Rally and petition seek freedom for whistleblower Chelsea Manning

Posted Dec 1, 2016

PeaceWorks members and friends called for freedom for Chelsea Manning at the main entry to Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, where she is serving a 35-year sentence for releasing materials to WikiLeaks about US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. She has recently twice attempted suicide. Manning has asked President Obama for clemency, and supporters are also asking Obama for her freedom via www.chelseamanning.org/wh.

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The US Drone War: An Insider Speaks Out

Posted Nov 30, 2016

Cian Westmoreland, a former Air Force operative, shared his knowledge and experience from participant to now-outspoken whistleblower of the US drone program at a PeaceWorks-KC gathering Nov. 16. He talked of kill-decision and “acceptable loss.” We must be vigilant in our reading, writing, and sharing, deep in our listening, and willing to bear witness with those like Cian.

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PeaceWorks members visit NM nuclear waste sites during meeting

Posted Nov 23, 2016

Two PeaceWorks members visited the birthplace of the bomb, Los Alamos, NM, during the annual fall meeting of the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability. “The more I learn about the nuclear weapons industry, the more I become aware of the heinous evil involved,” says Ann Suellentrop.

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Pursuing peace on international, interfaith levels

Posted Nov 23, 2016

Matthew Bolton and Emily Welty vowed in their marriage to make the world a better place. Part of that vow was realized when they watched a UN General Assembly committee vote overwhelmingly to start negotiations in 2017 on a treaty banning nuclear weapons.

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Father Carl Kabat persists at trial

Posted Nov 13, 2016

Father Carl Kabat, 83, came to trial Oct. 12 for splashing blood-red paint on the door of the plant in Kansas City, Mo., that makes parts for nuclear weapons. Father Kabat tried to get his point across—that the red paint symbolized blood and that the plant was a place of death. The judge observed, “What the place makes is irrelevant.” The judge sentenced him to 30 days in jail—suspended, plus two years’ probation.

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Gun Violence--The Culture of Fear

Posted Nov 23, 2016

“What kind of world will you leave your children?” syndicated columnist Leonard Pitts asked Kansas Citians Oct. 10. “Will we continue to allow the NRA … to endanger their (your children’s) future with their overzealous lobbying?” Pitts spoke at a seminar cosponsored by PeaceWorks and groups including Grandparents Against Gun Violence.

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Talk Nov. 16—y’all come!

The US Drone War: An Insider Speaks Out

Posted Nov 8, 2016

A former US Air Force drone program technician, Cian Westmoreland, will give an insider’s view of war drones Wednesday, Nov. 16, at All Souls Church at 7 pm. The program is free and open to all.

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Rally for Chelsea Manning at 2pm Sunday, Nov. 20

Posted Nov 8, 2016

Join a public witness on behalf of Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning at the entry to Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, where she's serving a 35-year sentence for releasing classified documents to WikiLeaks. She has tried to commit suicide twice in the last five months, and one of her advocates, Col. Ann Wright, has called for a "national mobilization" to demand that Chelsea no longer be subjected to solitary confinement.

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Revival calls for action for racial healing

Posted Oct 23, 2016

Rev. William Barber, leader of the Moral Monday movement in North Carolina that is pushing for racial justice, preached, “Woe to those who legislate evil!—who issue unjust laws and deprive the poor of their rights. Woe to those who cut money from children so they can get a tax cut for the wealthy.”

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Lu Mountenay gets community service + 1 year’s probation for resisting nukes

Posted Aug 22, 2016

Lu Mountenay, a Community of Christ minister and vice chair of the PeaceWorks Board, was sentenced Aug. 1 to 50 hours of community service and one year’s probation for trespassing at KC’s new nuke-parts plant.

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From apologies to remedies

Posted Aug 22, 2016

During the Hiroshima/Nagasaki Remembrance, the 55 of us gathered at Loose Park Lagoon wrote down our apologies or concerns and, later, our commitments or remedies. One such remedy: “Speak out, every chance I get, against sexism, racism, nationalism.”

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Mary Hladky comments on Obama’s antiwar words at Hiroshima

Posted Aug 22, 2016

In Hiroshima May 27, President Obama said, “We must ... escape the logic of fear and pursue a world without nuclear weapons.” PeaceWorks board member Mary Hladky said Aug. 6, “It is up to us, the people, members of the antiwar and antinuclear coalition, to put these inspiring words into action.”

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PeaceWorks fundraiser

Ann Suellentrop gives keynote Aug. 6

Posted Aug 22, 2016

At PeaceWorks’ annual Hiroshima/Nagasaki Remembrance, Ann Suellentrop started the keynote address with this reflection: “I am a pediatric nurse and work in mother-baby nursing. I help moms learn how to breastfeed. Why do I care about nuclear weapons? The answer is because I’ve worked my whole life supporting and caring for the creation of new life. I love kids! And nuclear weapons are the exact opposite; they are the total destruction of life.”

