I really think that the verdict was, frankly, reactionary. They (the jurors) heard a lot. The judge allowed them to hear a lot. And it’s a little frightening that nuclear weapons could be hidden in plain sight.” — Defendant Carmen Trotta
From a Press Release:
BRUNSWICK, GA (October 24, 2019) — More than 18 months after they snuck onto the site of one of the largest known collections of nuclear weaponry in the world, a jury found the Kings Bay Plowshares 7 guilty of all four of the charges brought against them.
The defendants face more than 20 years in prison for destruction and depredation of government property in excess of $1,000, trespassing, and conspiracy.
“The Pentagon has many installations — and we just walked out of one of them,” defendant Mark Colville said outside the courthouse. “It’s a place where they weaponize the law. And they wield it mostly against the poor, the people who have all the red lined neighborhoods in this county know that very well.
“And once in a while the people who are privileged like us get a taste of it. And when we do we should hear the word guilty as a blessing on us because it gives us an opportunity to stand with people who hear guilty all the time every day.”
The seven expect to be sentenced in 60 to 90 days. Until then, six of them have been released under bond conditions each had prior to trial.
Late at night on April 4, 2018 Mark Colville, Clare Grady, Martha Hennessy, Fr Steve Kelly, SJ, Elizabeth McAlister, Patrick O’Neill, and Carmen Trotta used a bolt cutter to enter a remote gate at Naval Base Kings Bay in St Mary’s, GA. They walked two miles through swamp and brush. They then split into three groups and prayed, poured blood, spray painted messages against nuclear weapons, hammered on parts of a shrine to nuclear missiles, hung banners, and waited to be arrested.
During the course of the trial, which began Monday morning, the defendants and their supporters had expressed pleasure with the unexpected amount of information they had been able to provide to the jury about their reasons for undertaking their protest. Federal Judge Lisa Godbey Wood had issued an order late last Friday night restricting any evidence or testimony having to do with a necessity defense, international law and treaties restricting nuclear weaponry, and religious and moral reasons.
“I really think that the verdict was, frankly, reactionary,” Defendant Carmen Trotta told supporters outside the courthouse. “They (the jurors) heard a lot. The judge allowed them to hear a lot. And it’s a little frightening that nuclear weapons could be hidden in plain sight. We have to understand that we are a remnant… We remain a remnant of the spirit that I think was stronger in our country at other periods on time.
“But we all know which way the wind is blowing. There’s the Black Lives Matter movement. There’s the Extinction Rebellion. There’s the Me Too movement. There’s an activist community waiting just behind us.”
Peter Nightingale is a theoretical physicist and teaches at the University of Rhode Island. He strives to leave behind a more just, peaceful, and sustainable post-capitalist world for future generations, and for his children and grandchildren in particular.