“Our mission is to stop the arms race…it’s a security risk and phenomenally expensive. This has become a business model and it’s deadly.” – Glenn Carroll, coordinator of Nuclear Watch South
ST. MARYS / Organizers of an annual protest against nuclear weapons at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay expected a large crowd to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the first atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, to help hasten the end of World War II.
Five people ended up standing outside a base gate Thursday holding signs with anti-nuclear weapons messages.
Glenn Carroll, coordinator of Nuclear Watch South, said the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic compelled many who were planning to attend to stay home for health concerns. But Carroll said her trip from Atlanta to join others with concerns about nuclear weapons Thursday was worth the time.
“Our mission is to stop the arms race,” Carroll said. “It’s a security risk and phenomenally expensive. This has become a business model and it’s deadly.”
Kings Bay is home to six ballistic missile submarines and two guided missile submarines. The base employs more than 9,000 civilian workers and active-duty sailors.
Supporters say the ballistic missile submarines are a vital deterrent to nuclear attack.
Teresa Berrigan Grady said her sister was among those arrested for trespassing on Kings Bay property in April 2018 and spray painting slogans, hanging banners, crime scene tape and other acts of vandalism.
“Thank God they were non violent,” she said. “They did highlight you cannot secure this base with this kind of power. It’s called an illusion of security.”
Grady said the military’s priorities “are all messed up” by continuing to develop powerful nuclear weapons.
“There is nothing they can do but kill,” she said.
She also expressed concerns about the length of time the growing stockpile of nuclear waste will need to be contained.
Carroll said she and others will continue to share their concerns about nuclear weapons. While Carroll said she’s anti-nuclear, she’s not anti-military.
“We need a defense,” she said. “We don’t need a weapons system unmatched on this planet.”