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Three people were arrested Thursday evening in a protest against oil and coal trains that shut down the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad tracks near Trent Avenue and Napa Street.
This protest, organized by Veterans for Peace, is the second in Spokane in the last month. The first was organized by the Raging Grannies and also saw three people arrested.
About a dozen protesters gathered on the tracks in front of a stopped train to speak against oil and coal trains as well as global warming. “I’m here to witness to my faith,” said the Rev. George Taylor, a Lutheran pastor. “Oil and coal trains are an abomination to the Lord.”
The stopped train visible on the tracks was pulling a large number of what appeared to be oil tanker cars. BNSF spokesman Gus Melonas said he would not confirm what the train was carrying. Three trains were halted by the protest, he said.
A BNSF police officer warned the crowd to disperse and most of them did. The three remaining – Taylor, activist Rusty Nelson and Maevea Aeolus – were arrested and face charges of trespassing and blocking a train.
Nancy Nelson, who was arrested and charged after the first protest last month, said her husband Rusty was arrested because things like speaking out at council meetings, signing petitions and writing letters wasn’t working.
“We have to do what we can,” she said. “In our minds they are death trains.”
Melonas said people are welcome to speak their mind about oil trains, but the company asks that people not block the train tracks.
“It’s extremely dangerous as well as disruptive,” he said.
Veterans For Peace Awarded 2016 Peace Prize
The Board of Directors of the US Peace Memorial Foundation voted unanimously to award its 2016 Peace Prize to Veterans For Peace “In recognition of heroic efforts to expose the causes and costs of war and to prevent and end armed conflict.”
July 18, 2016 / Seattle, Washington – On June 23, and continuing for eight weeks, 14 Seattle Metro downtown buses are displaying the following paid advertisement: 20 MILES WEST OF SEATTLE IS THE LARGEST CONCENTRATION OF DEPLOYED NUCLEAR WEAPONS IN THE US. Included in the advertisement is a map showing the proximity of Seattle to Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, home port for 8 of the Navy’s 14 Trident nuclear powered submarines.
The statement in the ad refers to the combined number of nuclear warheads deployed on Trident D-5 missiles on SSBN submarines based at Bangor and nuclear warheads stored at Strategic Weapons Facility Pacific (SWFPAC). More than 1,300 nuclear warheads are deployed 20 miles west of Seattle at the Bangor submarine base.
King County Metro was initially hesitant to run the ad, and questioned the accuracy of the statement of fact regarding the number of nuclear weapons at Bangor. Hans Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, provided corroboration of the statement. Kristensen provides the public and government agencies with analysis and background information about the status of nuclear forces worldwide and the geopolitical implications of nuclear weapons.
The bus ads are an effort by Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action, a grass roots organization in Poulsbo, Washington, to reawaken public awareness of the dangers of nuclear weapons.
Ground Zero member, Rodney Brunelle, said of the bus ad campaign, “We hope to generate a measure of citizen interest, and to begin a public discussion of nuclear weapons in the Puget Sound region. In this election year the danger of nuclear weapons ought to be a topic of discussion.”
On March 11, 2016, the 10th bi-annual Nuclear Deterrent Symposium was held in Silverdale to discuss the future of U.S. strategic forces. Rear Adm. Charles Richard criticized opposition to the Navy’s $100 billion plan for 12 new replacement SSBN submarines, proclaiming, “It’s a matter of priorities.” The new SSBNs would replace the submarines at Bangor. Rear Adm. Richards noted that the USS Ohio arrived at Bangor in 1982 to much protest, and stated, “We have taken that [nuclear weapons] out of the national psyche.”
* The U.S. is currently spending more on nuclear weapons programs than during the height of the Cold War.
* The U.S. currently plans to spend an estimated $1 trillion dollars over 30 years for rebuilding the nation’s nuclear facilities and modernizing nuclear weapons.
* The New York Times reported that the U. S., Russia and China are aggressively pursuing a new generation of smaller and less destructive nuclear weapons. The buildups threaten to revive a Cold War-era arms race and unsettle the balance of power among nations.
* The U.S. Navy states that SSBN submarines on patrol provide the U.S. with its “most survivable and enduring nuclear strike capability.” However, SSBNs in port and nuclear warheads stored at SWFPAC are likely a first target in a nuclear war. The latest Google imagery shows three SSBN submarines on the Hood Canal waterfront.
* An accident involving nuclear weapons occurred on November 2003 when a ladder penetrated a nuclear nosecone during a routine missile offloading at the Explosives Handling Wharf at Bangor. All missile-handling operations at SWFPAC were stopped for nine weeks until Bangor could be recertified for handling nuclear weapons. Three top commanders were fired but the public was never informed until information was leaked to the media in March 2004.
* Public responses from governmental officials to the 2003 missile accident were generally in the form of surprise and disappointment.
