Interfaith Prayer Service in Tacoma on Nov. 2

Interfaith Prayer Service
Wednesday, November 2
Noon – 1 PM

November 2nd will be the second anniversary of Disarm Now Plowshares.

We invite you to join Bix and Lynne Greenwald for an Interfaith Prayer Service at the corner of 21st and Pacific Avenue
in Tacoma.

This gathering is sponsored by the Tacoma Interfaith Community and Occupy Tacoma.

We pray for a future that includes the resources our youth need to live full human lives, and to:

• stop the theft of community assets by the elite 1%
• abolish policies and weapon systems that serve and protect the greed
of the elite
• fund basic human needs for health care, education, employment,
housing, food,  infrastructure, and a sustainable ecosystem

For more information contact Bix at 253 627-4347.

Followup from Anabel Dwyer on letter to Judge Guyton

Greetings! Thank you so much for signing the petition letter to Judge Guyton about the Y12 resisters. More than 1000 signatures were delivered and all are part of the court record. To see the signatures and comments, click Please continue spreading the petition as David Cocoran has not yet been tried. As you may know, the sentences differed widely and unjust treatment continues.

For specific updates, see For the important sentencing statements of each defendant, see

Work toward nuclear abolition is occurring at many nuclear sites around the country. Learn about them at and

Because of the outstanding support for the petition and these resisters, we are creating an email list about further Nuclear Abolition Actions. Please reply to this message if you would like to be a part of this list. Questions? Email me at

I hope to hear from you soon and again, thanks for signing the letter to Judge Guyton. Together we can do it.

Anabel Dwyer, Michigan

Weekend Y-12 Update


I’ve gotten a bit behind, although Ralph Hutchison has been keeping us informed every step of the way with respect to the Y-12 gang.  Here’s a summary of what’s happened since October 13th (paraphrased from Ralph’s reports):

Mike Walli was initially moved from Blount County Jail to the luxurious Irwin County Detention Center on October 13th.  He was in the same cell block as Steve Baggarly.

Beth Rosdatter was released from federal custody Tuesday, October 18th from the US marshal’s office in the federal courthouse in Knoxville, TN at according to the marshals.  Beth was imprisoned for 30 days (ten days in the Knox County Detention Facility in Knoxville, TN and 20 days in Irwin County Detention Center in Ocilla, GA) for her nonviolent civil resistance action at the Y-12 Nuclear Weapons Complex in Oak Ridge, TN on July 5 2010.

Dennis Duvall was released October 19 from Blount County Jail and enjoyed time in the custody of friends in Knoxville before heading to NYC with Jake Weinstein to visit Occupy Wall Street. Friends got him a $5 jacket from goodwill (the weather turned in Knoxville).  They also had a little celebratory dinner on the evening of his release at king tut’s to see him off.

And this just in from Ralph: “thanks to a heads up from kim: the bureau of prisons shows mike walli and steve baggarly at the federal transfer center in oklahoma city. no indication that bonnie [Urfer] has moved; she is still listed ‘in transit.'”

And that’s the Y-12 news for the past couple weeks.  I spoke with Bix a week or so ago, and he had not yet heard about reporting to serve his sentence.

And don’t forget – We’re keeping Y-12 resisters’ prison mailing addresses updated at The Nuclear Abolitionist.

Stay tuned and, above all, keep resisting!



Moving from “Empire to Servanthood”


The National Catholic Worker gathering wrapped up yesterday (Sunday) with prayers and nonviolent resistence at both the Nevada Test Site (aka: Nevada National Security Site) and Creech Air Force Base, protesting both nuclearism and drones.  59 Catholic Workers were arrested at the Test Site, and 18 were arrested at Creech.

I’m sharing (see below) the Final Statement created by those gathered over the past few days in Las Vegas.  It is an extraordinary statement calling us all to the Gospel of Nonviolence and the walk of the peacemaker.  It calls on the Church to end its complicity in the hubris of Empire.  It calls on our entire nation to repent for the crimes of war.  Above all, it recommits those present at the the CW gathering to “creating the Beloved Community where all God’s people can live together in peace with justice.”