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Say “I apologize” at Hiroshima/Nagasaki Remembrance Aug. 6 and learn steps toward creating a nuke-free world

Posted July 24, 2016

PeaceWorks will convene this year’s remembrance of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings on Saturday, Aug. 6, at Loose Park Lagoon, with potluck at 6:30 pm and the ceremony at 7:30 pm.

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Do ‘court support’ for line-crosser Lu on Aug. 1

Posted July 23, 2016

Lu Mountenay crossed the property line at KC’s new nuclear weapons parts plant on May 30, and on Aug. 1, she comes to a hearing for her “infraction” at Municipal Court. All are invited to do court support for Lu, gathering near the court at 12:30 pm Aug. 1 to rally before the 1:30 pm hearing.

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Police take custody of Lu as soon as she crosses the property line May 30. —Photo by Jim Hannah

Fr. Carl Kabat splashes red paint on doors at KC’s nuke-parts plant

Fr. Carl Kabat after his release July 4, 2016

Posted July 5, 2016

Father Carl Kabat, 82, early on July 4, splashed red paint on the doors of the Administration Building at the National Security Campus (NSC) in Kansas City, MO, which makes non-nuclear parts for nuclear weapons. Asked why he defaced the doors, Kabat replied, “That place is bloody, and it was red paint—bright red paint.”

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Poems for Lonely Prophets, by Ron Faust

Posted June 3, 2016

Ron Faust, Kansas City’s poet prophet, says in his new book, Poems for Lonely Prophets:

Prophets come and go,
   not to prognosticate
      but to raise our spirits
         or to forewarn us
            of our insanity.

Want to raise your spirit? Buy the book!

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Former KC Plant supervisor issues warning about new plant

“The plant is a top-secret plant. It always has been. It always will be,” Maurice Copeland warns participants in PeaceWorks' Memorial Day walk.

Posted June 3, 2016

Maurice Copeland, a chemical stores supervisor at the Kansas City Plant where nuclear weapon parts were made, spoke to participants in the Memorial Day walk/ride from the old KC Plant to the new plant, the National Security Campus. Copeland said, “The lies that the complex (Bannister Federal Complex) was telling us became visible to us in 2000, when President Clinton told us that the U.S. contaminated us with the materials made for the bombs.”

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Lu Mountenay asks how many years the new nuke-parts plant will last: “Seventy years, before it’s so contaminated they’ll shut it down, abandon it, and leave the contamination in its wake?”

Nuclear weapons resister crosses line in KC for her grandchildren, all children

Posted June 3, 2016

Lu Mountenay on Memorial Day, May 30, crossed the property line at the National Security Campus, where Kansas Citians make non-nuclear parts for nuclear weapons. Before her crossing, she gestured to the massive facility down the entry road, saying, “The military-industrial complex, the profitable complex, tells us they make nuclear weapons to keep people from killing humans. It didn’t work in 1945 at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.”

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PeaceWorks holds 5th walk/ride from old nuke-parts plant to new plant

“The vast majority of the countries that do not have nuclear weapons are working through the U.N. to ban the bomb,” says Ann Suellentrop. “We are not alone!”

Posted June 3, 2016

During its fifth annual Memorial Day trek from the old nuclear weapons parts plant to the new plant, PeaceWorks-KC called for a nuke-free world. Henry Stoever kicked off the walk he initiated in 2012. “We are at war with ourselves,” he said, noting the deaths of many Bannister Federal Complex workers from the old plant’s contaminants.

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Mike Shilling’s kite meets the flags at the Spirit Gate, Whiteman AFB.
—Photo by Vicke Kepling

‘Fly Kites, Not Drones’ takes wing at Whiteman AFB

Posted May 4, 2016

The rally “Fly Kites, Not Drones” took wing at the Spirit Gate to Whiteman Air Force Base April 30. Eight kites kissed the sky as 30 people, with peace dog Lily, condemned drone warfare. At Whiteman and about 40 other US bases, personnel guide drones to their targets. “The Bureau of Investigative Journalism says as many as 4,000 people, including more than 200 children, have been killed by drone strikes in Pakistan alone,” said Joy First of Mount Horeb, WI, keynote speaker.

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Fly Kites, Not Killer Drones

Careful not to “trespass” on Air Force space, we let our kites soar.—Photo by Vicke Kepling

Posted May 4, 2016

We gathered At Whiteman AFB to protest the “Predator” drones “piloted” from the base. Our theme was “Fly Kites, Not Drones.” And fly kites, we did. We flew them daringly close to the three flags flying at the entrance. Beautiful. … But the urgency of our cause never left our minds.

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Joy First issues call to civil resistance

Posted May 4, 2016

On April 28, the Peace Works-KC community met Joy First.  She spoke to us about her spiritual calling to nonviolent civil resistance—which means she stands up to our government when it breaks US and international laws.

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Shut Down Creech 2016

Posted March 29, 2016

“They are provocative and dangerous, actually war crimes. How would you like to feel the paranoia of drones overhead? They promote an atmosphere of fear. We even hear that children don’t go out to play anymore when skies are blue because that’s when drones come out.”

