Tuesday, August 13, 2019

The Case For Conversion -- Because #ClimateEmergency Is Not Going Away

Channeling Senator Susan Collins and her many corporate sponsors outside BIW in Bath prior to my arrest April 1, 2017

My husband and I and many friends have been arrested at General Dynamics' Bath Iron Works war ship factory multiple times protesting the celebration of wasteful, carbon-belching weapons of mass destruction.

Current rap sheet for Mark and me:

Aegis 9 group just prior to our arrest

April 1, 2017 Aegis 9 arrested and charged with criminal trespass. Acquitted February 1, 2018 by Justice Dan Billings  prior to jury deliberations, on the grounds that the state failed to make their case.

LBJ 25 group with supporters just after our arrest
April 27, 2019 LBJ 25 arrested and charged with obstructing a public way. Charges dropped by (new) Sagadahoc County District Attorney Natasha Irving.

In handcuffs after blocking a bus headed for a war ship celebration at Bath Iron Works on June 22

June 22, 2019 Inouye 22 arrested and charged with obstructing a public way. Awaiting mail from DA Irving notifying us that obstructing a public way charges have been dropped in favor of -- jaywalking! Our understanding is that a $150 fine will have to be paid or we will risk losing our drivers license. Ongoing legal strategizing on how to respond is still in process.

The publicity generated by our risking arrest is the point.

Because when we convene a news conference to lay out the case for conversion of Maine's military-industrial capacity to address climate emergency, corporate media and elected officials pay very little attention.

If the embedded video of our news conference does not work for you, here's a link to the video on YouTube: Climate Crisis Demands Conversion, Press Conference.

A Green New Deal that fails to address the Pentagon's enormous greenhouse gas emissions will not be successful. 

This is an inconvenient truth that is unaffected by Pentagon propaganda, or the refusal to count military emissions as part of the climate problem.

I will continue working to get the word out, before climate catastrophe overtakes us all.

Recently I was interviewed by Mutiny FM, an internet radio station out of San Francisco. (Big thanks to Inouye 22 member Sadie Fulton for arranging this!) You can hear host Roman Rimer interview with me beginning around the 27 minute mark in the archived podcast.

And, also this week, I did an interview for Bruce Gagnon's This Issue show on local access television about the urgent need for conversion. Please listen to our discussion and join in.

If the embedded video of Bruce's show does not work for you, here's a link to the video on YouTube: This Issue with Lisa Savage.

Climate emergency is not going away. We must all pull together, and soon.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Kings Bay Plowshares 7 Against Nuclear Weapons Ask Court To Dismiss Charges Against Them

Four of the Kings Bay Plowshares 7 with members of their legal team and actor Martin Sheen outside federal court in southern Georgia on Wednesday. Photo by Anthony Donovan

Today I share a press release from the admirable and determined Kings Bay Plowshares 7 group of nuclear weapons protesters. 

They are the conscience of our nation yet they have been held for 16 months without trial for nonviolent acts of protest. 
Federal Judge Hears Kings Bay Plowshares' Motion to Dismiss Charges Under RFRA
BRUNSWICK, GA – The Kings Bay Plowshares 7 in federal court made oral arguments concerning the denial of the pre-trial motions to dismiss the charges against them. Appearing for the first time before Judge Lisa Godbey Wood, who will be the trial judge, four of the pro-se defendants and two of the lawyers spoke about why they felt Magistrate Benjamin Cheesbro had improperly ruled against them after two days of hearings last November. 
The main focus of today’s hearing was the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which is being used for the first time in a case like this.
Defendants were only given 90 minutes for all arguments. The government used 30 minutes of its allotted time.  The courtroom was packed with more than 60 supporters inside, including renowned actor and activist Martin Sheen, and 25 were kept outside for lack of space. It was the first time this year that the three defendants still incarcerated in the Glynn County jail for 16 months, Mark Colville, Fr. Steve Kelly, SJ, and Elizabeth McAlister, saw their codefendants.  They have been prevented from in-person legal preparation since last November.
Stephanie McDonald, attorney for Martha Hennessy, began by arguing that the government failed to meet its obligations under RFRA. The law requires that there be specific and individual consideration for each defendant’s beliefs and actions.
Defendant Clare Grady said that the government’s attempted criminalization of the defendants' religious practice is not only an undue substantial burden but is also a violation of RFRA, the law of the land. 
Mark Colville, Patrick O’Neill, and Carmen Trotta also spoke in court.
Bill Quigley, attorney for Elizabeth McAlister, began the closing argument by reminding the court of the bedrock religious belief “Thou shalt not kill.”
He summed up his comments by noting that the atrocities committed by Hitler and Stalin would pale in comparison were the Trident nuclear weapons ever used.  He said, “In 30 minutes after launch millions of innocent people would be killed."
The judge invited submission of any further arguments within a week. She indicated that she would give thoughtful attention to these complex issues, and if necessary, would promptly schedule a trial.  
And so we wait, and pray, on this day of remembrance and repentance, for justice from the court, and most importantly, for continued transformation of all of our hearts – and for the abolition of nuclear weapons.,
In blessing and gratitude,
The Kings Bay Plowshares 7 Support Team
SIGN OUR PETITION: Please also encourage everyone you know to sign our global petition.
SPECIAL EVENT IN DC: On August 11 the four released defendants will speak at a special event in Washington DC at 5 p.m. at Busboys and Poets CafĂ©, 14 & V sts., NW. This will be broadcast live on the Kings Bay Plowshares Facebook page and also on Code Pink's Facebook page. Code Pink is co-sponsoring the event along with Busboys and Poets and the Pentagon Area Pax Christi chapter.
You are also welcome at the monthly vigil at the Kings Bay submarine base on the third Saturday of the month, usually from 10am to 1pm.