On Wednesday, October 3, the LACW hosted Clare Grady, who is one of the seven Kings Bay Plowshares activists. Clare, who is from the Ithaca (New York) Catholic Worker, is currently out on bail and on house arrest with an ankle bracelet, but with permission to be in California for family member’s wedding. Clare’s talk was interrupted by her probation officer who called to ask why she was out past her curfew. He forgot that there is a three hour time difference!
Clare spoke about their plowshares action in general, but specifically read from her affidavit that would justify the defendants’ use of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) as a defense. In the affidavits, the defendants speak about their sincerely-held religious beliefs–based on the Bible and Catholic Social Teaching–and how these beliefs motivated their nonviolent acts of prophetic witness against the government’s possession of nuclear weapons, and the use of such weapons to threaten people, nations, and all life on the planet. Their case is the first time that a court has agreed to consider the peace activists use of the RFRA. If granted it provides a reasonable chance of acquittal of all charges and will set a precedence for all future plowshares actions.
The seven activists, armed with household hammers, crime scene tape, baby bottles containing their own blood, a few banners announcing their action, and an indictment charging the U.S. government with crimes against peace and crimes against humanity, went into the Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in Georgia on April 4, the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s assassination, to symbolically disarm the weapons. They had hoped to call attention to the ways in which nuclear weapons kill every day by their mere existence and maintenance. Nuclear weapons eviscerate the rule of law, enforce white supremacy, perpetuate endless war and environmental destruction and ensure impunity for all manner of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Dr. King said, “The ultimate logic of racism is genocide.” We say, “The ultimate logic of Trident is omnicide.” A just and peaceful world is possible when we join prayers with action. Swords into Plowshares!”
Kings Bay Naval Base is one of the largest nuclear submarine bases in the world. It refits and maintains submarines that carry Trident D5 nuclear missiles. The Trident D5 is a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), built by Lockheed Martin. Each submarine carries the capacity to cause devastation equivalent to 600 Hiroshima size bombs. Thus, the six Tridents maintained at Kings Bay have the capacity to cause the devastation of 3600 Hiroshima-scale attacks. Therefore it is nothing less than an omnicidal weapon–with the destructive force to vaporize the entire planet. To learn more visit kingsbayplowshares7.org or facebook.com/Kingsbayplowshares/
NOTE: A video of the talk will be posted here in the near future.