Nonviolent Activists Shut Down General Dynamics Nuclear Submarine Facility in New London, CT

By Atlantic Life Community, November 16, 2023

New London, CT: New London resident Jackie Allen-Doucot was among nine peace activists arrested and charged with criminal trespass this morning — November 13 — during a blockade of entrances to the Engineering Complex of General Dynamics/Electric Boat where nuclear submarines are designed.

Holding long banners spanning the driveways, the activists blocked cars of employees entering the facility for the morning shift. The 24-foot banners read “Building Nuclear Weapons is Illegal, Abide By Our Treaties, Stop Building Weapons of Mass Destruction.”

At each entrance one activist wheat-pasted on the driveway Article 6 from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, ratified by the United States in 1968, which commits us to nuclear disarmament.

“We are seeking to make connections between General Dynamics’ preparation for nuclear war here in New London and Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza,” said Mark Colville of the Amistad Catholic Worker in New Haven, one of the blockaders. “We are calling for a ceasefire now.”

One of the banners was painted with the message “Trident Supports Genocide.”

In addition to the blockaders, dozens of activists lined the sidewalk adjacent to the two entrances holding banners and distributing a leaflet to General Dynamics employees in cars backed up along Pequot Avenue.  “We come to the gates of General Dynamics Electric Boat in New London, CT today when the United States has budgeted  $114 billion dollars for the “upgrade” of the nuclear arsenal with 12 new Columbia Class submarines. The destructive capacity of these nuclear submarines is unspeakable,” the leaflet read.

A half hour into the demonstration, New London, CT police began arresting those who were blockading the two gates to the General Dynamics facility. Police issued citations to an additional two activists charging them with public disturbance. One officer noted that traffic to the gates was backed up by some 400 cars.

The morning’s action occurs amid increasing global nuclear tensions and as General Dynamics ramps up manufacturing of the nuclear Columbia Class submarines. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists Doomsday Clock is set at 90 seconds to midnight. Al Jazeera reported on November 6 that a nuclear-capable Ohio Class submarine was deployed off the coast of Gaza, more deeply implicating the United States as Israel’s largest provider of military aid and weapons in this illegal war.

“Columbia Class submarines will escalate war-making around the world. The production of these submarines ignores the global call for nuclear disarmament reflected in the Treaty on The Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), signed by over 120 nations of the world community,” the group said.

The nine arrested this morning are:

Ed Kinane, 78, of Syracuse, New York

Dan Burgevin, Ithaca, New York

Mark Colville, Amistad Catholic Worker, Amistad Catholic Worker

Bill Ofenloch, New York Catholic Worker, New York, NY

Ellen Grady, 61 Ithaca, New York

Scott Schaeffer-Duffy, SS. Francis and Therese Catholic Worker

Art Laffin, Dorothy Day Catholic Worker, Washington D.C.

Jackie Allen-Doucot, New London, CT

Paul Magno, Baltimore, MD

All of the above are members of the Atlantic Life Community (ALC) a network of faith-based activists. Members have protested at submarine christenings and launches from the 1970’s into the early 1990s. They  have now returned to New London to say NO to the spending of US taxpayer’s money and resources for more death, destruction, and profiteering on the part of the weapons industry. The ALC demands that the US ratify the TPNW and convert General Dynamics to non-military production to meet urgent human needs.

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