BY BY TOM FOX SPECIAL TO THE STARMAY 30, 2021 05:00 AM
Nonviolently, several score in numbers, we will gather again for the 10th year in a row this Memorial Day at the Kansas City nuclear weapons manufacturing plant to protest its operation, its intent and its senseless misuse of resources.
We are your neighbors. Our ranks might seem thin to some of you, but our vision is bold. We are part of a growing worldwide movement to rid our world of weapons of indiscriminate and mass destruction.
PeaceWorks Kansas City both preaches and models nonviolence. Co-Chair Henry Stoever, a well-known Kansas City attorney, explains to police officials just what to expect. He and they want to avoid surprises and possible violence. Over the years, he has worked most closely with Kansas City Police Sgt. Craig Hope, who oversees the southern area of the city, to explain each move in the program.
“They’re really respectful people,” Hope said to me in a recent phone call. “Everyone is friendly. They intentionally do not go limp when we arrest them so they will not hurt our backs. … We take good care of them and they take good care of us.”
On a particularly hot day, several years back, the assembled police passed out water bottles to the protesters to assure they would be adequately hydrated.
Asked why he returns year after year to protest, Stoever called the plant, which operates on a $1 billion annual budget and is managed by Honeywell, a “monstrous” operation.