The Fire of Resistance VS Nuclear Weapons
By Eileen Fleming
19 August, 2010
Kansas City: On Monday morning, August 16th, 14 nonviolent peace activists were arrested after blocking a Caterpillar truck on the site of a proposed WMD Facility in Kansas City, Missouri.
Ex-Catholic priest, Frank Cordaro of the Phil Berrigan Catholic Worker House in DM IA, remarked, "It's an honor to be here and get busted! We risk arrest to awaken people from a kind of psychic numbing about the plant. We stand for an alternative to the war economy; we try to temper the U.S. death wish as an empire. Catholic Workers see people hungry; we feed them. We see violence perpetrated by governments; we resist. It's just that simple. It is not an accident that nine of the fourteen arrested come from Midwest Catholic Worker communities. The Catholic Worker movement is a radical lay movement in the USA Catholic Church. Pacifist and nonviolent peace activist, we are best known for our houses of hospitality were we do the Works of Mercy; feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless and give drink to the thirsty. We live and work daily with the poor who suffer directly from the miss use of our national resources, directed towards making nuclear bombs, keeping the rich rich and the poor poor. We know first hand, that even if these god awful bombs are never used, they kill the poor daily by denying them the resources needed to meet their most basic needs."
While choruses of "we shall not be moved" rose up and sunflower seeds were scattered down, c itizens of all ages and shades of diversity, gathered to protest continued production of U.S. nuclear weapons, to demand a clean up of the old KC facility and they also exposed another collaboration of corporations and politicians who collude while the tax payer pays for it all.
Over a hundred people had gathered on the previous Friday night for the Kansas City premier of COUNTDOWN TO ZERO and Monday mornings action topped of a weekend conference that drew peace activists from around the nation.
The activists called the new facility a "crime against peace" and a "crime against humanity."
The KC plant will be America's first new major nuclear weapons production facility in 32 years and America is also building new sites at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, which produces uranium components for WMDs and Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico which is home to plutonium pits.
The current Kansas City facility produces 85% of the non-nuclear components for the U.S. nuclear arsenal. The current plant and the future plant are also a direct threat to the environment, health and personal security of every resident of and visitor to Kansas City and the new plant is also the recipient of illegal funding by the city government.
The money trail begins and also ends with Zimmer Real Estate Services, a KC mogul that has pocketed five million for 165 acres of "blighted-land" to the City. Zimmer is also one half of CenterPoint Zimmer/CPZ who will receive all the money to build the plant, and after a 20 year lease-to-purchase from the City, will take back possession for a fee of ten George Washingtons.
Chicago based, senior partner of CPZ, CenterPoint will get paid for designing, for building, for sub-leasing, and in 20 years will end up co-owning a Federal Nuclear Weapons Facility paid for by we the people who pay federal taxes as well as those who pay them to KC.
A Baltimore based underwriter will collect a percentage for arranging the $687 million financing deal.
Fourteen Private bondholders will reap a government guarantee that their $687 million 2010 investment will yield at minimum $1.2 billion in rent, a solid 5% annual return.
The Catholic family who founded and owns HR Dunn Construction have already built over 30 prisons and will now be in charge of a new cloverleaf and other infrastructure improvements at the corner of Botts road and MO Sate Highway 150, adjacent to a residential neighborhood where children play and the neighbors organized to shut down City plans to build a prison on nearby agricultural land.
The federal General Services Administration/GSA acts as the pass through agency, that attempts to curtain the money that funds the nuclear weapons. The governments real estate agency will maintain many bureaucrats and the Department of energyas semi-autonomous National Nuclear Security Administration/NNSA gets a new facility built to spec outside of normal Congressional scrutiny and in the web of lalternatively and private financing? outside of the authorized nuclear weapons budget.
K.C. politicians are expecting to get reelected for saving 2,100 jobs [the old Plant employed 2,400] but their short sightedness robs the residents of much needed and still unallocated funds to clean up the old plant which has has been contaminated by over 700 chemicals and unknown numbers of new and unimagined combination's.
The old KC complex houses offices for the Marine Corp Finance, US Dairy and National Nuclear Security Administration/NNSA. The NSA is under the Dept. of Energy; NOT the Defense Department. The Defense Dept.'s annual budget of $705 billion, does NOT include upkeep and refurbishing of America's 5,113 WMD, nor pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which we the people pay for via "special appropriations."
Barbara Rice worked on finances and payroll for the Marine Corps Defense Finance and Accounting Services (DFAS), which employed about 800 people. In 2004 she began receiving e-mails about former colleagues at DFAS who had died. In less than one month, Rice accumulated a list of about 100 names, half of whom had already died or were dying. She " lost count of how many of her colleagues had died of cancer after 110 passed away from various kinds of the illnesses. While she said she couldn't prove that the deaths were related to chemical exposure at the current facility, Rice remembered one instance when a pipe burst at the plant and her supervisors told her to 'go home immediately and destroy her clothes.'" 
