Tamara Severns of PeaceWorks-KC arrested by surprise at drone protest

Posted April 9, 2014

Tamara Severns, a PeaceWorks-KC Board member, was arrested unexpectedly during an April 6 protest of drone warfare at Whiteman AFB. Later, she told protesters she was going to the Visitor's Center to use the bathroom. “The officer said, ‘Turn around. You’re being arrested,’ and clamped the metal handcuffs on my wrists,” Tamara said. “They gave me no warning to leave the property.” …

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Tamara Severns. Photo by Mike Schilling

Protesters gather at the Whiteman AFB entry under the shadow of a model drone. Photo by Mike Schilling

Talks, tears highlight rally vs. drones at Whiteman AFB April 7

April 9, 2014

Bearing witness against remote control of Reaper drones from U.S. military bases, protesters rallied Sunday, April 6, at the entry to Whiteman Air Force Base near Knob Noster, Mo. Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern recalled that President Obama on May 17, 2013, said he wished he could stop drone strikes. “Gimme a break,” said McGovern. “The president could stop the strikes if he had the backbone.” …

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Join Trifecta Resista May 30-June 1

Posted March 30, 2014

PeaceWorks-KC is holding Trifecta Resista to rally on three issues, at three places:
--request for pardon for whistle-blower Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas;
--resistance to nuclear weapons at Bannister Federal Complex in KC, where parts for nuclear weapons were made from 1949 to this year, and where contaminants linger; and
--protest of drone warfare at Whiteman Air Force Base, near Knob Noster, Mo., where predator drones are guided to places including Afghanistan by remote control. …

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Tore Naerland, in back, and Frank Tomlinson biking in tandem. Photo courtesy of Bike for Peace.

‘Bike for Peace’ will bike from KC to Independence on May 1

March 17, 2014

Four Bike-for-Peace members from Norway invite all comers to bike with them or ride in companion vehicles. The local tour includes these free, open-to-all events:
- 4/30, 6 pm, supper and talks at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church, 4501 Walnut, KC, Mo.
- 5/1, 11 am, meeting with Councilman Ed Ford and others at City Hall, 414 E. 12th St., KC, Mo.
- 5/1, 1 pm, bike ride from City Hall to Community of Christ Temple, 1001 W. Walnut, Independence, Mo.
- 5/1, 3 pm, ceremony at the temple to welcome Bike for Peace and hear the bikers’ words of hope. …

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Play about trial debuts at annual meeting

Posted March 30, 2014

A “reader’s theater” performance—about the Dec. 13 trial and sentencing of nine nuclear-weapon civil resisters—prompted laughter and song from the 60 attendees at the March 9 PeaceWorks-KC Annual Meeting. …

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Photos by Jim Hannah

Judge asks...we answer!

Posted January 24, 2014

Kansas City, Mo., Judge Ardie Bland, on Dec. 13, 2013, found nine nuclear weapon resisters guilty of trespass. He then dished out essay questions as a sentence. Applause in the courtroom prefaced weeks of scribbles by defendants. Lawyer Henry Stoever submitted the essays to Judge Bland Jan. 22. Defendants, now essayists, are Cele Breen, SCL; Georgia Walker; Bix Bichsel, SJ; Betsy Keenan; Carl Kabat; Janice Sevre-Duszynska, ARCWP; Jerry Zawada, OFM; Lauren Logan; Jane Stoever. …

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The new "National Security Campus" in KC, Mo., where employees will make radar devices, fuses, tritium containers, nuclear weapon "triggers," and other parts for nuclear weapons--photo by Chris Zebuyak

Supporters witness on behalf of Chelsea Manning Dec. 15 at the entry to Fort Leavenworth. Photos by Kris Kennon

The party guests are there to celebrate … but where’s Chelsea Manning?

February 9, 2014

To mark the 26th birthday of WikiLeaks whistle-blower Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning, supporters gathered Dec. 15 at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., where she is serving the beginning of her 35-year sentence. …

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Judge calls 9 nuke resisters guilty but surprises them with sentence

By Lu Mountenay

Posted December 26, 2013

No probation, no fine, no community service, no jail time—just essays. Amazing! Nine defendants represented by Henry Stoever, and cheered on by 27 supporters, spoke out in Municipal Court of Kansas City, Mo., about why they had stepped onto property in KC leased to the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). …

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Rally before Decebmer 13 trial.
Photo by Jim Hannah

Who’s going to clean up Bannister Federal Complex? Who will pay?

