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)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Trident resisters to have their say in court

News Release
For Immediate Release
Contact: Leonard Eiger, 425-445-2190, subversivepeacemaking@gmail.com
Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action
16159 Clear Creek Road NW Poulsbo, WA 98370
Peace activists who blocked entry to the main gate at the Navy’s West coast Trident nuclear submarine base in an act of civil resistance to nuclear weapons will appear in Kitsap County Court.
The activists were part of Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action's peaceful vigil at the main gate to Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor in Silverdale, Washington on August 6, 2012 in protest of the U.S. government’s continued deployment and upgrading of the Trident nuclear weapons system. The vigil also commemorated the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The Trident submarine base at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, just 20 miles from Seattle, Washington, contains the largest concentration of operational nuclear weapons. Each of the 8 Trident 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.
During the early morning vigil on August 6th four groups of protestors successively stretched banners across the roadway of the base entrance, stopping traffic entering the base during the rush hour. The banners contained messages including “Abolish Nuclear Weapons” and “Give Peace a Chance. No, Seriously.”
Each group of protestors complied with Washington State Patrol officers’ orders to leave the roadway, and all were escorted to the median where they were processed. A total of 16 persons were issued citations at the scene for “Walking on roadway where prohibited” and released.
Ten of those cited in the August action will appear on Friday, November 9th at 1:30 PM in Kitsap County District Court, Room 104 for hearings before a district court judge. They are Tom Rogers, Poulsbo, WA; Michael Siptroth, Belfair, WA; Mal Chaddock, Portland, OR; Betsy Lamb, Bend, OR; Bernie Meyer, Olympia, WA; Leonard Eiger, North Bend, WA; Brenda McMillan, Port Townsend, WA; Mack Johnson, Silverdale, WA; George W Rodkey, Tacoma, WA and Elizabeth Murray, Bellingham, WA.
Eight of the activists have requested mitigation hearings in order to be able to state, on the record, their reasons for engaging in the resistance action. The two other members or the action have chosen to contest their charges.
Bernie Meyer, one of the resisters who is contesting his charge and who has continuously resisted nuclear weapons, had this to say in defense of his actions after another recent action. “I am doing my duty as a citizen. I am calling citizens, government and military to account. I participated in blocking the road to symbolically close the base and prevent nuclear annihilation. My action is meant to be an expression of my duty as a citizen, even more an act of love for the people of this country and of this world, to democratically say to the government ‘live by the law, abolish nuclear weapons which are a threat to life on Planet Earth.’”
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 plan to build a $715 million Second Explosives Handling Wharf at Bangor, and with Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility filed a lawsuit in Federal court to stop the project. Ground Zero is also working to de-fund the Navy’s planned next generation ballistic missile submarine, estimated to cost at least $99 billion to build.
For nearly thirty-five years Ground Zero has engaged in education, training in nonviolence, community building, resistance against Trident and action toward a world without nuclear weapons.
The Kitsap County District Courthouse is located at 614 Division Street in Port Orchard.

Click here for the August 6th News Release.

You can learn more about Ground Zero through interviews, videos and photos of the August weekend by clicking here.

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