Tiny the Worm
The People's Comic
Inking Truth to Power
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On November 2, five peace activists—including two residents of Washington State—were arrested on Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, a base which houses roughly a quarter of the US nuclear arsenal and which is located only 20 miles upwind from Seattle.
The protesters, who are active with the Christian peace group Plowshares, entered the base in the early morning hours of All Souls Day, with the intention of calling attention to the illegality and immorality of the existence of the Trident nuclear weapons system. They entered through the perimeter fence, made their way to the Strategic Weapons Facility–Pacific (SWFPAC) where they were able to cut through the first chain link fence as well as the next double layered fence, which was both chain link and barbed wire.
They walked onto the grounds of SWFPAC holding a protest banner, left a trail of "blood," and hammered on the roadways (Trigger Ave and Sturgeon) that are essential to the working of the Trident weapons system. Additionally, they hammered on the fences around SWFPAC and scattered sunflower seeds throughout the base.
Prior to arrest, the protesters pose with the banner that they later brought inside the base.
They were then thrown to the ground face down, handcuffed and hooded, and held there for four hours on the wet cold ground. They were taken, hooded, and carried out through the very holes in the fence that they had made, for questioning by base security, FBI and NCIS. They refused to give any information except their names, and were cited as of now, for trespass and destruction of government property, given a ban and bar letter and released.
In a joint statement, the group stated:
"The manufacture and deployment of Trident II missiles, weapons of mass destruction, is immoral and criminal under International Law and, therefore, under United States law. As U.S. citizens we are responsible under the Nuremberg Principles for this threat of first-strike terrorism hanging over the community of nations, rich and poor. Moreover, such planning, preparation, and deployment are a blasphemy against the Creator of life, imaged in each human being."
The arrestees were Bill "Bix" Bischel, S.J., 81, of Tacoma, Washington; Susan Crane, 65, of Baltimore MD; Lynne Greenwald, 60, of Bremerton Washington; Steve Kelly, S.J., 60, of Oakland, CA.; Anne Montgomery RSCJ, 83, of New York, NY.
There have been approximately 100 Plowshares actions worldwide since 1980. Plowshares takes its name from Isaiah 2:4 in the Bible, "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."
Naval Submarine Base Kitsap-Bangor is located 20 miles west of Seattle on the deep waters of Hood Canal in Washington State. It is the home to the largest single stockpile of nuclear warheads in the U.S. arsenal, housing more than 2,000 nuclear warheads. This is approximately 24% of the entire U.S. arsenal. The Bangor Base presently houses more nuclear warheads than the countries of England, France, China, Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea combined.
There are eight Trident submarines based at the Bangor Base; six others operate out of Kings Bay, GA. The Trident submarines at Bangor are likely to be used first in any nuclear attack, either as an isolated tactical assault on a specific site, bunker, or weapons location, or in a larger strategic nuclear attack. The D5 missile is capable of traveling over 1,370 miles in less than 13 minutes, allowing for a US nuclear strike anywhere on planet earth within 15 minutes.
100: Number of kilotons on ONE Trident W76 warhead
455: Number of kilotons on ONE Trident W88 warhead
345,600: Total number of kilotons deployed on Trident fleet
14: Number of kilotons of the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima
150,000: Number of people killed by the atomic bombing of Hiroshima
1,028 minimum; 4,885 maximum: Number of potential “Hiroshimas” each Trident is capable of destroying
$66,000,000: Price of ONE Trident II D5 missile
$60,000,000: Cost of health insurance for 60,000 children
14: Number of nuclear- armed submarines the Navy wants to deploy through 2042
$10,000,000,000: Annual cost of providing sanitary water to 2.4 billion people worldwide who now lack it
$59,000,000,000: Cost of building housing for 6,000,000 homeless families in the US
$170,200,000,000 (low estimate): Total cost of the ENTIRE Trident program through year 2042
Editor's note: In November, the WA Free Press reported on an earlier protest action at the Trident base resulting in nine arrests. Read about it at wafreepress.org/article/090911military-groundzero.shtml.