Introducing The King’s Bay Plowshares 7 !

The Kings Bay Plowshare 7: featuring Clare Grady & Mark Colville

The Kings Bay Plowshare 7 is a faith-based Catholic activist group that centralizes disarmament of nuclear weapons as a symbolic demonstration that peace on earth and unity among all is not only possible but essential. Their continued nonviolent efforts give life to the responsibility to humanity and each other which we all carry and to which it is necessary to give continuous dedication in all ways that present themselves or otherwise must be presented. 

“We try to disarm ourselves by disarming the weapons” –physically breaking down the weapons and shedding blood on the files symbolizing that omnicide is the larger threat presented by the American empire and the use of nuclear weapons; and that, again, awareness of and use of our voices and actions is the way to not only face the detriment of the systems we otherwise live under, but overcome them as well –whether that presents itself as an external threat or an ideology which needs mending, and as such, there is increased unity and strengthened community. Elizabeth McAlister (member) captures that message well in saying, “There is not going to be any real disarmament until there’s a disarming of hearts. And so, one puts oneself on the line to symbolically, but really, disarm the weapons in a hope and prayer that the action might be used by the Spirit of God to change minds and hearts. One puts oneself on the line—at risk and in jeopardy—to communicate the depth of commitment to that hope”. Every action taken towards challenging the use of nuclear weapons and/or any other form of destruction against anyone else is the hope to be found in progressing past the very thing being fought against. 

The activist work that they do started in the 1980s and among the messages that they try to convey through this work, “…The imperative is to be human in an inhuman time, to act in season and out despite the prospect that the American empire might not break up in our lifetime, nor disarmament happen while we live” can be found (Philip Berrigan, member). This not only speaks to the mass destruction which can be brought about by nuclear weapons, but to the ways which said American empire manifests other ways of destruction, including but not limited to racism, materialism, and militarism –which are also subcategories to the main focus of nuclear weapons that the Plowshares take action against. 

Because the work that they do at times results in their incarceration, members of the Kings Bay Plowshare 7 also maintain communication with those that find themselves in prison, and support them and their families in all the ways that they can throughout the process of liberating them. More information on how to be involved with this can be found on their website: Home – Kings Bay Plowshares 7

The WNY Peace Center also works on many of the issues raised by the KBP7 and understands the value and significance of the work being done on accounts of the united struggles. As such, to show our support both to the organization and the efforts being made, the Peace Center tries to promote public awareness of their activism and is both encouraging of it and inspired by it. At this year’s 54th Annual dinner, on November 12th beginning at 6pm, Mark Colville will be our keynote speaker; we look forward to hearing from him and to awarding the KBP7 the Peace Education Award.

Our connections to the KBP7 also include WNYPC members being co-defendants with KBP7 members in a number of actions, as well as partners and friends in the work, through the Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and end the Wars: Upstate Drone Action – The Upstate NY Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars and Witness Against Torture – Campaign to End Torture & Close Guantánamo. The WNY Peace Center is honored to welcome the Witness Against Torture program as a new addition of the center and invites all to make donations to said program through the website or by mail. As mentioned before, the KBP7 are all Catholic Workers and this community and all its constituents are allied to the WNYPC. Collectively, we all try to “Be the Change” through varied involvement including but not limited to direct actions to stop violence –including, especially, state-sponsored violence, war, and nuclear weapons (which were already discussed to be, through symbolic disarmament, a method of reclaiming power and reducing waste).