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D.5.c.iii. Resisting Nuclear Weapon Production and Nuclear Bases

Faslane Peace Camp Needs You!, Peace News, issue 2535-2536, 2011

Notes that the Faslane Peace Camp has existed for 29 years 'on the frontline against Britain's nuclear weapons', has been home to hundreds over the years, and has been a centre for direct action against nuclear weapons.

Banerjee, Sunhankar, How the New Mexico anti-nuclear campaign achieved a major victory, HuffPost, 07/12/2017,

Account of the activism by Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety, an NGO based in Santa Fe, New Mexico that led President Obama and the Department of Energy to abandon the proposed Nuclear Facility as part of the Chemistry & Metallurgy Research Replacement Project (CMRR) at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).

Holehouse, Matthew, Britain's Role in the New Cold War, New Statesman, Vol. 136, issue 4860, 03/09/1996,

The article discusses the role of the US National Security spy base at Menwith Hill and notes some of the local protesters, including Lindis Percy (arrested hundreds of times for breaking into bases).

See also:

Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases (CAAB), 'Synopses of the work of Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases', Peace News, 13 May 2012

https://www.peacenews.info/blog/6785/campaign-accountability-american-bases

Brief but informative summary of the work of the British group CAAB, founded in 1992. It grew out of decades of scrutiny and campaigning related to the Menwith Hill US National Security Agency base, which has been involved in intelligence gathering and had a key role in the development of the US missile defence system. The history and methods of CAAB, coordinated by Lindis Percy and Melanie Ndzinga, are outlined: tactics have ranged from use of the law to challenge the US military presence to nonviolent direct action and civil disobedience.

Laffin, Arthur, Swords into Plowshares, Volume Two: A Chronology of Plowshares Disarmament Action, 1980-2003, Foreword by Daniel Berrigan., Eugene, OR, WIPF and Stock Publishers, 2010, pp. 110

This is the second volume of the history of the direct action movement launched by radical Catholics in the USA, whose tactics were taken up by Protestants and committed advocates of  disarmament in both the US and Europe. Protests have over the years been directed at a range of ICBMs designed to carry nuclear warheads, Trident submarines, and nuclear weapons plants. This volume, which includes individual accounts and information on trials of protesters, covers actions not only in the US, but in Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK.

Laffin, Arthur, A History of the Plowshares Movement - a talk, Kings Bay Plowshares 7, 2019

Laffin, a Plowshares activist and member of the radical Catholic Worker organization, gave this talk to 100 supporters of the seven protesters on trial that week for entering the Kings Bay naval submarine base in Georgia in 2018 and symbolically damaging weapons systems. They were found guilty of conspiracy, damaging government property and trespassing. The first Plowshares protest in 1980 involved eight Catholics trespassing on the General Electric Nuclear Missile facility in the King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, and taking  action that became characteristic of later protests: they damaged nuclear warhead cones and poured blood on files, before publicly announcing  their actions and being arrested. Laffin notes that Plowshares (drawing on the biblical injunction 'beat your swords into plowshares') grew out of the Catholic protests at draft offices during the Vietnam War, when draft records were destroyed. The Berrigan brothers took part in both.

See also: Cohen-Joppa, Jack, ‘They Came to Stop a Crime: The Trial of the Kingsbay Plowshares 7’, Peace News, 2636-2637, Dec. 2019-Jan. 2020, p.7.
(Article first published on 10 Nov. 2019, on Beyond Nuclear International: beyondnuclearinternational.org)

The article provides brief background on Plowshares and outlines the testimony by defendants during their trial. It also records the jury decision to convict each of the seven on four counts: trespass, destruction of government property, ‘depredation’ of government property on a military installation; and conspiracy to commit these illegal acts.

 

 

Lazenby, Peter, Britain: Peace campaigners blockade nuclear bomb factory, Green Left Weekly online, issue 1201, 2018

Campaigners from all over Britain united on October 25, 2018 to blockade the government's nuclear bomb factory in Berkshire, preventing staff from entering the site.

