Sister Jeanne Clark, 83, is well known as the Founder of our Congregation’s Homecoming Farm, an organic cooperative. But did you know that she has been arrested numerous times for protesting nuclear weapons?
In March 1983, S. Jeanne Clark attempted to kneel on the railroad tracks to stop the famous “white train” which was filled with nuclear weapons heading to the Naval Submarine Base in Bangor, Washington State. She along with others organized this protest to decry the building and deployment of the Trident nuclear submarine fleet. Each Trident is armed with nuclear capabilities 2,040 times as powerful as the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
“When the train came, six of us were prepared to kneel on the tracks,” recalled Sister Jeanne, who was a member of the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action. As she attempted to walk onto the tracks, one of the sheriffs warned her that she would be arrested. S. Jeanne replied, “I have to be in front of this train. This train is going to kill us all.” Holding a bible and some daffodils, S. Jeanne was forced to the ground by the officer. The Bible opened and a picture of a baby with whom she lived, fell to the ground.
“Do you see the baby?” she asked him. He said, “yes,” sadly.
She replied, “His name is Daniel,` and he is asking us to stop the train.” As she was escorted to the police car, she held up the picture and repeated the sentence again and again. “His name is Daniel and he is asking us to stop the train.” Press from all over the country were there to witness the protest. S. Jeanne’s arrest was all over the news that night.
Three years later while observing a trial in a courtroom, she found out what a powerful influence she had on Glen Milner, now a life-long protester. He was on trial for being in front of the White Train as it came into the submarine base at Bangor.
The defense attorney asked Glen why he was on the tracks in front of the train. Glen explained that he was influenced by the haunting words said by a woman on the nightly news three years earlier. As she was being put into a police car, she held up a picture of a baby and said, “‘His name is Daniel, and he is asking us to stop the train.” Glen said he felt like she was speaking directly to me as a father.
S. Jeanne remembered, “I was sobbing in the courtroom.” She was humbled that her words and actions could have such an impact on someone. “I thought, you know, when you do something out of truth and love, miracles happen.”
Today, she continues to walk the path of non-violence at Homecoming Farm, knowing that violence comes when we think we are separate from each other. “We think we are separate; it is the separate story…our consciousness needs to change…We are all apart of the universe, all living together on this beautiful planet Earth, all one sacred community of life. We are one.”