2013 New Year's Message from Ground Zero Center
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Greetings to all this New Year..... I'm forwarding this end of the year message from Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action.......I want to be sure to connect you with what is going on with GZ. Wishing you all Good Health and Happiness in the New Year. In Peace, Leonard
As we sit on the edge of yet another New Year, the ink is still drying on the January 2013 Ground Zero Newsletter. The past year's four Newsletters have shared much of the ongoing expression of a 35 year legacy of nonviolence and resistance to Trident (and all nuclear weapons).
Looking through the past year's Newsletters provided me with a rich retrospective on not only our past year's work, but also the wealth of this organization, manifest in the people of Ground Zero Center. Whether it was GZ people's reports from the Occupy movement, reports on GZ people in court, or a reflection by Senji Kanaeda on his trip to Japan one year after the Fukushima disaster, each of the many articles brought home the depth of connection to humanity that people bring with them to GZ.
Here's a look at highlights of 2012:
GZ resisters got right out of the starting gate with two back to back trials in county court on January 4th and 5th. The trials were the result of nonviolent direct actions at the Bangor Trident sub base on May 7, 2011 and August 8, 2011. Although the judge found all defendants guilty of the traffic charge, he reduced the fines to the smallest amount that he could. Click here to read the full story. You can also see video of interviews with defendants after the trial by clicking here.
Our January Martin Luther King Jr. event on January 14th was a great day of fellowship, nonviolence training, planning, all culminating in an action at the Bangor Trident base in which resisters closed the Main Gate for nearly a half hour. Click here to read the news release.
Some of the resisters from the January 14th action were in court on March 13rd. You can read their statements to the court by clicking here. More of the January 14th resisters were in court in May.
On May 12th people gathered at Ground Zero Center to honor the original intention of Mother's Day. During the vigil at the Bangor gate four participants blocked the roadway while holding a banner that said, "Give PEACE a chance. No, seriously." Details here. You can read a report on the subsequent court hearing by clicking here.
"Nuclear Weapons: The Most Inconvenient Truth" was the theme for a full weekend of events in August commemorating the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We welcomed the Interfaith Peace Walk for a Nuclear Free Future and the Bike to the Bomb. Jim and Shelley Douglass joined us to help celebrate 35 years of Resistance (in my book that is correctly spelled with a capital "R"). In a really big finish we went to BOTH of the Bangor entrance gates. One group leafleted while people at the other gate vigiled and held a nonviolent direct action. 16 (that's right, SIXTEEN!!!) people symbolically blockaded the Main Gate and were cited by the State Patrol. Click here to read about it. You can see photos from the weekend, as well as video of talks by Jim and Shelley, Cindy Sheehan and more by clicking here.
A peace festival celebrated the dedication of the new Peace Garden at Ground Zero Center on September 22nd. The day included Dances of Universal Peace, children's activities, a talking circle, a rummage and bake sale and the dedication ceremony.
Many of the August resisters were in county court in November and December. Click here to see the posts on the November hearing, including the defendants' written statements and video of their court appearance. You can read Marion Ward's statement from her December hearing by clicking here.
There has been a resurgence in leafleting since the August leafleting at the Bangor Trigger Gate. GZ people leafleted on a number of occasions since August, and in one case the Sheriff issued citations. Glen Milner and Rodney Brunelle appeared in court in December to contest their charges.
Glen Milner, along with attorney Kathy George, continue to pursue legal actions against the Navy's plans to build a Second Explosives Handling Wharf at Bangor. GZ filed to seek an injunction to stop construction (that has already begun!). The judge heard the case on December 7th, and said he would rule in seven days. There has been nary a peep from the judge as the year ends. GZ has filed an appeal to the 9th Circuit regarding sealed records in the case.
Of course, there is much that goes on behind the scenes (and beyond the highlights). There is a huge amount of work (and time) that has gone into the legal action to stop the Second Explosives Handling Wharf. People spend a great deal of time preparing for the three major actions each year. The Stewardship Council meets almost every month to ensure that we are getting things done and doing everything within the spirit of Ground Zero's mission.
GZ's new caretaker, Connie Mears, continues to grow The Center House into its potential as a true center of peacemaking and nonviolence. The Peace Garden is just one of the ideas that Connie is working on.
Looking forward to 2013 we have our work cut out for us. Beyond the Second Explosives Handling Wharf, the Navy is moving ahead with plans to build twelve ballistic missile submarines to replace the existing Trident fleet. The cost (of construction alone) will likely reach (or exceed) $100 billion, and this would keep Trident sailing into the end of the century (not a positive prospect for humanity's survival). The U.S. is building up its entire nuclear weapons infrastructure, and Trident is the crown jewel, even though it is essentially a Cold War relic.
Major work in the coming year will be the continuing challenge to the Second Explosives Handling Wharf as well as a campaign to "scuttle" (figuratively speaking of course) the new Trident, also known as the SSBN(X). We will hold our three annual events - Martin Luther King Jr. (January 19th), Mothers Day Weekend, and Hiroshima/Nagasaki weekend. And of course, we will continue to publish four editions of the Ground Zero Newsletter to keep people informed of our continuing work.
We hope you will join us along the way as you are able. Come on out to one of our three major annual events. We welcome every one's participation, and it's a great way to get to know Ground Zero. I guarantee you will meet some interesting people. And remember - You DON'T have to risk arrest to be a part of it. There is a role for everyone (there are many roles), and each role is important.
Check out our Website at www.gzcenter.org. You can also keep up with Ground Zero at our Facebook page.
Coming up on January 19th is our Martin Luther King Jr. event at Ground Zero Center. We will also participate in the January 21st Seattle MLK Rally and March. Click here for more details at our website.
Speaking of newsletters, click here to read the January 2013 Ground Zero Newsletter. It's a great way to start the New Year and stay connected with Ground Zero.
In Peace and Toward a Nuclear Weapons Free World,
Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action (Media & Outreach) www.gzcenter.org
Disarm Now Plowshares (Media & Outreach) http://disarmnowplowshares.wordpress.com
Puget Sound Nuclear Weapon Free Zone (Coordinator) www.psnukefree.org
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