Celebrating Mother’s Day in a BIG Way at Ground Zero

Dear Friends,

Yesterday was a great day to be outdoors (not a cloud to be seen), and people gathered at the Main entrance gate to the Bangor Trident submarine base to demonstrate our resistance to the most horrific weapon (system) of mass destruction ever devised – TRIDENTGround Zero Center for Nonviolent Action held its annual Mothers Day Weekend action – this year’s theme was Moms Against Bombs. Continue reading

No Prison Time for last of Y-12 Resisters

This just in from The Nuclear Resister BlogNo prison time for the last of 13 nuclear disarmament activists in court for a July 5, 2010 action at the Y-12 nuclear weapons complex, Oak Ridge, TN – On March 21, David Corcoran was sentenced to 150 hours of community service, a $1000 fine and 2 years of probation.  Three dozen supporters applauded when he walked out of the Chicago courtroom.

Here is David’s statement before Judge St. Eve:

Judge St.  Eve, I thank you for taking time to be with us today and I thank Sandy McNichols who took time to do my Presentence Investigation Report.

I thank you Raj for being here to do your job as Prosecuting Attorney  and of course I thank Sarah, my Defense Attorney, for guiding me through this maze of pleading guilty.

I also wish to thank all of those who sent support letters and who took time to be in court today, some coming from as far away as Tennessee and Kentucky

Judge, I want to reiterate that when I committed an infraction of civilian law twice before, I was protesting with thousands of others the U.S. sponsored School of the Americas which trains Latin American soldiers to torture, rape, assassinate, murder and massacre their own innocent civilians, men, women, and children.

David at Y-12

But in this incident I was protesting against the evil of nuclear weapons that contaminate the whole earth and corrupt the people who use them or threaten to use them.  Running through the very field where the 13 of us gathered to pray, is a creek that is so contaminated with nuclear byproducts that it is posted with signs warning people not to eat the fish that might be caught there.

If you so choose to send me to prison for this offense, I ask that you consider my health problems and the advice of my thoracic surgeon.  If you impose a fine, it will simply take money away from the poor that we donate to.  In the words of President Dwight D. Eisenhower:  In the end every penny spent on the military, the wars, the weapons, constitute a theft from the poor.

The support letters submitted to you, testify not so much to my integrity, as to the cloud of witnesses that stood with us in that field.  They are also opposed to nuclear weapons that continue to contaminate our moral resolve.  Your sentence effects all of them as well.

I do wish to clarify the statement I made to you in the letter I sent you and is included in the presentence investigation report where I said I stand here before you sinful and sorrowful.  I am sinful and I am sorrowful for the existence of nuclear weapons but not sorrowful for protesting against them.  The evil is not that I broke an unjust law but the evil is that of nuclear weapons which threaten the continuance of all life here on earth.

I stand for peace, Judge.  That’s what my life is all about.

Thank You!

Candle light vigil: Of monks and the world

Plowshares News   January 18, 2012 [from Joe Power-Drutis]

We  have no idea how Bix’s meeting with his captors went at 10:30 yesterday morning; however, an energized group from Seattle to Tacoma and beyond gathered outside the SeaTac Detention Center in support of Bix and Steve.

We were a bit of a motley group with close ties to our beloved felons. We came to stand in the cold morning air and blowing snow to send forth messages of love and care to these two men from their community that spans the nation. Our gathering gave us the opportunity to connect with new friends and strengthen and broaden that community of peace makers.

If Susan Crane is right, and she usually is, then we weren’t there very long before Bix and Steve knew of our presence and felt our care for them.

For decades, Steve and Bix have spoken out about the dangers we face in putting our faith and resources into nuclear weapons and bloated military budgets.  Their appeals to humanity and common sense have gone largely ignored by the media, elected officials, church leadership, and many others. I believe that these two leaders have chosen the only path left that makes sense to them. By risking arrest, they expect and accept the same fate as the poor and marginalized who are incarcerated in prisons and jails across the country.

I leave you with a note I received recently from Fr. John Fuchs, Jesuit Superior in Tacoma:

“Both Bix and Steve are true monks now. The word “monk,” as you know, is from the Greek word “monos,” which means alone or solitary. And St. Ignatius intended for Jesuits to be monks, not in a monastery but in the world. And so Steve and Bix are!”

John Fuchs, S.J. “Spiritual Warden.”

The Grinch tries (unsuccessfully) to steal Christmas…

Friends,

It’s Christmas Eve.  As we prepare for the coming of the Prince of Peace many of our comrades are spending Christmas in prison for following in His nonviolent ways.  Meanwhile, the Grinch has scheduled yet another trial for Y-12 resister David Corcoran who was unable to be tried with the rest of the group earlier this year.  Here is an update from Ralph Hutchison of OREPA.

We have received word from the Corcorans that Dave’s trial is scheduled for wednesday, December 28. He is represented by a family friend and intends to enter a plea of guilty. Dave expects to be sentenced in january. I am not sure what his point range is, but he indicated he expects he might receive as much as 6 months. We’ll send more information when we know it.

May you all find Peace in this season of miracles, and may we all find strength to continue the long struggle for a nuclear weapon-free world in the coming year.

On the journey together in Peace,

Leonard

Y-12 Sentencing Dates

Friends,

Details, details, details…  First you get convicted; that’s a sure thing when there is absolutely no way to argue any sort of reasonable defense (you know – threat or use of nuclear weapons is illegal, etc, etc…….).  Then you cool your heels (always wanted to use that phrase) while you await the inevitable sentencing.  Sooner or later (usually later; the slow wheels of injustice) they finish those lengthy pre-sentencing reports that provide the judge with (in many cases) a litany of bad deeds (if you consider resisting something that is immoral and illegal a “bad deed”), and a clerk records sentencing dates. Continue reading

Y-12 and Plowshares: The oppression continues in spades!