* Due to ongoing modernization and maintenance programs for warheads at Bangor, nuclear warheads are routinely shipped in unmarked trucks between the Department of Energy Pantex Plant near Amarillo, Texas and the Bangor base. Unlike the Navy at Bangor, the DOE actively promotes emergency preparedness.
* Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action and Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility are involved in an environmental lawsuit against the Navy’s second Explosives Handling Wharf at Bangor. As a result of the lawsuit, plaintiffs discovered that while the Navy insisted the second wharf posed no new safety risk at the base, the federal agency responsible for explosives siting refused to grant approval. The case was filed in federal court in June 2012 and is currently pending in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
* On December 14, 2015, the Navy filed a lawsuit in federal court to block the release of emergency response plans that might benefit the public in the case of a nuclear accident at Bangor. The lawsuit is still pending.
The bus ad
The bus ads measure 30 inches tall and 144 inches in length and are posted on the sides of 14 Metro buses in downtown Seattle. An interactive map of the bus routes may be viewed at http://mapping.titan360.com/atlas.aspx?mapId=33301 The blue lines show routes that are scheduled for buses with the ads and the black lines show routes of buses that may carry the ads.
Nuclear weapons and resistance
In the 1970s and 1980s, thousands demonstrated against nuclear weapons at the Bangor base and hundreds were arrested. Seattle Archbishop Hunthausen had proclaimed the Bangor submarine base the “Auschwitz of Puget Sound” and in 1982 began to withhold half of his federal taxes in protest of “our nation’s continuing involvement in the race for nuclear arms supremacy.”
One Trident SSBN submarine at Bangor is estimated to carry about 108 nuclear warheads. The W76 and W88 warheads at Bangor are equal respectively to 100 kilotons and 455 kilotons of TNT in destructive force. One submarine deployed at Bangor is equal to more than 1,400 Hiroshima sized nuclear bombs.
On May 27, 2016, President Obama spoke in Hiroshima and called for an end to nuclear weapons. He said that the nuclear powers “…must have the courage to escape the logic of fear, and pursue a world without them.” Obama added, “We must change our mindset about war itself.”
The Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action was founded in 1977. The center is on 3.8 acres adjoining the Trident submarine base at Bangor, Washington. The Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action offers the opportunity to explore the roots of violence and injustice in our world and to experience the transforming power of love through nonviolent direct action. We resist all nuclear weapons, especially the Trident ballistic missile system.
Upcoming Ground Zero events:
* Numerous activities with the historic peace vessel, the Golden Rule and Veterans for Peace throughout the summer. Our first event with the Golden Rule will be in Poulsbo on June 28. See http://www.vfpgoldenruleproject.org/.
* The annual Interfaith Peace Walk led by Bainbridge Island Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist Temple takes place from July 24 to August 9.
* Ground Zero Peace Fleet with the Golden Rule in Elliott Bay on August 3.
* From Hiroshima to Hope event at Green Lake on August 6 commemorating the victims of the Hiroshima bombing 71 years ago.
* The Annual Ground Zero Hiroshima/Nagasaki Commemoration on August 7 and 8 at Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action with a vigil and nonviolent civil resistance at entrance to Bangor.
* Boats by Bangor on August 9, will be a flotilla of small boats, the Golden Rule and other sail boats in the waters of Hood Canal out past the perimeter of Naval Base Kitsap Bangor.
Please check our website at http://www.gzcenter.org/ for updates.
U.S.- STOP TERRORIZING PEOPLE !!
ESTIMATED NUMBER OF DEATHS IN OTHER NATIONS SINCE 1945
DUE MOSTLY TO U.S. INTERVENTIONS
AFGHANISTAN 1-1.8 million The U.S. recruited young Islamic men to fight the Soviet invaders
and now those recruits are among the terrorists we fight.
ANGOLA 300,000 – 750,000 U.S. gave aid to help overthrow the government.
CHAD 40,000 CIA helped bring to power a leader responsible for killings.
COLOMBIA 87,000 U.S. supported Colombian state terrorism.
CONGO (formerly Zaire) 5 million U.S. helped to assassinate Patrice Lumumba and provided
millions of dollars in arms to all sides.
EAST TIMOR 200,000 U.S. approved use of its arms in Indonesian invasion of East Timor.
EL SALVADOR 75,000 $6 billion was given by the U.S. to crush a social justice movement.
GUATEMALA 200,000 CIA orchestrated a coup to stop the redistribution of land to peasants.
HAITI 30,000 – 100,000 U.S. sent millions of dollars to Duvalier to suppress his opponents.
CAMBODIA, LAOS) 3 – 7 million U.S. blocked a required election to unify North and South Vietnam.
INDONESIA .5 – 3 million CIA provided names to Indonesian death squads.
IRAN-IRAQ WAR (Iran: 262,000 and Iraq: 105,000) U.S. supported both nations at different times.
IRAQ 350,000 (1 st war vs. U.S.); 1,455,000 (2 nd war vs. U.S.) U.S. violated international law.