To that day when Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore,



Final Statement for Las Vegas Catholic Worker Gathering
(On the 10th Anniversary of the U.S. Bombing and Invasion of Afghanistan)

We Catholic Workers from around North America gather in Las Vegas on this 10th anniversary of the U.S. bombing and invasion of Afghanistan with the theme “From Empire to Servanthood.” We renounce all war-making as a affront to the God of Creation and we reject the false gods and religion of Empire that dominate our national spirit. We call on our church and nation to join us in repenting for the violence the U.S. has inflicted, and make reparations to all of its victims at home and in Afghanistan as well as in Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere. At this critical point in history, when we face unending wars, nuclear perils, occupations, and economic collapse, when human life and creation itself has become so devalued and killing has become the norm; when greed, exploitation, racism and discrimination are at the heart of social injustice; when our earth and environment is endangered as never before; we recommit ourselves to the God of creation that calls us to revere all life as sacred, and to resist the way of violence, oppression, and empire.

As we hear the cry of the suffering and the poor of our country and world, we demand that all resources being squandered for weapons and war be instead spent to meet urgent human needs.

As the U.S. government continues its immoral and illegal occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, and its murderous drone attacks, especially in Pakistan, we recall the words of Dorothy Day regarding U.S. war-making during World War II:

“We are at war, a declared war, with Japan, Germany, and Italy. But still we can repeat Christ’s words, each day, holding them close in our hearts, each month printing them in the paper… We will print the words of Christ who is with us always, even to the end of the world. “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who persecute you …” In The Catholic Worker we will quote our Pope, our saints, our priests. We will go on printing the articles which remind us today that we are all called to be saints, that we are other Christs, reminding us of the priesthood of the laity…We are still pacifists. Our manifesto is the Sermon on the Mount, which means that we will try to be peacemakers.”

Yes, we are still pacifists. In the name of Jesus who calls us to love unconditionally and be peacemakers, we call on all followers of Jesus to embrace and practice the Gospel of Nonviolence. We urge our church leadership to break their silence and prophetically proclaim Christ’s gospel by calling the entire nation to repent for the war crimes we have committed. We invite them and all followers of Jesus to join us in making the following appeal to the political, military and economic power structure of our nation:

–end all U.S. war-making and and military intervention throughout our world, especially in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Pakistan.

–stop all drone attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen.

–stop demonizing Arabs and Muslims.

– and the US backed Israeli occupation of Palestine and support self-determination for the Palestinians.

–disarm and abolish all conventional, biological, chemical and nuclear weapons.

–close and/or convert all nuclear and conventional weapons facilities, military bases, and military training centers like the SOA/WHINSEC.

–stop the U.S. militarization of space.

–convert our war-based economy to one centered on serving the common good, alleviating poverty and protecting the environment.

–initiate an equitable redistribution of the earth’s resources.

–work to reverse global climate change and bring about environmental justice.

–cultivate respect for the health of the land that feeds us and honors the people that lived on it before us.

–end the practice of torture.

–close the Guantanamo U.S. military prison, the Bagram prison in Afghanistan, all secret black sites and detention centers, and end indefinite detention.

–end all ROTC training programs at all levels in Catholic and public schools.

– and we must end the “war on the poor” at home by: abolishing the death penalty, ending the practice of mass imprisonment, stopping prisons for profit, providing housing, jobs, adequate food and health care for ALL, taking down the wall on the US/Mexico boarder and insuring and protecting human rights of all immigrants.

Mindful of all political prisoners, including those Catholic Workers and other resisters imprisoned for acts of peacemaking, we commit ourselves to nonviolently resist all forms of state-sanctioned violence and oppression. In our efforts to come out of and resist U.S. Empire we concluded our weekend gathering by doing nonviolent direct actions at the Nevada Nuclear Test Site and at Creech AFB, a center of U.S. drone warfare. In solidarity with sisters and brothers around the world calling for an end to political repression, corporate domination and militarism, we seek to build a new society in the shell of the old. We commit ourselves to help create the Beloved Community where all God’s people can live together in peace with justice.

Memorial to Jackie Hudson at N-8 missile silo


Mary Casper sends greetings from Colorado where yesterday an intrepid group of about 30 people gathered at the N-8 missile silo to honor Jackie Hudson.  It was rainy, windy and cold (in the high 30s).  Just watching the video of the event makes me want to put on my foul weather gear.

The Raging Grannies sang their own version of Down By The Riverside, called Out at the Missile Site, with special lyrics for this occasion.  Those gathered also read from remembrances by Susan Crane and Fr. Steve Kelly.

The N-8 missile silo is where Jackie, Carol and Ardeth took their stand for disarmament in the Sacred Earth and Space Plowshares II in 2002 when they symbolically disarmed a 300 kiloton Minuteman III nuclear missile hidden deep below a farmer’s field.

