Two Arrested at Indian Island Protesting Trident Submarine, April 21, 2007

18 people gathered at the Naval Magazine Indian Island Gate on the afternoon of Saturday April 21 to protest the USS Ohio Trident nuclear submarine and the war in Iraq. They carried signs saying “No Iraq War”, The Longer We Stay, the Worse it Gets” and “Purge the Urge to Surge”, among others. Doug Milholland gave a short speech quoting Abraham Lincoln, President Eisenhower and Martin Luther King, speaking about the danger that militarism poses to our society. Then protestors walked towards the gate. Milholland drew a large dollar sign with Marinara sauce, symbolizing the blood that has been spilled in American military adventures around the world. Liz Rivera Goldstein, of Port Townsend and Bethel Prescott, of Irondale stood in front of the gate, while the others watched. Both were arrested and charged with Disorderly Conduct by Jefferson County Sheriffs. Prescott was released later in the afternoon on $250 bail but Rivera Goldstein refused bail and will be held until a hearing Monday morning at the Jefferson County Courthouse, when she will ask the judge to be released on her own recognizance. She said that bail is inappropriate in this case because she is no danger to the community, and will show up in court because she wants to have the opportunity to explain the reasons for her actions. The USS Ohio arrived at Indian Island Thursday afternoon for an expected stay of two or three days. It is one of four Trident submarines that have been retired from their original job carrying ballistic nuclear missile and in order to carry cruise missiles capable of carrying either nuclear or non-nuclear warheads. It will be based at Bangor and will load non-nuclear cruise missiles at Indian Island when it returns to base approximately once a year. This is another expansion of the Indian Island base, which is now the largest munitions depot on the West Coast, shipping munitions to Iraq and to the Pacific fleet. The Ohio will be joined by a second retrofitted Trident submarine and other cruise missile submarines using Indian Island. It is a beautiful view from the Indian Island Gate. A small park across the road sweeps down to the water’s edge. A tree is covered with spring blossoms. It is easy to forget in our rural paradise among the trees the immense suffering caused by US policies and fueled in part by the munitions shipping out from here and by weapons such as the USS Ohio.

The trial of Liz Rivera Goldstein and Bethel Prescott is expected to be in the Spring of 2008 in Jefferson County District Court.  Judge Jill Landes has ruled that they may present the necessity defense based on the need to take action to prevent violations of international law. She will then rule on whether the jury should consider that argument.