On March 21, the last of a group of 13 nuclear disarmament activists arrested at a July 5, 2010 action at the Y-12 nuclear weapons complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee went to court. David Corcoran was sentenced to 150 hours of community service, a $1000 fine and 2 years of probation. Three dozen supporters in attendance at the hearing applauded when he walked out of the Chicago courtroom.
The July 2010 action culminated the Resistance for a Nuclear-Free Future gathering, marking the 30th anniversaries of Nukewatch, the Nuclear Resister and the Plowshares Eight.
Information about the gathering and action can be found here.
David Corcoran’s sentencing statement:
Judge St. Eve, I thank you for taking time to be with us today and I thank Sandy McNichols who took time to do my Presentence Investigation Report.
I thank you Raj for being here to do your job as Prosecuting Attorney and of course I thank Sarah, my Defense Attorney, for guiding me through this maze of pleading guilty.
I also wish to thank all of those who sent support letters and who took time to be in court today, some coming from as far away as Tennessee and Kentucky
Judge, I want to reiterate that when I committed an infraction of civilian law twice before, I was protesting with thousands of others the U.S. sponsored School of the Americas which trains Latin American soldiers to torture, rape, assassinate, murder and massacre their own innocent civilians, men, women, and children.
But in this incident I was protesting against the evil of nuclear weapons that contaminate the whole earth and corrupt the people who use them or threaten to use them. Running through the very field where the 13 of us gathered to pray, is a creek that is so contaminated with nuclear byproducts that it is posted with signs warning people not to eat the fish that might be caught there.
If you so choose to send me to prison for this offense, I ask that you consider my health problems and the advice of my thoracic surgeon. If you impose a fine, it will simply take money away from the poor that we donate to. In the words of President Dwight D. Eisenhower: In the end every penny spent on the military, the wars, the weapons, constitute a theft from the poor.
The support letters submitted to you, testify not so much to my integrity, as to the cloud of witnesses that stood with us in that field. They are also opposed to nuclear weapons that continue to contaminate our moral resolve. Your sentence effects all of them as well.
I do wish to clarify the statement I made to you in the letter I sent you and is included in the presentence investigation report where I said I stand here before you sinful and sorrowful. I am sinful and I am sorrowful for the existence of nuclear weapons but not sorrowful for protesting against them. The evil is not that I broke an unjust law but the evil is that of nuclear weapons which threaten the continuance of all life here on earth.
I stand for peace, Judge. That’s what my life is all about.