May thanks to the people of Pax Christi Denver for their continued witness and this tribute to Jackie.  May we all continue her good work.  JACKIE HUDSON PRESENTE!



Out at the Missile Site
(to tune of “Down by the Riverside”)

Gonna lay down my sword and shield
Down by the riverside,
Down by the riverside,
Down by the riverside.
Gonna lay down my sword and shield
Down by the riverside.
Ain’t gonna study war no more.
I ain’t gonna study war no more,
I ain’t gonna study war no more,
Ain’t gonna study war no more.

Sister Jackie’s work goes on
Out at the missile site,
Out at the missile site,
Out at the missile site.
Sister Jackie’s work goes on
Out at the missile site.
Ain’t gonna finance war no more.
I ain’t gonna finance war no more,
I ain’t gonna finance war no more,
Ain’t gonna finance war no more.

Gonna carry on for these brave nuns
No matter what it takes,
No matter what it takes,
No matter what it takes.
Gonna carry on for these brave nuns
No matter what it takes.
Ain’t gonna pay for no more nukes.

I’m gonna protest war each day,
I’m gonna protest war each day,
Gonna protest war each day.
I’m gonna protest war each day,
I’m gonna protest war each day,
Until all the nukes are gone.

New words by Judy Trompeter.
Sung by the Raging Grannies of Denver, Oct. 8, 2011 at N-8 Missile Site

Ardeth Platte’s Y-12 Sentencing Statement


Sister Jackie Hudson, Order of Preachers, was the next peacemaker scheduled for sentencing, next Monday morning at 9:30. Her life was given on August 3rd, 2011, her testimony complete, and it resounds loudly and clearly, remaining with us and we are grateful. Jackie, presente!

Magistrate Guyton, we have been taught, have learned and believe that:
In these courts, justice should be rendered.

In these courts, prosecution for broken laws and policies regarding cancer-causing radioactivity that poisons soil, water, animal and human life should be enforced.

In these courts, killing and threats to kill should be on trial.

In these courts “Deterrence” – intentional threats to kill massively (i.e. triggers cocked at targeted nations) should be listed on trial dockets as criminal.

In these state and federal courts Y 12 (along with Los Alamos and Kansas City Nuclear Complexes) producing and processing uranium, plutonium, materials and parts for nuclear weapons should be prosecuted as crimes.

Prosecutors, you have chosen instead to prosecute the Y 12 thirteen. Your “in limine” motion to silence us at trial about applicable Constitutional, Humanitarian, Customary, International laws and treaties substantiating our action and motivation stripped us of our defense.

The probation officers chose to list for you some of my nonviolent, symbolic, direct actions of civil resistance that were designated points because of arbitrary arrests and incarcerations. However, they too have eliminated the moral and legal ways and means of my teaching and preaching truth about war and weapons, nor have they recorded the reasons why I refuse to be silent.

So before sentencing I want to tell you more of my story. Note that it is violence, injustice and killing that move me to actions. I believe that nuclear weapons are the taproot of all violence and must be abolished. Poverty and deprivation kill too. Domestic and foreign violence, injury to air, soil and water kills, massive killing in war with conventional bombs and threats of actual use of nuclear weapons – all are immoral, illegal and criminal.

So I refuse to be silent.

My stance is the same as my religious community of Dominican Sisters, my intentional community of Jonah House and my Roman Catholic Church. It is the same position taken by international law professors and lawyers (like Charles Moxley who testified before you), the World Court, Global Zero, Nobel Peace Laureates, many Admirals and Generals, political leaders, scientists, organizations and millions of people throughout the world.

We each in our own way refuse to be silent!

At four years of age, I/We in kindergarten were ordered to duck and cover. Our families were ordered to extinguish all lights for blackouts in the entire city. In those early years we were all incorporated under the cloak of fear to participate in war.

At nine years of age my country obliterated Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as you know, killing hundreds of thousands of people – innocent women, men and children with “Little Boy” and “Fat Man”. (Years later I have had the privilege of being with and speaking at forums with the Hibakusha who plead for a nuclear-free world also.) The pictures of their land and burnt dead make me weep.

