November 13 at 6:30 AM, nine peace and justice makers, holding long banners declaring that nuclear weapons are illegal, were able to block the two main entrances of General Dynamics-Electric Boat (GD-EB) nuclear submarine engineering complex in New London, CT for about a half hour to call for the cancellation of the new Columbia-class nuclear submarine program and the abolition of nuclear weapons. (GD/EB, which built 18 Trident nuclear subs, will now produce the new Columbia-class nuclear subs). They also wheat-pasted Article 6 of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty at both entrances. As these entrances were being blocked, several activists wore safety vests alerting workers that the entrances were closed off, while others held banners and signs on the sidewalk and passed out leaflets. New London police arrested the nine and cited two others (see names below). Those arrested were held at the New London police station for processing for up to 7 hours and then released. They were charged with Criminal Trespass, Criminal Mischief, and Breach of Peace. An arraignment date is set for November 27 in New London Superior Court. Here is a link to The Nuclear Resister post about this action.
Paul Magno, Isaiah Project leader, was among those arrested.
NVI is proud to be the fiscal sponsor for this important project. Please see the time sensitive updates below.
Please see wonderful new piece by Isaiah Project leader, Paul Magno.
For the past two-and-a-half years it has been my privilege to support the Kings Bay Plowshares. They are seven disarmament activists who entered the Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in Georgia by night on April 4, 2018 — the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s martyrdom — to confront the Trident nuclear weapon system and engage in an act of disarmament. The seven poured human blood on signs and missile models, unfurled peace banners and used household tools to begin symbolic disarmament of Trident, a submarine based first strike nuclear missile, termed by the Navy as a “strategic” weapon.
The seven have subsequently been charged and convicted in a jury trial of three felonies and a misdemeanor in federal court. All but one have been sentenced, to date, some as recently as last week by Federal Judge Lisa Godbey Wood in Brunswick, Georgia. Their legal odyssey has been protracted, in part by important legal proceedings and in part by the limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
My invitation to walk with these peacemakers came in 2018 as an outgrowth of longstanding personal friendships with each of them. It also came as a result of my own experience and commitment to explaining and supporting the basic idea of these Plowshares actions, as they have proliferated a hundred-fold since 1980.
On Oct. 24 the historic Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was ratified by the 50th nation necessary for this international law to enter into force. This law now takes effect on Jan. 22, 2021, a little more than 75 years after the US dropped atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
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Father Steve Kelly and Patrick O'Neill are planning to go forward with in-person sentencing in Brunswick, GA on October 15. The other four defendants are asking for further continuances because of the virus. They should hear in a few days if this request is granted by Judge Wood.
They ask, "In the interest of public safety, and out of love for our supporters during this Covid-19 pandemic, the seven Kings Bay Plowshares members request that no one come to Brunswick for the sentencing hearings scheduled for Oct. 15-16. We do, however, encourage you all to join the Oct. 11 pre-sentencing Zoom meeting. Thank you all for your love and support, which sustains us."
There is expected to be an audio link from the court to listen to the proceedings as was done with Liz McAlister in June. The number and times will be posted on the website when we get them.
Check out this powerful video of our Festival of Hope
Steve Kelly has now served 30 months in county jails and so has satisfied the sentencing guidelines the government is proposing for him. However, he has a probation violation where he is facing up to six months stemming from a prior trespass conviction at Kitsap, WA at the West coast Trident base. It is not yet known what will happen with this.
We understand that many are struggling financially at this time. We ask for donations only if you are able and doing well. Thank you for all the support you have given through these past two and a half years. Your support for the Kings Bay Plowshares 7 will help cover the ongoing costs surrounding the seven co-defendants while in prison and their families and communities. Checks can be sent to Plowshares, PO Box 3087, Washington, DC 20010. Or donate online here at this link: Isaiah project. Thank you.
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"If you think one person can't be effective, you've never been in bed with a mosquito" -War Resister's League "
"Protest beyond the law is not a departure from democracy; it is absolutely essential to it" Howard Zinn (1922-2010)
“To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness...What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction...And if we do act, in however small a way, we don't have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory." -- Howard Zinn
NVI is proud to be the fiscal sponsor for the this important project. Please consider donating at: https://www.nonviolenceinternational.net/donate_isaiah