Seven Peace Activists Found Guilty of "Conspiracy" for Anti-Nuclear Protest

Seven Peace Activists Found Guilty of “Conspiracy” for Anti-Nuclear Protest

In Georgia, a federal grand jury on Thursday found seven Catholic peace activists guilty on three felony counts and a misdemeanor charge for breaking into the Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base on April 4, 2018. The activists, known as the Kings Bay Plowshares 7, entered the base armed with hammers, crime scene tape, baby bottles containing their own blood, and an indictment charging the U.S. government with crimes against peace. The base is home to at least six nuclear ballistic missile submarines, each of which carries 20 Trident thermonuclear weapons. The activists said they were following the prophet Isaiah’s command to “beat swords into plowshares.” At this week’s trial, the defendants were barred from citing their religious motivations or from mounting a “necessity defense” saying that their lawbreaking was necessary to prevent the far greater crime of a nuclear war. The activists will be sentenced within the next 90 days. They face more than 20 years in prison.

TRANSCRIPT

AMY GOODMAN: In Georgia, a federal grand jury Thursday found seven Catholic peace activists guilty on three felony counts and a misdemeanor charge for breaking into the Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base on April 4, 2018 — the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. The activists, known as the Kings Bay Plowshares 7, entered the base armed with hammers, crime scene tape, baby bottles containing their own blood, and an indictment charging the U.S. government with crimes against peace. The base is home to at least six nuclear ballistic missile submarines, each of which carries 20 Trident thermonuclear weapons. The activists said they were following the prophet Isaiah’s command to “beat swords into plowshares.” At this week’s trial, the defendants were barred from citing their religious motivations — or from mounting a “necessity defense” saying their lawbreaking was necessary to prevent the far greater crime of a nuclear war. This is Bill Quigley, attorney for the Kings Bay Plowshares 7, speaking just after Thursday’s “guilty” verdict.

Bill Quigley: As the jury was not allowed to hear, the submarines, nuclear weapons submarines, that are at Kings Bay have 3,800 times as much destructive power as the weapons that were used on Hiroshima, enough power to destroy life on Earth as we know it. After two years of prayer and action and practice, they came together and took action to go onto King’s Bay and preach the word — preach the word of love, preach the word of life, preach the word of peace, 
and they are paying a huge price for that as you all know.


AMY GOODMAN: The activists will be sentenced within the next 90 days. They face more than 20 years in prison. This is Plowshares activist Martha Hennessy.

Martha Hennessy: The weapons are still there. The treaties are being knocked down one after the next. But we are called to keep trying, and we will do this together and we have not other choice. Thank you so much.

AMY GOODMAN: Martha Hennessy is the granddaughter of Dorothy Day, the founder of the Catholic Worker Movement. To see our recent interview with legendary peace activist Liz McAlister, click here.