A Review of Ongoing Campaigns...
For more than 20 years, the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action has shared one boundary (and, after a recent Navy purchase, two) with the Navy's nuclear submarine homeport at Bangor, Washington. Before that, for its first years, it shared the home of co-founders Jim & Shelley Douglass. Their home was located directly adjacent to the railroad tracks that delivered the missile motors and - on the infamous White Trains of the early 1980s - nuclear warheads to the undisputed champion "weapon of mass destruction," the 192-warhead Trident submarines. In recent years, a rejuvenated Ground Zero Center has organized blockades of the base on three occasions each year, in a spirit of Gandhian nonviolence, with the message that nuclear weapons are a violation of international law.
Mother's Day is one occasion. In 2003, seven people were arrested May 11 by Kitsap County sheriffs, and charged with obstructing traffic. A couple of weeks later, prosecutors once again declined to prosecute the cases. "Anti-Trident protesters prosecuted by Kitsap County have been acquitted in all previous Kitsap County trials since 1985," writes Mack Johnson, one of those arrested. Prosecuted for such an action in 1999, Johnson and co-defendants were found not guilty by a local jury who heard the testimony and was instructed to consider the Constitutional supremacy of International Law.
Nine people blocked the road at the annual Nagasaki Day direct action, August 9, 2003. Recently retired, Mona Lee was among them for the first time. She left four years of civilian employment on the base for reasons of conscience in 1982, inspired to resign by the Ground Zero actions. The county again declined to prosecute.
The third occasion is in celebration of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday. On January 18, 2004, demonstrators blocked the highway entrance to the base with an inflatable full-size replica of a Trident D-5 missile measuring 45 feet long and 7 feet in diameter. Twelve people were arrested by sheriff's deputies, but not prosecuted.
The Mother's Day 2004 direct action was attended by about 80 people. Demonstrators blocked the highway entrance with a long banner that stated, "The Earth is Our Mother - Treat Her with Respect." Julia Ward Howe's Mother's Day Proclamation of 1870 was read aloud.
...Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy, and patience ... We women of one country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.
Twelve people were arrested by Kitsap County, cited and released. Two were taken into custody on the federal side of the line, and quickly released with ban and bar letters. No prosecutions are expected.
For more information, contact Ground Zero, 16159 Clear Creek Road NW, Poulsbo, WA 98370, (360)377-2586, email: email@example.com web: www.gzcenter.org