2021 Pacific Life Community Gathers and Resists online

Members of the Pacific Life Community are sad not to meet in person this year in Las Vegas as planned for our 14th annual Bravo Test Nuclear Memorial Weekend of Action. So much is going on, it was hard planning a pivot until February was upon us. If you are a part of the PLC but might not be receiving messages on the listserve, please contact Jim Haber (See below) for information about additional meeting times for the group’s internal reflection.

In 2021, the PLC is hosting a conversation with two illustrious representatives of sister antinuclear organizations on Saturday, February 27, and we have initiated a call for actions (safe and non-arrest oriented) on Monday, March 1.

At the conclusion of PLC nuclear test memorial weekends, we always vigil at a nearby nuclear weapons facility like a Trident submarine base, a missile plant, or the Nevada Test Site. Several members usually take federal or state charges for impeding in some way the ongoing crimes there that are unavoidable with nuclear weapons arsenals, even leading to legal proceedings and even jail time.

This year, we are encouraging people to act, but not with potential arrest actions. Three ways to join us on March 1:

  • Socially distance vigil at a local site connected to the nuclear weapons complex with visuals to be uploaded and shared together on social media, starting with the PLC Facebook page
  • Sign our March 1 petition to President Biden so he knows people want nuclear weapons abolished, not upgraded. [Link to follow soon. -Jim]
  • Use #nuclearban as much as you possibly can on March 1 (…and then some!)

But first, on Saturday, please join us for a vitally thought- and action- provoking conversation:

Introduced and Moderated by PLC member, Jim Haber
  • How is the disarmament movement working to build momentum and halt nuclear proliferation?
  • How is the change in national leadership affecting nuclear weapons policy?
  • How are linkages being made with climate justice and racial justice movements here and abroad?
  • As old anti-nuclear campaigners age out, what is inspiring younger activists to confront the nuclear legacy?

These, your questions, and more will be explored in this stimulating zoom presentation.

The Pacific Life Community (PLC) is a network of spiritually motivated advocates for nuclear abolition and human rights in general. We are committed to ending nuclear weapons and war-making through nonviolent direct action along the Pacific Rim in collaboration with the global peace movement.

The PLC has gathered every year near one of several nuclear weapons related facilities in the western United States around March 1 to commemorate the largest and first hydrogen bomb test by the United States that day in 1954 in the Bikini atoll of the Marshall Islands.  The winds were knowingly (according to evidence) blowing towards the neighboring island of Rongelap (as well as The Japanese fishing vessel the Lucky Dragon 5, also caught in the radioactive fallout). Radiation sickness and being treated as dehumanized guinea pigs has dogged the people of Rongelap ever since. The Japanese antinuclear movement erupted in light of the re-triggered trauma caused by the irradiating of the crew of the Lucky Dragon 5.

For 14 years, the creed and annual practice of the PLC is to cry out against the immoral and illegal madness of nuclear weapons and the decades long, nuclear racism of the United States. This year, as the struggle for Black Lives Matter continues to resonate and internationalize, we are duty bound to draw attention to the fact that this struggle is yet another case of deadly, violent, white supremacy and settler colonialism. Another urgent backdrop for this year’s Bravo Nuclear Memorial Weekend is the acceleration of climate crises worldwide. The carbon footprint of making a nuclear weapon might not be especially remarkable. But if used, the climate devastation will be vastly multiplied. Whose radar screens are these connections on, and what is to be done?

If you have any questions, contact Jim Haber at haber.jim@gmail.com

Thank you for taking a moment to like and share the Bravo Test Nuclear Memorial program on Facebook. And remember to use #nuclearban

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Letter from Clare Grady to PLC

Clare Grady, of the Kings Bay Plowshares, recently wrote a note to the PLC. It reads as follows:


All dear ones in the Pacific Life Community who came together this past February to continue to conspire to Resist Trident – I have been meaning to thank you all for the action at the Naval Base Kitsap/Bangor. It was, and still is, heartening news…such ongoing faithful resistance. Deep gratitude for all who made the trip to Georgia for the KBPS trial. I know that travel is not easy, especially as we get older (and jail is not easy as we get older) Hugs and love especially to Betsy, Sue, Jim.
Love, Clare

201 Elm St
Ithaca, NY 14850

clare letter to PLC

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PLC 2020 To Highlight GZ Roots, Solidarity With Climate Activists

The 2020 Pacific Life Community (PLC) retreat is coming up this weekend. Even if you are not attending the gathering,  our Sunday morning screening of “The Arms Race Within” — the story of Ground Zero and its roots within the Pacific Life Community — is open to the public, so please join us and bring some friends!  The film starts at 10:30 AM and is approximately one hour long. The film will be shown at Pilgrim Firs Camp & Conference Center, 3318 Lake Flora Rd, Port Orchard, WA 98367.

