News Release Archive - Nuclear

Why Won’t Biden — and Others — Admit Israel Has Nuclear Weapons?

America Needs to Start Telling the Truth About Israel’s Nukes” by Peter Beinart in Wednesday’s New York Times states: “American politicians sometimes say an Iranian bomb would pose an ‘existential’ threat to Israel. That’s a dubious claim, given that Israel possesses a nuclear deterrent it can deploy on air, land and sea. But many Americans find the claim plausible because, according to recent polling conducted by Shibley Telhami of the University of Maryland, barely 50 percent know Israel has nuclear weapons. A higher percentage thinks Tehran has the bomb.”

SAM HUSSEINI, samhusseini@gmail.com, @samhusseini
An independent journalist now writing at Substack, Husseini has questioned numerous U.S. officials who have refused to acknowledge Israel’s nuclear weapons arsenal. See “The Absurd U.S. Stance on Israel’s Nukes: A Video Sampling of Denial.” He notes that Archbishop Desmond Tutu had a piece shortly before Biden became president: “Joe Biden should end the U.S. pretence over Israel’s ‘secret’ nuclear weapons: The cover-up has to stop — and with it, the huge sums in aid for a country with oppressive policies towards Palestinians.” Husseini is also senior analyst at the Institute for Public Accuracy.

Grant Smith is director of the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy and has written extensively on U.S. policy on Israel’s nuclear weapons arsenal including the piece “Challenging the secret ‘Israel Nuclear Weapons Gag Order’ WNP-136.”

Smith notes of the Beinart piece: “The key point is missed: If the U.S. acknowledges Israel’s nuclear weapons, it also acknowledges it has been supplying unlawful foreign aid to Israel since the mid-1970’s.” Grant estimates this totals nearly $300 billion.

Last year he wrote letters to several members of Congress who have voiced criticism of Israel, noting: “I believe your coalition has far more influence on the matter of foreign aid than it may realize. In 2016 and 2017 we sued the administration(s) over violations of the Arms Export Control Act, but did not prevail for lack of standing. Your coalition does not have such issues.”

See IPA news release: “Could Congress Cut off Funding to Israel by Acknowledging its Nuclear Weapons?

Could Congress Cut off Funding to Israel by Acknowledging its Nuclear Weapons?

Many media outlets are reporting that members of “the Squad” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib, as well as other members of Congress including Pramila Jayapal, are trying to “block a $735 million arms sale to Israel.”

But Grant Smith, author of Big Israel: How Israel’s Lobby Moves America, states that members of Congress who have been critical of Israel “won’t use the tools available to them.”

Specifically, he states “there are legal avenues to challenge the entire $3.8 billion of U.S. taxpayer funds that Israel gets every year.”

Archbishop Desmond Tutu cited Smith’s work recently in a piece published by The Guardian: “Joe Biden should end the U.S. pretence over Israel’s ‘secret’ nuclear weapons.” Tutu challenged Biden to break with past U.S. administrations and acknowledge Israel’s undeclared nuclear weapons arsenal. Wrote Tutu, who chaired the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission: “There are few truths more critical to face than a nuclear weapons arsenal in the hands of an apartheid government.”

Grant notes: “there are laws already on the books that call for a cutoff of aid to nuclear proliferators.”

GRANT F. SMITH, gsmith@irmep.org@IRmep
Smith is director of the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy. Last year he wrote letters to several members of Congress who have voiced criticism of Israel, noting: “I believe your coalition has far more influence on the matter of foreign aid than it may realize. In 2016 and 2017 we sued the administration(s) over violations of the Arms Export Control Act, but did not prevail for lack of standing. Your coalition does not have such issues.”

Grant explained: “The Symington & Glenn provisions of the Arms Export Control Act (22 USC §2799aa-1: Nuclear reprocessing transfers, illegal exports for nuclear explosive devices, transfers of nuclear explosive devices, and nuclear detonations) forbid U.S. foreign aid to countries with nuclear weapons programs that are not signatories to the Treaty on the Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, absent required special procedures.”

