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In the Shadow of Warships and the Climate Emergency: On Getting Arrested at Bath Iron Works

In the Shadow of Warships and the Climate Emergency: On Getting Arrested at Bath Iron Works

Robert Shetterly

A couple of weeks ago I chose to get arrested at a demonstration at Bath Iron Works (BIW) in Bath, Maine. The day was cold, windy, and wet. A huge new battleship, the USS Lyndon Baines Johnson, was being launched. BIW is one of two shipyards in the US capable of building these mammoth, deadly ships. Maine’s Congresspeople and Senators were there along with the top executives of BIW and General Dynamics, the parent company of BIW—as well as hundreds of other guests—to extol our military might.

Thanks, Robert S., for your devotion to the planet and to future kids’ lives, and the web of creation that is unraveling because of the heat our energy choices from the past is creating. And continues, for now, because of greed and inertia.

Thanks for your art and your activism; there are more joining you, and us, every day. May it happen soon enough.


What is especially frustrating about the US military build up is that all our military is used for is to defend themselves.

You would think the United State military would defend peace keepers and NGOs worldwide.


i know the military is the largest emitter of greenhouse gases. I didn’t know they emit 70%. Thanks for the info and your sacrifice


“The Pentagon has spent billions over the years successfully propagandizing about the greatest country in the world defended by the greatest army in the world.”

Last week I was reminded in a chance conversation that Dinah Shore, an early TV personality and singer, sang every week a commercial jingle for Chevrolet that included the line, “America’s the greatest land of all,” from 1952 well into the 1960s.

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Thanks, Rob, for this excellent reflection of our civil resistance at General Dynamics/Bath Iron Works. Since that time District Attorney Natasha Irving has declined to prosecute the LBJ 25 saying it would waste her resources to do so.

Folks who feel as alarmed as you do might consider joining us in Bath on Saturday, June 22 around 9am for the next war ship celebration by uber wealthy General Dynamics. There will be civil resistance actions, and also many opportunities to call for conversion without risking arrest.

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Actually, it’s even a bit worse than Robert makes it out to be: Oil is essential to modern warfare, and there are no “green” substitutes for it (a passing dalliance by the Navy in biofuels notwithstanding). That’s why we’ll never even really TRY to solve the climate crisis before we’ve ended US imperialism and the self-delude cabal (rabble?) it supports and who in turn support it. For historical context, see the recent book, “Oil, Power and War” by Matthieu Auzanneau.


Thank you Robert for having courage, more than I.

Thank you for raising consciousness.

Hi Robert I really respect what you are doing. Is there a source for the statistic " The Pentagon’s carbon footprint is 70% of total US emissions." ??? I would love to use it but need to know what it’s based on.