Monthly Archive for June, 2020

Nuclear weapons abolitionists again convicted of damage and trespass in Germany

Outside the courthouse in Cochem

by John LaForge, Nukewatch

On June 10 in Cochem, Germany, three peace activists were convicted of “damage to property” and “trespass” for their part in a July 15, 2018 protest at the Büchel Air Force Base in west-central Germany, where the United States Air Force deploys 20 hydrogen bombs. The trial of Marion Küpker, of Hamburg, Stefanie Augustin, of Dortmund, and Margriet Bos, of Amsterdam, was the latest in a series of trials resulting from a long-running campaign of nonviolent resistance directed against the threatened use of the U.S. nuclear bombs. District Judge Andre Zimmermann sentenced Küpker, Bos and Augustine to fines ranging between 1,200 and 300 Euros, or to a possible 30 days in jail for refusing to pay.
 The regional paper Rhein-Zeitung reported, “The three women entered the Büchel air base together with a total of 18 people during an international protest week,” July 15, 2018. The protest was aimed at U.S. nuclear weapons used at the NATO base where the Luftwaffe’s Tornado fighter jet pilots from Germany’s 33rd Tactical Air Force Wing train to drop the U.S. nuclear weapons which are maintained there by the U.S. Air Force’s 702nd Munitions Support Squadron. The widely reported mid-summer action saw five separate openings cut in the base’s chain link fence, through which the 18 resisters entered in small groups unhindered, in broad daylight, on a Sunday morning. One person got through in a wheel chair, and another entered using crutches. 

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Elizabeth McAlister sentenced for 2018 Plowshares disarmament action

Elizabeth McAlister (photo by Steve Dear)

from the Nuclear Resister

A revered elder of the American anti-war movement was sentenced on Monday, June 8 to time served for her part with six other Catholic peace activists in the April 4, 2018 Kings Bay Plowshares nonviolent direct action for nuclear disarmament. Elizabeth McAlister, age 80, had already spent more than 17 months in Georgia county jails following her arrest.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, McAlister appeared for sentencing via video from her daughter’s home in Connecticut, surrounded by her three children, their partners and her six grandchildren. Judge Lisa Godbey Wood presided from federal court in Brunswick, Georgia.

McAlister was also ordered to pay a special assessment of $310 and restitution of $33,503.51, assigned jointly and severally to all the defendants. Out of consideration for her lifetime of voluntary poverty and lack of material assets, the court did not impose a fine, but mandated a minimum payment of $25/month towards restitution. McAlister was also placed on three years of supervised probation.

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