Posted November 21, 2013

“What irks me,” said Jay Coghlan, speaking Nov. 6 and 7 in KC and Independence, “is that the city has subsidized the new plant (selling city bonds backed by the federal government), and at the same time, it looks as if the federal government is going to walk away from serious commitment to comprehensive cleanup of the old plant. …

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Volatile-organic-compound contamination plumes in underground water beneath Bannister Federal Complex. Source: Department of Energy Environmental Assessment issued May 2013.

Jay Coghlan, Executive Director of Nuclear Watch New Mexico.

Nuclear weapons watchdog assails new-fangled nukes

November 21, 2013

“The nuclear weapons business is booming—pardon the pun!” said Jay Coghlan, executive director of Nuclear Watch New Mexico, speaking Nov. 6 and 7 in Kansas City, Mo., and Independence. …

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The way it was:
July 13 resistance to nuclear weapons

Posted November 4, 2013

We protesters and the other inmates talked about everything from current events to the cause that brought us to the holding cell. ... I was concerned when I heard some of the women were denied their rights to a phone call. As a woman of ethnicity, I am sensitive to racial issues in our judicial system, and now saw and heard officers committing injustices in front of my eyes. …

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Under arrest, Lauren Logan chats with the officer escorting her to the police bus.
By Chris Zebuyak

Photos by Tom Fox

Hiroshima/Nagasaki Remembrance 2013

Posted October 6, 2013

On Aug. 4, 2013—a night of floating lanterns, flute, gong, and peace cranes—55 people gathered at Loose Park in KCMO for PeaceWorks’ annual Hiroshima/Nagasaki Remembrance. Through our presence, we vowed, “Never again!”

Reflections from the remembrance ceremony:

13 Kansas City anti-nuclear weapons protesters sentenced for trespassing

by Megan Fincher, NCR Bertelsen intern

Posted September 10, 2013

Des Moines, Iowa, Catholic Workers Frank Cordaro and Ed Bloomer shook up court proceedings when they pleaded guilty and refused to pay court fees. …

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Br. Louis Rodemann "opening the door to a nuclear weapons free world" in front of municipal courthouse.
Photo by Megan Fincher

Son honors mother, Nagasaki survivor, with paper cranes for her tomb

Posted September 3, 2013

Gayle June, a son of Nagasaki survivor Michiko June, spoke at the Aug. 4 Hiroshima/Nagasaki Remembrance about his project to honor Michiko. She died two years ago at age 83 in Springfield, Mo. Michiko had told her own story as a Nagasaki survivor to docents at the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library in Independence and to her grandson’s middle-school class. …

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Gayle and Michiko June

The sound of freedom

Posted August 7, 2013

And it was a sound of happiness for each other – all the marchers and all the watchers – that we could all come together and acknowledge our basic oneness expressed through the infinite diversity of our humanity, our life styles, our sexuality. …

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San Francisco Gay Pride Parade 2013
photo courtesy of The Daily Republic

CMC staff member Judy Heath talks with an Urban Ranger

‘Improving lives: nothing is more worthwhile!’

Posted August 4, 2013

For the second half of the session, the young men broke into small groups to explore personal values. Introducing a circle process, using a talking piece and a guideline that one person talk at a time, adult facilitators helped create an atmosphere of open and honest sharing. …

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Anne Kwon wins PeaceWorks Award

Posted August 4, 2013

Congratulations, Anne Kwon! Anne is the new PeaceWorks-KC Peace Scholar, now serving on the PeaceWorks Board in virtue of receiving the award. Kwon graduated in May from Avila University with a baccalaureate in social work. …

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Anne Kwon

KC-area activists stand up for Bradley June 8.

