The five plowshares activists who entered the U.S. Navy’s nuclear weapons storage depot in Washington State on November 2, 2009 were arraigned on October 8 in U.S. District Court, Tacoma, Washington before Magistrate Judge Karen L. Strombom.
Anne Montgomery, RSCJ, Steve Kelly, SJ, Lynne Greenwald, Bill “Bix” Bichsel, SJ, and Susan Crane were all present to enter their not guilty pleas before Judge Strombom.
The government brought many serious charges against each of the Disarm Now! defendants for their peaceful November 2, 2009 Plowshares action. They include Conspiracy, Trespass, Destruction of Property on a Naval Installation and Depredation of Government Property.
The major consequences for the various individual charges range between 5 and 10 years in prison, and from $50, 000 to $250,000 in fines, as well as up to 3 years of supervised release, and/or up to 5 years probation.
Additionally, the judge made it clear that should the defendants be convicted on multiple charges, the court could order them to serve consecutive sentences, thereby greatly increasing the number of years they might spend in prison. The five co-defendants firmly believe there is sufficient legal doctrine substantiating their invocation of the necessity defense, and that the “Defendants’ actions are just and not at all illegal,” and therefore the case should be immediately dismissed.
The judge set a trial date for December 7, 2010 at 9:00 AM in the United States District Court, Western District of Washington at Tacoma. A pre-trial conference date is set for November 22, 2010.
Visit Disarm Now! Web site for complete information, including biographical statements and links to the work of the Disarm Now! Plowshares members.