At thirteen years of age my brother was accidently shot while deer hunting. What I recall was the sight of the open leg wound and its difficult healing process. It stirred in me images and awareness of the maiming and killing in warfare.
In the early 50’s I entered college and then the Dominican Sisters Community, preparing for a vowed life and teaching ministry. Scripture, theology, social documents of the Church, secular studies, the life and charism of Dominic, our founder – an itinerant preacher of truth, along with many Dominican saints formed me and deepened my conscience.

Affected by and study of a nonviolent/loving God, a nonviolent Jesus, giving his life rather than taking another’s life, all people made to the image of God, one family of sisters and brothers in the world, to become a Beatitude people, love God and neighbor as self, do good to those who persecute you, forgive seventy times seven, hammer swords into plowshares –all of these words/concepts took root in me. I would never be the same because sacred life and creation became most meaningful.

I found my voice, must speak out, must speak truth!

In the 60’s and 70’s, during the years of my educational ministries, the “isms” became evident, focused and clearer to me. Racism was prevalent so it was right and good to be part of the nonviolent civil rights movement. Farmworkers were oppressed, so many of us joined boycotts and marches with Cesar Chavez and workers. Sexism and classism reflected the subjugation of women and the poorest and my heart and eyes were opened to the need for education, empowerment and organized efforts. For in each of these movements for justice, I saw democracy in action and had to join it; it was the way to bring about systemic change through legal, political and direct action.

I refused to be silent then and now!

Assigned to an Upward Bound program at our college as an administrative assistant and to an inner city high school as principal brought me face to face with killing. It was the time of turmoil, riots and sniping in the streets of the cities. At the same time war was escalating and raging in Vietnam. Militarism had a devastating effect on domestic budgetary needs: education, food, shelter, health care. African Americans, Hispanics, and people made poor challenged me to walk by faith’s talk about preferential option with the poorest. Some of our grads were coming back in body bags and some of our students and family members were killed on the city’s war-zoned streets.

We opened an Educational Center to drop outs, expellees and adults to offer some hope and self-determination sessions during a dark time. I participated in moratorium marches within the city and also in Washington DC. My own conversion kept deepening.

My voice was not silent!

War is not peace. Basic human necessities are intended as a right for all of God’s people. Hundreds of thousands of us were part of the demonstrations…and the Vietnam War ended. But nuclear weapons continued to be built. Each President, except Ford, threatened to use them, from Truman to the present as weapons of mass destruction have become more and more powerful.

We continued organizing – teaching conscientious objection, joining thousands at the UN Disarmament Conference in New York City in 1978 and a million of us in 1982. Nearly 1800 were arrested at the five nuclear weapon nation’s Embassies. In 1979 I was invited to the White House with other religious leaders to examine the SALT treaty. As a City Councilwoman I attended “Women for the Prevention of Nuclear War” with Rosalyn Carter, Ellen Goodman, Coretta Scott King, Joanne Woodward and numerous women leaders from every walk of life. As Mayor Pro Tem of the city I voted at our California Conference with Mayors for Peace for a Nuclear Freeze. Upon return from these urgent events our Michigan Coalition developed, gained signatures, and placed on the November 1982 ballot an Initiative banning nuclear weapons from our state. It passed by a 56% vote of the people.

However, the federal government and Dept of Defense defied the will of the people of Michigan by deploying and storing hundreds of nuclear cruise missiles for B52’s at two Strategic Air Command (SAC) Bases in 1983 and 1984. For the next twelve years, we prayed, studied, organized, marched, demonstrated, lobbied and did legal, political, and direct actions until every nuclear weapon was removed (1995) from our state, which is a wonderland with fresh water lakes surrounding it. At the same time we did all we could do to gain funds and commitment to cleanup the serious contamination which we believe caused cancer rates to escalate in the area.

I and others refused to be silent!

{As an interesting sideline, all of my arrests at these bases were for trespass. In the city I served for years, the police were facing a hostage situation – a veteran had collected a stash of guns and was holding his wife hostage. The police requested me to come to defuse the situation, so the man could be seized and given the mental health care that he needed. There was no question about my trespassing to stop a possible killing. I did so and it was successful. It is exactly what we attempt to do each time we enter a nuclear site – to save lives and stop the hostage-taking of other nations.}

During the 1980’s and 1990’s under the tutelage of lawyers, we learned the laws of the United States applicable to nuclear weapons, war and our own nonviolent actions. These experts: Francis Boyle, Kary Love, Bill Durand, Richard Faulk, Bill Quigley, Peter Weiss, Bob Aldridge, Ved Nanda, Lawyers for Prevention of Nuclear War, Anabel Dwyer, etc. by their writings and testifying through the years substantiate the illegality and crimes of governments and corporations and our duty and responsibility to stop them.

