Washington State: The Nuclear State

Jinsung Kim, a student at the University of Washington, produced this video focusing on Washington State’s nuclear weapons legacy as a class project.

It begins with Dr. John Findlay, UW Dept. of HIstory professor discussing the history and impact of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, and then moves on to the Trident ballistic missile submarines based at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor in Kitsap County.  Interviews with Fr. Steve Kelly (of the Disarm Now Plowshares action) and Senji Kanaeda (a Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist Monk) provide perspectives on Trident and nuclear weapons issues.  There is also footage of the Pacific Life Community vigil and nonviolent direct action at the Main Gate of the Bangor submarine base on March 4, 2013.

Please note that there is at least one error in the video: Lynne Greenwald was unable to give an interview not because she was in prison – she was not in prison at the time the video was being made – but because of her work schedule.


Bix Reflects on COMMUNITY


Here is video from the November 10, 2011 prayer sendoff for Bix before he re-entered prison for his ongoing resistance to war-making and nuclear weapons. In this clip, Bix reflects on the rich blessings and strengths of COMMUNITY.



Anti-nuclear weapons activist returns to prison

By Marilyn Bechtel, Originally published August 24, 2012 at Peoples World, http://peoplesworld.org/anti-nuclear-weapons-activist-returns-to-prison/

Photo: Marilyn Bechtel/PW

DUBLIN, Calif. – With prayer and song, dozens of supporters saw anti-nuclear weapons campaigner Susan Crane back to prison Aug. 22, as she prepared to serve an additional 60-day sentence at the federal women’s prison here. The new sentence came on top of 15 months she had already served after participating in a 2009 Disarm Now Plowshares nonviolent direct action at a Washington state naval facility where nuclear-armed Trident submarines are based.Crane, a 68-year-old retired teacher and member of the Catholic Worker movement, was joined by supporters in a four-day, 40-mile peace walk to the prison gates from a Lockheed-Martin facility that makes the nuclear warhead-carrying Trident II D-5 missile the Trident submarines carry. Continue reading

Susan’s Probation Hearing: A Question of Conscience

Today in Judge Benjamin Settle’s courtroom in Tacoma, Washington Susan Crane continued to drive home the illegality and immorality of nuclear weapons. She started by saying that the Plowshares group went to the US Naval Base to speak the truth about the need to disarm the illegal and immoral nuclear warheads. In court they tried to speak the truth about the nuclear weapons, but the court would not allow their defense. Continue reading

Helen Young interviewed about the Elder “Commandos” of Disarm Now Plowshares


Robbin Shannon recently interviewed Helen Young on Fordham Conversations at WFUV.org, 90.7 FM about the Disarm Now Plowshares.  Helen is Emmy Award winning writer, producer and film maker, currently working on a documentary called “The Bangor 5.”

Listen to the audio interview at WFUV.org.  The interview with Helen begins just after 4 minutes, 30 seconds into the program.

The interview is a great way to familiarize yourself with work of the Disarm Now Plowshares.  Here’s the description from the WFUV Website:

Five Senior Citizens’ Break into a Military Base

A discussion with Emmy Award winning filmmaker Helen Young who’s producing a documentary called “The Bangor 5.” It follows the case of five unlikely commandos, all over the age of 60, who executed a bold break-in at a military bases near Seattle that stockpiled nuclear weapons.



Fr. Kabat says to “De-Fence” is better than “Defense”

Dear Friends,

Our dear colleague in holy mischief, Fr. Carl Kabat, continues following God’s Foolish One down the path of nonviolence while continuing to throw wrenches into the gears of the empire’s machinery of death.  Here is a update on Fr. Carl’s early morning antics this Interdependence Day.  Following the update you can read Fr. Carl’s witness statement on today’s action at the new (and I’m sure greatly improved) Kansas City nuclear weapons plant (that produces approximately 85% of the non-nuclear components for our nations nuclear weapons). Continue reading

A reflection on coming out of prison: on Contradictions and Responsibility

A reflection upon coming out of prison: Contradictions: including Individual and collective responsibility.

Susan Crane, May 2012
Peggy Coleman, Susan Crane, Chet Collins and Larry Purcell

Peggy Coleman, Susan Crane, Chet Collins and Larry Purcell in the FCI Dublin visiting room.

After the Disarm Now Plowshares action, trial and sentencing, I was in prison with a fifteen month sentence: an eye-blink in comparison to the sentences of most of the women I was with in FDC SeaTac and FCI Dublin.   FCI Dublin is a federal woman’s prison in California that is behind two fences and rolls and rolls of razor wire. There are about 1000 women there; 85% were foreign nationals, mostly Hispanic, who would be deported by ICE when their sentences were over.  I have no regrets about going onto the US Naval Base in Washington, where the largest stockpile of nuclear warheads are stored, and where 8 of the trident submarines that deploy the nuclear warheads, are homeported.

The time in prison was full of contradictions and bookended by two passages: a quote from George Bernard Shaw about prisons, and a story from the gospel of Matthew about the judgement of the nations. Both bring up the question of how we as individuals and as a collective are responsible for what is happening in the culture we live in.  Continue reading

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