Jubilee Ploughshares

Personal Statement from Susan van der Hijden

Dear friends,

Peace be with you. I have come to Wittering airforce base today in an attempt to restore justice and peace on earth. To fulfil Gods law of love and the prophecies of Micah and Isaiah: 'They will beat their swords into ploughshares...and learn war no more'. To repent for our complicity in the oppression of the poor in the world and to start repaying our debt to them. To put the theories of the Jubilee year, as proclaimed by the Catholic church into practice.

As Trident is one of the great destabilising factors for peace and justice in the world I have chosen to, non-violently, dismantle a vital part of this mass murder weapons-system, namely the nuclear weapons convoy. We chose to use household hammers for this job and would like to pass those tools on to others so that we can clear the world of nuclear weapons together. It was no light decision, I realise I am upsetting a lot of peoples' lives, including my own by doing so. But what a small price to pay to make the world a little safer, a little more just.

The main purpose of Trident is to keep the current status quo between the rich and the poor, the powerful and the oppressed. It is used to protect Britain's vital interests by threatening third world countries into obedience.It is also threatening us in the first world by the constant danger of accidents (especially with the convoy) and the devastating effects a nuclear war will have on the whole planet.

'We could not, not do it.', Daniel Berrigan said after the first ploughshares-action 20 years ago, and that is the case for this action too. Our witness at Wittering today is an attempt to follow Christ, to try and fulfil the law: the law of God, of humanity and international law.

As a Christian and a human being it is my duty to try to stop Trident. Nuclear weapons go against everything God teaches us and against the morals and values with which I was raised. Of all commandments the most important one is love; love your neighbour, love your enemies, Jesus told us, Trident however is only capable of death and destruction, fear and Vengeance. I was raised to believe in the goodness of people, to value trust, love and kindness, not to steal, murder, or threaten others. Again Trident is the opposite, It comes from fear, hunger for power and delivers murder.

It is also my duty to stop Trident because the law says so. The Nuremburg ruling clearly says that it is every citizens duty to act when a government is involved in illegal activities. Under International law the use of and threatening with nuclear weapons such as Trident is illegal.The convoy vehicles transporting these nuclear weapons serve as the Nazi-trains that brought the people to the gas-ovens: the lorries bring the gasovens to the people.

I hope this will explain our action a little, I wish to say nothing more until the trial. We have done what we could, now it is up to you to complete the dismantling of Trident. Hey, if we can do it, anybody can!

Pax et Bonum,

Susan van der Hidjen