in case you thought we weren’t really there or it really wasn’t all that cold


Photo by Dylan Hollingsworth

More Opportunities to “Do Something.”


Dear friends,

The trial of the LANL 6 yesterday was an amazing and profound, as well as sobering, occasion.

More than 70 supporters and friends turned out to accompany the 6 and their legal team of Jeff Haas and Lisa Krooth, into the court and to witness proceedings. Court officials said they had never seen such a large audience for a trial, and indeed the court could only contain 53 people in the audience at any one time. Thank you to all of you who gave your time to be present yesterday. We know that it meant a huge amount to each of the 6 who were on trial.

The 6 were charged on three counts:
1. Trespass
2. Obstructing movement
3. Refusing to obey a police officer

To all charges the 6 plead not guilty. Their defense team showed very clearly that none of the 6 were warned that they were trespassing and all believed that they were on a public street. They argued that they had been ineffective in obstructing traffic, and indeed that the real obstructions to traffic were caused by the huge presence of police and private security personnel. But they all acknowledged that they had heard the request to move out of the street and had chosen to stand their ground. The 6 and their legal team spoke eloquently and passionately about why they had committed no crime, and indeed why they were following a much higher legal requirement in acting as they did. They spoke at length about:

The immoral nature of nuclear weapons production
The national and international laws, including the Non-Proliferation Treaty, that makes the production of nuclear weapons illegal. In summing up, Jeff Haas referred to Article 6 of the US Constitution that makes such treaties, once signed, national law. He also referred to the Nürnberg Charter, which came out of the Nürnberg war crimes trials, that requires citizens, on humanitarian and legal grounds, to take action to stop crimes against peace and crimes against humanity
Their belief that the most critical national and global security issue we face is climate change, and that the billions of taxpayer dollars spent on the production of nuclear weapons at LANL could and should be spent addressing climate change
The “necessity defense” – their legal and moral imperative to warn people, especially employees of LANL, who are apparently unaware of the dangers of nuclear weapons and low-level radiation
The fact that LANL stands on land stolen from indigenous people, which was reportedly promised to be returned after WWII
The economic injustice and resource misuse of the work of LANL
The illegality and immorality of the ongoing militarization and war-mongering of the USA

Unhappily, the judge was unmoved by these arguments. He found all 6 not guilty of trespass, but convicted them on the counts of obstructing movement and refusing to obey a police officer. The prosecution did not call for jail time, and so the judge fined each of the 6 $100 on each count, plus court costs, and put them on probation for one year, with a condition that they not be arrested in Los Alamos County during that year.

While the fines are significantly less than those that could have been imposed, the one-year probation is excessive in a case like this. However, all of the LANL 6 stand in solidity and are refusing to pay the fines, on the grounds that they have committed no crime and indeed were working to prevent much greater crimes. They now have 15 days in which to decide whether to appeal the court’s decision, or to try an alternative route. If they do not pay the fines within 30 days, they face jail time.

We will keep you updated on the progress and decisions the LANL 6 and their defense team make over the next few days and weeks.

In the meantime, we are already starting to organize for 2013, including of course events and protests in July and August – July 16th being Trinity Day, August 6th Hiroshima Day, and August 9th Nagasaki Day.

Thank you for all that you do to help make our society more peaceful and sustainable.

In peace,
Michelle Victoria and Thomas Jaggers

Bare Bones Biology 139 –

Bitsy is always up for anything, y’all know that, and so this weekend we bundled up for the weather and headed for training camp in the Piney Woods of Texas.

130107-Bitsy-asc_1658SsBare Bones Biology is ready to stop talking theory and begin to observe community development in practice, including the Occupy model, as well as the basics of community so well documented by Helena Norberg-Hodge and Rob Hopkins, Richard Heinberg and the Post Carbon Institute, community radio, for example see, and individuals and small groups of people who are working to change our toxic corposystem environment. For example, Chris Martenson’s Crash Course and the annual conference in Los Alamos of Nuke Free Now, with Father John Dear‘s Sackcloth and Ashes protest and many, many anonymous others.