The DFAS was divided from the KC Nuclear Plant by a concrete wall, and shared the same ventilation system and all employees shared the same cafeteria. Barbara explained:
"Bannister Federal Complex is filled with toxins and chemicals. On our side, there's been beryllium on the roof, uranium under the staircase, arsenic in the water. We (at DFAS) had headaches, miscarriages. We believed maybe it was from the weather or the cafeteria food. Now we've learned the toxins were carried from the Bendix side to our side on the feet of those coming to the cafeteria for lunch."
The fire of resistance against nuclear weapons has been smoldering for three decades and it was celebrated at Oak Ridge, Tenn. on July 5, 2010 when 36 nonviolent activists were arrested moments after The Declaration of Independence from Nuclear Weapons at Y-12, was read:
The Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 indicted a government that engaged in barbaric conduct contrary to the laws of Humanity that included "works of death, destruction and tyranny unparalleled in the most barbaric ages" until the Age of Now!
Current Law requires an end to all planning, preparation, production, threat, or use of nuclear weapons and we the people have gathered here today, July 4, 2010 at Y-12 to demand this Government adhere to the fundamental rules and principles of Humanitarian Law.
These rules and principles require that civilians never be the object of attack. Consequently we must never use weapons that are incapable of distinguishing between civilians and military targets.
Whereas, all W-76 and W-76-1 thermonuclear secondaries produced at Y-12 are designed and produced to unleash 100 KT of uncontrollable and indiscriminate heat, blast and radiation, six times more than the Hiroshima Bomb,
Whereas, the International Court of Justice found that the destructive power of nuclear weapons cannot be contained in either space or time, and that the potential to destroy all civilization and the entire ecosystem of the planet,
Whereas, citizens have both rights and duties we the people of conscience must ensure future generations their right to life,
Whereas, under the principals of democracy we the people of conscience demand this government to fulfill its promise and responsibilities to pursue and achieve nuclear disarmament,
We the people of conscience therefore exercise the right of every citizen of this republic and this planet to peacefully resist the nuclear threat; attacking as it does every core concept of human rights.
Whereas it is a basic human right to be free of threat or violence, and it is our duty to protect children and future generations we call on this government to use our tax dollars that are now being used to wage permanent war unequivocally demand they be used to pursue a nuclear free world and clean up all chemical and radioactive contamination.
On April 5, 2009, President Obama stood on the world stage in Prague and admitted, "As the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act…When we fail to pursue peace, then it stays forever beyond our grasp...the voices of peace and progress must be raised together…Human destiny will be what we make of it…Words must mean something."
In 1987 from Ashkelon prison, Mordechai Vanunu wrote:
"The passive acceptance and complacency with regard to the existence of nuclear weapons anywhere on earth is the disease of society today…This struggle is not only a legitimate one - it is a moral, inescapable struggle...no government, not even the most democratic, can force us to live under this threat. No state in the world can offer any kind of security against this menace of a nuclear holocaust, or guarantee to prevent it. ..Already now there are enough nuclear missiles to destroy the world many times over…This issue should unite us all, because that is our real enemy…Any country, which manufactures and stocks nuclear weapons, is first of all endangering its own citizens. This is why the citizens must confront their government and warn it that it has no right to expose them to this danger. Because, in effect, the citizens are being held hostage by their own government, just as if they have been hijacked and deprived of their freedom and threatened…Indeed, when governments develop nuclear weapons without the consent of their citizens they are violating the basic rights of their citizens, the basic right not to live under constant threat of annihilation.
"Is any government qualified and authorized to produce such weapons? "
Josh Armfield, Cherith Brook CW, KC MO Eric Garbison, Cherith Brook CW, KC MO Frank Cordaro, DMCW IA Ed Bloomer, DMCW IA Rachael Hoffman, Holy Family CW KC MO Gina Cook, Holy Family CW KC MO Steve Jacobs , Columbia MO CW Robby Jones, Columbia MO CW Brian Terrell , Maloy IA CW Beth Seberger, KC MO Donna Constantinean, KC MO Felice Cohen-Joppa, Nulcear Resister , Tucson AZ Fr Jerry Zawada, Steve Clemens, Mipls MN
Photo by Joshua McElwee , Staff Writer for the National Catholic Reporter
Jane Stoeve r also contributed to this report.
Eileen Fleming, Producer "30 Minutes with Vanunu" and "13 Minutes with Vanunu"
Founder of WeAreWideAwake.org
Staff Member of Salem-news.com
A Feature Correspondent for Arabisto.com and Dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/
Author of "Keep Hope Alive" and "Memoirs of a Nice Irish American 'Girl's' Life in Occupied Territory"