Celebrating thirty-five years of nonviolent resistance to the Trident nuclear weapons system, Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action will honor two of its co-founders, Jim and Shelley Douglass, who will speak at its annual August event at the Ground Zero Center in Kitsap County, Washington.
By the 1980s the Douglasses and a community of activists were organizing people across the county to protest the “White Trains” that carried nuclear weapons to Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor. In subsequent years the community that became Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action has continued the spirit of resistance to the Trident nuclear weapons system with regularly scheduled vigils and nonviolent direct actions at the Bangor Trident submarine base.
The theme for the August 4th – 6th event, “NUCLEAR WEAPONS: The Most Inconvenient Truth”, will focus participants on the history, current status, cost, and future plans for more nuclear new subs and missiles.
Cindy Sheehan and Dorli Rainey will also speak about their experience with this “Most Inconvenient Truth.” Sheehan’s son Casey was killed in action during the Iraq War. Her makeshift camp outside President George W. Bush’s Texas Ranch in 2005 launched her career as a dedicated peace activist. She continues to be a vocal critic of U.S. foreign policy under President Obama.
Rainey, at 84, pepper sprayed in the face at Seattle Occupy, became a “poster child” for the Occupy movement through national media attention to her picture and story. Rainey has been a peace activist for five decades, and has a strong commitment to nonviolence in foreign affairs.
In addition to speakers, on Saturday, August 4, participants in the Interfaith Peace Walk for a Nuclear Free Future will arrive at Ground Zero Center, ending their 13-day walk that will begin on July 23rd in Portland, Oregon. The Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist order conducts annual peace walks as a reminder of the very real dangers presented by all uses of nuclear materials.
The weekend includes education about nuclear weapons and the Trident base, nonviolence training, music, movies, and a vigil at the Kitsap Mall. There will also be special sessions on the Navy’s plans for a Second Explosives Handling Wharf at Bangor and its plans for a new generation of ballistic missile submarines.
Participants at the weekend event will walk down to the Bangor entrance gate early Monday morning for a traditional vigil and nonviolent direct action. Monday, August 6th, marks the anniversary of the atomic Bombing of Hiroshima.
According to one estimate, the Bangor base, just 20 miles from downtown Seattle, has the largest concentration of operational nuclear weapons. As Rear Adm. Joseph Tofalo, Commander, Submarine Group 10, said on April 18: “A single Trident Submarine is the sixth largest nuclear nation in the world all by itself.”
In related action the Peace Fleet will arrive in Seattle’s Elliott Bay on Wednesday, August 1st. The Peace Fleet is a water-based nonviolent protest against the glorification of weapons of war at the Seattle Seafair festival. Peace activists will simultaneously demonstrate near Pier 66.
All or any part of the weekend gathering at Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action, at 16159 Clear Creek Road NW, Poulsbo, WA is open to anyone interested in the nature and practices of nonviolent action and working toward a nuclear weapons-free world.