8 arrested at nuclear protest on Mother’s Day

A small group of nuclear arms protesters celebrated Mother Earth on Mother’s Day by getting arrested.

Despite the heat, eight peace activists held banners that read, “The Earth is Our Mother Treat Her With Respect” and “Nuclear Weapons are Immoral to Use, Immoral to Have, Immoral to Make.”

Brenda McMillan, 89, wore a T-shirt with Julian Ward Howe’s plea, “Disarm, Disarm!”

The activists are all with Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action in Poulsbo. They were cited and released by state troopers for pedestrian on roadways infractions.

Demonstrators included Lee Alden of Bainbridge Island, Sue Ablao of Bremerton, Carolee Flaten of Hansville and Tom Rogers of Keyport.

Traffic was halted and diverted as the 15-member Seattle Peace Chorus Action Ensemble, sang “The Lucky Ones,” an original composition by director Doug Balcom, to the guards and Navy personnel. The song describes the different stages of personal, regional and global destruction that a nuclear war would inflict on humanity.

The civil disobedience was part of Ground Zero’s annual observance of Mother’s Day, first suggested in the United States in 1872 by Howe as a day dedicated to peace.

Earlier in the day 45 people gathered to plant rows of sunflowers at the Ground Zero Center directly across from the Trident Submarine Base. Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor is homeport to the largest concentration of deployed nuclear warheads in the U.S. The nuclear warheads are deployed on Trident D-5 missiles on SSBN submarines and are stored in an underground nuclear weapons storage facility on the base.

Rogers, a retired Navy captain and former nuclear submarine commanding officer who was cited for participating in the action, said, “The destructive power of the nuclear weapons deployed here on board Trident submarines, is beyond human imagination. The simple fact is, that a nuclear exchange between the great powers would end civilization on our planet.”