The fatal flaws in trying to grow sustainable communities – the biggest ones I see – are: 1) trying to work within a failed system that is blocking ethical and rational discussion; and 2) trying to change the biological environment that has functioned for millenia to provide food, water, air and shelter for all the life of earth.

130108-TarSands-asc_1887SsThe most important questions seem to be: 1) How can we change the system without reinforcing the system? And, 2) can we make changes that relieve rather than intensify our environmental crisis. Over the decades, I have seen mostly knee-jerk approaches to change. The result is that the good work of one generation is lost or thrown out or forgotten by the next generation that is focusing on different problems. This approach looks like change but it is NOT CHANGE. That is why good education, stressing the mistakes and successes of the past, the difference between facts and opinions, and the fact-based needs of our biological community, are essential to sustainable human community.

130108-TarSands-asc_1772LSsWe need real change, or we will just bounce back and forth from one extreme to the other making the same mistakes our grandparents made and fighting over everything. If we continue in this mode, without understanding the hard facts of our biological reality, the result will be fatal no matter how compassionate and honorable we try to be. And the corposystem isn’t trying logical, compassionate discussion; this rules out most of the honorable methods of change-building. So that’s why Bitsy and I, spent the night in the back seat of our little car, surrounded by a colorful tent camp, learning about community development on the ground.

I was just scraping the ice off the INSIDE of the windshield when, at an unexpectedly early hour, I realized that all the cars were lining up in the dark, ready to go. Go? Go where? Nobody knew. But eventually, maps were passed out and the caravan headed south. You can learn about all the activities at, with video and commentary as the actions happened and as they continue to happen daily.

130108-TarSands-asc_2020LSsThe Occupy movement has interested me because it seems to represent real democracy, similar to others that have been popping up around the world. I also know what happens when you try to use negative force to squash a real and/or factual truth, and I’ve been waiting for it to happen ever since Occupy was violently squashed last year.

130108-TarSands-asc_2064LSsTo me this weekend looked a lot like the beginning of the new. I hope so, because: 1) I know that “change” within the old model is not going to happen, for reasons discussed in previous blogs; 2) this seems to be real change, and it is nonviolent; and 3) it is based in solid biological concerns.

We elders watched in agonized awe over the past decade or so, as our youth pandered the American Dream for which we worked, in exchange for an iPod and a pretty construct of television lies. What I saw in this action was real adult responsibility. Responsibility to the future and a dream of sustainability, using a new set of technological and political tools. And then we were asked to also take part of the responsibility for the planning and goal setting for that future. The first time I encountered this type of political behavior was with Amnesty International USA.* I was well impressed.

So this morning, home again after an exhausting two days, what we saw on the Tar Sands Blockade web site was not only what we did, but what a lot of people did at the same time in a lot of places around the countries. The action that I photographed was indeed a rolling portion of a set of “rolling actions.” And the Tar Sands Blockade promises more.

130108-TarSands-asc_2093SLsI still say the next thing that we must do if we want to survive on this earth (and this is advice from a PhD basic biologist) is to learn the facts and talk among ourselves about the issues. We won’t find the facts on mainstream TV (or, unfortunately, on public TV). The issue is survival with a sustainable, reasonably rewarding life-style). For facts you could start with the Bare Bones Ecology Energy Handbook that is downloadable, completely free no strings, on the right side of this blog under Chapters. Next you should understand the material in Christ Marsterson’s Crash Course. I’ve been recommending this course of action for 13 years. But, you continue to say, what can we DO?

Right, if you can’t get “them” to discuss the issues. As a PhD basic biologist, I will tell you clearly there may not be much time to stop “them” from destroying life, that is, food, water air climate and shelter. If they only want to talk about money, then right now I know of no better action than http://www.TarSandsBlockade. But there are other approaches to the problem that I will discuss in future.

Lynn Lamoreux
Photos by Lynn

This blog is an expanded version of Bare Bones Biology radio program that will play
next week on KEOS Radio, 98.1 FM, Bryan, Texas. Bare Bones Biology is a completely
nonprofit project. The podcast can be downloaded at

*That experience is discussed in a chapter of my upcoming book “Outside the Circle.”

