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NUCLEAR WATCH SOUTH | TRIDENT

NUCLEAR WEAPONS, MILITARISM, RACISM
To Protect Black Lives,
Georgia’s Laws Have to Change

Martin Luther King Jr. warned that a country that spends more on its military than on its citizens risks spiritual death

BRUNSWICK, GA 5/29/2020: Martin Luther King Jr., in his important April 1967 speech, warned of the evil triplets of militarism, extreme materialism and racism in America. These factors combined lethally in the murder of Ahmaud Arbery by white men in Brunswick, Georgia on February 23. All three are enshrined in the laws and culture that made the McMichaels feel like heroes when they loaded guns to chase a young black man jogging in their neighborhood.

Like the Trident nuclear arsenal amassed just 30 miles south of the neighborhood where Ahmaud was shot, Georgia’s citizen’s arrest and gun laws are deadly and immoral. Like Trident, these laws’ very existence serves as a loaded gun to threaten and intimidate people of color all day, every day, whether they are used or not. And the deaths resulting from our government’s spending on militarism rather than human needs (nuclear weapons rather than health care, for example), like the deaths resulting from these types of gun laws, are disproportionately visited upon people of color and the poor, who are also, under a system of white supremacy, disproportionately people of color.

Teresa Grady of Beyond Trident participated in Justice for Ahmaud rally in Btunswick, Georgia, on May 16, 2020.Racism, militarism and greed combine in laws that attempt to make these deaths, these nuclear weapons that could destroy all life on earth and these shootings of black men who dare to jog in white neighborhoods acceptable because they are “legal.”

If we want to stop killings like that of Ahmaud Arbery, we must change the laws that encourage them. If we want to bring about justice, we must repeal the laws that obstruct it. Despite COVID-19, we can all run with Ahmaud by calling our state legislators. Phone calls are much more effective than emails and exponentially more effective than online petitions.

If you really want to make a difference, please make some phone calls.

You can find your legislators’ contact information by entering your address at https://openstates.org/find_your_legislator/

Before you call:

Read the background information provided below so that you feel comfortable, but keep in mind that you do not have to make yourself an expert to ask for these changes. As a member of this community who has been impacted by this killing and this culture, your opinion is important and your feelings and values matter.

When you call:

• Be polite. Tell the person who answers the phone your name and that you are a constituent and you want to talk to Representative X (or Senator Y) or the relevant staff person about the legal changes that are needed to prevent incidents like the killing of Ahmaud Arbery.

• You may not be able to speak with your legislator in person. More likely, you will speak with a staff person, who will pass your message along in one form or another.

• Make sure your request is clear: I want Representative X (or Senator Y) to work for repeal of these Georgia laws:

1. Open Carry
2. Citizen’s Arrest
3. Lethal Force in Self-defense, aka “stand your ground”

• Tell them why this is so important to you and make it personal.

• Ask them what Representative X or Senator Y is doing about these issues. If the answer doesn’t satisfy you, say politely that you expect them to do more, or differently. Ask them to make sure the legislator knows this.

• Thank them for their time.

Freshly painted mural of Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, GeorgiaBackground: Although it seems that under a strict interpretation of these laws, the McMichaels are still legally guilty of murder, vague legal language combined with pervasive racial bias can lead juries to bring in not guilty verdicts in cases like these, which further empowers and encourages anti-black vigilantism. These laws were cited by District Attorney George Barnhill, who eventually recused himself, in a letter to the Glynn County police department as reasons why the McMichaels’ actions were “perfectly legal.” Laws like these were used to let George Zimmerman walk free after killing Trayvon Martin in Florida and to justify the unjustifiable killing of black people by police all over the country. These are the laws that the McMichaels’ attorneys will undoubtedly use to argue the innocence of their clients.

Georgia’s Open Carry Law

Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 16-11-126 allows any person to openly carry a handgun if the person has a “weapons carry” license. Georgia also allows any person to openly carry a long gun. In fact, if a long gun is carried while it is loaded, it must be carried openly.

“Carrying openly visible guns in public can quickly turn arguments fatal, be used to intimidate and suppress the First Amendment rights of others, and create confusion for law enforcement responding to shootings.” Giffords Law Center

“Violent extremists and hate criminals often use guns as a tool to threaten and intimidate members of historically vulnerable or marginalized communities. In doing so, they inflict serious harm without ever pulling the trigger.” Center for American Progress

Georgia’s Citizen’s Arrest Law

O.C.G.A. § 17-4-60 Grounds for arrest, states “A private person may arrest an offender if the offense is committed in his presence or within his immediate knowledge. If the offense is a felony and the offender is escaping or attempting to escape, a private person may arrest him upon reasonable and probable grounds of suspicion.”

