News Release

* Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty Enters into Force * Religious Freedom?

Amy Coney Barrett is expected to be voted in as a member of the Supreme Court today.

Al Jazeera reports: “Treaty banning nuclear weapons to enter into force,” which states: “Fifty countries have ratified an international treaty to ban nuclear weapons, the United Nations has announced, allowing the ‘historic’ text to enter into force in 90 days.

“Honduras became the 50th country to ratify the landmark Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), the UN said on Saturday, in a move hailed by anti-nuclear activists but strongly opposed by the United States” and the other nuclear powers.

“UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres commended the 50 states and saluted ‘the instrumental work’ of civil society in facilitating negotiations and pushing for ratification. …

“The UN chief said the treaty’s entry into force on January 22, 2021, crowns a worldwide movement ‘to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons’ and ‘is a tribute to the survivors of nuclear explosions and tests, many of whom advocated for this treaty.’ …

“The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize-winning coalition whose work helped spearhead the nuclear ban treaty, called the development a ‘historic milestone.'”

PATRICK O’NEILL, via Bill Ofenloch, billcpf@aol.com;
Mary Anne Grady Flores, gradyflores08@gmail.com

O’Neill was just sentenced to 14 months in prison for peacefully protesting nuclear weapons. He and the other Kings Bay Plowshares 7 entered a massive Trident nuclear submarine base in Georgia in 2018 and were convicted of trespassing and other crimes. See background on their case and statements by supporters, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu at KingsBayPlowshares7.org and @kingsbayplow7.

    At his recent sentencing hearing, O’Neill said: “While this court disregards the international laws signed by our nation and upheld by our constitution (Article 6, section 2, the Supremacy Clause) which our courts are to uphold above all domestic laws, I, under obligation to these laws and God’s laws, have attempted to uphold these laws and abide by them in our actions at Kings Bay.

    “In fact, our government has violated many vital laws regarding nuclear weapons, the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty clearly, among many others. But there is also good news. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons any day now WILL Be International Law. As of this week, 47 nations have ratified the treaty. Only three more nations are needed for global ratification that will mean there is NO doubt that we will have this new International Law on the books in the very near future.

“That’s why you, Judge Wood, in perhaps the only time you expressed your personal opinion during the trial, said Trident is probably not unlawful. The United States’ refusal to recognize international law does not make international law irrelevant.” The court refused to hear expert testimony by Prof. Francis Boyle on the illegality of nuclear weapons and by Daniel Ellsberg regarding the necessity defense.

    O’Neill also noted at his sentencing hearing that a court magistrate conceded that their actions were “prophetic, sacramental” and sought “symbolic denuclearization” — but yet, the judge ensured that the “jury never heard any evidence about the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.” That is, an Act that is touted by Barrett, Attorney General William Barr, Vice President Mike Pence and others was rendered moot in the Plowshares case because of an alleged “compelling interest” of the government regarding its military assets, e.g. the base where nuclear weapons were neither confirmed nor denied by government witnesses on the stand.

Also, see: “Religious Left Catholics on Judge Barrett.”