One of our good friends, Sr. Anne Montgomery told Kairos – a local peace group that I’m a part of in New York City – at our last meeting about this great satirical video that the Seattle Times made about the Disarm Now Plowshares action that she participated in, along with four others, at the Kitsap-Bangor Naval Base in Washington State.
For a brief recap of their action:
They entered the base in the early morning hours of November 2, 2009, All Souls Day, to call attention to the illegality and immorality of the existence of the first strike Trident weapons system. They entered through the perimeter fence, and walked through the base for four hours. During that time they made their way to the Strategic Weapons Facility – Pacific (SWFPAC) where they cut through the first chain link fence surrounding SWFPAC. They then walked to and cut the next double layered fence, both chain link and barbed wire, and entered the grounds of SWFPAC. This bunker area holds the largest nuclear weapon stockpile in the United States.
As they walked they held a banner saying…… “Disarm Now Plowshares: Trident: Illegal and Immoral”. The Plowshares activists knew that they were in a shoot to kill zone, but they also remembered the many people who live in shoot to kill zones all the time because of US occupation of their country.
The unarmed activists were then held on the ground face down, handcuffed and hooded for over three hours. They were carried out, still hooded, through the very holes in the fence that they had made, and questioned by FBI and NCIS for several hours.
Although they gave only their names, they were given Ban and Bar letters and citations for trespass and destruction of government property.
The last I’ve heard on the status of their case is that the misdemeanor charges were dropped, but the government is currently exploring whether it should file felony charges against the group. To learn more about their action, follow their case as it develops or show your support, visit their blog.
When diaspora Jews and those living in Israel join with Palestinians, they forge a more powerful and just movement to end the occupation.
From grassroots movements to presidential hopefuls, the importance of creating visionary plans for change is no longer being ignored.
By appealing to the hearts and minds of their white neighbors, Native Americans are carving out common ground and building unity through diversity.