This law was invoked in 2019 after a young white woman chased down a 62-year-old black man who left the scene of a minor car accident, began punching him and then shot him dead in Atlanta. She was not personally involved in the accident.

“Reasonable and probable grounds of suspicion” is not defined, leaving this law open to interpretation by vigilantes, law enforcement and members of juries whose bias leads them to see black people as criminals and a black man running as proof of guilt.

Not surprisingly, this law dates to the civil war era. In 2020, with cell phones, 911 calls and generally fast police responsiveness, it is obsolete and dangerous.

Georgia’s Self-Defense “Stand Your Ground” Law

Under O.C.G.A. § 16-3-21, people who “reasonably believe” that their life or property is being threatened don't have to retreat (stand your ground) and can use deadly force if they think it's necessary to prevent their own death or "great bodily injury" to themselves or other people or to prevent a "forcible felony," such as rape, armed robbery or kidnapping. While there are exceptions to the use of deadly force that apply to the McMichaels – if the person using deadly force was the aggressor, or initially provoked the other person – District Attorney George Barnhill interpreted the McMichael’s actions as justified under this law.

A jury may do so as well. “Stand your ground” has been used successfully as a defense even when the ground the killer was standing on had been reached by stalking the victim, as in the Trayvon Martin case.

This law was unsuccessfully challenged in 2012 as “unconstitutionally vague,” particularly with regard to the standard of “reasonable fear” as reported in a Courthouse News article.

“It is without question that the determination of the reasonableness of one’s fear in the invocation of self-defense will differ in application if the decedent is an unarmed elderly white woman as opposed to an unarmed young black man,” the complaint states. “Thus the reasonable person standard with regards to the use of self-defense when an individual is standing one’s ground offers different levels of protection to individuals based upon their race.”

The Giffords Law Center lists these important facts:

Multiple studies show that Florida’s stand your ground law escalated violence across the state.

Stand your ground laws have proven to be a clear threat to public safety, with no evidence that these laws deter crime. In fact, studies have conclusively associated these laws with increases in homicides and injuries.

In many cases, the race of the attacker and victim are highly significant factors in whether an attack is determined to be justified.

• Controlling for other factors, the odds a white-on-black homicide is found justified is 281% greater than the odds a white-on-white homicide is found justified.

• An analysis of Florida stand your ground cases similarly found that a defendant is twice as likely to be convicted in a case that involves white victims compared to those involving non-white victims.




Beyond Trident Campaign Launched in Georgia

Beyond Trident Campaign Launched in 2020 to raise local awareness of the environmental and economic impacts of the Kings Bay Trident nuclear submarine base in Camden County, Georgia.

BRUNSWICK, GA 4/4/20 Local activists Robert Randall, Roxane George, Teresa Berrigan Grady and Sarah Cool have been meeting with local and statewide citizen activists to launch a new campaign to bring increased awareness to the impact of Kings Bay Trident nuclear submarine base on the coastal Georgia environment and economy.

The Beyond Trident Campaign aims to resist U.S. Navy plans to expand and modernize Kings Bay to accommodate a new, larger submarine fleet as part of the U.S. instigation of a new global nuclear arms race.

The Beyond Trident Campaign mission is to abolish nuclear weapons and power by focusing on the intersections between racism, militarism and excessive materialism. The purpose is to change hearts and minds in order to generate active resistance to nuclear weapons in south coastal Georgia. The Beyond Trident Campaign will work to ensure that the community conversations about nuclear weapons that have been inspired by the actions of the Kings Bay Plowshares 7 will continue and expand into support for a nuclear ban.

Beyond Trident aims to increase and support the involvement of activists and community members in Camden County, where the base is located, and in Glynn County, where most of the activities related to the Kings Bay Plowshares 7 have taken place. A related goal is to encourage people in Camden County to think about ways to diversify the local economy, which was not always dependent on Kings Bay Naval Base. Beyond Trident intends to provide people in both Glynn and Camden Counties with information and tools to urge their elected officials to support the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and to oppose the U.S. nuclear weapons modernization currently underway.

Beyond Trident will work to create bridges between groups and issues to increase local understanding of the intersections between racism, militarism and extreme materialism.

BEYOND TRIDENT CAMPAIGN
P.O. Box 421
Brunswick, GA 31521
912-495-8395
BeyondTrident@gmail.com

TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATIONS MAY BE MADE TO BEYOND TRIDENT
THROUGH NUCLEAR WATCH SOUTH
(designate "BEYOND TRIDENT")





Kings Bay Plowshares 7 Historic Action Targets Georgia Trident Nuclear Submarine Base


Catholic peace activists confront nuclear weapons and U.S. militarism on 4/4/18 in observance of 50 year anniversary of Martin Luther King's murder

BRUNSWICK, GA 6/9/19 Seven Catholic plowshares activists entered Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in St. Mary’s, Georgia on April 4th, 2018.  They went to make real the prophet Isaiah’s command to “beat swords into plowshares.”

