Twenty-five years ago this October, people everywhere watched
fearfully as the superpowers went to the brink of global nuclear war
during the Cuban Missile Crisis. When the Soviet government placed
nuclear missiles in Cuba, to match similar U.S. deployments near the
Soviet/Turkish border, President John F. Kennedy "drew the
line...ready for a showdown...at the risk of war," as the October 23,
New York Times
put it. JFK himself estimated that during
those fateful two weeks, the chances of all-out nuclear war
the U.S., with its overwhelming nuclear superiority at that time,
would have been in a position to start) was 30% to 50%.
Four decades into the atomic age, we have grown used to a never-ending
arms race, but this sobering anniversary should remind us that World
War III is a very real likelihood, not a remote theoretical
possibility, if we continue on our present direction.
in the late 80s, the global community is plunging toward a new missile
crisis, even more dangerous than the one in 1962, as the Pentagon
moves toward completion of its long-sought nuclear first strike
capability. The Trident II D-5 missile and the NAVSTAR global
targetting satellites are the linchpins of a deeply entrenched, little
understood, high-risk strategy for regaining unchallenged U.S. global
dominance. The U.S. plans for a usable nuclear first strike are the
ultimate threat to back up a sharply escalated level of U.S. military
intervention in the key resource producing areas of the Third World.
And these weapons
shorten decision and response time, putting the world
in danger of nuclear holocaust through provocation, or simply through
computer or human error.
Production of the Trident II D-5 nuclear missile system, described by
one of its designers as the "ultimate first strike weapon," will be
challenged this October by a statewide peace demonstration in the
heart of California's Silicon Valley and a nonviolent resistance
action at the Lockheed/Navy D-5 production and testing facility in
the nearby Santa Crux Mountains. This action will be part of a
nationwide set of resistance campaigns located at crucial links in the
chain of first strike weapons production.
Actions will also be held at the Hanford plutonium processing plant in
the Northwest; the Honeywell facility in the Midwest; the Trident
shipyard in the Northeast; General Electric's Space Division on the
Mid-Atlantic Coast; Kirtland Air Force Base in the Southwest;
and Cape Canaveral in the South. The plan for
these campaigns was initiated by a First Strike Prevention Project
proposal and is now being co-sponsored by a steadily growing network
of peace groups.
In California, two dozen people from peace groups all around the state
reached consensus on March 29, 1987 to form a new group
called Alliance to Stop First Strike. As its first major organizing
objective, the Alliance will participate in the nationwide Missile Crisis
Actions by focusing on Lockheed. From there, the group will organize
a strategy conference and ongoing actions to stop Trident II before
its deployment in 1989, as well as other first strike weapons.
California's Trident II Missile Crisis Action, as well as the
educational and outreach activities leading up to it, will emphasize
the essential and unprecendentedly dangerous role of the Trident II
D-5 and the associated NAVSTAR global targetting satellite system.
The action will begin Otober 18th by a week-long Peace Walk
linking Hunter's Point, where the nuclear warship U.S.S. Missouri
may be homeported, to the corporate headquarters of military
contractors in the San Francisco financial district, to the Lockheed
Missile and Space Company headquarters in Sunnyvale. The Peace Walk
will arrive on Saturday, October 24th, for a peace rally with noted
speakers, musicians, and peace delegations from throughout California.
This legal demonstration against nuclear first strike policy and
weapons development will be held near Lockheed, a huge industrial
complex flanked by the first strike anti-submarine warfare of the
Navy's Moffet Field, and the Air Force global satelllite command
center, the "Blue Cube."
After the Saturday peace rally there will be a day of rest,
nonviolence preparations, and final planning meetings on
October 25th. Sunday's activities
will ready people from throughout California to
begin a nonviolent blockade and occupation of Lockheed's
facility in Bonny Doon, in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
This forested 4,400 acre site, for the testing and assembly of
Trident II reentry vehicles, employs over 300 Lockheed and Navy
personnel. The affinity group action will begin around dawn on
Monday, October 26th, and may be sustained for a number of days.
The October Missile Crisis Action, and the subsequent Alliance to Stop
First Strike strategy conference in late 1987 or early 1988, is a
crucial first step toward an ongoing, sustained, and growing
nonviolent obstruction of key links in the chain of preparations for
initiating nuclear World War. It is a unique opportunity to take
decisive nonviolent direct action in defense of life. Please join