Support Disarm Now Plowshares Activists facing Arraignment
From an e-mail: -R
Bix, the radical Jesuit Priest, native of Tacoma and founder
of Guadelupe House has attended and supported our work with PMR in
Olympia and Tacoma. Now he and his co-defendants need our support.
House, 1417 South G Street, to the Federal Courthouse, 1717 Union Station, for
vigil and arraignment at 1:30.
convicted on the government's charges of "conspiracy, trespass,
destruction of property on a naval installation, and depredation of
government property." The charges were handed down by a grand jury in
early September 2010, ten months after their November 2009 Plowshares
News Release 10/1/2010
storage depot in Washington State in November 2009 are ready for their
After waiting for over 10 months the five Disarm Now Plowshares
defendants, who were only recently indicted by a grand jury for their
November 2, 2009 Plowshares action at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor and
Strategic Weapons Facility-Pacific (SWFPAC), are ready to go to court for
their arraignment. They will be arraigned on Friday, October 8, 2010 at
1:30 PM in courtroom F before Judge Karen L. Strombom at the U.S. District
Courthouse in Tacoma, Washington.
Sr. Anne Montgomery, 83, of Redwood City, California, Fr. Bill "Bix"
Bichsel, 82, of Tacoma, Washington, Susan Crane, 65, of Baltimore,
Maryland, Lynne M. Greenwald, 61, of Tacoma, Washington, and Fr. Steve
Kelly, 61, of Oakland, California, each face up to ten years in prison and
a $250,000 fine if convicted on the government's charges of "conspiracy,
trespass, destruction of property on a naval installation, and depredation
of government property." The charges were handed down by a grand jury in
early September 2010, ten months after their November 2009 Plowshares
The defendants entered Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor in the early morning hours
of November 2, 2009, All Souls Day, with the intention of calling
attention to the illegality and immorality of the existence of the Trident
weapons system. During the action they held a banner saying."Disarm Now
Plowshares : Trident: Illegal + Immoral", left a trail of blood, hammered
on the roadway and fences around Strategic Weapons Facility - Pacific
(SWFPAC) and scattered sunflower seeds throughout the base. They gained
entry to the secure nuclear weapons storage facility known as Strategic
Weapons Facility-Pacific (SWFPAC) where they were detained, and after
extensive questioning by base security, FBI and Naval Criminal
Investigative Service (NCIS), cited for trespass and destruction of
government property, given ban and bar letters and released.
Many individuals and organizations have sent messages in support of the
Disarm Now defendants.
Dr. David Hall, past president, Washington state chapter, Physicians for
Social Responsibility, said of the Disarm Now Plowshares action that, "the
challenge of US nuclear weaponry for me is the challenge of knowing we
Americans can and will obliterate whole cities, literally millions of
innocent lives, if we so choose. Our Trident fleet of nuclear-armed
submarines places every city in the world at risk of annihilation within
15 to 30 minutes of our designated leaders giving the command. We must
imagine this horror so we can prevent it. People like Bix, Lynne, Susan,
Steve and Ann of the Disarm Now plowshares group that entered the Trident
submarine base on Hood Canal last November showed the courage and moral
clarity to put their lives on the line to break the silence about these
weapons of mass destruction. All of us who cherish life and the
possibility of worldwide cooperative security owe them immense
appreciation for their faithful witness to a future built on love instead
of mass murder."
Thomas Rogers, Captain, USN (Retired) issued a strong statement of support
of the Disarm Now Plowshares action saying, "The time for our country to
move away from a national security policy based on nuclear weapons is long
overdue. Nuclear deterrence became obsolete when the Cold War ended
nearly 20 years ago, yet our government continues to rely on this
dangerous, expensive, barbaric strategy. I applaud the courage and
commitment of the Plowshares Activists in bringing national attention to
this most important issue." Rogers, a former submarine commander, retired
in 1998 after a 31 year career. He is currently active in the
anti-nuclear weapons movement with the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent
Action in Poulsbo, WA.
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu wrote a support letter saying, "We know
that nations need teachers, schools, books, drinking water, productive
farm land, food and shelter. We do not need weapons of war, and we do not
need nuclear weapons which threaten to destroy all of God's creation."
Tutu went on to say that, "If we are to believe the words of our faith,
"to love our enemies", then we must begin to disarm our nuclear weapons.
If we believe that every life is sacred, that every person is a child of
God, then we cannot bomb their villages and cities with nuclear warheads.
The Plowshares movement, a movement of people who take responsibility for
the nuclear weapons of their country, and who believe that disarmament is
the way to abolish nuclear weapons, is a light in the darkness of the war
making around us."
All five Disarm Now defendants are prepared to face the judge and justify
their actions based on both moral and legal reasoning, and welcome the
opportunity to speak on their own behalf during the arraignment.
Supporters will join the Disarm Now defendants on the day of the
arraignment to walk with them from the Tacoma Catholic Worker to the
courthouse. They will then hold a vigil and prayer service in front of
the courthouse (located at 1717 Pacific Avenue) in preparation for the
There have been more than 100 Plowshares Nuclear Resistance Actions
worldwide since 1980. Plowshares actions are taken from Isaiah 2:4 in Old
Testament (Hebrew) scripture of the Christian Bible, "God will judge
between the nations and will settle disputes for many people. And they
shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning
hooks. And nations will not take up swords against nations, nor will they
train for war anymore."
The Trident submarine base at Bangor, just 20 miles west of Seattle, is
home to the largest single stockpile of nuclear warheads in the U.S.
arsenal, housing more than 2000 nuclear warheads. In November 2006, the
Natural Resources Defense Council declared that the 2,364 nuclear warheads
at Bangor are approximately 24 percent of the entire U.S. arsenal. The
Bangor base houses more nuclear warheads than China, France, Israel,
India, North Korea and Pakistan combined.
The base has been rebuilt for the deployment of the larger and more
accurate Trident D-5 missile system. Each of the 24 D-5 missiles on a
Trident submarine is capable of carrying eight of the larger 455 kiloton
W-88 warheads (each warhead is about 30 times the explosive force as the
Hiroshima bomb) and costs approximately $60 million. The D-5 missile can
also be armed with the 100 kiloton W-76 warhead. The Trident fleet at
Bangor deploys both the 455 kiloton W-88 warhead and the 100 kiloton W-76
Further information on Disarm Now Plowshares, including court updates, is
available at http://disarmnowplowshares.wordpress.com/.