On Friday, August 6, a couple of dozen people gathered at Lockheed Martin headquarters in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, for the Brandywine Peace Community's 28th consecutive Hiroshima Day remembrance. Bob Smith of Brandywine reports:
Joined by two Japanese Hibakusha - one a survivor of the Hiroshima bombing, the other a Nagasaki bombing survivor - we were reminded that in every war lies the threat of another Hiroshima or Nagasaki. In remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we affirm that the very existence of Lockheed Martin and the continued war-making and nuclear weapons weapons industry, lies on the ashes of the 'nuclear cities'. After sprinkling ashes at and on the Lockheed Martin sign, seven people (Rich Conti, Beth Friedlan, Anne Geers, MJ Gentile, Mary Jo McArthur, Rev. Deborah Payson, and Bob Smith) were arrested for 'dying in' and blocking the main entrance with ashes, pictures of both Iraq war dead and the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. To remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki is to resist the fact of Lockheed Martin, war, and the ultimate threat to humankind - nuclear weapons.
In 2003, the Hiroshima Day observance at Lockheed Martin resulted in seven arrests, and for the first time in recent years, those arrested were actually given court dates, but eventually the charges were dropped and no more prosecutions have been initiated. As a faith-based resistance community, Brandywine sponsors an annual adaptation of the Stations of the Cross each Good Friday. In 2003, fifteen people were cited for trespass after entering Lockheed Martin property during the event. In 2004, fourteen people were arrested on April 9, following a procession past the Stations of Justice and Peace, set out alongside the Valley Forge weapons complex.
Brandywine also marks the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. with nonviolent resistance at Lockheed Martin. Frigid weather did not deter the January 19, 2004 celebration that featured a diverse range of poets, rappers and eloquent speakers. Nine people were arrested for trespass when they blocked the entrance.
For more information, contact the Brandywine Peace Community, POB 81, Swarthmore, PA 19081, (610)544-1818, email: email@example.com