Recommended References:
Rob Hopkins, The Transition Handbook,
Post Carbon Reader,
Helena Norberg-Hodge, movie,
Chris Martenson: video Crash Course. Available on the web
Father John Dear, A Persistent Peace –
Bare Bones Biology 137 – Human Hubris.
William deBuys, A Great Aridness,

Question for Discussion: What is the technical meaning of democracy? The American political system does not fit that definition; the constant use of the term seems to be one of those television lies. Is it really a TV construct, or is it a reality? If it’s not a reality, then why do we keep talking about democracy all the time, and what kind of political environment do we want to grow for our grandchildren? Leave it to George? Participatory? If the latter, what kind of participation do we want to develop?

Father John Dear

Check out also John Dear’s Prayer for Christmas 2013, and the teaching program that he is sharing in February with Roshi at Upaya in Santa Fe.

Father John Dear


Earlier this month, President Obama called for a world without nuclear weapons, soon after North Korea test fired a long-range rocket. Speaking in Prague, Obama called for an immediate end to nuclear tests.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: As the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act. We cannot succeed in this endeavor alone, but we can lead it, we can start it.


The previous week, President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev had agreed on fast-track negotiations to slash their stockpiles [of] 23,000 nuclear weapons by about a third from the end of this year.

New Mexico, home to the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Sandia National Laboratories, is closely tied to the history of the nuclear bomb in this country. These labs were founded to coordinate the Manhattan Project’s nuclear weapons research during World War II, and the very first nuclear weapon, named “Trinity,” was test-fired in Alamogordo, New Mexico. In fact, I just passed there yesterday.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu visited the Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories last week. He lauded the diverse non-nuclear weapons research that they’re engaged in, but added, quote, “As long as other countries have nuclear weapons, we must have a nuclear stockpile.”

Well, my next guest is a longtime anti-nuclear activist and Jesuit priest who coordinates the annual Hiroshima Day peace vigil at Los Alamos. Father John Dear has been arrested more than seventy-five times for acts of civil disobedience against war and nuclear weapons, including last week while protesting the US drone warplanes at the Creech Air Force Base in Nevada. He has written over twenty-five books. His most recent book is his autobiography. It’s called A Persistent Peace: One Man’s Struggle for a Nonviolent World. Well, last year, Archbishop Desmond Tutu nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize. Father John Dear joins me here in Albuquerque.

Welcome to Democracy Now!


Thanks for having me, Amy.


Let’s start with what President Obama said, talking about the abolition of nuclear weapons, though he said it wouldn’t be in his lifetime.


Well, it’s a great breakthrough to have a president even speak about a nuclear-free world. And we all rejoice in that he said that, but that’s the key sentence for me, that he said, “Alas, this won’t happen, probably, in our lifetime.” And we have to say — the activists around the country, the peace and justice movement — not only does it have to happen in our lifetime, it has to begin and happen this year or next year, that we can’t have a thousand nuclear weapons, which is what the rumors are that he’s going to propose — we go down to a thousand nuclear weapons. We have to abolish all nuclear weapons. And it has to begin here in New Mexico. And so, I think the movement around the country has to push the Obama administration harder than ever, as it’s beginning to talk about a nuclear-free world, and really demand it now.


Give us the map of New Mexico, the nuclear map. I don’t think many people realize — someone once joked that if New Mexico were to secede from the nation, it would be the fourth greatest nuclear power in the world.


The third.


Third, excuse me.


Yeah. It’s a serious statement, actually. You know, and that’s what brought me to New Mexico. According to the last census, it’s the poorest state in the country. It’s number one in nuclear weapons, number one in military spending. And you see everything: it’s number one in drunk driving, domestic violence, suicide, one of the worst education systems in the country. The land is — it’s like a radioactive waste dump. And here in Albuquerque, there are more nuclear weapons at the airport than any other place on the planet.


What do you mean at the airport? I’m just about to go there to fly out.