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Questions spark answers on racism, white privilege

Posted March 28, 2016

The PeaceWorks Annual Meeting March 6 featured table-talk on racism and white privilege. ... In her small group, Debora Demeter said she went to an all-black church, and in the late 1960s, her church and an all-white church developed an integration program. "We had dinner in each other’s houses," said Demeter. "It helped me. It taught me how to not be afraid of whites."

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Grad of Urban Ranger Corps shares his experience

Posted March 28, 2016

Speaking at the PeaceWorks Annual Meeting, Robert Days said, “Lots of times, kids don’t have a lot of opportunities for helping the community. In the Urban Ranger Corps, I could see myself giving back” to the community at a young age. The Corps trains young men in KCMO in values and community service, and PeaceWorks funds conflict resolution sessions for them.

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Addicts of Fear

Posted March 28, 2016

... no one will pry loose
your gun says the 2nd amend.
Wait, we need to build a wall
But the Pope visits the border
says that fences are unchristian
how disgraceful
that he question my faith
and know more than me
probably doesn’t even have a gun ...

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Ron Faust

'Peace muscles, not peace missiles!'

Ann Suellentrop

Posted March 28, 2016

"The vast majority of countries that do not have nukes are moving in the United Nations to draft a treaty banning them," Ann Suellentrop said at the PeaceWorks Annual Meeting March 6. "The non-nuclear weapons states are saying they have a right to survive that 'trumps' our right to so-called security."

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About 60 persons attend PW Annual Meeting

Posted March 28, 2016

Georgia Walker received PeaceWorks’ Charles E. Bebb Peace Merit Award during the annual meeting. Walker, who has been arrested for civil resistance, directs Journey to New Life, helping prisoners re-enter society. Lu Mountenay commented, “Heading up Journey to New Life: the perfect job for a jailbird!” Laughing, Walker said, “I’m finally off probation now, and ready for more resistance!”

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Death to the death penalty!

Posted March 28, 2016

... About 3,000 inmates in our U.S. prisons live under the sentence of death; less than 1 percent of them are executed each year. … Are they really “the worst of the worst,” as they say? I certainly did not have that experience with Michael Roberts, whom I journeyed with to that horrendous day of his execution on Oct. 3, 2001. He never denied his crime. He would have done anything to undo the violent murder he committed, but he could not.

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North St. Louis suffers from secret nuclear waste

Posted March 28, 2016

"The Atoms Next Door: A Symposium on Nuclear Waste and Occupational Illness" presented local artists' work documenting the decades-long secret radioactive contamination of neighborhoods in north St. Louis. ...

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Wise Hayes reads to a standing-room-only gathering.

Prison poets read their poems to the public, touch hearts

Posted March 4, 2016

Two current inmates and four former inmates read their poetry Feb. 16 at Johnson County Central Library in Overland Park, KS. The event marked the first time Lansing Correctional Facility, in Lansing, KS, allowed prisoners an evening of freedom to read to the public.… Their words were powerful and moving and explained in skillful detail the different hardships about being in prison and about life in general. …

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Joy First comes to trial for opposing ‘shadow drones’

Posted March 28, 2016

On Feb. 9, 2016, Judge Paul Curran found me guilty of trespass for walking onto the Air National Guard Base at Volk Field in Wisconsin on Aug. 26, 2015. I joined eight others … (we called for an end to) the program of training pilots to operate the “shadow drone” at Volk Field. Shadow drones are used overseas for reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition, and so contribute to the deaths of thousands of innocents through U.S. drone warfare. …

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Joy First

Best peace and justice letters of 2015

Posted February 29, 2016

Each month we publish the best peace letters that were published in The Kansas City Star in the previous month. 2015's best letter, to be acclaimed at the Annual Meeting on March 6, is entitled "Oppression in US." Preview it here.

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Brother Louis Rodemann stands opposite the old Kansas City Plant. Photo by Ann Suellentrop.

Bone

Posted February 12, 2016

Oh the load we carried
home from ’Nam.
The general ordered
“Kill the enemy,
Every one of them.”

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Dr. Angela Sims of St. Paul Seminary

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Forum
Move the Money: Concrete steps for economic justice

Posted February 12, 2016

About 200 persons from the community met with a panel of speakers Jan. 16, Martin Luther King Day, to explore raising the minimum wage and issues of racism and injustice.

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Bonnie Block found guilty of trespass—again

Posted February 12, 2016

Bonnie Block, of the Wisconsin Coalition to Ground the Drones, was found guilty Jan. 8 of trespass last August in a drone war protest. She spelled out for the court exactly why operating weaponized drones is illegal. …

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Cherith Brook on gun violence

Posted February 12, 2016

On Nov. 20, Cherith Brook Catholic Worker House hosted the viewing of the Presbyterian Church's documentary Trigger: The Ripple Effect of Gun Violence. Participants pondered true/false statements on the topic.

