Being handcuffed, put in a paddy wagon and transported to police headquarters in Kansas City was something entirely new for Jim Hannah, a highly respected Independence citizen, and six others who were arrested Sept. 8 for protesting Honeywell’s new 1.5 million-square-foot plant that will continue to manufacture trigger mechanisms for nuclear weapons.

Being handcuffed, put in a paddy wagon and transported to police headquarters in Kansas City was something entirely new for Jim Hannah, a highly respected Independence citizen, and six others who were arrested Sept. 8 for protesting Honeywell’s new 1.5 million-square-foot plant that will continue to manufacture trigger mechanisms for nuclear weapons.


They were fingerprinted, given a violation notice for “acting in a disorderly manner whereby a breach of the peace was occasioned” and released on signature bonds and given a future court date.


Noting that the U.S. already has an unimaginable 9,000 nuclear weapons on hand; more than enough to destroy humanity and creation itself, Dr. Helen Caldicott, who recently visited Independence, said, “The plan to build a new nuclear weapons manufacturing facility in Kansas City in this day and age when the Soviet Union has disintegrated and when the ever-present threat of nuclear war no longer remains is not just criminal, it is in fact wicked. It will provoke other countries to do the same and will steal billions of hard-earned tax dollars from the people of the U.S. who need it desperately. It could, over time, trigger a nuclear holocaust leading to the end of life on earth.”


Both Jim and Sharon Hannah are active in KC Peace Planters; a coalition of peace organizations. This is in line with a World Conference resolution (1178) of their church, the Community of Christ, which states that, “… we, as a church, (should) join with other organizations that are constructively promoting a reduction of instruments of mass destruction.”


Concerning the members of the Roman Catholic faith who were arrested, Bishop Finn of the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City/St. Joseph quoted the Catechism, “Every act of war directed to the indiscriminate destruction of whole cities or vast areas with their inhabitants is a crime against God and humanity, which merits firm and unequivocal condemnation.”


Soviet dissident Jevgeny Yertushenko said, “When the truth is replaced by silence, the silence is a lie.”  This means that we who remain silent are giving support to the lies we are being told concerning the presumed security needs for which this monstrous complex is based.


Jim Wallis, a prolific writer on social and religious issues and a keynote speaker at an earlier Independence Peace Colloquy, observes, “Perhaps the most important sign of the times is a new generation of young Christian leaders who have identified nuclear weapons as an issue of faith. … We believe that we face two futures and one choice: a world without nuclear weapons or a world ruined by them.”


Devising better ways to kill our fellow humans may be quite profitable to some, but hopefully more and more U.S. citizens – particularly Christians  – will protest nuclear weapons and support President Obama on this issue. In Prague (2009) he said, “… the United States has a moral responsibility to act (to eliminate nuclear weapons). We cannot succeed in this endeavor alone, but we can lead it.”