Here are some highlights of what’s coming to this major gathering of peacemakers:

A panel of those who attended the Kings Bay Plowshares 7 trial earlier this year will convene to share their witness of the court proceedings and discuss the implications for activists inherent in these developments.

In order to help chart the way forward for nuclear activism while applying the lessons of Gandhian satyagraha (Truth-force) philosophy that helped form the basis of the early Pacific Life/Ground Zero Communities (and which eventually made possible the revival of a Peace Pagoda now being constructed on the GZ grounds!) PLC 2020 will screen the “The Arms Race Within,” a film that explores the foundational beginnings of these enduring communities built by Robert and Janet Aldridge as well as James and Shelley Douglass.  PLC organizers anticipate the film will spark meaningful discussion ahead of the planned Monday morning action at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor.

Steve Dear of Eugene, Oregon will be our keynote speaker.  Steve will discuss the struggle against nuclear weapons, militarism and climate change, as well as important linkages that can strengthen and unite these resistance movements.

To help broaden PLC solidarity networks with fellow Earth Protectors, Abby Brockway (of the ‘Delta 5’ — see https://www.pcusa.org/news/2016/2/8/pcusa-ruling-elder-abby-brockway-continue-battle-a/) and Larry Morrell, executive director of the Sound Defense Alliance on Whidbey Island (https://sounddefensealliance.org/] will form a panel to educate participants on the environmental threats posed by Growler jets and oil trains.

The Irthlingz Duo of Orcas Island will be providing musical accompaniment to our PLC weekend with their uplifting, inspiring and environmentally-socially aware music.  Please see their website at https://www.irthlingz.com/


Friday, February 28th


6:00- 7:00 PM – DINNER 

7:30 PM – Greetings and welcome to PLC 2020 (George R.) 

7:45- 8:45 PM – Icebreaker exercise (moderated by  Clancy): Participants pair off (preferably with someone they don’t know well); each shares a favorite quote .  Take turns explaining (briefly) why the quote is meaningful.  All regroup; individuals volunteer to share highlights of activity parter’s quotes.   

8:45-9 PM – Break

9 – 9:45 pm  Reception, informal social mingling; getting RE-acquainted with your PLC brothers and sisters!  Storytelling – and telling the PLC story 

10 PM – LIGHTS OUT – Goodnight all! 

Saturday, February 29th 

7:00 AM – Informal gathering for prayer circle/quiet meditation (optional)  

8:00 AM – Breakfast 

8:45 AM – Morning musical interlude:  introducing The Irthlingz Duo of Orcas Island (Sharon Abreu and Michael Hurwicz)

9:15 AM –  PLC Regional Reports (Each PLC region selects representative to deliver 5-10 min. report on past year’s highlights)  

10:15 AM – Reflections on the Kings Bay Plowshares trial — by PLCers who attended:  (Steve Dear, Dennis A., Felice & Jack, Betsy & Ann, Sue A., etc) 

11:30 AM-11:45 AM – Q & A / discussion

11:45 AM – Noon – Break 

Noon-1 PM – Lunch 

1 PM-2:00 – “Broadening Our Circle of Solidarity” — Panel with fellow Earth protectors: Abby Brockway from the Delta 5; Larry Morrell from Sound Defense Alliance, Coupeville ( https://sounddefensealliance.org) ; moderated by Steve Dear, Extinction Rebellion-Eugene OR activist and PLC keynoter

2:00-2:30 – Q&A, discussion of solidarity links and networking between nuclear resisters and climate/environmental activists 

2:30 – 2:45 – break

2:45 – 3:25 PM – Afternoon music break: The Irthlingz Duo 

 3:30-4:30 PM – Video presentation by Susan Crane on Anti-Nuclear Peace Actions in Germany (per her recent experience there this summer)

4:30-4:45 PM – Q & A:  Are there examples of “best practices” strategies and tactics from Susan’s experiences that can be applied to future PLC actions/activities?

4:45-5 PM – Break

5-5:45 PM – Workshop with Larry Morrell of Sound Defense Alliance, Coupeville ( https://sounddefensealliance.org)

5:45-6 PM – break

6 – 6:55 PM dinner

7-7:25 PM– Music set with “The Irthlingz Duo”

7:30 – 8:20 PM — PLC Keynote Speech with peace & justice activist Steve Dear:  “Love Transcends the Abyss: Building Communities of Resistance and Resilience at 100 Seconds to Midnight”

8:20 – 8:40 PM — Q & A; post-speech discussion suggested topic:  How can we leverage our solidarity links with other pro-Earth movements to bring new people fully on board for the next generation of nuclear disarmament activism?