A Coalition of Michigan peacemakers and lawyers led by Anabel Dwyer developed the Nuremberg Campaign. Atty. Dwyer attended the sessions at the Hague regarding the International Court of Justice report and opinion of nuclear weapons being illegal in threatening to use or ever using them. The Campaign included depositions, laws, procedures to be taken to stop the SAC Base from illegal action. The briefs were submitted to the Attorney General, two federal District Attorneys and two county prosecutors. Day by day we offered leaflets at the SAC Base to teach Air Force personnel that they must disobey any command (according to their Field Manuals) to threaten use or to launch nuclear weapons.

I refuse to be silent!

Lawyers who are experts in Law continue to teach us the pertinence of the Constitution, Geneva, Hague, UN Charter, Nuremberg Principles, Poison Earth Treaty, World Court Decision, the Non Proliferation Treaty – “with its obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects, under strict and effective international control.”

Nuclear weapons inflict indiscriminate and uncontrollable mass destruction, violate fundamental rules and principles of humanitarian law and threaten the existence of life itself.

I/We were informed that the replacement upgrades in targeting capability of Trident D-5 missiles, W76 and W88 series are breaches of Article VI of the NPT and signed agreements, therefore, the ongoing production at Y12 Oak Ridge must be halted and total disarmament take place.

I refuse to be silent and joined in issuing the proclamation on July 5, 2010.

So I ask you now:
Is it or is it not the duty to stop crimes?
Is it legal to defy treaties?
Is it legal to kill civilians?
Is it legal to bomb counties at which no war has been declared? to torture?
Is it legal to threaten with nuclear weapons?
Is it legal to occupy countries and establish 1000 military bases on ¾ of the world’s countries?
Is it legal for the U.S. to divide the world into Command Centers, controlling independent Continents?
Is it legal to allow or cause people to starve and be malnourished here and abroad?
Is it legal to sign treaties to total nuclear disarmament and not fulfill them? If it is legal, it is certainly not moral. My commitment has been and is to put my mind, body, spirit and voice on lines to stop war, weapons, and killing. I oppose all killing – by the pen, by guns, by conventional and nuclear weapons. I refuse to be silent about personal, societal, state and national murder. I refuse to be silent regarding the lies told, the resources stolen, the crimes against peace, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The universe, Earth, creation and creatures are sacred, too magnificent to be destroyed.

You may wonder why I’m taking time to add the above material to the record and my rap sheet. No doubt you have probably decided my sentence before I spoke. I wanted you to know my convictions and passion and what has led me to do what I do…not only civil resistance and the promise to give my life for justice and peace. I want to invite you to be agents of change.

My question is – where are the courts and judges. Will any of you be agents for change as were the courts in abolishing slavery, child labor, gaining civil rights, women’s voting, unionization, and other laws galore that had to be upheld and interpreted. It is an urgent time, a kairos moment, a key time in history – wherein abolition of nuclear weapons is law. Let all of us go home to feed the poor and serve God’s people! Never again bring to court nonviolent civil resisters at Y12. Cases dismissed. Join the movement to stop weapons, war and killing! Prosecutors – bring forth the cases of contamination and radiation. Stop nuclear weapons and prosecute those breaking the law. As Jackie would say, “Let’s all take another step outside our comfort zone.” I trust and hope you will be the persons that will someday do it.

Sentencing Statement by
Sister Ardeth Platte, O.P.
September 16, 2011 for Y12 Action

Carol Gilbert’s Y-12 Sentencing Statement

Judge Guyton, before I begin my prepared statement I want to apologize for how I look and hope my mind is operating because the last 31 hours have been hectic.  We were awakened at 2 am and left Ocilla at 4:30 am with the officer driving 80 -90 miles an hour plus about half of the trip texting.  I don’t know what the law is in TN or GA but in MD and in MI that is illegal. You might not think I am a very law and order person but my friends would tell you I am. We arrived about 11:30 am and were given a very nice lunch by the marshals. We then sat in the holding cell for most of the afternoon and then taken for processing.  We arrived in our cells at 10:30 pm and were taken out again at 5 am for court.  The jail also ran out of combs to give us. So, I apologize to you.

One of the charisms of my Dominican religious order is “to give to others the fruits of your contemplation.”

