Jonah House logo


'These weapons can wipe out everything'

Nov 4, 2009 at 6:44 PM PST
By Denise Whitaker & KOMO Staff

BANGOR, Wash. -- Five anti-war protesters made quite an entrance at Naval Base Kitsap this week.

They cut through fences, breached security, and wandered around for four hours before naval police caught them.

Why try and break in? They're worried about nuclear weapons stored at the base. One of every four of the nation's nuclear weapons is stored there.

"These weapons can wipe out everything," said Susan Crane, one of the protestors arrested.

And that's exactly what the five are afraid of.

"Eventually we begin to realize that disarmament has to happen by the people," Crane said.

So three women, together with two Jesuit priests, grabbed bolt cutters and hammers and set off for the base in the dead of night.

"So it was with hammers like this and our own blood that had been drawn by a medical professional that we went into the base in the hope of beginning that disarmament process, symbolically," Crane said.

The hammers were to bang on the bunkers holding the weapons. And the blood?

"We mixed our blood together and we put it in baby bottles because children are the most killed in war," Crane said.

The protesters, who range in age from 60 to 83, cut their way through a perimeter fence. They said they walked 4 hours and cut their way through two more fences before they got caught.

The Navy said sensors on the fence gave away their position, but won't say anything about their claims of being on the base for four hours.

Eventually, they were released and cited for trespassing. The U.S Attorney's office is still deciding whether the five will be prosecuted.

When asked if they did this out of desperation, they said no, they did it out of hope that one day we'll disarm our weapons and live at peace with our neighbors around the world.

"We do not work with arms, with nuclear weapons," said Sr. Anne Montgomery, RCSJ. "We work with our bodies and our hearts and our minds."

Anne and the others say their faith drives them. But Wednesday, they chose a calmer way to spread their message: a vigil outside the base's main gate.

Disarm Now Plowshares main page