Three Dominican sisters involved in the Sacred Earth and Space Plowshares action at Peterson Air Force Base two years ago - Ardeth Platte and Carol Gilbert of Jonah House, in Baltimore, and Jackie Hudson, member of the Ground Zero Community for Nonviolent Action at Bangor, Washington - were arrested in the early morning of Sunday, October 6 after entering the N-8 missile silo in northern Colorado.
From their statement, left at the disarmament scene: "We, women religious, naming ourselves SACRED EARTH AND SPACE PLOWSHARES II, come to Colorado to unmask the false religion and worship of national security so evi dent at Buckley AFB, in Aurora, the Missile Silos, and in Colorado Springs: Schreiver AFB (the Space Warfare Center), the Air Force Space Command Center at Peterson AFB, Cheyenne Mountain (NORAD) and the Air Force Academy. We reject the mission of these along with the U.S. Space Command and Stratcom in Omaha, NE.
The women wore white jumpsuits emblazoned with "CWIT - Citizen Weapons Inspection Team" on the back and "Disarmament Specialists" on the front to identify their peaceful intent. Before military police arrived more than an hour later, they had hammered on the tracks that carry the lid of the silo to its firing position. Using their own blood, they made the sign of the cross on the tracks and the silo lid that protects the buried nuclear warhead and missile. Then they cut through the fence in three places. Afterwards, they completed their liturgy and sang many songs and hymns before seeing air force personnel appear in the distance. "We come in the name of Truth, an-Nur, the Light. God alone is Master of Space, of the heavens that "pour forth speechŠThere is no speech or language where their voice is not heard" (Ps. 19:2), a voice that proclaims world community, not domination of the world's economy; peace, not planning for space warfare. "We hope in the light of that word to name things what they are, to unmask the lies, abuses, and racism hidden in the rhetoric of patriotism, security and moral superiority. We reject the U.S. Space Command Vision for 2020 to dominate space for military operations; to exploit space as a U.S. 4th frontier, making all other nations vulnerable to U.S. conventional and nuclear attacks; to integrate space forces for warfighting; to abuse the Aleutian Islands and other lands with interceptors and spy satellites and to waste more billions and billions of dollars and more human and material resources, causing the destruction of Earth and desecration of Space.
The women could not abide the conditions of personal recognizance bonds, and were held on a state charge of property destruction. That charge was dropped by October 24, when they were arraigned on a federal grand jury indictment for property damage and obstruction of the "National Defense." Their December 16 court date will possibly be postponed.
With them in spirit is a fourth member of the original Sacred Earth and Space Plowshares group, Anne Montgomery, RSCJ, who in light of the immediate need, recently returned to the Middle East to serve with the Christian Peacemaker Team in Hebron, and with Voices in the Wilderness in Iraq.
For more information, contact Jonah House, 1301 Moreland Ave., Baltimore, MD 21216, (410)233-6238, .
Letters of support should be sent individually addressed to Sr. Ardeth Platte, OP, Sr. Carol Gilbert, OP, Sr. Jackie Hudson, OP, at the Clear Creek Correctional Center, P.O. Box 518, Georgetown, CO 80444.