Community Conversation Series

Tuesday, August 6

Film at 6 PM

Conversation to Follow




“Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures.” John F. Kennedy

On the anniversary of the nuclear attack on Hiroshima, we will screen a documentary film about nuclear disarmament activists challenging the security and legality of America’s nuclear weapons when they break into two top secret facilities.

Since 1980 activists in lay and religious life have undertaken dramatic Plowshares protests, derived from the biblical injunction, “They shall beat their swords into Plowshares,” risking long prison sentences in an ongoing campaign to move the world away from the nuclear brink.

This film documents a July 2012 break in undertaken by three activists into the Y-12 National Security Complex, the “Fort Knox of Uranium,” where there is enough highly enriched uranium to make some 10,000
nuclear bombs. The break-in, described by The New York Times, as the most serious security breach in the history of the U.S. atomic complex, was done by an 82-year-old Catholic nun and two fellow peace activists. Their Plowshares protest was intended to raise public consciousness on the existential threat posed by nuclear weapons.

Three years earlier, five activists, including a Catholic nun and two Jesuit priests, intruded onto a Seattle Naval base, reaching the nuclear warhead bunkers.

The film follows the activists’ legal efforts to justify their actions under international law, as well as the diplomatic efforts of the United Nations to abolish the use of nuclear weapons worldwide.

The screening of The Nuns, The Priests, and The Bombs is free to the public (donations are greatly appreciated to help offset the cost to have the film translated into several languages).

Following the film, a panel will lead an open discussion about the themes.  Our panelists are Lawrence Wittner, a prominent American historian who has combined intellectual life with activism for peace and social justice, and Jim Murphy, a former Catholic priest who has been active in the regional peace movement for decades.

This program is part of the series, Conversations to Build an Inclusive American Community, hosted by Caffé Lena. It is sponsored by In Our Name Initiative and MLK Saratoga.

“Conversations to Build An Inclusive American Community” is a monthly discussion series in which our community’s brightest thinkers articulate their perspectives on important civic issues. The goal is to catalyze fresh thinking by bringing together people from a wide range of fields to share a conversation that is respectful, deep, empowering and unique.

The curator and sponsor of this series is In Our Name Initiative, an organization dedicated to civic learning and legislative action for social, economic and criminal justice matters. In Our Name is a component of the Skidmore College Project on Restorative Justice, a national thought and training organization dedicated to the work of reconciling victims and offenders and finding more constructive ways to deal with crime and punishment.

MLK Saratoga shares Dr. King’s vision of peace and justice for all. We work toward this vision by promoting racial, social, economic, and climate justice. We use Performance, the Arts and Dialogue to create new ways of understanding and to build a more unified, inclusive community that is truly safe and just.