Smith said today: “But no member of Congress has taken up this issue — or even mentioned Israel’s nuclear weapons arsenal.”

Grant also wrote the piece “Challenging the secret ‘Israel Nuclear Weapons Gag Order’ WNP-136” about a government order that “forbids all U.S. government agency employees and contractors from discussing Israel’s nuclear weapons program.”

Grant said today: “It seems as though even these members of Congress, as well as the rest of the U.S. government, are abiding by this secret gag order when they could take action which would challenge the administration’s refusal to acknowledge Israel’s nuclear weapons and possibly stop $3.8 billion in taxpayer money from going to Israel.

“Eleanor Holmes Norton confirmed that there have never been proper waivers filed by POTUS either. (See page 39 of this legal filing PDF.)”

Grant wrote to the members of Congress last year: “If you really want to leverage U.S. foreign aid to Israel, you may easily do so by raising the issue of proper waivers and whether Congress is in compliance with the Arms Export Control Act when delivering aid to Israel.”

Israeli Attack on Iraqi Nuclear Facility *Began* Weapons Program

IMAD KHADDURI, khadduri.imad@gmail.com
Now retired in Toronto, Khadduri is an Iraqi nuclear scientist. He is author of Iraq’s Nuclear Mirage: Memoirs and Delusions and Unrevealed Milestones in the Iraqi National Nuclear Program 1981-1991. He now blogs at Free Iraq and has written about the Iranian nuclear program.

The New York Times is reporting: “Blackout Hits Iran Nuclear Site in What Appears to Be Israeli Sabotage” and “Blaming Israel, Iran Vows Revenge for Blackout at Nuclear Site.”
In 1981, Israeli warplanes bombed the Iraqi reactor at Osirak and many in the U.S. cheered it on as a way of allegedly stopping Iraq from acquiring nuclear weapons. Khadduri was working at the time on the Iraqi nuclear program and says the effect was exactly the opposite. The Iraqi scientists didn’t trust Saddam Hussein with a nuclear weapon, so they refused to work on weapons for him — until the Israelis attacked.

Khadduri states: “I worked on the pre-1981 nuclear program and I was certain it would not be used for military purposes. But after the 1981 bombing, we were so angry that we were ready to work on a military program. The Israeli attack didn’t end the nuclear weapons program, it began it.” See past IPA news release with Khadduri for more background: “Iraqi Nuclear Scientist Debunks Nuclear Myths.”

Khadduri’s account is corroborated by the late Richard Wilson, who was Mallinckrodt research professor of physics at Harvard University. Wilson visited the Osirak Iraqi reactor in 1982 after it was bombed by Israel. He told IPA in 2006: “Many claim that the bombing of the Iraqi Osirak reactor delayed Iraq’s nuclear bomb program. But the Iraqi nuclear program before 1981 was peaceful, and the Osirak reactor was not only unsuited to making bombs but was under intensive safeguards. Certainly, Saddam Hussein would clearly have liked a nuclear bomb if he could have had one, but the issue is whether there were enough procedures for that reactor in place to prevent him from doing so and all the indications are that there were enough procedures.

“The Osirak reactor was destroyed in June 1981. It was not until early in July 1981 that Saddam Hussein personally released Dr. Jafar Dhia Jafar from house arrest and asked him to start and head the clandestine nuclear bomb program. The destruction of Osirak did not stop an Iraqi nuclear bomb program but probably started it.”

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

MARK COLVILLE, markcolville9761@gmail.com@amistadobrero @kingsbayplow7
also via Mary Anne Grady Flores, gradyflores08@gmail.com

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.

Groups Call for Biden Administration to Stop “Reckless” Exchanges with Russia

Twenty-seven national organizations issued a joint statement Tuesday decrying the recent negative salvoes between President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin and urging the Biden administration to “stop participating in such reckless rhetorical exchanges.”

