Kings Bay Plowshares found guilty
A federal jury has found all seven of the Kings Bay Plowshares guilty on felony charges for breaking into Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in April 2018 to protest nuclear weapons.
“I really think that the verdict was, frankly, reactionary,” defendant Carmen Trotta said through a press release. “They heard a lot. The judge allowed them to hear a lot. And it’s a little frightening that nuclear weapons could be hidden in plain sight. … We remain a remnant of the spirit that I think was stronger in our country at other periods of time.”
After a four-day trial this week, all seven — Stephen Kelly, Mark Colville, Clare Grady, Martha Hennessy, Elizabeth McAlister, Patrick O’Neill and Trotta — were found guilty of conspiracy, destruction of property on a naval installation, depredation of government property and trespass, according to the U.S. attorney’s office. They each face up to 20 years. Sentencing has not been set.
“This verdict demonstrates the jury’s agreement with the simple fact of this case: that these individuals violated the security of a military installation and damaged federal government property,” U.S. attorney Bobby Christine said in a release. “Our office will vigorously protect those who lawfully exercise their constitutional rights to protest peacefully but we will aggressively pursue those who violate the law under the guise of such activities.”
The seven anti-nuke activists cut the padlock on a gate to get on base, then poured blood on the ground, hammered on a missile display, hung banners, spray-painted messages, filmed their actions — creating videos that were later shown to the jury in their criminal case — and waited to be arrested, according to the plowshares release.