5 people arrested at Trident nuclear submarine base at Bangor

45 people were present at the demonstration against Trident nuclear weapons at the Bangor nuclear submarine base. Five demonstrators were arrested while trying to display a banner on the freeway overpass near the main gate of Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor.

At around 5:45 AM, five demonstrators walked toward the freeway overpass near the main gate of the base with a large banner declaring, “CREATE A PEACEFUL WORLD FOR ALL CHILDREN, Abolish Nuclear Weapons. Scrap Trident.” They were met by Kitsap County Deputy Sheriffs who had closed both sidewalks on the overpass with signs stating, “No Pedestrian Traffic.” The five attempted to pass the sign with their banner and were immediately arrested.

At the same time, four demonstrators went to the freeway overpass near the Trigger Avenue entrance and held a banner stating “Abolish Nuclear Weapons” and a U.S. flag. When Kitsap County Deputy Sheriffs arrived about 30 minutes later, the demonstrators were ordered to disperse. Officers eventually told the four demonstrators that the law did not apply to their actions. One officer explained that the demonstrators were arrested at the main gate for safety reasons—that demonstrators might drop something on Washington State Patrol officers or Kitsap County Deputy Sheriffs below them.

Demonstrators held signs and banners for peace at both entrances to the submarine base. Leaflets were handed out at the Trigger Avenue entrance.

Those arrested by Kitsap County Deputy Sheriffs: Lynne Greenwald, of Bremerton; Jack Fogelberg, of Auburn; Mary Gleysteen, of Kingston; and Kim Wahl and Glen Milner, of Seattle.

The five arrested by Kitsap County Deputy Sheriffs were booked and later released in Port Orchard. Demonstrators were told they may be charged with “failure to obey a law enforcement officer”, with a maximum sentence of 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

The Trident submarine base at Bangor, just 20 miles from Seattle, has become home to the largest single stockpile of nuclear warheads in the U.S. arsenal. In November 2006, the Natural Resources Defense Council declared that the 2,364 nuclear warheads at Bangor are approximately 24 percent of the entire U.S. arsenal.

Please see attached Fact Sheet

Fact Sheet

5 people arrested, marking the 63rd Anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Atomic Bombing

Regarding the exercise of free speech on the freeway overpass, Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action members sent a letter dated September 18, 2007 to Kitsap County Sheriff Steve Boyer, Lt. Ken Noland of the Washington State Patrol, and Kitsap County Prosecutor Russ Hauge stating that on August 6, 2007, they had been prohibited from displaying a banner on the freeway overpass. Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action members noted that similar banners had been held in this location over the past five years without incident and indicated they would continue to exercise their constitutionally protected right to free speech.

On May 10, 2008, demonstrators held a banner on the overpass. After much discussion, Washington State Patrol officers and Kitsap County Deputy Sheriffs determined that the banner could stay. On May 31 demonstrators, while attempting to hold the same banner, were informed the sidewalks were closed in order to protect Kitsap County Deputy Sheriffs below the bridge. When demonstrators attempted to access the overpass on May 31, they were arrested.

The Trident submarine base at Bangor is the last active nuclear weapons depot on the West Coast and has been recently rebuilt for the deployment of the larger and more accurate Trident D-5 missile system. Each of the 24 D-5 missiles on a Trident submarine is capable of carrying eight 100 kiloton W-76 warheads or eight larger 455 kiloton W-88 warheads (about 30 times the explosive force as the Hiroshima bomb.)

Eight Trident nuclear-armed missile submarines are stationed at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor.

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. Members resist all nuclear weapons, especially the Trident ballistic missile system.

On April 6, 2005, the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action residence burned, ending 27 years of use as a center for peace and nonviolent direct action. Members of the organization are currently rebuilding the residence using energy efficient and “green” methods, using renewable and sustainable resources. The project is being undertaken almost entirely by volunteers and financed by donations from members and supporters of the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action.

On September 3, 2008, at least three members of the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action will be arraigned in U.S. District Court in Tacoma at 8:30 AM for two separate demonstrations at the Trident submarine base in May 2008. If tried in court, it will be the first federal trial involving Ground Zero members since 1989.

The next planned direct action at Bangor will be in January 2009, in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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