ISRAEL vs. PALESTINE 100,000 – 200,000 U.S. provides billions of dollars each year in aid to Israel.
KOREA 1.8 – 4.5 million U.S. paranoia about communism was the cause of this war.
LIBYA 100,000 Muammar Gaddafi was assassinated by rebels in 2011. The U.S.
had tried to assassinate him 25 years earlier.
PHILIPPINES 100,000 U.S. helped Philippine government repress indigenous movements.
SUDAN 2 million Human Rights groups said U.S. helped to topple the government.
SYRIA 250,000 – 450,000 U.S. wants to control oil and the route of a future pipeline.
U.S. 80,000-120,000 Deaths due mainly to Korean, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
YUGOSLAVIA 100,000 – 300,000 U.S. used coercive methods to promote privatization.
25,000 OR FEWER DEATHS
Operation Condor: The U.S. facilitated communication against political opponents in a joint effort with ARGENTINA,
BOLIVIA, BRAZIL, CHILE, PARAGUAY and URUGUAY resulting in 13,000 deaths.
INDIVIDUAL NATIONS: BOLIVIA: 400 – Hugo Banzer, an oppressive leader, was trained in the U.S.; CHILE:
3,000 – CIA plot led to the death of President Salvador Allende; CUBA: 1,800 – 4,000 – U.S. organized the failed
invasion of Cuba to oust Castro; DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: 3,000 – Juan Bosch, advocate of land reform, was
deposed by a CIA coup; GEORGIA: US trained Georgian army invaded South Ossetia, killing several hundred people;
GRENADA: 277 – U.S. deposed Maurice Bishop who opposed the quarantine of Cuba; HONDURAS: 400 – U.S.
supported Battalion 316 which kidnapped, killed and tortured citizens; HUNGARY: 3,000 The U.S. Radio Free Europe
gave rebels against Soviet rule hope for Western aid, but this did not happen; NICARAGUA: 25,000 – U.S. provided
military aid to the Contras to overthrow the government; NEPAL: 8,000 – 12,000 – U.S. provided arms and advisers
to the Nepalese government; PANAMA: 500 – 4,000 – U.S. kidnapped Pres. Noriega, leaving devastation behind in
Panama; SOUTH AFRICA: The CIA was responsible for the capture of Mandela and violated the arms embargo
against S. Africa. 21,000 deaths during apartheid; UKRAINE: 8,000 – Activities of the U.S. ambassador led to the war.
Killer drones: U.S. has used them to kill about 4,700 people in AFGHANISTAN, ALGERIA, IRAN, IRAQ,
LIBYA, PAKISTAN, SOMALIA, and YEMEN, in violation of international law.
As you may or may not know, we work hard to properly inform those who have yet to join the military about all the fact that the recruiters will not tell them. Case in point is this article. Check it out.
It should be obvious to any one that by now the war mongering over Russia has been getting out of hand. Yes, Putin is no angel, but for us to escalate the situation is beyond irresponsible. Here is a video on the matter.
Located in southwestern Germany, the U.S. government’s Ramstein Air Base is serving key functions for nonstop war that has been hugely destructive in many countries. The Ramstein base is essential to drone warfare and many other forms of military intervention, from Pakistan and Afghanistan to the Middle East and Africa.
The petition is scheduled to be delivered to the German government in Berlin by U.S. drone whistleblowers in a presentation sponsored by RootsAction.org, in coordination with a conference organized by World Beyond War. The petition will also be delivered to the U.S. government in Washington.
Support World Beyond War’s work by clicking here.
Dear Friends and Supporters,
The historic peace boat, Golden Rule, has been restored by Veterans For Peace and is sailing again for a sustainable, nuclear-free world. She will be sailing through the waterways of the Pacific Northwest this summer, making multiple stops in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia, from June through October. The Veterans For Peace Golden Rule Project invites you to join us in making this voyage a profound success. We want to amplify the voices of those who are struggling for peace and against nuclear weapons, nuclear power and dangerous unsustainable carbon-based fuels.
The VFP Golden Rule Project is partnering with the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), KBOO Radio in Portland, Living Islands, Washington and Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, Jane Addams Peace Association, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, VFP Chapters and many other organizations to sail the original Peace Boat on it’s educational mission in the Pacific Northwest this year.
If you can help with outreach, media, or planning for an event, please let us know! Many communities are really excited that the Golden Rule is coming to town! Please come to an event, take a tour of the boat, or go sailing with us – it’s a lot of fun!
The story of The Voyage of the Golden Rule 2015 is captured with many great photos in our Golden Rule Newsletter.
You can support the 2016 Northwest voyage and the mission of the Golden Rule by donating through the website or by sending a check to VFP Golden Rule Project, P. O. Box 87, Samoa, CA 95564.
We will post updated schedules and news on the website, http://www.vfpgoldenruleproject.org/ and the Facebook page
Sailing for a Nuclear-Free World and a Peaceful, Sustainable Future!
VFP Golden Rule Project