8:r0-8:45 PM — quick break

8:45-9 PM — Concluding evening thoughts – inspiring readings from Jim and Shelley Douglass (Elizabeth Murray)  

9:00 – Remembering our Cloud of Witnesses; thoughts, prayers and meditations (Larry Purcell)


Sunday, March 1st 

7 AM – morning prayer or meditation for peace (optional)

8-9:00 AM – Breakfast 

9:15-9:30   Morning Musical Interlude  – The Irthlingz Duo

9:30-10:20 Trident/Bangor presentation on nuclear weapons (presented by Ground Zero Stewardship Council member Mack Johnson; created by WPSR/GZ Stewardship Council member Dave Hall; ) 

10:20-10:30 Q & A (or break as needed)    

10:30-11:30  film screening:  “The Arms Race Within” ​on the early days of the Pacific Life Community, the predecessor to the Ground Zero Center; and the ground-breaking resistance work of Robert Aldridge, Jim and Shelley Douglass and other early Pacific Northwest nuclear resisters (presented by Elizabeth Murray)

11:30 – 12:30 Lunch

1:00-2:00 Tacoma Plowshares attorney Blake Kremer – legal advice for activists

2:15 – 4:15 Planning and discernment exercise for Monday morning base action

4:15 – 5:00 Preparation for nuclear resistance action (sign-making, etc)  Fill out contact information and legal forms for those prepared to risk arrest.  Arrange jail support, select banners, videographers, photographers for action.  Also:  opportunity for writing postcards to Kings Bay Plowshares prisoner-activist Steve Kelly;  or postcards to Congressman Derek Kilmer and others on urgency of nuclear disarmament. 

5:00 – 6:00 Dinner

6:30-7:30 —  Reading of Steve Kelly epistle for PLC 

Evening sharing and discussion:  “What has called each of us to resist nuclear weapons?”  “How does the legacy of nuclear resistance and the PLC history relate to our current situation facing deployment of W-76 “low-yield” nuclear weapons?”  “How are we inspired by Bob Aldridge, Steve Kelly, Jim & Shelley Douglass, and others today?”

7:30-8:30 – Free time

8:30-9:30  Screening of film about Bix by Lucas Dambergs (introduced by George Rodkey; optional activity)


Monday, March 2nd

7:00 – Morning prayer/meditation (optional)

7:30 – 8:30 Breakfast


9:00 – 9:45 Carpools depart for Ground Zero Center (16159 Clear Creek Rd NW, Poulsbo WA 98370)

10:00 –  Arrive at GZ; quick coffee / restroom break

10: 15 –  Safety briefing for Peacekeepers;  Gathering circle; recitation of GZ’s Pledge of Nonviolence;  sendoff blessing by Father Matt Holland, St. Leo’s Parish, Tacoma

10:30 – 12 noon Walk or drive to Main Gate for nonviolent nuclear weapons resistance action at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor; musical accompaniment by The Irthlingz Duo

Noon – Gather back at GZ for closing circle; reflections on the action at the base. 

12:30 PM – Carpools return to Pilgrim Firs to collect luggage


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Originally posted at the Nuclear Resister 

For the third time in nine years, the Pacific Life Community (PLC) met in Menlo Park, California for their annual gathering, each time concluding with a blockade of the main gate at the nearby Lockheed Martin factory in Sunnyvale that produces the intercontinental ballistic missiles for launching nuclear weapons from both U.S. and British Trident submarines.

On Monday, March 18, about 50 people from the Pacific Life Community were joined outside the Lockheed Martin gate by members of Code Pink and the Musicians Action Group, a marching ensemble of percussion and horns who enlivened the crowd of activists with rollicking renditions of Down by the Riverside and other peace and labor rights songs. A large banner made for the last PLC blockade at Lockheed Martin – four feet tall and long enough to block four lanes of traffic – was rolled out and carried around the intersection with a bold-lettered message for the auto and rail commuters passing by: Lockheed Weapons Terrorize the World.

53835409_1899659736827488_1947275366699630592_o copy

To the rhythm of the band, most of the group followed the banner-carriers a hundred yards down the sidewalk to the main “Gateway to Space”, as an arch over the Lockheed entrance declares.

