That big nuclear missile lying along the roadway across from the Bangor Navy sub base last Monday likely drew double takes from passersby, which was the point. "It gives one a sobering perspective on the size of the real thing," says Leonard Eiger, a spokesperson for the Ground Zero anti-nuke protesters who arrived with the bomb. Twenty-four similar-looking missiles sit in launch tubes aboard each of the eight Trident (Ohio class) nuclear submarines based at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, he notes, and "one of these subs could easily incinerate the residents of an entire continent."
Fortunately, this 44-foot red-black-and-gray bullet-shaped projectile sitting along the highway was filled only with air, a balloon replica inflated to appear life- (death?) like. Nonetheless, four demonstrators, including Tom Rogers of Poulsbo, U.S. Navy Captain, Retired, were arrested for blocking the roadway during the demonstration, commemorating the August 6 and August 9 1945 WWII atomic bombings in Japan.
Rogers, who once commanded a nuclear sub, was inspired to protest, he said, by the late pacifist nun, Sister Jackie Hudson, who taught him to be a "constructive activist."
U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich--still exploring a congressional run in Washington if he, as suspected, is redistricted out of his seat in Ohio--spoke later to the group at an event recalling the a-bomb anniversaries of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, telling the assembled, "We need to prevent nuclear proliferation by not participating in it."