Well, right. And you’ll see it as you fly out of the airport. If you look carefully, in those mountains, those little white buildings, those are nuclear bunkers, at Kirtland and Sandia. More than any other place on the planet, except perhaps one city in remote northern Russia. And at Los Alamos, the birthplace of the bomb, especially under the Bush administration, business has been booming. He’d been pouring billions down there, he said, “to build a whole new generation of nuclear weapons.” And he was going to start new pit production. The good news —


What is pit production?


The core of the nuclear bomb, which is what Los Alamos does. And they send them elsewhere.

The good thing, and it hasn’t gotten much coverage, is that Obama has stopped that. But 70 percent of the work at Los Alamos is still war and destruction of the planet, and that is continuing, as you heard the Secretary of Energy just say last week.

Our position is, we want Los Alamos, Sandia and Kirtland to be completely disarmed. We’ve got to get rid of these weapons and change it into a place — get all those scientists to work on alternative energy sources, and so forth and so on. And that’s been my work here as part of a grassroots movement for the disarmament of Los Alamos through vigils and demonstration. I’m trying to raise the conversation that we should not continue to work on the manufacture and development of nuclear weapons. And that’s our future.


I’ve been traveling through the state over the last few days, went to Santa Fe and Taos, both very near Los Alamos, and then yesterday to Mesilla, to the border, then up to Silver City. We passed near where the drone tests are taking place, not only in Nevada, where you were just arrested, but is that right? Right here in New Mexico?


Well, the drones are flying, as I understand, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and New Mexico and Arizona on the border, flying nonstop to, you know, monitor who’s crossing into the country and then to assist in their arrest.

So, what’s so amazing about New Mexico is you see everything is connected, all these issues of injustice and war, including the drones. And so, we’re trying to say, the future of New Mexico — it’s really a symbol of the country. It’s really stopping all of this and moving toward a new land of nonviolence.


John Dear, what kind of dialogue have you had with scientists at Los Alamos? I have met many in my travels here.


Well, not too much, sad to say. And there are many groups have met with scientists over decades. I’ve been talking to people around the state. I’ve talked to students at Los Alamos, and we do these public demonstrations.

You hear a lot of things behind the scenes, for example, that many are against the predominant work of nuclear weapons up there, and they’re hoping that they would transfer Los Alamos to — I’ve heard from scientists — to down to 20 to 30 percent of their work being for nuclear research and development. I’m saying it’s got to be zero. You know, more of them want to use their energies for pro-human and energy development.

The thing that’s in New Mexico is, to my experience, is that it’s the classic thing. This is just a job. And, you know, the economy is basically — revolves around the military and nuclear weapons here, and that is not a long-term way to develop the economy here or anywhere. It’s a dead-end, putting all these resources into that research. I think some of the scientists get it, but they say, “Hey, it’s a job.”


It’s interesting that J. Robert Oppenheimer, right, the head of the Manhattan Project, who developed the atomic bomb at Los Alamos, afterwards said, quoting from the Bhagavad Gita, “I am the shatterer of worlds.”


And then turned against it and was clearly ostracized here in New Mexico from the whole nuclear establishment. And so, they don’t want to go through what he went through.

And that’s why we need — like we abolished the death penalty here in New Mexico, we need to abolish the nuclear industry, nuclear weapons, and that’s only going to happen through a movement involving everybody: the politicians, the scientists, the church people. And I think the whole country has to continue to put — the whole movement has to continue to put pressure on our government, on the military and the scientists, saying this doesn’t work anymore, it’s not making us more secure, it’s the ultimate threat of terrorism, it’s bad for the economy, and help everyone move away from this kind of security of a job in building these weapons.


Father John Dear, in 2003 in November, an entire battalion of the National Guard marched on your — was it rectory?


Yeah, yes.




Well, as I wrote about this in my book, A Persistent Peace, I came here and was speaking out against nuclear weapons, speaking out against the war in Iraq, got kicked out of one of my parishes in the remote desert. And as I say, it’s quite a state here, where all the issues are upfront in the desert.

And one morning — you know, I didn’t know this was going to happen — I was shocked to find the entire battalion of the National Guard for northeastern New Mexico marching around the block in my small desert town and the church and the rectory, chanting war slogans. They were about to leave for Iraq one week later. And then they stopped right at my front door. Seventy-five young kids, all under twenty-one, chanting “Kill, kill, kill.”

