Our friends who took part in Disarm Now Plowshares last November were indicted by a federal grand jury on Friday and will appear in U.S. District Court in Tacoma for arraignment on September 24, 2010, at 1:30 p.m.
If the five activists are found guilty on charges of “conspiracy, trespass, destruction of property on a naval installation, and depredation of government property,” they could each face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The group’s website recaps the action and has some great quotes from the activists about how they’re taking the news:
…they entered Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor in the early morning hours of November 2, 2009, All Souls Day, with the intention of calling attention to the illegality and immorality of the existence of the Trident weapons system.
During the action they held a banner saying…“Disarm Now Plowshares : Trident: Illegal + Immoral”, left a trail of blood, hammered on the roadway and fences around Strategic Weapons Facility – Pacific (SWFPAC) and scattered sunflower seeds throughout the base. They gained entry to the secure nuclear weapons storage facility known as Strategic Weapons Facility-Pacific (SWFPAC) where they were detained, and after extensive questioning by base security, FBI and Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), cited for trespass and destruction of government property, given ban and bar letters and released.
Bichsel said he feels compelled by his faith to continue risking his freedom for peace, despite two open-heart surgeries that require him to take frequent rests during even light exertion. “The power of the resurrection is much stronger than our destructive ways,” he said. “I believe the presence of God made manifest through the witness of nonviolent action will break the bonds of fear, hopelessness, and death in which nuclear weapons imprison us.”
Kelly said he expects the Disarm Now Plowshares trial to be “another act of resistance” because the government will try to limit what the defendants have to say about nuclear weapons and war. The judicial body functions as a legitimizer of nuclear weapons, Kelly said. “Our actions, which could be part of the solutions, are deemed illegal, because nuclear weapons are legal,” so that courtroom becomes a place of further resistance.”
The military is currently putting the breaks on the drive to war in Iran, says a former colonel and diplomat, but concerned citizens need to step up.
Two Iraqi peace activists discuss their commitment to peace and undoing the violence wrought by the last two U.S. wars in their country.
Waging Nonviolence is a leading publication on social movements around the world, and we’re looking to expand our coverage and work with new writers.