|- Project ELF|
The recent reality of federal - rather than state - prosecution has not deterred direct action opponents of Project ELF, the Navy's extremely low frequency transmitter for signaling nuclear submarines into missile launch status. On August 9, Nagasaki Day, about 55 people trekked down national forest roads to the transmitter site near Clam Lake, Wisconsin. There, an electromagnetic signal is pumped into the granite bedrock and out to deep reaches of the earth's oceans via 57 miles of heavy cable antenna crisscrossing the timbered landscape.
This year, seven people were cited for trespass and released with the promise that arraignment in federal court in Madison awaits them at some future date.
Only one federal magistrate, Stephen Crocker, has so far heard these cases. On August 22, he confessed to a "waste of taxpayer's money" when he sentenced John Heid to 30 days in prison for failure to pay a $500 fine resulting from his arrest at ELF on October 7, 2001.
The Duluth News Tribune reported three days before Heid's arrest that the Wisconsin antenna would likely be used in any U.S. bombardment of Afghanistan.
"When [codefendants] Roberta [Thurston], Don [Timmerman] and I acted on 10/7, the crosshairs of U.S. foreign policy locked on Afghanistan. Now it's Iraq's turn," Heid told the court. "The countdown's on. The media rails are greased. The wheels of state are in motion. It all comes down to the 'trigger'. ELF. Will we let them pull it again? Or dissent?"
Six weeks before this sentencing, Heid was one of the School of the America's defendants sentenced to six months in prison for repeated trespass. He will serve the terms consecutively, beginning September 10 when he surrenders at a federal prison in Pennsylvania.
While Heid turns himself in, trials for two groups of ELF resisters scheduled in Magistrate Crocker's Madison courtroom that day have been consolidated. Six people arrested this year on Martin Luther King Jr. Day and five more arrested on Mother's Day will face a single trial.
For more information, contact Nukewatch, POB 649, Luck, WI 54853, (715)472-4185, firstname.lastname@example.org.