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.

Ann Suellentrop (left), Cassie Weck, and Spencer Graves catch a quiet moment before visiting congressional offices.

Make more plutonium pits per year? Who wants them?

Three PeaceWorks representatives lobbied Congress during DC Days May 20-22, sponsored by the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability (ANA). They learned the Trump administration plans production of more plutonium pits—the cores of modern thermonuclear weapons—with help from KC’s nuclear weapon parts plant.

At the end of the largest-ever PeaceWorks Memorial Day march for freedom from nuclear weapons, Jim Hannah, left, walked backwards across the property line for the nuke-parts plant to indicate his objection to weapons of omnicide.--Photos by Mark A. Semet

Ninth Memorial Day peace witness draws its largest crowd

In a rebuke to White House attempts to “make America nuclear again,” 17 peace activists were arrested for trespass during the ninth annual Memorial Day peace witness for a nuclear weapons-free world.

Sunny Jordan Hamrick tells supporters before the Dec. 7 trial in Kansas City, Mo., on his and others’ resistance to nuclear weapons, “No matter how much work we do in our communities, no matter how many mouths we feed, or homes we repair, and no matter how much Love we share, it could all be taken away in seconds because of these weapons, because of the lust for power. So today, as we walk into the courtroom, we take a few steps in the direction of truth, just as we did on Memorial Day.”—Photo by Jeremy Ruzich

Nukes on trial: tables are turned—after case is dismissed, defendants call nukes guilty of crimes against humanity

The Dec. 7 hearing at the Kansas City, Mo., Municipal Court was dubbed “Nukes on Trial,” but there was no trial because the lone witness for the prosecution did not come to court; no one appeared to testify against the five defendants’ act of civil disobedience. Nonetheless, nuclear weapons were tried and found guilty as the defendants held their own court after the judge dismissed the trespass charge.