Justice Action Bulletin: Mother's Day for Peace arrests; Catonsville 9 memorial

This article appears in the Justice Action Bulletin feature series. View the full series.

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Protesters hold a banner while blocking the Main Gate entrance to Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor May 12 as part of a protest against the Trident submarine base in honor of Mother's Day for Peace. (Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action/Glen Milner)
Protesters hold a banner while blocking the Main Gate entrance to Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor May 12 as part of a protest against the Trident submarine base in honor of Mother's Day for Peace. (Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action/Glen Milner)

Editor's note: Welcome to NCR's Justice Action Bulletin, where every Tuesday we bring you the latest news on active nonviolence in the service of peace and justice. Do you have news you would like to share? Contact Maria Benevento at mbenevento@ncronline.org.


SILVERDALE, WASHINGTON — Ten activists were cited for trespassing after they blocked the road to a naval base May 12.

The activists, who carried banners reading, "The Earth is our mother. Treat her with respect" and "We can all live without Trident," were part of a larger group of 42 people participating in a vigil at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor to protest the Trident submarine base it houses.

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Those cited were Sue Ablao of Bremerton; Larry Kerschner of Centralia; Kim Loftness and Ramon Nacanaynay of Shoreline; Doug Milholland of Port Townsend; Margarita Muñoz and Dale Rector of Seattle; Christine and Tom Rogers of Poulsbo; and Michael Siptroth of Belfair.

The Seattle Peace Chorus Action Ensemble led protest songs during the event and one activist crossed into federal jurisdiction to present a letter addressed to the base commander. She was allowed to return without being arrested.

According to a May 14 press release from the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action, which sponsored the event, the Trident base is the "largest concentration of deployed nuclear weapons in the U.S. and is the home port for 8 of the Navy’s 14 Trident ballistic missile submarines." According to its website, Ground Zero has celebrated Mother's Day for Peace annually for more than 30 years.


WASHINGTON — The Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for a Moral Revival launched six weeks of nonviolent direct action and civil disobedience on May 13 ahead of protests at more than 30 U.S. statehouses and the U.S. Capitol May 14.

"We have to cry loud until hearts are changed. We have to cry loud until workers are paid what they deserve. It's time to cry loud with every bit of love. Somebody's hurting our people, and we won't be silent anymore," the Rev. William Barber, who heads the campaign along with the Rev. Liz Theoharis, said at a mass meeting May 13.

Framed as a continuation, 50 years later, of the Poor People's Campaign started by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the campaign is focused on reform of voting rights laws; addressing poverty, ecological devastation, and militarism; and addressing "our distorted moral narrative."


CATONSVILLE, MARYLAND — Ahead of May 17, the 50th anniversary of their famous protest action, the "Catonsville Nine" were recognized by the state of Maryland with a memorial marker sponsored by the Maryland Historical Trust and the state highway department, The Baltimore Sun reported May 5. 

The protesters, led by Philip Berrigan, then a Josephite priest, and Jesuit Fr. Dan Berrigan, raided the Catonsville Draft Board May 17, 1968, and doused the draft records they took with homemade napalm in a nearby parking lot.

"The Catonsville action played an important role in the antiwar movement, inspiring similar acts of civil disobedience across the country," the sign reads, it part. It is located on the grounds of the Catonsville Public Library because the site of the protest, a Knights of Columbus banquet hall across the street, declined to accept the sign.

While the sign and the actions that inspired it are controversial, locals are planning vigils, symposiums and film screenings, The Baltimore Sun reported May 9. The Maryland Historical Society is hosting an exhibit of artwork by one of the nine that opened May 12.

[Maria Benevento is an NCR Bertelsen intern. Her email address is mbenevento@ncronline.org.]


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