75 years after bombing Japanese people
Accept Responsibility, displayed on billboards through August 9, is a plea for citizens of Puget Sound to accept their role and responsibility—as taxpayers, as members of a democratic society, and as neighbors to the Trident nuclear submarine base in Hood Canal—to work to prevent the use of nuclear weapons.
The four Seattle billboards are an effort by Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action, a grassroots organization in Poulsbo, Washington, to reawaken public awareness of the dangers of nuclear weapons in the Puget Sound region.
The ad refers to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, on August 6 and August 9, 1945, seventy-five years ago. It is estimated that more than 210,000 people died from the two atomic bombs by the end of 1945 – about 140,000 in Hiroshima and 74,000 in Nagasaki. Many more were sickened with cancer and chronic diseases.
Nuclear warheads deployed just 20 miles away
The ad also seeks to inform citizens in the Puget Sound region of our relationship to Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor with the largest concentration of deployed nuclear weapons in the U.S.
Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor is homeport to the largest concentration of deployed nuclear warheads in the US. The nuclear warheads are deployed on Trident D-5 missiles on SSBN submarines and are stored in an underground nuclear weapons storage facility on the base.
Trillions for nukes, not one cent for peace
The US is spending more on nuclear weapons programs than during the height of the Cold War.
Our elected leaders plan to spend an estimated $1.7 trillion over 30 years for rebuilding the nation’s nuclear facilities and “modernizing” nuclear weapons.
In the 1970s and 1980s there was widespread organized opposition to the continued deployment of nuclear weapons. It was a major public issue. In Seattle, thousands demonstrated against nuclear weapons at the Bangor base and hundreds were arrested.
Where are we today?
Citizens in a democracy have the task of choosing leaders and staying informed about what our government is doing. The submarine base at Bangor is 20 miles from downtown Seattle, yet only a small percentage of citizens in our region know that it exists.
In Washington State we continually elect government officials who promote nuclear weapons. In the 1970s, Senator Henry Jackson convinced the Pentagon to locate the Trident submarine base on the Hood Canal, while Senator Warren Magnuson got tax funds for roads and other impacts of the Trident base.
In 2012, Washington State established the Washington Military Alliance (WMA), strongly promoted by both Governors Gregoire and Jay Inslee. The purpose of this alliance is to strengthen the role of Washington State as a “…Power Projection Platform (Strategic Ports, Rail, Roads, and Airports) [with] the complementary air, land, and sea units with which to accomplish the mission.
Read vivid accounts of incidents and personalities in the history of opposition to nuclear weapons at http://www.gzcenter.org/