Forty-two activists celebrated the true meaning of Mother’s Day at the Bangor Trident submarine base by protesting nuclear weapons. Ten activists symbolically closed Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor for about 20 minutes by blocking the road to the Main Gate in a nonviolent direct action on the Saturday before Mothers Day.
They held two banners across the inbound lanes. One read “The Earth is our Mother. Treat her with Respect.” The other stated “We can all live without Trident.”
The Seattle Peace Chorus Action Ensemble led the activists in peace and protest songs. One activist crossed the “blue line” that marks federal jurisdiction to present a letter to the Base Commander. Navy Security Officers accepted the letter and the activist was allowed to return to county property.
Washington State Patrol officers briefly detained those blocking the roadway and issued them citations for “ pedestrian on roadway unlawfully.” Most said that they would request a mitigation hearing in county court to explain their reasons for blocking access to the Trident Base.
When asked why he resists Trident, Ground Zero member, and former Navy submarine commander, Tom Rogers said, “Our kids deserve to grow up in a world without nuclear weapons. It is a failure of our generation that they must live in fear of nuclear annihilation and bear the cost of a massive modernization of our nuclear weapons complex.”
Mother’s Day in the United States was first suggested in 1872 by Julia Ward Howe as a day dedicated to peace. Howe saw the effects on both sides of the Civil War and realized destruction from warfare goes beyond the killing of soldiers in battle.
The Trident submarine base at Bangor represents the largest concentration of deployed nuclear weapons in the U.S. and is the home port for 8 of the Navy’s 14 Trident ballistic missile submarines. The W76 and W88 warheads at Bangor are equal respectively to 100 kilotons and 455 kilotons of TNT in destructive force (the bomb dropped on Hiroshima was between 13 and 18 kilotons). The Trident bases at Bangor and Kings Bay, Georgia, when combined, represent just over over half of all warheads deployed by the United States.
The Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action was founded in 1977. The center is on 3.8 acres adjoining the Trident submarine base at Bangor, Washington. The Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action offers the opportunity to explore the roots of violence and injustice in our world and to experience the transforming power of love through nonviolent direct action. We resist all nuclear weapons, especially the Trident ballistic missile system.