KC-St. Joe group joins Bradley Manning rally in MD, expands local witness

August 3, 2013

“Really awesome,” Marc Saviano said of the national rally for Bradley Manning at Fort Meade, MD, two days before the June 3 opening of his court-martial there. …

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‘Do what you can do, and then sing and dance’

Posted July 23, 2013

From the colorful, poignant banners to singing, linking arms, and praying, we were reminded that the spirit of nonviolence brings us joy and love even as we protest their antithesis: nuclear weapons. …

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Photo by Bryan Lloyd

Video, pics

Posted July 23, 2013

See video and online pictures from the July 12-13 weekend to resist nuclear weapons. A sampling from the bag of tricks: …

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24 arrested for civil resistance at new nuclear-weapons-parts plant

July 20, 2013

With the assembly singing “Open the Door,” written for the occasion, several dozen persons stepped through a door marked “Open the door to a nuclear-weapons-free world,” the rallying call of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. The demonstrators crossed the line from the public road to the facility property. …

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Protesters are met by police at NNSA facility in KC
Photo by Bryan Lloyd

Rainy Memorial Day walk/ride recalls deaths of KC Plant workers

Posted June 21, 2013

PeaceWorks’ third annual trek from the current KC Plant to the plant’s new south KC home memorialized lives sacrificed in the crucible of nuclear weapons production. ... The rainy walk/ride, with 24 participants, captured media attention. …

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Walkers brave the rain.
Photo by Samantha Smith, BSW

Photo by Samantha Smith, BSW

Memorial March

by Ron Faust

June 21, 2013

... We are marching to seek an alternative route
Where we cease weapons of mass destruction
And we quit making people suffer from poisons
And we stop dumping problems on the poor. ... …

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Civil resistance: cases dropped, new line-crossing on tap

Posted June 19, 2013

“Delighted. But disappointed!” is how Henry Stoever described the news that the city had dropped its cases against him and Midge Potts of Springfield, Mo., and they would not have a jury trial June 10 for crossing the line at the new nuclear weapons parts plant site last year. ... Meanwhile, PeaceWorks is gearing up for a line-crossing action July 12-13. …

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Henry Stoever and Fr. Carl Kabat

Suellentrop gleans info in DC about nuclear complex

Posted June 3, 2013

“The number of nuclear bombs the U.S. makes is going down, but the budget keeps going up,” says Ann Suellentrop. “It’s corporate welfare." She recently lobbied at congressional offices in Washington to seek less funding for nuclear weapons, more for meeting people's needs. …

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Delegates voting at Community of Christ's World Conference called for the "responsible reduction and eventual elimination of nuclear weapons."
Photo by Bob Thomas

One more voice in the growing “No Nukes” chorus

June 3,2013

A revival is stirring among churches that took strong anti-nuclear-weapon positions in the 1980s. In April, Community of Christ's World Conference voted by 78 percent to "join the global voices seeking to halt nuclear weapons production" …

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After-election reflection: No regrets!

Posted May 14, 2013

So what! if Question 3 didn’t pass. We did pass in getting it on the ballot in the first place. We did pass in persuading 23 percent of Kansas City to feel the way we do. We did pass in further educating the public about the new plant. We did pass in demonstrating what a grassroots group can do to address the Military-Industrial Complex. Listen to what people had to say after the election. …

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Edge of Darkness

May 6, 2013

The single candle of conscience still flickers
Over the edge of darkness
Which at times seems pitch black
Although still the candle burns deep
And to look up you see more stars in the sky. …

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Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control
Review by Don McClain

posted April 21, 2013

Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control is a good read. It’s by Medea Benjamin, famous for her CODEPINK actions. …

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Support Bradley Manning

Posted April 17, 2013

Feb. 23 marked the one thousandth day of Bradley Manning’s confinement without trial for exposing truths about war crimes of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. ... Over 70 events took place worldwide, including one at Fort Leavenworth, where Bradley was awaiting transfer to hearings in mid-April and mid-May before his court-martial trial in June. …

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Bradley Manning

Peace measure wins almost one-fourth of vote, succeeds in public education

Posted April 3, 2013

Kansas City, Mo., voters received a barrage of negative publicity from the “vote no” camp before the April 2 election, but 23 percent of the voters still said yes to stopping future KC financing for producing parts for nuclear weapons. …

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Banner saying "Protect Workers Vote Yes Question 3" above Highway 670.

by Chuck Trapkus

Faust’s probation cut to 1 year; Terrell in prison camp for 6 months

Early this year, Judge Matt Whitworth “had a change of heart” and reduced the probation sentence for Faust. “I’m grateful,” says Faust, “but there also is a vacuous feeling of why we should go through this charade of justice when we saw the trespassing charge as disproportionate to the more serious charge of killing innocent children by using predator drones." …

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Plumes of toxins contaminate groundwater under the Bannister complex. Source: National Nuclear Security Administration, 2006

