By Bill Quigley
Two grandmothers, two priests and a nun were sentenced in federal court in Tacoma, WA Monday March 28, 2011, for confronting hundreds of US nuclear weapons stockpiled for use by the deadly Trident submarines.
Sentenced were: Sr. Anne Montgomery, 83, a Sacred Heart sister from New York, who was ordered to serve 2 months in federal prison and 4 months electronic home confinement; Fr. Bill Bichsel, 81, a Jesuit priest from Tacoma Washington, ordered to serve 3 months in prison and 6 months electronic home confinement; Susan Crane, 67, a member of the Jonah House community in Baltimore, Maryland, ordered to serve 15 months in federal prison; Lynne Greenwald, 60, a nurse from Bremerton Washington, ordered to serve 6 months in federal prison; and Fr. Steve Kelly, 60, a Jesuit priest from Oakland California, ordered to serve 15 months in federal prison. They were also ordered to pay $5300 each and serve an additional year in supervised probation. Bichsel and Greenwald are active members of the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action, a community resisting Trident nuclear weapons since 1977.
What did they do?
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by Chrissy Nesbitt
It was a joyful group that gathered today at Ground Zero and processed over to the main gate of Bangor Naval Base. We numbered about fifty, all decked out in rain gear and boots and umbrellas, though by the end of the vigil we had the sun come out to join us.
We read together. Steve Kelly read for us the words from Isaiah, about “setting free the oppressed, breaking every yoke.” And the world’s liberation, Isaiah tells us, is ours as well: “Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your wound shall quickly be healed.”
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Veterans at the White House fence, March 19, 2011. Photo copyright Bill Hughes.
Following are reports from Art Laffin of the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker community in Washington, D.C., about the veteran-led protest and arrests there on March 19, the eighth anniversary of the U.S. occupation of Iraq; from Military Families Speak Out about anti-war arrests in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood that same day; and from stopthesewars.org about the following day’s demonstration outside the Marine Corps base at Quantico, Virginia, where alleged whistleblower Pfc. Bradley Manning is being held in solitary confinement.
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Responding to the Message of Fukashima By Louie Vitale In “From Hiroshima to Fukushima,” an article published in The Nation on March 15 in the wake of the nuclear power disaster in Japan, historian Jonathan Schell once again hit the mark. The author of the ground-breaking book The Fate of the Earth published in the [...]
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Pacific Life Community activists enter the Lockheed-Martin missile complex, March 7, 2011. Photo by Jim Haber.
About sixty people came from as far as Albuquerque, New Mexico and Poulsbo, Washington for a two-day retreat of the Pacific Life Community in Menlo Park, California.
The retreat culminated with a two-hour vigil at the gate of Lockheed-Martin’s nearby Sunnyvale missile plant. Twelve people representing the faith-based network of activists who are dedicated to “ending nuclear weapons and war making through nonviolent direct action” walked past the gatehouse to bring their message directly to workers. Their path was soon blocked, and when they did not leave, all were arrested. Most were cited and released a short time later; Fr. Steve Kelly refused the conditional release. He was jailed for two more days before being released on time served. Court dates for the others are set in April.
Larry Purcell, a Catholic Worker from nearby Redwood City wrote about the local contrast in government spending:
Early this month a group of us went to Sunnyvale to protest at Lockheed/Martin Corp – the biggest military contractor in the world. It’s hard to imagine how big Lockheed/Martin is. According to William Hartung, “One of every 14 dollars doled out by the Pentagon” goes to Lockheed. Put another way, “that amounts to a ‘Lockheed/Martin tax’ of $260 per tax paying household in the United States.”
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