Nine arrested protesting nukes
June 11, 2008 · Updated 12:38 PM
Theyve done it so often its as though it were choreographed.
Nine peace activists were arrested at the entrance to Bangor Trident Submarine Base Saturday, Aug. 9. They were blocking ingress/egress to the military installation and, as per their plans, were arrested.
A handful of self-described pro-Trident activists watched. Led by Mick Sheldon, they carried American flags and signs reading Support the Troops.
The no-nuke activists, members of the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action, have been through this routine before: They block a gate, they get arrested, theyre taken into custody, then released on their own recognizance.
Its all symbolic. An attention getter. Its their statement against the military and, in particular, against nuclear weapons.
I want no genocide in my name, said one of the Ground Zero activists, Karol Milner. Were commemorating Nagasaki never again.
Nagasaki was the second city to have an American atom bomb dropped on it after Hiroshima was likewise destroyed at the end of World War II. Its the 58th anniversary of the destruction of Nagasaki.
Ground Zero blocked traffic at the Main Gate of Subase Bangor, off SR 3, north of Silverdale. The protests are the good old-fashioned sit-down variety practiced since the 1960s.
This opposing group with the slogan Peace Through Strength was present with a handful of volunteers. Organizer Sheldon staged his Pro Trident Rally to coincide with Ground Zeros 1:30-4:30 p.m., Saturday.
There were about 40 people with Ground Zero but only a handful with the pro-troops group. The two set up on either side of the road about a block apart. There was little direct communication and no clashes verbal or otherwise.
The conservative rally was To commemorate Americas use of force, said Sheldon. He said he lost a brother-in-law in the Twin Towers collapse of Sept. 11, 2001.
One of the citizens arrested, Mona Lee of Auburn, had worked at U.S. Navy facilities and at the nuclear Strategic Weapons Facility at the base from 1978-82. She quit as an act of conscience.
Ground Zero officials say Bangor is the Pacific home of nine Trident subs and 1,760 warheads. They say the base is currently refitting subs for deployment of the Trident D-5 missile system.
These arrested included Mary Gleysteen of Kingston, Lynne Greenwald of Bremerton, Alice Zillah of Olympia, Barbara and Michael Hill of of Elbe, Ellen Kohjima of Auburn, Joy Goldstein of Vashon Island, Mona Lee and Glen Milner, both of Seattle.
County prosecutors have been unable to get convictions in such arrests. Ground Zeros next protest will be held on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 9, 2004.