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Peace activists arrested for accessing, vandalizing navy base

Seven Catholic peace activists, who call themselves the Kings Bay Plowshares, were detained this morning at Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base after entering the base without authorization and vandalizing areas by spray painting messages such as “love one another” and “repent,” hanging banners with messages about genocide, omnicide and nuclear weapons, and splashing a red substance on buildings and signs.

Base personnel located the seven people very early Thursday morning, according to base public affairs officer Scott Bassett, and there was no damage or threat to military assets and no one was injured. Naval Criminal Investigative Service is working with the Camden County Sheriff’s Office on the investigation.

The activists were turned over to local law enforcement and booked into the jail on charges of interference with government property, possession of tools for the commission of a crime, which are both felonies, and criminal trespass, which is a misdemeanor.

Participating in the action were Elizabeth McAlister, 78, of Baltimore, Md.; Stephen Michael Kelly, 69, of Los Gatos, Calif.; Carmen Trotta, 55, of New York City; Clare Therese Grady, 59, of Ithaca, N.Y.; Martha Hennessy, 62, of Perkinsville, Vt.; Mark Peter Corville, 55, of New Haven, Conn.; and Patrick M. O’Neill, 61, of Garner, N.C.

“Carrying hammers and baby bottles of their own blood, the seven attempted to convert weapons of mass destruction,” according to a press release from the Kings Bay Plowshares. “… They also brought an indictment charging the U.S. government for crimes against peace.”

The activists picked the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination because he devoted his life to addressing “militarism, racism and materialism” and brought crime scene tape and banners, too, according to the press release.


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