It Was Wild, Wonderful

By Mary Knebel

In 1988, there were 150 missile sites surrounding Kansas City. In December of 1997 some of the Peace Planters witnessed the destruction of the last missile. How did this come about? Could it have been the work of the plowshares and Peace Planters?

The days of the peace planters were a very special time in my life, many lessons I learned. These lessons were taught by beautiful, pleasantly maladjusted people. People I learned to love, as we struggled together to build a community of resistance. The only action that happened that was perfectly planned was the 7:00 a.m. on August 15, 1988 action. Wow! Fourteen people plus their witnesses were at the right spot at the right time. Amazing! What followed was chaos. The community was put to the test. On August 16, 17 and 18, the actors kept climbing those fences; folks were agitated and nervous, everything was out of control. People had to move out of Shalom House, because Father Wimpe and Sister Barbara needed to resume their work there. Cele Wagner invited all those "naughty folks" to camp out at her place. Consensus was out the door. Wild, wonderful, really it was, the community pretty much came back together. Support was there for court dates, prison visits, food was cooked and lots of hugs were given, people talked to each other, a celebration!

August, 1988 was followed with an action in 1989 and then by a four-day peace camp over the 4th of July in 1990. The last action was in October of 1991, when sixteen of us occupied one missile site.

Some of the K. C. peace planters reminisce about those years and talk about how alive they felt doing resistance work. "We need to do something like that again" said one old friend.

Well guess what, the Stealth is at Whiteman air force base. I got a map of the place and an idea of how to get into the base, undetected. Are you ready?

Mary Knebel is a long time Nukewatch volunteer in Kansas City.