Artwork by Bennette Dibben.

Memorial Day rally/CARE-a-van: Pandemic pivot from warfare to human care

Seeking a "pandemic pivot," PeaceWorks-KC and other groups will call for a shift from militarism to humanitarianism. The CARE-a-van will assemble at 30th Street and Harrison in KC MO at 9:30 a.m. Memorial Day, May 25, and proceed to 3800 Troost, St. Mark Hope and Peace Church parking lot for a rally at 10 a.m. Some drivers will bring the CARE-a-van to the nuclear weapons factory in KC MO; some will CARE-a-van in midtown.

Optimal nuclear defense

The probability of a nuclear war will likely continue to increase over time until either (a) a nuclear war destroys everyone's ability to make more such weapons for a very long time, or (b) an international movement has far more success than similar previous efforts in providing effective nonviolent recourse for grievances of the poor, weak and disfranchised.

"Just as the threat of the new coronavirus must be met by cooperation, common-sense and solidarity among peoples and nations," write the authors, "so must the danger of a nuclear war." (Photo: CC)

The novel coronavirus and nuclear weapons

Pondering the coronavirus epidemic and nuclear weapons, two champions of peace highlight the danger nuclear weapons pose, saying, “Humankind cannot remain oblivious of this persisting danger to its own survival.” They sum up efforts to abolish nuclear weapons: “As with viruses, containment may be good, but eradication is best.” This article is reprinted from Common Dreams.

Attorney Henry Stoever stands at left with most of the defendants for the Nov. 1 trial.--Photo by Jeremy Ruzich

Trial brief supports defendants’ line-crossing at nuclear weapons parts plant

Defense attorney Henry Stoever submitted a 19-page legal brief Oct. 23 for the Nov. 1 trial; the 15 defendants had crossed a property line at the nuclear weapons parts plant in Kansas City, Mo. Stoever says in the brief, “Where defendants know even a limited exchange of nuclear weapons would cause irreparable harm to our planet, then the defendants assert … that they are exercising their constitutional rights and privileges to protect this very precious U.S. Constitution.”

Chris Rhink and Lois Swimmer are among about 90 persons at the May 27 peace witness. Photo by Mark Semet.

Putting nukes on trial, 15 line-crossers at a nuke-parts plant receive guilty verdict

The Kansas City, Mo., Municipal Court trial Nov. 1, 2019, put nuclear weapons on trial. The fifteen defendants had crossed the property line at the local nuclear weapons parts plant, and each spoke about the need to take that action to call for a nuke-free world. For example, Jim Hannah admitted it breaks the law to cross the property line at the nuke-parts plant. He added, “At one time, slavery was the law, and my ancestors broke the law. I believe there’s a higher law concerning these destructive weapons.”

Line-crossers and supporters gather outside Municipal Court before the Nov. 1 trial.—Photo by Jeremy Ruzich

Guilty: 15 activists in KC seeking a nuclear-weapon-free world

On Nov. 1, in the Kansas City, Mo., Municipal Court, 15 peace activists, in an act of nonviolent civil resistance, were found guilty of trespassing at the National Security Campus in Kansas City, Mo. The NSC plant is where 85 percent of the non-nuclear parts are manufactured or procured for the U.S. nuclear arsenal. The peace activists, insisting that nuclear weapons are illegal, immoral, and threaten all life, crossed the “property line” at the plant after a PeaceWorks-KC rally. The line-crossers were arrested on Memorial Day, May 27, to heighten awareness to the dangers of producing nuclear weapons—many workers at KC’s former nuke-parts plant have died.

Photo by Jim Hannah

Hiroshima/Nagasaki Remembrance marks 74th anniversary of bombings

Remembering the two atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, 55 persons shared potluck, listened to speakers, and were moved by the singing of Bob and Diana Suckiel. Atsuki Mori explained that her grandmother’s whole life dramatically changed after the Hiroshima bombing and recalled how much her family and the Japanese people have suffered.

Suzanna van der Hijden of Amsterdam, left, and Bennette Dibben kick back at a restaurant after the line-crossing for peace on May 27. Why the hat? Dibben fashioned dandelions for her straw hat in honor of Lu Mountenay, who said in 2018 that the four men crossing the line with her were thorns in the side of militarism. Mountenay called herself a weed, a dandelion, saying, “Hear me roar: No more nukes!” as the five crossed the line. Mountenay was much on Dibben’s mind this Memorial Day.—Photo by Jane Stoever

Nov. 1: Trial for 17 who crossed nuke-plant property line on Memorial Day

A judge set the date of Nov. 1 for the trial of 17 persons who crossed the property line at the nuclear weapons parts plant in Kansas City, Mo., on May 27. At 12:30pm, an hour before the trial time, all are invited to share reflections at the courthouse entry, 511 E. 11th St., in KC.