Resisting Trident: For Love and for Life
by Lynne Greenwald
Although I’ve been “part of the peace movement” since the 1970’s, two phrases have remained a common thread throughout the years: “Don’t take myself too seriously,” and “Resistance should be a song, a dance, an act of love.”
At the Pentagon in the mid-1970’s I experienced what seems to have been a life-altering experience and I knew from that point on, that with my life I had to show that nuclear weapons were wrong. This became a foundation for my life on the East Coast, in Montana and in Washington State. I moved to Kitsap County over 26 years ago, to join Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action, and to raise a family. Living in this community, it has been possible to learn how to become neighbors to those in the military and discovering our common desires.
I was pregnant with my first daughter when I learned of the Nuclear (White) Train that traveled from Amarillo, Texas to the Trident Submarine Base at Bangor. The train carrying nuclear weapons was originally parked over night on the tracks behind the Poverello Center, a shelter I helped manage in Missoula, Montana. Christy’s birth was motivation to join a community, nonviolently resisting Trident.
A lot has changed over the years – my three children are all independent young adults now, and the Trident Base continues to expand. As part of the U.S. strategic military triad (air, land and sea), Trident remains entrenched in the nuclear posturing with its ability to deliver its deadly cargo to any location in the world within 15 minutes. The beginning of the Iraq war convinced me to take my demands for the end of all war, and the abolition of all nuclear weapons, to the Trident Base in my community.
Last August I was arrested for the third time for “crossing the blue line” at the Base. On November 2, 2009 I entered the Trident Base with four friends and proceeded to walk to the nuclear weapons storage facility. As part of the Disarm Now Plowshares group we spent several hours walking on the Base and cut through fences that “secured” the largest single stockpile of nuclear weapons in the U.S. arsenal.
I can’t not act to stop nuclear weapons from being planned, developed or deployed. The compelling reasons include a faith that life is to be nurtured, not destroyed; that all resources should be used for life-giving purposes for all; and that nuclear weapons do not make us safe, and actually make us less secure. When entering the base I carry prayers for peace and images of children, including 2-year-old Ali Hussein, who died late April 2008 following a U.S. missile attack on his home in Baghdad, Iraq. I take a vision of a world without nuclear weapons and war, and sunflower seeds representing hope for this violated earth.
All signs indicate that this country is not preparing for nuclear disarmament. On January 29, 2010 Joe Biden presented an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, the President’s Nuclear Vision. The article clearly outlines a plan to maintain and further develop the strength of the nuclear arsenal, with a proposed $7 billion ($600 million more than Congress approved last year) to be spent to maintain the U.S. nuclear weapon stockpile and complex.
Knowing what I know, acts of Civil Resistance are a responsibility I take seriously, committing my life to the elimination of all nuclear weapons. Trident nuclear weapons are illegal and immoral. Even the existence and threat to use nuclear weapons violates International Law and the International Tribunal of Justice of 1996.
I began this article by mentioning two thoughts that run through my actions. By committing acts of Civil Resistance we have an opportunity to create an alternative peaceful world. I am convinced that “those in control” completely lack creativity and imagination and need our voices and lives to describe another reality – complete nuclear abolition in our lifetime.
Lynne is preparing for a trial March 3 for an August 2009 trespass at the Bangor Trident Base. She currently lives in Tacoma and volunteers at the Guadalupe Catholic Worker House. As a member of Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action, she is helping to plan for a May 1 – 3 gathering and action to coincide with the NPT Review gathering at the UN in NYC.
Filed under: DNP reflections Tagged: | Civil Resistance, Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action, May 2010 NPT Review, nuclear abolition, Nuclear non-proliferation treaty, Obama's 2011 Military Budget