Nuclear Weapons Activists Need Heroes To Celebrate

So I scrolled upon a photo of Martin Luther King in a Twitter feed and it came to me…

As nuclear weapons activists we need heroes to celebrate too.

While Martin Luther King was just one man who could have never led a successful civil rights movement without the help of very many other people, having a readily identified hero at the center of any movement is a powerful tool for generating inspiration and action among the many.

As you gaze upon the photo of Martin Luther King observe how it’s iconic nature immediately and instinctively reminds us of the justness of the cause that King led.

It’s true of any movement, we need our heroes, they provide a great service to us, as heroes address a deep human need which transcends all causes.

We need someone to look up to, someone to follow, someone to model our behavior on, someone who can give us hope, and inspire us with their brave selfless actions. We need icons, a visible image which at a glance reminds us of what we should be doing with our lives.

It’s NOT my intent to start a divisive contest over who would make the best hero for the nuclear weapons activist community. Each of us can and should draw our inspiration from where ever we can find it. Just as was and is true in the civil rights movement, there are many wonderful people we can celebrate.

That said, here’s my personal favorite pick for some heroes to place on a pedestal in the nuclear weapons cause…..

The Kings Bay Plowshares 7

As you may know, on April 4, 2018 seven Catholic nuclear weapons activists entered the Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay in South Eastern Georgia, home port for the U.S. Navy Fleet of ballistic missile nuclear submarines, the largest nuclear submarine base in the world.

The Kings Bay Plowshares 7 have since been found guilty of federal crimes and now face the possibility of years in prison.

Years in prison. Think about that for a minute.

These heroes are:


Elizabeth McAlister


Steve Kelly SJ


Carmen Trotta


Clare Grady


Martha Hennessy


Mark Colville


Patrick O’Neill


Here’s How You And I Can Help The Plowshares 7

Please join me and many other citizens in supporting these heroes via the GoFundMe page set up on their behalf. Over $96,000 has been raised so far.

Here’s a quote from the GoFundMe page describing the purpose of the fund.

Our friends, the Kings Bay Plowshares, have undertaken a courageous action for a nuclear weapons free world. We are raising money to support them and work for nuclear disarmament. We want to be able to support family and supporter travel expenses, provide commissary, and plan public events to support nuclear disarmament.  Those of us organizing this fundraising effort are Jessica Stewart, Bass Harbor Maine, Paul Magno, Washington DC,  and Beth Brockman, Durham, NC. All money will be used to support organizing for nuclear disarmament and support of the Kings Bay plowshares.

Support These Heroes Here

A Confession

Heroes are heroes because they rise above what the rest of us mere mortals are able, or perhaps willing, to do.

Personally, I’m a husband, not a hero. Ok, I’d go to prison for my wife, I really would. But I’m sorry to say, and no offense intended, there’s just no way I’m risking prison for anybody else.

That’s probably true for you too, and also probably true for almost all nuclear weapons activists.

The Plowshares 7 have done what very few of us would be willing to do. If we are smart, if we really care about the cause, we will take the heroic gift that they have handed us and put it to good use.

Even More Heroes

If you’d like to celebrate and support even more nuclear weapons activist heroes, check out The Nuclear Resister website, which describes itself in this way…

Since 1980, the Nuclear Resister has provided comprehensive reporting on arrests for anti-nuclear civil resistance in the United States, with an emphasis on providing support for the women and men jailed for these actions. In 1990, we expanded our work to include reporting on anti-war arrests in North America, plus overseas anti-nuclear and anti-war resistance with the same emphasis on prisoner support.