The Kings Bay Plowshares 7 (KBP7), chose to act on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who devoted his life to addressing what he called the “triple evils of militarism, racism and materialism.” Carrying hammers and baby bottles of their own blood, the seven attempted to convert weapons of mass destruction. They hoped to call attention to the ways in which nuclear weapons kill every day, by their mere existence and maintenance.

The USS Florida enters Kings Bay submarine base

Northern Right Whale and calf are spotted off the coast of Florida. The Kings Bay Trident submarine base is the only known right whale calving area on Earth. Right whale births have plummeted contributing to concerns that the endangered right whale may become extinct.Kings Bay Naval base opened in 1979 as the Navy’s Atlantic Ocean Trident port.  The largest nuclear submarine base in the world, President Jimmy Carter, a former submariner, used his influence to have the base sited in his home state of Georgia. The St. Mary's Sound where the five-story tall, 200-yard long submarines are based is the only known calving area for the endangered right whale. There are six ballistic missile subs and two guided missile subs based at Kings Bay. Each Trident submarine carries enough nuclear weapons to qualify as the third largest nuclear power on Earth.

The activists went to three sites on the base: The SWFLANT administration building, the D5 Missile monument installation and the nuclear weapons storage bunkers.  The activists used crime scene tape, hammers and hung banners reading: “The ultimate logic of racism is genocide - Dr. Martin Luther King”, “The ultimate logic of Trident is omnicide” and “Nuclear weapons: illegal / immoral.” They also brought an indictment charging the U.S. government for crimes against peace.


Elizabeth Liz McAlister Father Stephen Kelly, SJ Carmen Trotta

Liz McAlister

Fr. Steve Kelly, SJ

Carmen Trotta

The activists at the nuclear weapons storage bunkers were Elizabeth McAlister, 78, of Jonah House, Baltimore; Fr. Steve Kelly SJ, 69, of the Bay Area, California; and Carmen Trotta, 55, of the New York Catholic Worker. Elizabeth "Liz" McAlister is the widow of famed founder of the Plowshares Movement, Philip Berrigan. Father Steve Kelly participated in a similar action at the west coast Kitsap Trident base in Bangor, WA, in 2009.


Clare Grady Martha Hennessey Mark Colville Patrick O'Neill

Clare Grady

Martha Hennessey

Mark Colville

Patrick O'Neill

At the Strategic Weapons Facility Atlantic Administration building were Clare Grady, 59, of the Ithaca Catholic Worker; and Martha Hennessy, 62, of the New York Catholic Worker. At the Trident D5 monuments were Mark Colville, 55, of the Amistad Catholic Worker, New Haven, Connecticut; and Patrick O’Neill, 61, of the Fr. Charlie Mulholland Catholic Worker, Garner, North Carolina. Martha Hennessey is the granddaughter of Catholic Worker founder Dorothy Day who is being considered for canonization.

Still incarcerated in Brunswick, Georgia, at the Glynn County Detention Center are Mark Colville, Liz McAlister and Father Steve Kelly. The other four Plowshares activists are under house arrest and forced to wear ankle monitors. The KBP7 will have their arguments for Religious Freedom Restoration Act defense heard in federal court in Brunswick on August 7, 2019.

This is the latest of 100 similar actions around the world beginning in 1980 in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.

LEARN MORE AT KINGSBAYPLOWSHARES7.ORG

WRITE TO THE KBP7 PRISONERS!




DISARM TRIDENT


DISARM TRIDENT
SAVANNAH TO KINGS BAY PEACE WALK
SEPTEMBER 3-14, 2018

SUPPORT KINGS BAY PLOWSHARES 7

FOR MORE INFO SEE VETERANS FOR PEACE

OPEN LETTER FROM PATRICK O'NEILL

Patrick O'Neill is the father of eight children, and is the cofounder of the Fr. Charlie Mulholland Catholic Worker House in Garner, NC. He is one of the Kings Bay Plowshares 7 which committed civil disobedience at the Trident Base on April 4, 2018. He is awaiting trial in Brunswick, GA.

DISARM TRIDENT Kings Bay Plowshares 7 on April 4, 2018 before trespassing on the Trident Submarine Base in Georgia on the 50th anniversary of the murder of Martin Luther King Jr.

The Kings Bay Plowshares 7 are, from left: Clare Grady, Elizabeth McAlister, Patrick O'Neill, Carmen Trotta, Father Steve Kelly, Martha Hennessey and Mark Colville.