Groups signing the statement included Demand Progress, Just Foreign Policy, Our Revolution, Progressive Democrats of America, RootsAction.org, the Union of Concerned Scientists, Veterans for Peace, Win Without War, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and World Beyond War.

Pia Gallegos, chair of the RootsAction board, said: “With vast nuclear arsenals on hair-trigger alert, Washington and Moscow have unimaginable power to destroy human life. President Biden has a profound duty to decrease the chances of a global nuclear holocaust. We must insist on a consistently diplomatic approach. Instead of engaging in holier-than-thou rhetoric, Biden should be constructively engaging with Russia as a partner to safeguard human survival.”

The joint statement:
“As national organizations that advocate for diplomacy, arms control, disarmament and peace, we are deeply alarmed by the recent negative exchanges between leaders of the two countries with more than 90 percent of the world’s nuclear warheads in their arsenals. As Americans, we urge the Biden administration to stop participating in such reckless rhetorical exchanges and to instead vigorously pursue nuclear-arms negotiations with the Russian government. The need for constructive bilateral talks to address the clear and present dangers of the nuclear arms race has never been more apparent. With great urgency, we call upon President Biden to make good on his stated commitment that ‘diplomacy is back at the center of our foreign policy.'”

JOE GERSON, jgerson80@gmail.com

Gerson is executive director of the Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security, one of the groups issuing the joint statement. His books include Empire and the Bomb: How the U.S. Uses Nuclear Weapons to Dominate the World and With Hiroshima Eyes: Atomic War, Nuclear Extortion and Moral Imagination.

The other signers are: Action Corps, American Committee for U.S.-Russia Accord, Backbone Campaign, Blue America, Center for Citizen Initiatives, Environmentalists Against War, Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, Historians for Peace and Democracy, Justice Democrats, Muslim Delegates and Allies Coalition, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, NuclearBan.US, Other98, People for Bernie, U.S. Palestinian Community Network and Yemen Relief and Reconstruction Foundation.

Desmond Tutu: Biden Should End Israeli Nuclear Cover-up and Save Billions

The Biden administration is pressuring concessions from Iran regarding a renewed nuclear deal. Iran, which has no nuclear weapons, is under sanction by the U.S. government. Meanwhile, the administration is expected to sign secret letters that it will not acknowledge Israel’s nuclear arsenal, facilitating the continuation of billions of U.S. dollars to Israel.

On New Year’s Eve, The Guardian published a piece by Archbishop Desmond Tutu titled “Joe Biden Should End the U.S. Pretence over Israel’s ‘Secret’ Nuclear Weapons: The cover-up has to stop — and with it, the huge sums in aid for a country with oppressive policies towards Palestinians.”
Tutu, a Nobel peace laureate, is a former archbishop of Cape Town and, from 1996 to 2003, was chair of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The piece states: “Every recent U.S. administration has performed a perverse ritual as it has come into office. All have agreed to undermine U.S. law by signing secret letters stipulating they will not acknowledge something everyone knows: that Israel has a nuclear weapons arsenal. …

“Israel in fact is a multiple nuclear weapons proliferator.” In addition to its own acquisition of nuclear weapons, “there is overwhelming evidence that it offered to sell the apartheid regime in South Africa nuclear weapons in the 1970s and even conducted a joint nuclear test. The U.S. government tried to cover up these facts. …

“Amendments by former Senators Stuart Symington and John Glenn to the Foreign Assistance Act ban U.S. economic and military assistance to nuclear proliferators and countries that acquire nuclear weapons. … Another U.S. statute, the Leahy law, prohibits US military aid to governments that systematically violate human rights.”

Instead of applying the rule of law, Tutu wrote, “there has been an oral agreement since President Richard Nixon to accept Israel’s ‘nuclear ambiguity’ — effectively to allow Israel the power that comes with nuclear weapons without the responsibility. And since President Bill Clinton, according to the New Yorker magazine, there have been these secret letters. …

“The incoming Biden administration should forthrightly acknowledge Israel as a leading state sponsor of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East and properly implement U.S. law. …

“South Africa learned that it could only have real peace and justice by having truth that would lead to reconciliation. But none of those will come unless truth is faced squarely — and there are few truths more critical to face than a nuclear weapons arsenal in the hands of an apartheid government.”