Trying to get pay for sick workers from Bannister complex

Donna Hand, a paralegal advocate from Tampa, Fla., since 2010 has helped Bannister Federal Complex employees seek compensation for illnesses related to working at BFC. The payment is hard to come by. BFC houses federal agencies including the Kansas City Plant, where non-nuclear parts have been made for nuclear weapons for 63 years. In this Q&A, Hand comments on her KC advocacy. …

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Dr. Tadatoshi Akiba, former mayor of Hiroshima
Photo by Jim Hannah

The world’s turning toward peace, says Hiroshima’s former mayor

… Citing progress toward cooperation instead of alienation, Akiba reminded his listeners that in 1986, Reagan and Gorbachev almost agreed to eliminate nuclear weapons in the U.S. and Soviet Union. The passing of time is bringing the escalation of reason, Akiba said. “People regard violence as a problem to be solved rather than a contest to be won.” …

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Judge convicts civil resisters who “put drones on trial”

Ramsey Clark, left, says at the news conference before the trial, “Drones are singularly cruel because they come out of nowhere, they strike anywhere, and they leave fear which creates hatred everywhere.” Mike Nickells photos

In the first federal trial related to drone warfare, the judge ruled Sept. 10 in Jefferson City, Mo., that two civil resisters were guilty of trespass April 15 at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri. Defendants Ronald Faust and Brian Terrell on April 15 sought to present to the Whiteman AFB commander an indictment of all involved in drone warfare. The defendants said Sept. 10 they were not guilty of trespass but had simply tried to bring a grievance to a government authority about the drone strikes.

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Brian Terrell, left; Elton Davis of Des Moines; and Col. Ann Wright- -delighted to demonstrate at Whiteman AFB just hours after the “drones on trial” convictions of Terrell and Ron Faust.

Photo by Jim Hannah

Finally, we're in! Kansas City votes on April 2, 2013

On August 30, 2012, the Kansas City Missouri City Council voted to place the citizen’s initiative on the ballot for April 2, 2013: “Prevention of the City’s Future Financial Involvement in Nuclear Weapons Components Facilities.”

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Testimony exposes ‘idolatrous faith’ in nukes

"Our cultural creed as a nation is an idolatrous faith in nuclear weapons. We propose to be fighting terrorism by our own terrorist, aggressive postures and behaviors. …"

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Resisting drones: ‘Let justice flow like a river’

Mark, Ron and I had been summonsed here by the powers after having been apprehended on April 15 at Whiteman Air Force Base. … The God whose words are cast in bronze on the floor of the courthouse rotunda regards the weapons amassed at Whiteman Air Force Base not as resources to be protected by riot police or defended by putting the likes of Mark behind walls, but as swords waiting to be beaten into plowshares. …

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Photo by Marc Saviano

Seven arrested as Trifecta Resista stages 3 rallies

One weekend, three rallies, seven arrests for civil resistance. How’s that for ambition? The Midwest Trifecta Resista April 13-15 maxed us out but still wowed us: such great people, such cohesive action.

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Photo by Robyn Haas

From trespass line to jail cell

by Lu Mountenay

I started to have second thoughts--fearful thoughts. Do I really want to do this? … As I faced the line of “peace” officers, I felt my knees go weak. I said a fast and silent prayer for courage. … After our third warning, I was arrested for trespass.

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Mark Kenney of Omaha and PeaceWorks leaders Henry Stoever and Lu Mountenay hold their ground April 14 after crossing onto property for the new nuclear weapons parts plant. --Robyn Haas photo


Trespass vs. nuke-parts production
in KC caps war resisters' meeting

Photo by Robyn Haas


PeaceWorks, Kansas City seeks a world of peace and security for all, both today and for future generations. We are dedicated to:


Kris and Lynn Cheatum

Kris and Lynn Cheatum took time for fun at an AFSC peace-and-justice festival at UMKC in 2008.

In Memoriam

Mary Kristine Cheatum, 5/1/37 - 6/6/10

Lynn Max Cheatum, 8/12/38 - 6/27/12

Lynn Cheatum helped found a committee in 1982 that became PeaceWorks, and Lynn and Kris for many years co-chaired the PeaceWorks Board. They're remembered for their tenacity, their endless hours of peace-and-justice work and witness, their civil resistance, their uncivil conversations, their joy!

Lynn Cheatum, a founder of PeaceWorks-KC, dies

In memory of Lynn Cheatum, my neighbor



Piechart Courtesy of the War Resisters League
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