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National peace organization tackles Missouri issues

Posted February 12, 2016

The Alliance for Nuclear Accountability, a national watchdog concerning nuclear hazards and insanity, held its annual meeting in the KC Metro area in November. ANA members churned out ideas for local KC peace activists to follow up on. …

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“Peace on Your Wings”

Posted February 12, 2016

The Truman Library accepted the gift of an original Sadako peace crane on Nov. 19.

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Sr. Helen Prejean: listen to the truth about the death penalty

Posted February 12, 2016

Speaking at Unity Temple on the Plaza Oct. 30, Sister Helen Prejean clarified six widely held misconceptions about the death penalty, emphasizing racial injustice. …

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Sr. Helen Prejean. Photo by Lu Mountenay.

Sister Simone Campbell —by Lu Mountenay

Nuns on the Bus roll into town

Posted November 21, 2015

On September 11 we greeted the nuns as they rolled up for a Town hall meeting at Community Christian Church on Main Street, KCMO. CCC pastor Shanna Steitz introduced Sr. Simone Campbell as one who leads with love. She is a lawyer and annoyer of politicians, and is a voice for the voiceless. …

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Peace scholars enhance PeaceWorks’ vision, mission

Posted November 15, 2015

PeaceWorks-KC supports peace education for youth—in the world, in our community, and in personal life. Meet our new peace scholars. Victoria Surdyke and Angelae Alexander. …

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Victoria Surdyke

Angelae Alexander

Three legal volunteers with three released families.

Baby Jail

November 15, 2015

I was down in Dilley, Texas, to work at the South Texas Family Detention Facility for a week this summer, where 1947 women and children are in jail for crossing the southern border of Texas. On Thursday, our (legal assistance) group from Missouri walked to the Dilley's DQ. We walked at night, in the dark, alongside a road. Every time a car came, we had to step off the road into the ditch. I worried about the stickers, brambles, snakes, and about stepping in a hole and twisting an ankle. …

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Addicted to nuclear weapons?

Posted November 10, 2015

Are we addicted to nuclear weapons? This was a key question posed by Montreal artist and activist Robert Del Tredici when he visited Kansas City, Mo., Oct. 4 and spoke stirringly on behalf of PeaceWorks to audiences at the All Souls Forum and at UMKC. His recommendation: “Take a look … and come to your own conclusions. See what it inspires you to do.” …

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Photo of first atomic bomb test at Alamogordo, NM, by official photographer Berlyn Brixner of Los Alamos.

Peaceworks tshirts were a big hit at the UNplaza Art Fair. Photo by Lu Mountenay.

2015 UNplaza Art Fair is big success!

October 11, 2015

Perfect weather and praiseworthy artwork graced the 25th annual UNplaza Art Fair. Sponsored by PeaceWorks, KC, and staffed by generous volunteers, the local artists exhibited and sold their many unique and affordable works of art. …

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Exhibit, movies, talks
‘Hiroshima/Nagasaki: 70 Years Beyond the Bombings’

Posted August 15, 2015

Multiple local events are drawing PeaceWorks members and others to do exactly what Art Laffin of Washington, DC, says we must do in recalling the 1945 bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and resisting the build-up of the nuclear weapons arsenal:

Remember the pain.
Reclaim the future.

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Drawing by Hiroshima bomb survivor, part of exhibit; photo by Tom Fox of National Catholic Reporter

Carl Kabat, April 2015, outside federal court in Kansas City, Mo. Photo by Lu Mountenay

Carl Kabat splashes paint on sign at KC’s new nuclear weapons plant

August 18, 2015

Early on Aug. 9 Father Carl Kabat, OMI (Oblates of Mary Immaculate), continued his lifetime of anti-nuclear-weapon activism by splashing red paint, representing blood, on a sign at the new nuclear weapons parts plant in Kansas City, Mo. Kabat, detained about 30 hours, was released Aug. 10 from the Jackson County Detention Center in Kansas City, Mo. …

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Humanitarian Pledge to ban nukes

Posted August 18, 2015

Hope springs anew in the Humanitarian Pledge, formerly the Austrian Pledge, to outlaw nuclear weapons. By mid-August, 113 nations had signed the pledge. No nation with nuclear weapons has signed it, but the international commitment to ban nuclear weapons is gaining steam. …

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Richard Rhodes, keynote speaker for the Nagasaki commemoration. Photo courtesy of Richard Rhodes.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Rhodes to speak at August 9 Nagasaki commemoration

July 17, 2015

“Remembering Nagasaki: Propagating Hope” will be the theme of the observance, featuring keynote speaker Richard Rhodes, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the seminal history, The Making of the Atomic Bomb. For more than three decades the Kansas City. Kansas native has chronicled the history of nuclear weapons. …

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Ron Faust carries the globe. -- Photo by Jim Hannah

The Inertia of Goodness

June 12, 2015

… Life plays out amidst tensions
And sometimes it turns deadly evil …
Michael, Megan and Greg are Transformed Now
Plowsharers released from prison after two years …
        They confronted
The banality of evil and the inertia of goodness
And they acted. …

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The march of empire

by Ian Munro

Posted June 12, 2015

“A mighty military power is always a practical despotism. A great standing army and a great navy can quietly overturn popular institutions whenever their leaders may wish.” This was the warning of the editors of the Kansas City Times in 1886, when Republican Teddy Roosevelt was lobbying to increase the size of the U.S. military. The editors of the Times – a pro-Democratic-Party paper -- were against it, for reasons that have resonance today.…

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Photo from RT.com

Monarc, at right, with walkers. Photo by Jim Hannah.