Available for interviews:

RONNIE KASRILS, rkasrils@gmail.com
Kasrils was Minister for Intelligence Services in South Africa from 2004 to 2008 and was a leading member of the African National Congress during the apartheid era. He wrote the piece “I Fought South African Apartheid. I See the Same Brutal Policies in Israel” for The Guardian.

GRANT F. SMITH,, gsmith@irmep.org@IRmep
Smith is director of the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy. He recently wrote the piece “Biden Could Reverse Six Harmful Israel Policies… With the Only Power That Stops Israel’s Lobby.” He notes: “Publicly known cumulative U.S. foreign assistance (excluding intelligence support and other covert funding) to Israel is on track to reach $295 billion.”

Desmond Tutu: Biden Should Stop Israeli Nuclear Cover-up

The Guardian just published a piece by Archbishop Desmond Tutu titled “Joe Biden Should End the U.S. Pretence over Israel’s ‘Secret’ Nuclear Weapons: The cover-up has to stop — and with it, the huge sums in aid for a country with oppressive policies towards Palestinians.”

Tutu, a Nobel peace laureate, is a former archbishop of Cape Town and, from 1996 to 2003, was chair of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The piece states: “Every recent U.S. administration has performed a perverse ritual as it has come into office. All have agreed to undermine U.S. law by signing secret letters stipulating they will not acknowledge something everyone knows: that Israel has a nuclear weapons arsenal.

Part of the reason for this is to stop people focusing on Israel’s capacity to turn dozens of cities to dust. This failure to face up to the threat posed by Israel’s horrific arsenal gives its prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, a sense of power and impunity, allowing Israel to dictate terms to others.

“But one other effect of the U.S. administration’s ostrich approach is that it avoids invoking the U.S.’s own laws, which call for an end to taxpayer largesse for nuclear weapons proliferators. …

“Israel in fact is a multiple nuclear weapons proliferator. There is overwhelming evidence that it offered to sell the apartheid regime in South Africa nuclear weapons in the 1970s and even conducted a joint nuclear test. The U.S. government tried to cover up these facts. Additionally, [Israel] has never signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. …

“Amendments by former Senators Stuart Symington and John Glenn to the Foreign Assistance Act ban U.S. economic and military assistance to nuclear proliferators and countries that acquire nuclear weapons. While president, Jimmy Carter invoked such provisions against India and Pakistan.

“But no president has done so with regard to Israel. Quite the contrary. There has been an oral agreement since President Richard Nixon to accept Israel’s ‘nuclear ambiguity’ — effectively to allow Israel the power that comes with nuclear weapons without the responsibility. And since President Bill Clinton, according to the New Yorker magazine, there have been these secret letters. …

“The incoming Biden administration should forthrightly acknowledge Israel as a leading state sponsor of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East and properly implement U.S. law. …

“Israel’s per capita gross domestic product is comparable with that of Britain. Nevertheless, U.S. taxpayer funds to Israel exceed that to any other country. Adjusted for inflation, the publicly known amount over the years is now approaching $300bn. …

“South Africa learned that it could only have real peace and justice by having truth that would lead to reconciliation. But none of those will come unless truth is faced squarely — and there are few truths more critical to face than a nuclear weapons arsenal in the hands of an apartheid government.”

Available for interviews:

GRANT F. SMITH, gsmith@irmep.org, @IRmep
Smith is director of the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy. He was featured on an accuracy.org news release last month, “How Biden Could Advance Peace and Save Hundreds of Billions in Funds: Will Biden Finally Acknowledge Israel’s Nukes?