These past 131 days I have contemplated what if anything I would say to this court.

Four clarifications need to be made:

1.)     We do not choose jail. Anyone who has ever been in jail, prison, or even a lock-up would never choose it.  We do choose non-violent direct action. We do choose civil resistance enough to risk arrest and incarceration.  We do choose to try and uphold Article 6 of the United States Constitution (the supremacy clause) which was not allowed in this courtroom. We do choose life over death.  But, we do not choose jail.

2.)     I chose not to testify at trial because of your order which would silence my truth.  Your order spoke of lack of “imminence”. I believe that every human being and all species are my brothers and sisters.  These last 131 days have only strengthened for me how imminent our action was.

The United States cannot at one, refurbish and upgrade nuclear warheads at Y-12 Oak Ridge for deployment, threat or use and abide in good-faith by promises to adhere to humanitarian law, the laws of war limiting the use of force and our obligation in accordance with the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Criminal Code and I understand the U.S. Military Code.

We met women both in Blount County Detention Center, Maryville, TN and Irwin County Detention Center, Ocilla, GA
who had friends, relatives, spouses or themselves that worked or lived near Y-12.  We heard stories of cancers, deaths, class action suits, loss of jobs due to contamination, money awards, environmental contamination and radiated deer. We heard from peacemakers where on 279 out of 365 days last year, the water leaving the Y-12 facility was contaminated beyond safe drinking water levels.  This speaks to me of imminence!

3.)     This court has no understanding of the difference between civil disobedience and civil resistance.  Civil disobedience means breaking a specific law.  One example from our history is the African-American population who broke the racist Jim Crow municipal ordinances by sitting at lunch counters legally prohibited from serving them.  Civil resistance is upholding the laws.  The necessity defense and Nuremburg principals say that citizens have a responsibility and a duty to resist illegal government crimes.

In many countries around the world and sometimes in this country people are acquitted for these non-violent actions.  Our Y-12 action on July 5, 2010 was an act of civil resistance.

4.)     I want to explain why Sister Ardeth Platte and I chose not to comply with supervised release after trial.  We had been on ten months of strict supervised release which we followed to the letter of the law.

When we appeared here in July of 2010 you gave us permission to go to our motherhouse in MI for meetings.  Usually, we have been on unsupervised release where we just signed a paper promising to return to court and not break any laws. So, when we got to Baltimore the papers did not read we could travel outside of MD.  We did finally get approval after many phone calls. Then in October we had a college student group and we wanted to take them to a trial in VA for a Pentagon peace action. When I called the probation department the officer said he would need to call TN.  He called back a few hours later and said if it was up to him he would give permission but after talking to TN he could not say yes. We could not participate in any demonstrations, vigils, rallies, prayer services, even our local death penalty vigil all of which were legal and First Amendment rights. Another hardship was parking when we had to visit the probation office as the costs were at least $8 and sometimes as high as $18 which were prohibitive for us. We could not work with the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker Community on Faith and Resistance Retreats held three times a year in D.C. We also knew that after the guilty verdict we would need to return to TN for PSI reports and sentencing and it seemed better to begin serving the time.

These 131 days most of which were spent in a “for profit, private jail” (and that is a whole other story) taught me again how we treat the poorest in this country-the throw aways:

pain clinics, addictions, trauma, conspiracy laws, no trials, plea bargains, mandatory minimums, over-crowded federal and state prisons and lack of medical care – you know what happened to our Sister Jackie, may she rest in peace, and hers is one of many stories I could share.

I want to close with a story about our Sister Jackie Hudson.  When Jackie was giving a presentation she always ended by asking people “to take one step outside of their comfort zone.

Each of the warheads prepared or refurbished at Y-12 is known and intended to threaten or inflict vast, indiscriminate and uncontrollable heat, blast and radiation.   Life as we know it would cease.

After ten months of strict supervised release and 131 days in jails we come before this court as drops of water…drops of water that over time can wear away the stone.

And so Judge Guyton, prosecutors, U.S. Marshalls, court workers and friends, I stand before you today, in the memory of our Sister Jackie, who was to be sentenced in this courtroom on Monday, September 19th and say, “Let’s all take one step outside of our comfort zone.” Jackie Hudson, Order of Preachers, PRESENTE!