Lockheed security forces pulled a low fence across the road while Sunnyvale police stopped traffic at the intersection from approaching the entrance. As the banner was carried into a blocking position from one side of the road, a line of police marched in from the other, positioning themselves between the blockaders and the gate. The protesters carried with them copies of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons to inform Lockheed workers and management that when the treaty is ratified, building nuclear weapons and their delivery systems will be in violation of international humanitarian law.

After awhile, formal warnings of trespass and imminent arrest were given, along with the opportunity to leave. But none of the blockaders did. One by one, eleven people were arrested, the large banner slowly dropping to the ground as each in turn was handcuffed and taken into custody.

Near the end of the banner, a sign held in front of it read “The Pacific Life Community Supports The Kings Bay Plowshares – Resist Trident!”, a reference to the April 4, 2018 nuclear disarmament action at the Kings Bay base in Georgia. That base is home to the United States’ Atlantic Ocean Trident submarine fleet, and it is where the British Trident fleet picks up Lockheed’s missiles to load with their own nuclear weapons.

Arrested for trespass were Dennis Apel, Susan Crane, Clancy Dunigan, Calia Kammer, Andrew Lanier, Elizabeth Murray, Larry Purcell, Rush Rehm, George Rodkey, Charlie Smith and Sam Yergler. Susan Crane, a member of the Musicians Action Group, handed her saxophone to a supporter just before being arrested. They were taken to the Sunnyvale police station for processing, and all were released before noon with an initial court date in May.

The Pacific Life Community is a network of spiritually motivated activists from the U.S. Pacific coast and other western states who are committed to nonviolent action for a nuclear-free future. In addition to demonstrations and blockades at Lockheed-Martin, the PLC has come together each year since 2007 for actions at the Kitsap-Bangor submarine base in Washington State, homeport of the Pacific Trident fleet; Vandenberg Air Force Base, where the Trident missile is test-launched; the Los Alamos nuclear weapons factory in New Mexico; at the Nevada nuclear weapons test site and elsewhere.

Please also see Bruce Gagnon’s post and video of Monday’s action at: http://space4peace.blogspot.com/2019/03/protest-at-lockheed-martin-in.html

Photos of Monday’s action are here:
  1. By Len Tsou – https://www.flickr.com/photos/lythrn/sets/72157679426549928
  2. By Felice Cohen-Joppa, on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/felice.cohenjoppa/media_set?set=a.1899627750164020&type=3&notif_id=1553114336240201&notif_t=feedback_reaction_generic
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Join the PLC for a Film, a Program, and a Demo & Nonviolent Action at Lockheed Martin!

The Pacific Life Community is a network of spiritually motivated activists from U.S. Pacific coast and other western states who engage in anti-nuclear direct action. They protest at different nuclear weapons-related sites each year on or around March 1, which is Nuclear-Free and Independent Pacific Day and the anniversary of the Bravo nuclear bomb detonation by the U.S. at the Bikini Atoll in 1954. Visit https://pacificlifecommunity.wordpress.com/



A discussion with Bruce Gagnon
“Nuclear Weapons & Trump’s Space Force: The Deadly Connections”
With songs from special guests Pat Humphries and Sandy O., Emma’s Revolution
Saturday, March 16, 2019
7 p.m.
PLC 2019 event flyer v.weapons-1
at the Vallombrosa Center Chapel
250 Oak Grove Ave., Menlo Park, CA
Free, donations accepted.
Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space and a member of Veterans for Peace.
Emma’s Revolution brings their musical uprising of truth and hope to concerts and peace & justice events across the country.
Call 650-649-8690 or 650-366-4415 for more information.

* A FILM *

A special screening of
The Nuns, The Priests and The Bombs
A film about the Disarm Now Plowshares and Transform Now Plowshares actions, by filmmaker Helen Young
Two groups of Catholic nuclear disarmament activists engaged in these plowshares actions, entering the Bangor Trident nuclear submarine base in WA in 2009 and the Y-12 nuclear weapons complex in TN in 2012 to challenge the morality and legality of NPB film flyer 2019d2-1America’s nuclear weapons – following the prophet Isaiah’s mandate to beat swords into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks.
Sunday, March 17, 2019
7 p.m.
at the Vallombrosa Center Chapel
250 Oak Grove Ave., Menlo Park, CA
Free, donations accepted.
More information about the film is at https://nunspriestsbombsthefilm.com/
Call 650-649-8690 or 650-366-4415 for more information.


Join us at Lockheed Martin, the largest military weapons contractor in the world, Lockheed action flyer 2019d2-1to say no to nuclear weapons, no to war and no to war profiteering.
Monday March 18, 2019
10 a.m.
Meet at the corner of North Mathilda Ave and West Java Drive, Sunnyvale, CA
Bring banners, signs and songs!
Sponsored by Pacific Life Community, Catholic Workers, and Code Pink. 
For more information, call 650-366-4415. 