Nepstad, Sharon Erickson, Religion and War Resistance in the Plowshares Movement, New York, Cambridge University Press, 2008, pp. 204

This book examines the development and evolution of the Plowshares movement from a social science perspective, looking at issues such as ‘tactical legitimation’ and sustainability in relation to the US movement, and also analyzing ‘intermittent resistance’ in the German, Dutch and Australian movements, and ‘internal implosion’ in the Swedish movement.  It also  assesses the UK movement.

Tallents, Jane, Nukewatch – a Scottish Perspective, Peace News, issue 2620-2621, 2018, pp. 11-10

Nukewatch focuses on monitoring road convoys carrying nuclear warheads from the Aldermaston Weapons Research Establishment near Reading to missile bases.  The campaign began in the 1980s, and in the 1980s and 1990s Nukewatch also tried to publicize the convoys to the local population by protests along the route. From the 2000s stricter Ministry of Defence controls to ensure secrecy and speed, and Nukewatch’s own concerns about possible acts of terrorism against convoys, led them to limit the information they put on the web.  However, given the growth of social media and publicity about convoys on it, they joined in from 2015, whilst still using information with discretion.

See also article by Jane Tallents ‘Warhead Accidents on our Roads – Who’s Responsible?’, p.10. of the same issue of Peace News.

Vinthagen, Stellan ; Kennick, Justin ; Mason, Kelvin, Tackling Trident, Sparsnas Sweden, Irene Publishing, 2012, pp. 362

On two ‘Academic Conference Blockades’ at Faslane Trident missile base in Scotland in January and June 2007.

Zelter, Angie, Trident on Trial: The Case for People's Disarmament and the Trident v. 3, Edinburgh, Luath Press, 2001, pp. 312 (pb)

Following the 1996 ICJ Advisory Opinion that use or threat to use nuclear weapons would generally be contrary to the rules of international law, Angie Zelter, Ellen Moxley and Lilla Roder embarked on nonviolent direct action at the Trident nuclear base. The local Scottish Sheriff found them not guilty under international law as they were acting as 'world citizens'.  The case was referred to the High Court, which refused to rule on the legality of UK nuclear weapons. The 'Trident Ploughshares' campaign therefore mounted other protests to challenge these weapons. This book is a personal account of the anti-Trident campaign, and includes profiles of other individuals and groups that have become involved in the movement to abolish nuclear weapons and contributions by them.

Zelter, Angie, Trident on Trial: The Case for People's Disarmament and the Trident v. 3, Edinburgh, Luath Press, 2001, pp. 312 (pb)

Following the 1996 ICJ Advisory Opinion that use or threat to use nuclear weapons would generally be contrary to the rules of international law, Angie Zelter, Ellen Moxley and Lilla Roder embarked on nonviolent direct action at the Trident nuclear base. The local Scottish Sheriff found them not guilty under international law as they were acting as 'world citizens'.  The case was referred to the High Court, which refused to rule on the legality of UK nuclear weapons. The 'Trident Ploughshares' campaign therefore mounted other protests to challenge these weapons. This book is a personal account of the anti-Trident campaign, and includes profiles of other individuals and groups that have become involved in the movement to abolish nuclear weapons and contributions by them.

Zelter, Angie, Trident on Trial: The Case of People’s Disarmament, Edinburgh, Luath Press, 2001, pp. 312

Presents the legal case against nuclear weapons and for people’s ‘direct disarmament’ actions against UK Trident missiles, and includes personal accounts by activists in Trident Ploughshares.

Zelter, Angie, Faslane 365: A Year of Anti-Nuclear Blockades, Edinburgh, Luath Press, 2008, pp. 256 (pb)

Zelter, a prominent activist against nuclear weapons and global injustice, charts the 365 days of protest and blockade, drawing on a wide range of groups in Scotland and across the UK, at the UK Trident nuclear weapons base at Faslane, 30 miles from Glasgow. The protest occurred during the period the Westminster parliament voted to re-commission the nuclear submarines. The book includes commentaries on subjects such as the history of Trident, nuclear weapons under international law, and the role of the police.