Six Arrested at Protest Against Hanscom Role in Nuclear War Preparations

eace activists organized by Massachusetts Peace Action protested nuclear war preparations at Battle Green in Lexington, MA. Cole Harrison photo Activists organized by Massachusetts Peace Action protested nuclear war preparations at Battle Green in Lexington, MA. Cole Harrison photo

Six peace activists were arrested this afternoon at the gate of Hanscom Air Force Base in Lincoln, Massachusetts as they protested the the role of the base in nuclear war planning.

Hanscom is the location of the Program Executive Office (PEO) for Nuclear Command, Control, and Communications (NC3), which seeks to improve the communications system that would be used by U.S. forces in a nuclear war.

“The money being poured into the ‘NC3’ program are an early warning sign that the government is abandoning any pretense that the U.S. seeks arms control or nuclear disarmament and is rather preparing for nuclear war with Russia, China, or both,” said Dr. Jonathan King, a board member of Massachusetts Peace Action, at the protest.  “The money being spent on nuclear annihilation could fund free college and free health care for every American,” he continued.

About 40 activists organized by Massachusetts Peace Action assembled at the Minuteman Statue where they participated in a flashmob in which they were “frozen” for two minutes. They then walked from Lexington Battle Green to Hanscom.

John Schuchardt of Ipswich's House of Peace and Veterans for Peace takes a knee while being arrested in a protest against nuclear weapons development at the gate of Hanscom Air Force Base May 27, 2018

John Schuchardt of Ipswich’s House of Peace and Veterans for Peace takes a knee while being arrested in a protest against nuclear weapons development at the gate of Hanscom Air Force Base May 27, 2018. Doug Stuart photo

John Bach of Arlington and Cambridge Friends Meeting, John Schuchardt of the House of Peace in Ipswich and Veterans for Peace, Pat Ferrone of St. Susanna Parish in Dedham, Laura Evans of Unitarian Universalist Society of Rockport, Jerald Ross of Chelmsford, First Parish Bedford and Massachusetts Peace Action, and Dan McLaughlin of Cambridge, were arrested by the Lincoln police for trespassing as they attempted to deliver a letter protesting nuclear weapons development at Hanscom to the base commander.  They were released on personal recognizance and are to appear in Concord District Court at 8am on Tuesday, May 29.

“Nuclear weapons are a danger to all life on earth: human, plant, and animal. There is no justifiable reason to launch a nuclear weapon as doing so will end the lives of millions, if not billions, of people across the globe”,” said Michelle Cunha of Bedford. “Knowing my neighbor Hanscom has been chosen to build the Nuclear Command and Control system (NC3) which would control weapons in a nuclear war is terrifying. The Pentagon did not ask residents of Bedford, Concord, Lincoln, or Lexington to vote on this matter, they simply implemented their decision without any discussion. This is not the democracy my ancestors fought for when they overthrew King George during the Revolutionary War.”

Letter From the Hanscom Six to the Base Commander

May 27, 2018
To Whom It May Concern:
This afternoon a number of us are crossing the line into Hansom AFB in order to express our concern and outrage at the related nuclear weapons work at this facility.  We all know these weapons wreak murder on an indiscriminate basis, that they are genocidal, and even so-called limited nuclear war could result in omnicide.  We all know this.
We attempt to enter this site as a function of our humanity and sense of morality.  But we trespass also as citizens of this beautiful and fragile planet upholding international law.
Our country bound itself in 1945 to the UN Charter which rendered nuclear weapon systems criminal by its purpose to “save future generations from the scourge of war.” It further directed that “all nations shall refrain from the use of force against another nation.” 
Our country bound itself in1945 to the Nuremburg Principles which prohibit crimes against the peace, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide. The Nuremburg Principles thus render nuclear weapons illegal and criminal under all circumstances. 
Our country bound itself in1970 to the Non Proliferation Treaty which seeks the “cessation of the nuclear arms race and to undertake effective measures in the direction of nuclear disarmament.” Our country is further bound by the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty of 1996 which bans nuclear explosions and the production of fissile material for weapons.
The work being done with nuclear weapons and nuclear policy at Hansom AFB violates all these laws and higher moral laws and is thus a great crime. We act to expose this criminality and to meaningfully withdraw our consent in the crime of using nuclear weapons as a strategic threat.
Sincerely,
John Bach
John Schuchardt
Pat Ferrone
Laura Evans
Jerald Ross
Dan McLaughlin
 

Read a reflection by Laura Evans.

See photos by Skip Schiel