News Release

Peace Protesters Face Prison During Pandemic


The group The Kings Bay Plowshares 7 notes: “On March 23, the Tribune & Georgian announced the first confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Camden County. That same day, the U.S. Navy announced that it had awarded a contract for up to $592.3 million to prepare the Kings Bay Naval Base [which is in Camden County] for new Trident nuclear submarines. The plan to modernize the U.S. nuclear arsenal is projected to cost as much as $2 trillion. Meanwhile, there are major failures to keep people healthy and safe during the COVID-19 crisis. Clearly, priorities ought to change.”

Two years ago, on April 4, 2018, seven activists — the Kings Bay Plowshares 7 — entered the Kings Bay Naval Base in Georgia, the “largest U.S. nuclear submarine base in the world which houses has one-quarter of the U.S. deployed nuclear weapons.” They sought to “symbolically disarm” the weapons. They spray painted “disarm” on a monument to Trident missiles, spilt their own blood on the base emblem and left an indictment of the activities at the nuclear weapons base.

At their trial in October, the judge prevented them from mounting a series of defenses, including presenting a justification or necessity defense with Daniel Ellsberg testifying on their behalf or invoking international law with professor of international law Francis Boyle.Fordam University theologian Jeannine Hill Fletcher called them “prophets,” but that was outside the court room. Inside, she was not allowed to testify on their behalf either.

This week, after a six-month wait, Judge Lisa Godbey Wood has set two May dates for sentencing those who were found guilty on Oct. 24, 2019 for their nonviolent symbolic disarmament action at Kings Bay Naval Base. See news release from the group for details.

The group states: “There is a possibility that they may be sentenced by video conferencing with the judge, but as of today, we don’t know.”

Mark Colville, one of the KBP7, asks us to “all step back and consider the absurdity of sentencing people by video conference to federal prison. To tell us it’s too dangerous to be in a court and at the same time to order people to prison during this deadly virus pandemic is inhumane. People are dying in prisons right now. It shows that the prison industrial complex takes a higher priority in the eyes of this government that human life. All prisoners should be set free.”

The group stresses: “There are a number of petitions and campaigns circulating calling for the release of prisoners in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic causing widespread death in all prisons and jails. Here are two: Faithful America Petition, or the RAPP Campaign, Release Aging Persons in Prison.”

See previous news releases from the group. For more information or interviews with the activists:

Bill Ofenloch, billcpf at, @kingsbayplow7
Mary Anne Grady Flores, gradyflores08 at