Bennette Dibben, waving the flag of Honduras, the 50th ratifier of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, and Tom Mountenay, waving his family’s peace flag, lead the one-mile walk toward the National Security Campus entry road on May 31. Soon Tom was to cross the NSC property line.—Photo by Jane Stoever

Court hearing Aug. 11; no trial date yet set for nuke resisters

We don’t always get what we expect. We knew, well in advance, that five men in PeaceWorks would cross the property line May 31, Memorial Day, at the National Security Campus, the Kansas City, Mo., plant that makes parts for nuclear weapons. Done. We knew they’d be briefly arrested and processed. Done. An arraignment was set for July 1, via videoconference. But—surprise—Judge Martina Peterson said our five should come to court in person Aug. 11 to speak to a different judge.

Loose Park Fountain—Photo by Amrita Burdick

To Kansas City, Memorial Day 2021

By Amrita Burdick City of Fountains, Are you weeping, This day of remembrance? What seeds have grown to harvest From the “blighted” soybean field You purchased and leased To build nuclear arms to destroy? Oh, you say, “But we never use them. Nuclear weapons are just for deterrence.” These weapons steal the funds Needed to … Continue reading To Kansas City, Memorial Day 2021

Detainees handcuffed after crossing the National Security Campus property line May 31—from left: Henry Stoever, Brian Terrell, Jim Hannah (contented), Tom Mountenay (smiling!), and Christian Brother Louis Rodemann. —Photo by Hai Chen

Trial date pending for some Memorial Day line-crossers 

On the tenth anniversary of PeaceWorks-KC's annual Memorial Day peace witness, five members of the PeaceWorks-KC family “crossed the line” and were arrested for trespass at the National Security Campus, where more than 80 percent of the parts for the U.S. nuclear arsenal are made or procured. The resisters’ action helped the 70 or so in attendance re-frame what the weapons plant truly is: a Global Insecurity Factory. 

Frank Lawrence of the Green Party says that in more than 400 years in US history, “We have had only 16 years when we were not fighting with someone. We are the gods of war.”—Photo by Jane Stoever

Cosponsors assail war, nuclear weapons

For the first time, PeaceWorks-KC this year asked several groups to cosponsor its Memorial Day observance and share reflections. Theodore John, of Veterans for Peace, said, "I've seen the destruction of conventional war. I can't imagine a nuclear war."

An elders’ circle strung out, cuffed, speaking volumes in silence—after crossing the nuke-plant property line May 31. From left: Henry Stoever, Brian Terrell, Brother Louis Rodemann, Jim Hannah, Tom Mountenay.—Photo by Tom Fox

Memorial Day event: ‘We spoke truth, we cried, we witnessed, we rejoiced’

This Memorial Day was the first time I was able to join PeaceWorks-KC at the National Security Campus, where non-nuclear parts are made for nuclear weapons. It was our 10th annual event there. I was moved by the experience.

Jordan Schiele, left; his wife, Jessie, right, and children Nate and Jubilee.

Nuke-plant protester champions civil resistance

Jordan Schiele is at odds with his judge. She has found Schiele guilty of trespass. Schiele considers his action justified as civil resistance. The judge sentenced Schiele, and 14 co-defendants, to community service and a fine for what she calls trespass at the National Security Campus, KC’s new facility (since 2014) for making parts for nuclear weapons. The defendants, on Memorial Day in 2019, crossed the property line at the NSC, opposing the weapons manufacturing and the deaths of hundreds of employees at Bannister Federal Complex—deaths caused by contaminants there from the old nuke-parts facility.

“We’re all part of this worldwide yearning for peace!” Charles Carney tells 20 nuke protesters near the National Security Campus May 25.—Photo by Tom Fox

Carney takes hope from ‘everyday people creating a new narrative’

“We’re living in very dark times,” Charles Carney told 20 persons at the entry to the new nuclear weapon parts plant in Kansas City, Mo. “It’s easy to forget this grassroots movement.”