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Two dozen activists arrested at Nevada nuclear test site

by Felice Cohen-Joppa (originally published in The Nuclear Resister on March 10, 2018)

Members of the Pacific Life Community converged at the Las Vegas Catholic Worker house from March 2 – 4 for their annual gathering to protest nuclear weapons. Twenty-four of them were arrested on Sunday, March 4 during a nonviolent action at the Nevada nuclear test site.

They kicked off the weekend with an hour-long vigil on Friday afternoon, holding signs and banners in front of the nearby offices of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). [The NNSA manages eight nuclear weapons-related sites: the Y-12 nuclear complex, Pantex Plant, Nevada National Security Site (formerly known as the Nevada Test Site), Los Alamos National Lab, Livermore National Lab, Sandia National Lab, Savannah River Site and Kansas City Plant.]

After the vigil, Friday and Saturday’s schedule was filled with regional updates, activist story-telling, nonviolence exploration, action planning, an open mic and a Service of Remembrance for Fr. Jerry Zawada, OFM. There were excellent presentations from Sr. Ardeth Platte and Sr. Carol Gilbert on the nuclear weapons ban treaty, and from Leona Morgan, Peter Clark, Eileen Shaughnessy, Denise Brown and Susan Schuurman of the Nuclear Issues Study Group, who came from New Mexico to talk about “Dismantling the Nuclear Beast”.

On Sunday morning, the group drove about 60 miles northwest of Las Vegas. They gathered for a liturgy in the desert outside of the boundary fence of the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS). Afterwards, they carried signs and banners the short distance to the road leading into the test site, where they joined hands in a circle to learn the Elm Dance, a dance that is performed “to celebrate commitment to life and solidarity with activists the world over”.

The activists then proceeded to the boundary line, where Sr. Ardeth Platte told the test site/NNSA employees and Nye County sheriffs on the other side of the line that the group was there to let them know about the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons that was signed by 122 countries at the U.N. on July 7, 2017. The treaty, which will come into force 90 days after it’s ratified by 50 countries, prohibits the development, testing, production, manufacture, possession, stockpiling, sharing, use and threat to use nuclear weapons. At Sr. Ardeth’s invitation, one of the NNSA employees accepted a copy of the treaty. With copies of the treaty in hand, two dozen people then crossed onto NNSS property. They were escorted to the nearby pen, where they were briefly held before being processed and released.

Those arrested were:


Photo of Jim Haber by Clancy Dunigan

Sue Ablao
Vera Anderson
Rozella Apel
Ann Boden
Felice Cohen-Joppa
Susan Crane
Clancy Dunigan
Ed Ehmke
Sr. Carol Gilbert
Jim Haber
Tensie Hernandez
Theo Kayser
Fr. Steve Kelly
Mark Kelso
Sr. Lil Mattingly
Elizabeth Murray
William O’Connell
Marcus Page-Collonge
Mary Jane Parrine
Sr. Ardeth Platte
Larry Purcell
George Rodkey
Susan Schuurman
Micah Wullschleger

One hundred atmospheric nuclear tests took place at the 1,300+ square mile site between 1951 and 1962, followed by more than 800 underground nuclear tests through 1992, when the U.S. put a hold on full scale nuclear weapons testing. Since then, sub-critical tests have been conducted there in underground tunnels. More than 15,000 activists have been arrested at the Nevada test site over the past six decades in protest of nuclear weapons testing.

The nuclear test site occupies Western Shoshone land, in violation of the 1863 Treaty of Ruby Valley. The Western Shoshone National Council has declared their nation a Nuclear Free Zone.

The Pacific Life Community weekend ended in Las Vegas with a concert by Eileen and the In-betweens (and a couple of songs by guest artist Vera Anderson, who had been arrested earlier that day), followed by dinner at the Las Vegas Catholic Worker. The Pacific Life Community will next meet in the San Francisco/Bay area on March 15 – 18, 2019.

The Pacific Life Community is a network of spiritually motivated activists from U.S. Pacific coast and other western states who engage in anti-nuclear direct action. They protest at different nuclear weapons-related sites each year on or around March 1, which is Nuclear-Free and Independent Pacific Day and the anniversary of the Bravo nuclear bomb detonation by the U.S. at the Bikini Atoll in 1954.


Rozella Apel released after her first arrest; photo by Clancy Dunigan


Vera Anderson and Sr. Lil Mattingly after being processed and released; photo by Clancy Dunigan


Fr. Steve Kelly, SJ; photo by Jack Cohen-Joppa


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