News Release

Nuclear Weapons: “The Taproot of Violence”: Plowshares Activist Being Sentenced Friday


MARK COLVILLE, @kingsbayplow7
also via Mary Anne Grady Flores,

As the Biden administration assesses U.S. nuclear weapons policy, Colville is facing sentencing on Friday morning for entering the Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in Georgia to protest such policy. Colville’s sentencing — the last one of the activists to be sentenced — will be conducted by phone on Friday, so the public will have access. The codes are below. The activists are known as the Kings Bay Plowshares 7. They sought to “nonviolently and symbolically disarm the Trident nuclear submarine base at Kings Bay, Georgia” on April 4, 2018, the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

He said today: “Deep gratitude to everyone who wrote letters to the judge. I’m asking her to consider them as expressions of the conscience of the community regarding the criminal enterprise of nuclearism, as it continues to scourge humanity and creation beyond reason or accountability. My family, my neighborhood and I have a right to live without a nuclear gun on hair-trigger alert held perpetually to our heads, and this court’s failure to recognize that right has made it an accessory to crimes against humanity. This is the reality that I plan to confront as clearly and simply as possible on Friday — and the rest, as an old friend used to remind me, is God’s problem.”

Colville is co-founder of the Amistad Catholic Worker House in New Haven with his wife Luz Catarineau. In 2019 the New Haven Register wrote: “For their sustained, compassionate approach to building and supporting their community and for their lived opposition to war and violence, the Colvilles are the New Haven Register’s Persons of the Year.”

Colville has been profiled in the Yale Daily News: “The Church at the End of the World: In 2018, a group of Catholic anti-nuclear activists made national news when they broke into a naval base in Georgia. One of their members — a New Haven resident — now awaits his sentencing.” Though Catarineau stresses that the facility in Georgia is “not a ‘navy base,’ it’s a military facility that threatens all humanity.”

See interview with Colville in the New Haven Independent: “Jailed Activist Targets ‘Culture Of Death.'” He quotes Rev. Richard McSorely, S.J.: “The taproot of violence in our society today is our intention to use nuclear weapons. Once we have agreed to that, all other evil is minor in comparison. Until we squarely face the question of our consent to use nuclear weapons, any hope of large scale improvement of public morality is doomed to failure.”

Colville said nuclear weapons “contribute to the cheapening of life and inform the other forms of violence. … When we talk about school shootings, we don’t talk about the cheapening of life that permits this.” Colville used a hammer made from melted-down guns to smash parts of a shrine to nuclear weapons at the facility. See online “Festival of Hope” featuring Colville and other activists from Monday.

To listen to Colville’s sentencing on Friday at 10 a.m. ET: Dial 1-888-684-8852, enter the call access code 2296092 and enter the security code 1234 or dial 1-888-684-8852, enter the call access code 8878734 and enter the security code 1234. If one isn’t working or overloaded try the other access code. And remember to mute.