It was, we found out later, the leadership of the National Guard harassing me as a, you know, outspoken voice against war and nuclear weapons and harassing me. And it’s really an indication of what’s happened these last ten years, that you could have a unit of the national US military march and harass a private citizen at his home. I mean, this is like you might expect in the Wild West 150 years ago.

What I did, as I wrote in the book, was I went right outside, told them to be quiet, and said, “In the name of God, I order you not to go to Iraq, not to kill anyone, not to be killed, and to quit the US military and to, you know, work for peace and justice through nonviolence.” They all laughed at me, and they left, but — and later, the governor, Bill Richardson, told me that he was appalled by it. And he spoke to the head of the National Guard and threatened to fire the whole top echelon if they ever came close to doing anything like that again. So —


You were kicked out of a church?


Yeah, for speaking against the Iraq war. I had five parishes, four of them very poor and one a kind of a middle-upper-class parish of retired military families near a ski resort. And the war was starting, and naturally I was saying, “Hey, you cannot be a Christian and claim to follow the nonviolent Jesus who said ‘love your enemies’ and support the bombing of children in Iraq or nuclear weapons or the whole culture of war.” Well, they were appalled and kicked me out.

And I think that should be the future of every Christian minister, priest and bishop — getting kicked out for speaking out against war and nuclear weapons — so that all the churches become communities of nonviolence, which is what the gospel of Jesus was about. And so, that was, you know, a very hard experience, but a good experience. And it needs to happen more and more, that we get church people to return to the heart of, I think, nonviolence at the heart of every religion and be instruments of peace in this country.


Your assessment of President Obama, who said he will end the war in Iraq and expand the war in Afghanistan?


Well, I’m very disappointed. You know, I want him to end the war in Iraq today and bring back all the troops and pursue nonviolent alternatives and pursue a kind of global Marshall Plan to rebuild Iraq through food and aid. And war doesn’t work. And he’s continuing the same old legacy of war by bombing Afghanistan and Pakistan. So, that’s why, you know, actually, Archbishop Tutu and I tried to meet with him, and we were going to say this to him, and a meeting almost happened a few weeks ago, and then it was abruptly canceled.


What happened? You were in Washington?


No. We were working with the White House, and they told us it was going to happen, but it just was canceled. And maybe it’s because Obama is not meeting with anybody, which is a real shame. He’s refusing to meet with Tutu, who was going to speak especially on this question of Afghanistan and Pakistan and saying war doesn’t work there, and we’re just going to continue to breed more terrorism. But I think he was threatened by what we were going to say, and he’s not listening to other voices there. So, that’s why I went to Creech, and that’s why I’m saying we have to continue to put pressure on the Obama administration through the movement and say, don’t bomb Afghanistan, Pakistan, and so forth and so on.


When we were in San Francisco just a few days ago, we had Father Louis Vitale on —




— who was also arrested at Creech.




Explain why you went there.


Well, learning from your show and — like everybody in the country — that this is the future of war, along with nuclear weapons still existing, but that we have developed these unmanned bombers that are trained out of Creech in Nevada that are then used to monitor, fly permanently over, Pakistan, Afghanistan, as well as Iraq, and bombing hundreds of civilians. And ours was the first demonstration ever there, maybe the — and the first civil disobedience, as far as I can tell. And so, we walked onto the base, trying to say, “No, we shouldn’t have these weapons. We shouldn’t have drones. We shouldn’t be bombing the children of Afghanistan and Pakistan.” And we were trying to take our message there. And then we’re going to have a trial, probably later this summer or the fall, or in the fall, and we’re going to take our message into the court.


Father John Dear, you have been arrested more than seventy-five times. In this last minute and a half, a few of those protests that are most memorable for you, that had the most meaning?


Well, they’re all meaningful, and they’re all scary, especially the Plowshares disarmament action, for me, in 1993 with Philip Berrigan, when we hammered on an F-15 nuclear fighter bomber, for which I faced twenty years in prison as —




In North Carolina at the Seymour Johnson Air Force Base — as part of the Plowshares movement.