Pacifists Face Prison for Taking on U.S.’s Nuclear Weapons

Three Catholic Worker activists are scheduled to be sentenced separately beginning Thursday morning at 10:00 and going into Friday for trespassing on a major U.S. nuclear weapons facility in Georgia. Instructions on how to listen to the hearings are here.

Last month, one of the co-defendents, Patrick O’Neill from North Carolina, was sentenced to 14 months.

The defendants are known as the Kings Bay Plowshares 7 for following the biblical edict to turn swords into plowshares. They include Martha Hennessy, the granddaughter of Dorothy Day, the founder of the Catholic Worker movement, Clare Grady of Ithaca, New York and Carmen Trotta of the New York Catholic Worker.

On April 4, 2018 — exactly 50 years after the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. — the activists entered the massive Trident missile base at Kings Bay, Georgia. They spray painted “Abolish Nukes Now” and “Choose Life” and hammered on a monument to nuclear weapons at the base.

The group notes: “With the nation’s attention being drawn to Georgia and the pending runoffs to determine the majority in the U.S. Senate, three of the Kings Bay Plowshares defendants have arranged with the federal court in Brunswick, Georgia to appear virtually for sentencing this week. The disarmament activists have received little national attention since their action against the Trident submarine base more than two years ago while the stakes are much higher, our future existence and the very survival of our world as we know it. …

“On Oct. 24 the historic Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was ratified by the 50th nation necessary for this international law to enter into force. This law making nuclear weapons illegal now takes effect on Jan. 22, 2021, a little more than 75 years after the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.” See IPA news release: “* Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty Enters into Force * Religious Freedom?

Another of the seven activist, Jesuit Fr. Steve Kelly, was sentenced to 33 months, time he had already served having been held in county jail since the action. He is now being transported to the West Coast by the U.S. Marshals for an earlier probation violation.

For more information, contact:

Ellen Barfield, ellene4pj@yahoo.com
Bill Ofenloch, billcpf@aol.com
Mary Anne Grady Flores, gradyflores08@gmail.com

Also see: KingsBayPlowshares7.org and @kingsbayplow7.

Lebanon Explosion

RANIA MASRI, [in Beirut], rania.z.masri at gmail.com, @rania_masri
Masri is a lecturer and political and social justice activist. She is an elected representative of the political party Citizens in a State, which seeks to end Lebanon’s sectarian political system. She just appeared on the program “Flashpoints” with Dennis Bernstein and was interviewed by the Afro-Middle East Centre, which is based in South Africa.

She said today: “We know that a port hangar containing 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate that was improperly stored six years ago was the cause of the large explosion on August 4, an explosion that has so far claimed more than 150 deaths, 5,000 wounded and missing, 300,000 families made homeless, and destruction in the $3 to 6 billion range. (For the record, Timothy McVeigh used 2.3 tons of ammonium nitrate in the 1995 Oklahoma City Federal Building bombing.)

“This catastrophe was neither a natural disaster, nor an accident, nor an external act of terror. This explosion was caused by the criminal negligence of men — encouraged by a political system designed to build clients and not see citizens. There are many official reports that warned of the danger of keeping a similar amount of highly flammable ammonium nitrate stored in a manner that does not take into account public safety conditions, and despite this information, they did not move to disassemble the sleeping bomb before it exploded.

“The coalition of sectarian leaders was aware of this time bomb at the Beirut Port. This catastrophe comes on top of, not only the COVID pandemic, but also a financial and economic bankruptcy. They were also quite aware of the bankruptcy, particularly since they are responsible for it!

“Neither declaring public mourning, nor enforcing a state of emergency for Beirut, nor forming investigation committees (and most definitely not this humiliating farce of a foreign investigation committees) are the solution. The people responsible for this massacre are known. It is the authority of the coalition of leaders of the sects, and their agents and representatives in Parliament, the government, the judiciary, and the administration and the security.”

[Richard Silverstein of Tikun Olam has just published a piece quoting an anonymous Israeli official claiming “Israel Bombed Beirut.” Silverstein’s charge is noted by Gideon Levy in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz in his more general piece “Israel is in shock, in a sickening show of hypocrisy.”]