Y-12 Update May 17, 2011 (from Joe Power-Drutis)

I feel it important to clarify why the Y-12 action has been
incorporated into Plowshares News.

If the Trident Submarines, harbored in the beautiful Puget Sound of
the Great Northwest, are the proverbial mother lode of weapon systems,
then it’s our Governments Department of Energy Y-12 thermonuclear bomb
making plant here in the beautiful East Tennessee Valley that
impregnates the Trident with its babies.

Y-12 had its beginnings in 1942 doing what it did to help develop the
first atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Almost
60 years later it is central to the U.S. ability to refurbish old
nuclear weapons and create new ones. An infusion of more than 6
Billion dollars into this complex is now in the process.

Here in East Tennessee a group has formed and is known as The Oak
Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance (OREPA). They are a collection of
eternally hopeful souls who believe we have the power to create the
world we hope to live in. They are committed to nonviolence and
believe in using every tool in the toolbox to bring about a world free
of nuclear weapons. Their main focus is stopping nuclear weapons
production at the Y12 Nuclear Weapons Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

To assist them in this noble cause a group of seasoned nuclear weapon
resisters from here in Tennessee and around the country came to Oak
Ridge this past summer to support OREPA; 13 of them trespassed 10 feet
onto Y-12 property and were arrested. And for this, all of the wrath
the Powers can import has been placed on them. Indeed it was expected;
the Y-12 complex is incredibly important to our governments nuclear
weapon posture and casting a light on what is actually going on here
receives a militant reaction.

Our friends from Disarm Now Plowshares and those who came to support
OREPA are a family of peace makers committed to resisting such death
driven monster systems. Indeed, Bix was a member to both actions. I
encourage you to go to http://orepa.org/ to learn more about OREPA.

The oppression continues in spades:
Buildings of steel and concrete, inside and out, and cold as a tomb.
That is the first impression anyone can feel as you walk through heavy
steel doors of the Blount County Correctional Facility. Immediately
inside the main door you find yourself in a nondescript waiting room
of 20 or so dark plastic chairs. No staff are in view though you know
they are there; behind even more steel doors and blackened windows
through two way voice systems. You are scheduled a one hour visit, but
those precious minutes are often infringed upon by jail structure.

You feel in your gut that whatever injustice you might be experiencing
is minor compared to what they on the inside are experiencing. Not one
of our friends is a freshman in the world of civil resistance and they
have paid dearly for speaking their truth. So when Sr. Ardeth Platte,
OP, from the Jonah House Community, who has spent so many years in
prison says this jail is one of the most difficult places she has
experienced, that’s saying something. We had a lovely visit this
afternoon, even if it was cut short on each side of our one hour
visit. That’s one hour period. She will see no one else until next
week!

This jail is overcrowded, with 3 people to a cell that was built for 2
(one sleeps on the floor on a thin mat). There are 15 cells in each
pod, meaning there are 45 people in an area that was already woefully
small for 30 people. Everyone is locked into their cell 16 of the 24
hours each day, no exception.

There is nothing we can send into them. They can receive over priced
commissary items, but not in the first week. It will be 2 weeks before
they can even get a piece of paper or pen and an envelope and stamp.
No magazines books or cards from the outside, we can only send them
regular mailing envelopes. Phone calls are incredibly expensive; many
of them $20 – 30 for a 15 minute period (depending on where you live
and the deal the local sheriff brokers with the phone companies that
preys on the prison population).

When out of your cell, around meal times, breakfast is 2 biscuits,
coffee/milk, oatmeal. For Lunch – either a peanut butter and jelly
sandwich, or 2 pieces of bread with a slice of bologna (somewhat green
around the outside edge) – chips and water. Dinner – cold tea, wilted
lettuce or cabbage, 2 small scoops of instant mashed potatoes, some
noodles and boiled to death peas or beans. Fresh fruits or vegetables
are non existent.

Our friends in the Blount County Correctional Facility and Bix in the
Knox County Sheriff Detention Facility are there for what? For
reminding us we are ever so close to self destructing. Prophets of old
went into the desert (or were sent there), perhaps our present day
deserts (barren regions) are in buildings made of steel and concrete.
There are presently 12 Y-12 and Disarm Now Plowshare Resistors doing
the only thing they can do; speak with their lives and endure the
yokes we place upon them for shouting their truth from the mountain
tops.

I encourage you to pick just one of these lovely people in the Blount
County Correctional Facility and write to them. Tell them of your life
or that of your family or community. Speak of the news in your own
words, since they neither get or can receive from you such information
in hard copy. Perhaps start reading a book, and at the end of each
chapter write to them what you just read or learned. We can break
through that wall of intuitional injustice that burdens their minds.
Be creative but remember each piece of mail is inspected closely and
anything other than a letter is removed.

Though way over priced, the only relief these good souls can get is by
way of an occasional phone call and supplies from the commissary. So,
if you can afford to apply some financial support please send it to:

Sue Ablao and note it is for the Y-12 Resistors. Sue’s address is:
Ground Zero Center For Nonviolent Action, 16159 Clear Creek Road NW,
Poulsbo, WA 98370.

These are the names and mailing address of 7 who went to prison on May
11, 2011. You can write to them at the following:

Sister Carol Gilbert
Sister Ardeth Platte
Sister Jackie Hudson
Bonnie Urfer
Michael Walli
Jean Gump
Steve Bggarly

(Inmates Name)
Blount County Correctional Facility
920 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway
Maryville, TN 37804-5022
***must have a return address or inmate will not receive sent mail***

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