Die-in caps Memorial Day walk/ride to ban nukes

May 29, 2015

“It felt important,” said Monarc, reflecting on the fourth annual PeaceWorks walk/ride from the old to the new plant in Kansas City, Mo., for making parts for nuclear weapons. … People affected by toxins at the old plant told their stories, and at the new plant, a die-in commemorated those dead from the old plant’s contaminants. …

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Brian Terrell dispels Obama’s ‘fog of war’ excuse for drone killings

Posted May 29, 2015

During a drone war protest at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri on May 17, Brian Terrell rejected the excuse President Barack Obama has made for drone killings of civilians: “the fog of war.” …

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Video by Mike Nickells.

Father Carl Kabat awaits his sentencing at the federal courthouse in KC. Photo by Lu Mountenay.

Troubled Judges in Kansas City

May 29, 2015

Father Carl Kabat, in court in April, poses a moral challenge to his judge, as did Henry Stoever in January. …

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Ann Suellentrop getting ready to embark on the Bike Away the Nuclear Bomb ride. Photo by Ann Suellentrop.

KC peace activist joins Bike Away the Atomic Bomb ride, going from D.C. to NYC

April 27, 2015

Ann Suellentrop, a leader of PeaceWorks-KC and Physicians for Social Responsibility-KC, joined the Bike Away the Atomic Bomb ride from Washington, D.C., to New York City April 21-24. Organized by Bike for Peace, Mayors for Peace, and the ATOM project, the ride was created to raise awareness about nuclear disarmament before the UN Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference in New York, which started April 27. …

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Lawyers ‘expose and close’ center detaining Latino women and children

Posted April 28, 2015

In August, volunteers from the American Immigration Lawyers Association traveled to Artesia, NM, to help at an immigration detention facility that was holding women and children from Central America. I am so grateful I had the opportunity to go and witness the atrocities. …

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Rallying for immigration reform. Photo courtesy of Reuters.

Do you hear what I hear?
Move the Money Listening Project

April 28, 2015

The American Friends Service Committee in KC, concerned about the dwindling federal funds to meet human needs and the rising funds for the military, conducted the Move the Money Listening Project and reported on it recently. We heard that 57% of the discretionary federal budget is allocated for the military. … We heard the AFSC would like to see that money more equitably spent. …

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PeaceWorks KC Annual Meeting a success!

Posted May 3, 2015

Photos by Jim Hannah

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Dee Berry and Ben Kjelshus (center) displaying their Charles E. Bebb Peace Merit Award with other award winners. Photo by Jim Hannah.

Dee Berry, Ben Kjelshus receive Peace Merit Award

May 3, 2015

Two long-time champions of the Green Party won the Peace Merit Award from PeaceWorks March 22—Dee Berry and Ben Kjelshus. Bestowing the award, Dave Pack said Dee and Ben “have worked their entire lives to unify peace and justice organizations to increase their impact.” …

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KKFI Public Affairs gets PeaceWorks award

Posted May 3, 2015

PeaceWorks gave the Kris and Lynn Cheatum Community Peace Award to KKFI Community Radio—Public Affairs on March 22. Thanks, KKFI! …

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The KKFI Public Affairs staff receiving the Kris and Lynn Cheatum Community Peace Award. Photo by Jim Hannah.

Alison Weir (left) and Dr. Anat Maor (right).

Is peace possible between Israel and Palestine?

March 17, 2015

Two speakers—one a former member of the Israeli Knesset (Congress), the other a journalist who has exposed flaws in U.S. media reports about the Israeli/ Palestinian conflict—probed war-and-peace issues March 5 in Overland Park, Kan. …

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Strands in the Web of Life

By Rosemarie Woods

Posted March 17, 2015

Today’s movements seek to put the "the welfare of the people" above corporate interests, unbridled greed and rampant consumerism. ... In Charles Dickens’ novel A Christmas Carol, the Ghost of Jacob Marley tells Scrooge that “mankind is my business, their common welfare is my business.” So it is with each of us. The Earth’s health is our business, our sisters’ and brothers’ welfare is our business. …

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At Whiteman AFB 6/1/14, Kathy Kelly & Georgia Walker offer officers bread and an indictment of drone warfare. —Andrew Nelson photo.