Sentencing Statement
September 16, 2011 –Knoxville TN
Carol Gilbert, OP
(Y-12 Action July 5, 2010)

Plowshares: Disarming our Hearts


The five members of the Disarm Now Plowshares Action (on Nov. 2, 2009) carried with them a number of documents as they made their way deep into the heart of darkness, the Strategic Weapons Facility – Pacific (SWFPAC).  Among those documents was one written by Susan Crane.  Susan wrote Some thoughts about going onto Naval Base Kitsap/Bangor, and in her letter reminded us that, “There is no ‘us’ and ‘them.'”  This reminded me of something once written by Alexander Solzhenitsyn:

If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart? (from The Gulag Archipelago, 1973)

It was the thinking of the “us” and “them”, the “evil people”, in our hearts and minds that drove the arms race that drove humanity ever so close to the brink of self destruction, and ironically it is those same hearts and minds that can (and must) undergo a sea change in order to bring us back from the brink.  As Susan stated in her letter, besides the blood, hammers and sunflower seeds they brought with them that cold, clear morning under a bright moon, they brought something far less tangible, and yet perhaps much more important, “disarmed hearts in hope of a disarmed world.”

As we approach the two-year anniversary of the Disarm Now Plowshares action I thought it timely to spend some time looking back so that we can continue moving forward in our resistance to the machinery of death.  Susan’s letter is, I believe, a good starting point for this journey.

May we all hope and pray (and work) to disarm our own hearts so that we may begin the hard work of disarming the hearts of others.  Here is the entire, unedited text of Susan’s letter.




Some thoughts about going onto Naval Base Kitsap/Bangor

All Soul’s Day, Nov. 2, 2009

Today in the US more and more people are coming to food pantries, needing food for their families. The numbers of home foreclosures increase, leaving families homeless; unemployment increases; and many, even those with health insurance, can’t get their basic health needs met. Class size increases as teachers are laid off and dropout rates increase. Many returning vets must struggle for benefits. States are near bankruptcy, and our infrastructure is falling apart. And day by day climate change threatens us all.

As a nation, we know all this. We experience it personally, and hear it on the nightly news. But what we don’t hear is that there may be solutions to these problems. We need to look at where, as a nation, we are allocating our resources: where do our federal tax dollars go? Where do our brightest and best scientists find work? Where do our idealistic and dedicated youth end up? We know that over half of every federal tax dollar is used for warmaking. And we know that the American people never have a chance to vote on a bond issue for the next fighter plane or nuclear weapon. Every dollar that is used for warmaking, killing or planning to kill other people, is a dollar that is not used for human needs, or healing the earth.

Here in Washington state, I was thinking about the Trident submarines which have nuclear warheads on them, and are constantly roaming the oceans. There are 8 subs homeported here at Naval Base Kitsap/Bangor. And each of these subs carries 24 Trident II D-5 missiles, and each of the missiles carries multiple nuclear warheads. Some of the warheads are 32 times the explosive heat and blast of the bomb the US dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.

The Trident subs are stealthy, and at sea their location is secret. They can launch nuclear weapons to anywhere in the world in 15 minutes, which is a constant threat to people in other nations. Here in the US we don’t live under a threat like that.

My faith tradition teaches me that we are to love our enemies, to love one another. Planning to kill others is not an act of love…Indiscriminate killing of whole cites of people, animals and plants is not an act of love.

Here in the northwest where the Trident subs are homeported, the land is beautiful; the trees are aromatic; the water is healing. And I hope that we come to our senses and experience this land we live in, and realize that we—and people all over the earth—are brothers and sisters. There is no “us” and “them”. As individuals and as a nation; we all have good in us; we all have a shadow side. We can all work together if we choose to.

With hope for peace and disarmament, the five of us, Steve Kelly, S.J, Lynne Greenwald, Anne Montgomery, RSCJ, Bill Bichsel, S.J. and myself, go to Naval Base Kitsap/Bangor on All Soul’s Day. We remember the 150 million people killed by warmaking and related consequences of war in the last 100 years. It is in solidarity with all who live in lethal force zones that we enter the lethal force zone on the naval base.

We bring our own blood to pour on the missiles, nuclear weapons, trident subs, or perhaps on the railroad tracks that carry the weapons. We pour our blood to remind us all of the consequences of warmaking. We bring hammers to enflesh the words of Isaiah to hammer swords into plowshares. We bring sunflower seeds to sow to begin to convert the base, and we bring disarmed hearts in hope of a disarmed world. I go onto the base with the support of all at Jonah House, in Baltimore, carrying their prayers in my hip pocket.

Susan Crane

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