But my experience with that is that if you look at the abolitionists, the suffragists, the labor movement, civil rights movement, in the end, the change always happens when good people break bad laws and accept the consequences, that some people actually have to engage the law through the grassroots movements of nonviolence. And so, that’s why I’m trying to continue this tradition, with our friends, of Gandhi and King, of using the weapon of civil disobedience to get into the courts and say, “War is illegal, nuclear weapons are illegal, and our future is a future of nonviolence.” And so, some of us are continuing that tradition.


You worked in Salvador under the Jesuit priests who were killed.


Yes. That was in 1985, and I write about it in my book. And it was really at the height of the civil war there and a terrible experience. And these guys, the six Jesuits who were killed twenty years ago this fall, were spectacular people and assassinated for poignantly demanding their government end war. And it was a powerful experience to have known and worked with these great martyrs of justice and peace. And I’m trying to apply what I learned from them here in the United States, and that means speaking out publicly, all of us, for an end to war and the end of war itself and poverty and nuclear weapons and the working of a new culture of nonviolence.


Father John Dear, I want thank you very much for being with us here in Albuquerque. His new book is called A Persistent Peace: One Man’s Struggle for a Nonviolent World.

Nuke Free Now from Last Year

Which is worse, Nukes or gusher of toxic oil replacing our farmland and polluting our air and water? I don’t know, and I keep wondering what the corposystem is trying to accomplish — all the money in the world? What world? The world itself is biological and does not run on money or oil, unless you are a machine. The real world of oganisms basically runs on food, water and air.

So, here are some pictures I promised from Nuke Free Now last year.

And this is what you probably do not know. Sent to me by someone from across the sea and available on he web:

“Award of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory contract to LLNS LLC took effect October 1, 2007, rounding out Bechtel’s control of the bulk of the US nuclear weapons facilities including LANL (design), LLNL (design), Savannah River Site(nuclear materials), Hanford Site (nuclear materials), Pantex Plant (assembly/disassembly), and Y-12 National Security Complex (nuclear materials).”

Similarly — imagine the Trans-Canada oil pipeline polluting what once was the last of the free and clean American air in Texas.

Pictures of
Father John Dear with hunger striker Alaric Balibrera and in the background the reason why we care
Sack Cloth and Ashes Protest
LANL-6 (Los Alamos National Laboratories), the six arrested at the Sack Cloth and Ashes protest will go on trial on the 9th and can use your support, at least by spreading the word of this action and better yet attend the solidarity party on the 9th and the trial on the 10th. or 505-474-9288






The Los Alamos Six (LANL-6)

You all know that I participated as a photographer and recorder of the four-day Nuke Free Now conference last year, where speakers, protestors, poets, musicians and academicians united to give the best all around informational conference I have ever attended on a subject that is not directly in my field. I say best because it was informational and well rounded in that area. I mean, no lies no yelling about false claims all that nonsense we get on the radio and TV. Which reminds me, I didn’t see them on the radio or TV. Neither have I seen the protestors in Nacogdoches who have some folk in jail for impeding the “right” of the corposystem to take whatever land and do whatever they want to with it. I’ll be up there with my camera as well.

But for now I want to tell you about six of the protesters at Los Alamos National Laboratories who were put in jail for — I’m not sure, all I saw them do was block the road, and that happens on my street every day.

Maybe you would enjoy reading about this a bit more from one of those who was arrested. The six come up for trial on the 9th of this month. Read the discussion also, it seems those who commented are very well informed on this subject. And when I have a bit more time I’ll throw up a couple of pictures Bitsy and I took at the Los Alamos Conference. Meantime both pictures in my most recent blog were taken at last year’s conference. If you want to become involved this year, contact NukeFreeNow or
More info: Pam Gilchrist or 505-474-9288

“No More Eminant Domain for Private Gain”

Hey folks!

Building Blockadia begins tomorrow, Thursday, January 3rd and goes through Tuesday, January 8th! We can’t wait to meet all of you and learn how we can come together to fight tar sands extraction.