A Future in Prison

January 26, 2015

For the next 90 days, beginning tomorrow, I’ll live at FMC (Federal Medical Center) Lexington, in the satellite prison camp for women, adjacent to Lexington’s FMC for men. In December, Judge Matt Whitworth sentenced me to three months in federal prison after Georgia Walker and I had attempted to deliver a loaf of bread and a letter to the commander of Whiteman Air Force base, asking him to stop his troops from piloting lethal drone flights over Afghanistan from within the base. …

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Nuclear weapons case
How sweet it is: not guilty!

Posted January 25, 2015

Kansas City failed to prove that Henry Stoever had the mens rea (guilty mind, or criminal intent) for conviction of trespass at the new nuclear weapons parts plant in KCMO, a judge ruled Jan. 16. She also said the prosecution did not prove where the property line was. “I have to find you not guilty,” she told a surprised Stoever. …

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Mike Murphy records his (and others') reflections before Henry Stoever's trial; the comments were aired on KKFI, 90.1 FM, Community Radio. Photo by Jim Hannah.

Kathy Kelly, left, and Georgia Walker exit the Jefferson City courthouse, into the dark, after their all-day trial. Photo by Jane Stoever

One drone resister gets 3 months in prison, one gets probation

December 26, 2014

As prosecutors tried “a straightforward case of criminal trespass” in federal court Dec. 10, 2014, drone resisters Kathy Kelly and Georgia Walker offered testimony on why they resisted drone warfare at Whiteman Air Force Base June 1. …

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Georgia Walker, Photo by Jim Hannah

Georgia Walker, Kathy Kelly speak in KC on night before putting drones on trial

December 26, 2014

Two drone protesters explained their June 1 civil resistance to supporters on Dec. 9. …

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Kathy Kelly, Photo by Jim Hannah

Drones on trial
Save dates: 12/9 (pm, KC), 12/10 (all day, Jeff City)

Posted November 13, 2014

Kathy Kelly and Georgia Walker came to federal court Wednesday, Nov. 12, for their June 1 protest of remote control of killer drones from Whiteman AFB. Now Kathy and Georgia are putting drones on trial. Join PeaceWorks events in KC Tuesday, Dec. 9, and at court in Jeff City Dec. 10. …

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Kathy Kelly (left) and Georgia Walker are arrested June 1 at Whiteman Air Force Base, offering bread and an indictment against drone warfare. The guards took the bread, not the indictment. Photo by Andrew Nelson.

Henry Stoever at rally before court hearing for nuke resistance. Photo by Ann Suellentrop.

Nuke resisters come to court in KC

October 31, 2014

Two folks who crossed a forbidden line came to Municipal Court in Kansas City, Mo., for a hearing Oct. 21. Mark Bartholomew pleaded “guilty” of stepping across the line at KC's new nuke-parts plant, and received a sentence: 40 hours of community service. Henry Stoever pleaded “not guilty,” and got a trial date: Friday, Jan. 16 at 1:30 PM in Courtroom D ... At the rally before the hearing, Mark observed that people say they hope they never have to use the nuclear weapons. He added, “In our investing billions of dollars—plus time, energy towards upgrading and maintaining them—we are saying we are still willing, very willing, to use them.” …

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Georgia Walker’s sentence: probation for 1 year

Posted October 3, 2014

The judge and prosecutor wanted to consider only a line-crossing. Civil resister Georgia Walker and her lawyer wanted to expose the evil of nuclear weapons, the scourge of contaminants from making the weapons. The verdict: guilty of trespass May 31, 2014, at Bannister Federal Complex, the site in Kansas City, Mo., for production of parts for nuclear weapons since 1949. The sentence: A year’s probation. …

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Video by Ann Suellentrop with editing by Mike Nickells.

Photos by Jim Hannah

UNplaza Art Fair 2014

September 25, 2014

Delighted customers, more than 75 local artists, kids a-crafting, and a kaleidoscope of art—what a joy was our UNplaza Art Fair! Held Sept. 20-21 on the verdant grounds of All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church in KC, MO, our fair, PeaceWorks’ only annual fundraiser, benefitted the artists and PeaceWorks. …

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Can you tell a hearing from a trial?

Posted September 9, 2014

Court news re Georgia Walker, Kathy Kelly, Henry Stoever, Mark Bartholomew, Jim Hannah, Carl Kabat

Civil resisters to nuclear weapons and drones come to court soon. Good reasons for peace people to gather in support! …

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From left, Jim Hannah, Mark Bartholomew, and Henry Stoever crossing the line at NNSA plant.

Lu Mountenay reading her Prayer to the Earth at the nuclear weapons plant 'DEADication' Aug. 22. Photo by Jim Hannah

Prayer to the Earth
by Lu Mountenay at the new nuclear weapons facility Aug. 22, 2014

September 6, 2014

Creator Spirit, bless this earth. Forgive us for what will happen here. We know it is not your will. We did all we could to stop this course of destruction, and we will continue our work—because Peace Works! Greed has won … for now. The Temple of Doom is erected. They’re cutting ribbons, and as they do, they’re cutting our lifeline to a healthier earth. It promises threats and bullying politics, at best … suffering and death at worst. Today, we can make one more small attempt toward healing—the healing of sunflowers, and our prayers and protests that we plant with them. …

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Are we dedicated to life, or ‘DEADicated’ to death?

