so don't delay. 

There is also a petition on this issue at SignOn.org.

Oh, and did I mention that the "Navy estimates traditional explosives testing and training might kill 1,000 marine mammals during the period" (CNBC article)!!! 

Peace (and Quiet for our marine mammalian friends),


P.S. - Does anyone want to leaflet the Atlantic bottlenose dolphins and California sea lions that guard the Trident subs at the Bangor base?  Perhaps we could convince the Navy's marine mammal sentries to call for a general strike in protest of the Navy's plan to harm scores of their comrades!!!


  1. Navy raises sonar impact on dolphins, whales dramatically, MSNBC, May 11, 2012
  2. (U.S.) Department of the Navy's Hawaii-Southern California Training and Testing Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement (OEIS) website