Today, Sentencing for Pacifist Jailed for Protesting “Omnicidal” Weapons — Supported by Activist Thrown to Ground by Police

Early Friday, IPA put out a news release “Barr Prosecuting Pacifists: Activists Face Prison for Action at Huge Nuclear Weapons Base” about the years-long prosecution and the sentencing of Plowshares activists, which begins Monday morning with the sentencing (by video conference) of Elizabeth McAlister, who founded Jonah House in Baltimore with her late husband Phil Berrigan.

The elderly man who Buffalo police shoved to the sidewalk and lay bleeding from his head has been identified as Martin Gugino.
Gugino is a long-time peace activist and recently made a series of video statements about the sentencing of the Kings Bay Plowshares 7 activists who entered a major nuclear weapons facility on April 4, 2018, on the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination to “nonviolently, symbolically disarm” the weapons there.

The support group for the Kings Bay Plowshares 7 states that the Catholic Worker activists, after entering the nuclear weapons facility in Georgia “then split into three groups and prayed, prayerfully and symbolically poured blood, spray-painted messages of disarming nuclear weapons and to love one another. They hammered on parts of a shrine to nuclear missiles, hung banners quoting Dr. King, ‘the ultimate logic of racism is genocide’ and another naming the ominicidal logic of Trident. The seven waited to be arrested.”

One of them, Father Steven Kelly, remains in jail. Others, like McAlister, have spent over 17 months in jail prior to trial with little media attention and is scheduled to be sentenced at 9 a.m. ET Monday. The unusual sentencing will take place by video conferencing while she remains at home in Connecticut. For public access to audio of this hearing, dial 1-888-684-8852, enter the call access code 2296092 and enter the security code 1234.

The group reports that “Martha Hennessy, granddaughter of Dorothy Day who founded the Catholic Worker Movement, was granted an adjournment and given a new date on June 29, 3:30 p.m. in Brunswick, Georgia.”

The other activists — Patrick O’Neill, Clare Grady, Mark Colville, Carmen Trotta, and Kelly — have asked for an adjournment “and were given June 29 and 30 as their new dates to appear with no times specified yet. They were not told whether they’ll be allowed to be sentenced in person in open court or whether they’ll have to travel to Brunswick to be sentenced remotely by video once they get there.”

In one of his videos supporting Mark Colville and other Plowshares activists, Gugino addresses the federal court in Brunswick, Georgia where Colville is awaiting sentencing in support. Gugino cites Martin Luther King’s belief that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” Gugino added: “What he doesn’t say there, is that it doesn’t bend itself; we have to bend it. We have to go out into the culture and act justly, act morally, do good, and little by little it will bend the culture towards justice. And some of the time, the culture doesn’t want to be bent, and so there will be conflict, and that’s just part of it. And Martin Luther King knew very well the possibilities.”

A year ago, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and other Nobel Prize winners wrote to Attorney General William Barr asking the charges against the activists be dropped. Instead, at their trial in October, the prosecution and judge prevented the activists from mounting a series of defenses, including presenting a justification or necessity defense with Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg testifying on their behalf — or invoking international law. The prosecution and judge even effectively kept the reality of the nuclear weapons at the base from the jury. The activists were convicted on October 24 to minimal major media coverage.

Interviews are available with:
MARK COLVILLE, markcolville9761 at gmail.com, @amistadobrero
One of the seven Plowshares activists, Colville is co-founder of the Amistad Catholic Worker House in New Haven with his wife Luz Catarineau. He used a hammer made from melted-down guns to smash parts of a shrine to nuclear weapons at the facility. In late December, 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.”

More information and interviews with other Plowshares activists are available via the group’s extensive website and via the media team:

Bill Ofenloch, billcpf at aol.com, @kingsbayplow7
Mary Anne Grady Flores, gradyflores08 at gmail.com