Posted September 1, 2014

Fifty-five peace activists rallied at the entry road to the new nuclear weapons parts plant in Kansas City, Mo., on Aug. 22. Invited dignitaries, indoors, were dedicating the new facility. The activists mourned the “DEADication” of the plant, marching with a cardboard coffin and spreading sunflower seeds to renew the earth from radioactive destruction. They supported three civil resisters who stepped onto the publicly owned property dedicated to producing weapons of mass destruction. …

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Funeral procession vs. new nuke-parts plant. Videos by Mike Nickells

Ron Faust displays the NBC Action News 2011 list of persons dead (154) and injured (about 250) from contaminants at Bannister Federal Complex, site of the former nuclear weapons parts plant. --Jim Hannah photo

Re-DEAD-ication to a Death Wish

by Ron Faust

September 1, 2014

Here lies the building that makes nuclear weapons
And our eyes are glazed over by its enormity
But today’s private dedication might fail to mention
Any consequences that could cause moral discomfort

We hear Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, over, over and over again
As the number one reason for building this plant
But does anyone ask if these are “Good Green Jobs”
Which offer constructive rather than destructive results?

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69 years since Nagasaki: painful memories, hopeful notes

Posted September 21, 2014

“A zombie apocalypse” is how Gayle June tried to describe the aftermath of the bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, 69 years ago. Speaking Aug. 9 at PeaceWorks’ annual observance, June recounted the horrific scene his mother witnessed as she surfaced from an underground factory at ground zero on Aug. 9, 1945. … Commenting on the 69 soundings of a gong, June told the gathering, “You all, with our family, share the hope that Aug. 9, 1945, was the LAST time humankind ever used this insane weapon on itself. Each chime of that gong is for me a cause of celebration, that we’ve gone another year without the use of this terrible weapon.” …

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Photos by Jim Hannah.

Illustration from The Emperor's New Clothes.

All Souls hosts Hiroshima commemoration and call to action

September 21, 2014

Denial. Despair. Or Defiance. Those are the three options in response to the threat of nuclear weapons, said PeaceWorks-KC board member Jim Hannah on Aug. 10. Recalling the fable of “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” he urged, “Someone has to say, ‘The emperor has no clothes!’” He drew a parallel to nuclear weapons, saying, “I truly believe that one day, not too distant, nuclear weapons will be seen for the incredibly wasteful, ineffective, irrational, and immoral weapons of mass destruction they truly are.” …

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Ron Faust delivering an original poem at the Hiroshima/Nagasaki Remembrance.

Moral Outrage
by Ron Faust 8/9/14, concerning the new nuclear weapon facility

September 22, 2014

We hide our moral discomfort
By saying that it is all about jobs
Rather than looking at the end products
And wondering if our dignity has
Anything to do with our destiny
So that we have invariably linked
The arms race with the human race …

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Great news! Whiteman AFB drops charges against Tamara Severns

Posted September 6, 2014

On April 6, PeaceWorks members and others gathered outside Whiteman Air Force Base in Knob Noster, Mo., to rally against drone warfare. Tamara Severns was unexpectedly arrested for trespassing as she walked toward the Visitor’s Center to use the restroom, which activists had used at other rallies. On Aug. 12, Tamara received word from lawyer Ruth O’Neill of Columbia, Mo., that the case had been dismissed without prejudice. Tamara responded: “Great news!” …

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Tamara Severns after release from arrest April 6

U.S. mayors speak out for abolition of nuclear weapons

Posted August 19, 2014

The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) on June 23 unanimously adopted a sweeping new resolution calling for U.S. Participation in International Nuclear Disarmament Forums at the annual USCM meeting in Texas. …

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Israel’s drones

Posted August 14, 2014

The United States isn’t the only country using armed drones to carry out “extrajudicial executions” that cause the death of innocent civilians. Israel’s use of drones goes back to the 1970s. The country is now a major producer of UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) and related technology sold to almost 50 countries. …

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Executions ‘on a roll’

August 12, 2014

Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, at their annual meeting in June, lit six candles in memory of victims of consecutive monthly executions from November 2013 to April 2014. Keynote speaker Sean O’Brien said that just as the most dangerous time in war is right before a cease-fire, when countries hurry to grab land or other resources, so we are “witnessing the last gasps of the death penalty in Missouri,” evidenced by the rate of recent executions. …

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Urban Rangers engage in conflict resolution work. –Photo by Don Ivans

