Peacemakers Honored by ELF Resisters
Civil resistance arrests at Project ELF topped 500 since 1991, with the citation of eight people for trespass on October 10. The latest resistance action in the nine-year nonviolent direct action campaign to shut off the Navy's extremely low frequency transmitter was organized by the Loaves and Fishes Catholic Worker community of Duluth, Minnesota, as part of a weekend of activities honoring peacemakers St. Francis of Assisi and the late Plowshares activist Larry Cloud Morgan.
All eight were cited and released at the site of the Trident submarine fleet's communications trigger for nuclear war. Three of those arrested pleaded not guilty and await a trial.
Beginning January 3, a provision of Wisconsin state law that had put a damper on resistance at Project ELF has been repealed.
For years, Wisconsin State courts have suspended the drivers' licenses of people that fail to pay fines imposed for non-traffic offenses. Hundreds charged with trespassing during protests at Project ELF have had their licenses suspended for up to five years - some repeatedly - for refusing to pay fines.
Now, the legislature has eliminated the State's power to suspend driving privileges solely for the failure to pay fines, "imposed for violating a local ordinance that is unrelated to the violator's operation of a vehicle." "
Most people need their license for work, school or church, especially rural folks, so jail-going was actually easier than losing a license," said Nukewatch's John LaForge. LaForge said that of the 503 trespass citations issued against nonviolent protesters at ELF since the end of the Cold War, dozens went to jail rather than pay fines, until the license suspensions replaced most jail penalties.
For more information, contact Loaves & Fishes Catholic Worker, 1712
Jefferson St., Duluth, MN 55812, (218)724-2054 or Nukewatch,
P.O. Box 649, Luck, WI 54853, (715)472-4185; firstname.lastname@example.org