Monday, December 13, 2010: The federal criminal trial of five veteran peace activists that began December 7 ended today after the jury found them guilty on all counts. The five defendants, called the Disarm Now! Plowshares, challenged the legality and morality of the U.S. storage and use of thermonuclear missiles by Trident nuclear submarines at the Kitsap-Bangor Naval Base outside Bremerton Washington.
In their defense the peace activists argued three points: the nuclear missiles at Bangor are weapons of mass destruction; those weapons are both illegal and immoral; and that all citizens have the right and duty to try to stop international war crimes from being committed by these weapons of mass destruction.
The five were charged with trespass, felony damage to federal property, felony injury to property and felony conspiracy to damage property. Each defendant faces sentences of up to ten years in prison.
On trial were: Anne Montgomery, 83, a Sacred Heart sister from New York; Bill Bischel, SJ, 81, a Jesuit priest from Tacoma Washington; Susan Crane, 67, a member of the Jonah House community in Baltimore, Maryland; Lynne Greenwald, 60, a nurse from Bremerton Washington; and Steve Kelly, SJ, 60, a Jesuit priest from Oakland California. Bill Bischel and Lynne Greenwald are active members of the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action, a community resisting Trident nuclear weapons since 1977.
After the verdict was read and Judge Settle was about to dismiss the jury, Fr. Steve Kelly stood and announced that the defendants would like to bless the jury. Steve and all of his co-defendants stood with their hands raised in blessing as he said, “May you go in peace and have a safe, happy holiday.”
Sentencing is scheduled for March 28, 2011 at 9:00 am.
Contact: Leonard Eiger, Media & Outreach Coordinator Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action (425) 445-2190 – e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org