Urban Rangers dip into conflict resolution

Posted August 14, 2014

“How many of you know somebody who’s been in prison 10 years?” asks the speaker. Among the 45 members of the Urban Ranger Corps, age 14-18, only a few hands go up. “I was in for 20 years,” says the speaker. “I was in a conflict. The choices I made in running with ‘friends’ got me locked up for 20 years.” With this opener, the Rangers spend a morning wrestling with conflict resolution ideas. PeaceWorks funds two of these sessions each summer for the Rangers. …

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Carl Kabat ‘sloshes’ red paint on sign at KC nuke-parts plant July 4

Posted July 7, 2014

Father Carl Kabat, at 10 a.m. on July 4, splashed paint on the huge entry sign at the National Security Campus, the new facility in KC, Mo., for making parts for nuclear weapons. In a 10:03 a.m. phone call, Kabat said, “This damned plant has got to be closed somehow, some way.” …

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NNSA sign painted red. Photo by Henry Stoever.

Kathy Kelly and Georgia Walker talk to officers at WAFB. Photo by Shane Franklin.

Resisters offer bread and an indictment to Whiteman AFB officers

June 22, 2014

On Sunday, June 1, about 60 of us Trifecta Resista participants went to Whiteman Air Force Base to protest drone warfare. Georgia Walker and Kathy Kelly, holding warning tape saying "Caution Peligro" and the brand name "Empire," were arrested for trespass. When asked earlier about crossing the line at the base, with possibly 4-6 months in prison, Kathy replied, “It’s impossible to find actions commensurate with the crimes being committed in wars and preparation for wars. Commensurate actions elude us. But we can each do what we can.” …

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Witness for the witnesses: learning as we go

Posted June 22, 2014

I am reliving yesterday, June 1, as our group ... intentionally observed ... two witnesses for justice and peace. … Georgia and Kathy crossed over the line onto military property, after being clearly warned of arrest. … It hasn’t always happened this way. ... At the previous protest, one of our own fell through the cracks of community watch-care. Tamara Severns, who came to do legal witness, had not been present to hear the warning of the guard. … She was arrested unceremoniously, roughly, without warning, and without witnesses. …

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(From left) Georgia Walker, Tamara Severns, Kathy Kelly at Whiteman Air Force Base entry June 1, 2014, before Georgia and Kathy cross the line--Tamara was awaiting court date for April 6 line-crossing. Photo by Andrew Nelson.

Georgia Walker and Ethan Hughes handcuffed at Bannister Federal Complex. Photo by Jim Hannah

Resisters decry toxins, cross property line at Bannister Federal Complex

June 15, 2014

Trifecta Resista went to the old Kansas City Plant for making parts for nuclear weapons on May 31. Our demand: comprehensive cleanup of toxins there. Our hope: a nuclear-weapon-free world by 2020. Georgia Walker, a PeaceWorks Board member, and Ethan Hughes of the Possibility Alliance at LaPlata, Mo., were arrested for trespass. Georgia was bailed out late May 31, and Ethan was released on time served June 2. See a video of the action and arrest. Action at the KC NNSA Plant (Trifecta Resista 2014)

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Pardon for Chelsea Manning!

Posted June 14, 2014

About 50 Trifecta Resista activists gathered May 31 at the gate of Fort Leavenworth to call for pardon for Pvt. Chelsea Manning. Deb Van Poolen from Montana, who attended Chelsea’s court-martial last year, said, “Chelsea blew the whistle on war crimes. People in the military need to hear from us: If you want to take a stand to highlight war crimes, we want to support you.” …

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Henry Stoever and Deb Van Poolen at Chelsea Manning demonstration. Photo by Jim Hannah.

Rally for Greg Boertje-Obed outside US Penitentiary in Leavenworth, KS. Photo by Jim Hannah

Pardon for Greg Boertje-Obed!

June 14, 2014

The May 30-June 1 Trifecta Resista in and around Kansas City, MO, led the peace-seekers to the U.S. Penitentiary in Leavenworth, KS, to call for pardon for Greg Boertje-Obed. He's begun serving a sentence there of about 5 years for his "Transform Now Plowshares" civil resistance at the Y-12 facility in Oak Ridge, TN, that stores uranium for nuclear weapons. …

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Urban Ranger Corps in KC—Peace right here!

Posted June 15, 2014

PeaceWorks-KC supports the efforts of the Urban Ranger Corps of Kansas City to help prepare at-risk inner-city youth for responsible and productive futures. …

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Photo courtesy of Urban Ranger Corps.

Betsy Keenan dances with Cassandra Dixon July 13 at the entry to KC’s new nuke-parts plant, with the oxymoron for a name: National Security Campus. Photo by Bryan Lloyd

What if another nation nuked us? Would your mind change about nukes?

May 18, 2014

Judge Ardie Bland asked nuclear weapon resisters to write (for a sentence) about whether their opposition to nukes would change if another nation were to bomb the U.S., or if Axis nations had used nuclear weapons first in World War II. All nine defendants responded, with various degrees of intensity, NO! …

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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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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

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 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


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Piechart Courtesy of the War Resisters League
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