On Friday April 2nd, 2021, activists in the San Francisco Bay Area gathered for an ecumenical Good Friday service of worship and witness focused on the Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab. Most folks participated virtually rather than in person.
This year we celebrated the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This treaty entered into force on January 22, 2021, after it reached ratifications from more than 50 countries.
Marylia Kelley, Executive Director and co-founder of Tri-Valley CAREs, addressed the gathering from the West Gate of the Lab, as scientists and support workers entered to start the morning’s work. Tri-Valley CAREs monitors nuclear weapons and the environmental consequences of nuclear development throughout the U.S. nuclear weapons complex with a special focus on Livermore Lab and the surrounding Northern CA communities.
Marylia Kelley described nuclear weapons programs happening right now at the Livermore Lab. She illuminated the role and importance of peaceful witness at this site, where nuclear weapons of mass destruction get more than 85% of its Department of Energy funding. She noted the budget line is explicitly titled, nuclear “weapons activities.” Further, less than 2% of the funding is allocated for “science” and less than 1% of its budget is used for research into “energy efficiency and renewable energy” sources.
Rev. Michael Yoshii, pastor of the Buena Vista United Methodist Church in Alameda, California, gave an introduction and thanked respective organizations for the ongoing work of monitoring, education, and advocacy towards nuclear disarmament. Rev. Yoshii spoke movingly about the Hibakusha (A-bomb survivors) and the ongoing work for peace.
We also listened to beautiful music from Betsy Rose and Benjamin Mertz. Carla De Sola brought to us liturgical dance and Jackie Cabasso spoke on how we can work to make the prohibition of nuclear weapons the world-wide standard and how to hold our country to that standard.
To read Marylia Kelley’s talk CLICK HERE.
To read the sermon by Rev. Michael Yoshii CLICK HERE.
Mark Coplan has posted his photographs on-line: www.flickr.com
CLICK HERE for an excellent news article about the Good Friday service, written by Marilyn Bechtel.