ST. MARYS, GA -- Among the small cadre of peace activists living in Camden County, Georgia, few are willing to endure the scorn — or worse — of their friends and neighbors should they publicly profess their support for the Kings Bay Plowshares, the group of seven Roman Catholic pacifists who on April 4, 2018 entered the Trident submarine base and hammered on a few idols. So it goes.

In the three-plus decades since President Jimmy Carter brought Trident to southeast Georgia, the Navy base has been welcomed by the Camden County community and beyond.

We are so unpopular that my first cousin who lives in Jacksonville, FL, told my wife that she was afraid to visit me in the Camden County jail because the FBI might ask her questions if she did. 

So what gives? Why did the seven of us leave our friends and families behind to risk jail and prison? Since Trident is almost without opposition, we were compelled by our Catholic faith to come to St. Marys on the 50th anniversary of Georgia native Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination to warn the world about the dangers of Trident. 

One Trident submarine carries a payload of D-5 nuclear missiles that could end life as we know it. Trident is literally a diabolical doomsday machine embraced by most Americans as virtuous and godly.

Such unquestioning assent to these weapons of mass destruction is idolatry of the most dangerous kind. The D-5 is a weapon of mass idolatry. Our action is a wake-up call to Georgians and to the nation that Trident is not proper to life and must be disarmed. Humanity is in a race against time. Either we abolish nuclear weapons or their eventual use will abolish us. The risk of nuclear weapons being deployed — whether by accident, computer hacking or in war — has become an "acceptable risk" for our world.

Disaster almost struck on Sept. 26, 1983, when a Soviet command center for the Oko nuclear early-warning system erroneously reported a nuclear missile had been launched from the United States, followed by up to five more. It was only the cautious response by Soviet Air Defense Forces Lieutenant Colonel Stanislave Yevgrafovich Petrov, who suspected a computer error was to blame, that prevented a "retaliatory" nuclear attack on the United States. Petrov, who died May 19, 2017, became known as "the man who single-handedly saved the world from nuclear war."

This is madness. Nuclear weapons are risky death-dealing props disguised as deterrents. The U.S. deploys them and, like other nuclear powers, we train our military personnel to launch them without question when ordered to do so.

This is our peril every second of every day. Worse, our WMDs represent our willingness as a nation to inflict horror of an untold magnitude on our fellow humans.

So, Elizabeth McAlister, 78 - grandmother and widow of iconic peace prophet, Philip Berrigan; Martha Hennessy, 63; granddaughter of Dorothy Day, a 20th century Catholic pacifist who will likely be canonized by the Catholic Church; Fr. Stephen Kelly, S.J., 69, who like Pope Francis, is a Jesuit priest; and Catholic Workers Clare Grady, 59; Carmen Trotta, 55; Mark Colville, 56; and myself, sit and wait for our chance to put Trident on trial in federal court.

Trident is illegal under international law because treaties, which the U.S. has signed, prohibit the manufacture and deployment of WMDs [Weapons of Mass Destruction]. Pope Francis recently said, the "very possession" of nuclear weapons is to be "firmly condemned." Christians are called to love their enemies.

Today, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists "Doomsday Clock" stands at two minutes, 30 seconds to midnight, the closest it's been to Armageddon in more than 50 years.

Like lemmings hurtling to the sea, we humans act as if "nuclear posing" is the only way to insure peace for our children and grandchildren. Distracted by this presumption, we ignore the greatest threat to human survival: our world on nuclear hair-trigger alert.

The Kings Bay Plowshares, acting on the words of the Old Testament prophet Isaiah, decided to "beat swords into plowshares." (Isaiah 2:4) Our actions were a minor transgression of the law, yet we are facing three felony charges, one misdemeanor and likely prison sentences. The court is protecting Trident, and leaving us all dangerously vulnerable to nuclear attack.

Let us recall the prescient words of Dr. King: "The choice is no longer between violence and nonviolence, it is either nonviolence or non-existence."    

Trident submarine at the Kings Bay Base on the coast of Georgia

Kings Bay is the home for the Navy’s Atlantic-based nuclear-powered Trident submarines armed with ballistic, or guided, nuclear missiles.

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"To the village square
we must carry the facts
of atomic energy.
From there must come America's voice."

ALBERT EINSTEIN



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BEATING SWORDS INTO PLOWSHARES
by Patrick O'Neill Outrider Post


NUCLEAR WEAPONS AND THE LEGACY
OF DR. KING

by Vince Intondi
Outrider Post


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SOLIDARITY VIGIL/FAST IN SUPPORT OF KBP7 AUGUST 7, 2019 HEARING IN
BRUNSWICK, GA

for info e-mail:
Kathy Kelly


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VIGIL AT GATES TO KINGS BAY EVERY 3RD SATURDAY

for info e-mail:
Robert Randall


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