News Release

The Coming Trial: Activists Facing Decades in Prison for Turning Weapons into Plowshares

On April 4, 2018 — exactly 50 years after the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. — seven Plowshare activists entered a major U.S. nuclear submarine base to nonviolently and symbolically disarm nuclear weapons.

Earlier this year, a statement was released supporting this Plowshares action which took place at Kings Bay, Georgia. See: “Rev. Tutu Among Luminaries Backing Activists Facing 25 Years for Nuclear Weapons Action.”

The trial of the “Kings Bay Plowshares 7” is set to begin on October 21 in Brunswick, Georgia.

Some of the Plowshare activists have been locked up for over one and a half years, though all but one are out of jail right now and available for interviews.

Father Stephen Kelly, a Jesuit priest, is the only one still in jail. See the recent statement he gave to a gathering of hundreds of supporters at an event in New York City, in which he invokes Isaiah 2:4, which gives the Plowshares movement its name: “He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”

ELIZABETH McALISTER, @kingsbayplow7
McAlister has been involved in the Plowshares movement for decades. She was just recently released –after over a year and a half in jail. Eventually the government allowed her not to wear an ankle monitor, but she still has to regularly report. She is the widow of Philip Berrigan. See piece in The Baltimore Sun.

When they did the action, the activists held up signs: “The Ultimate Logic of Trident is Omnicide” and “Nuclear Weapons: Illegal / Immoral.” McAlister explained of the Trident submarines at the base, with all the warheads atop each of their missiles: “If they were ever launched, it is the end of life on earth. I don’t think we have the right to end life on earth. We don’t have the right to keep those weapons and threaten to launch them.”

MARTHA HENNESSY, [until Sat.] marthahennessy at gmail.com
Hennessy is also one of the Kings Bay Plowshares 7. She is currently in Vermont. She is also the granddaughter of Dorothy Day, the founder of the Catholic Worker movement. Hennessy was featured on the Intercepted podcast earlier this year. Also see a recent interview with her that gives an overview of the legal and moral justifications for their action, including ongoing U.S.nuclear weapons policy.

The other Kings Bay Plowshare 7 are: Mark ColvilleClare GradyPatrick O’Neill and Carmen Trotta. See statements defending their actions on the basis of religious freedom in August by O’Neill and Colville, who noted: “for over nine months now this court has denied me the opportunity to meet with my co-defendants and their lawyers to prepare for court appearances or to discuss written submissions to the court.”

More information is available at KingsBayPlowshares7.org and via:
Mary Anne Grady Flores, gradyflores08 at gmail.com
Bill Ofenloch, billcpf at aol.com