This just in from Ann Suellentrop, lead organizer for the action and recipient of the 2010 Alliance for Nuclear Accountability activist of the year award:
"Eight peace activists were arrested yesterday at the "Plant Peace, Not Nukes! - Groundbreaking for Works of Mercy, Not Works of War" held at the entrance of the planned site for the new nuclear weapons parts plant in KC MO [Kansas City, Missouri]. It was an alternative ground breaking ceremony to the billion-dollar replacement for the Honeywell nuclear weapon parts plant that was taking place at the same time in which local and national officials touted the new plant's local economic and national strategic importance to 500 guests. The eight peace activists broke off from the larger group of 70 "Peace Planters" and stood or knelt in front of three large VIP buses, as they tried to come onto the site and attend the official ground breaking ceremony. The buses were delayed for about 10 minutes until KC Police were able to arrest the eight activists and clear the entrance so the buses could continue on to the site." See Ann's full report here. See the National Catholic Reporter's coverage of the protest here, including a slideshow of photos.
In this article, the head of the construction company that will build the plant -- and get paid many millions in taxpayer dollars for the job -- tried to justify doing so by saying that "dozens" of countries, including rogue states, already have "the bomb," and thus we must deter their attack. At last count, "only" 9 countries have nuclear weapons (in chronological order, the U.S., Russia, U.K., France, China, Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea). Perhaps he should have said "will have" the bomb, as the building of this replacement plant is a clear signal to the world that the U.S. does not intend to live up to its Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty obligation to abolish its nuclear weapons arsenal anytime soon -- a sure recipe for further proliferation, as other countries can claim they are seeking to defend themselves against U.S. aggression. "Do as I say, not as I do" is guaranteed to fail as a non-proliferation policy!
Ironically, the Kansas City Plant (which builds the "non-nuclear" parts of nuclear weaponry, such as guidance systems, electronics, structural components, etc.) just so happens to be located right where the 1983 t.v. movie The Day After -- about a catastrophic nuclear war between the U.S. and U.S.S.R -- was set. In non-fiction reality, the bomb making facility all but guarantees that Russian nuclear warheads are still targeting Kansas City.