Press Release: Facing Decades in Prison, Activists of Conscience Confront “Culture of Death
Facing Decades in Prison, Activists of Conscience Confront “Culture of Death” — Interviews Available
In a joint statement, the Plowshares activists, who take their name from the Biblical admonition to turn swords into plowshares — Martha Hennessy (from Vermont, daughter of Catholic Worker founder Dorothy Day), Elizabeth McAlister (form Baltimore, widow of Philip Berrigan), Clare Grady (from New York State), Patrick O’Neill (from North Carolina), Carmen Trotta (from NYC), Mark Colville (from Connecticut) and Fr. Steve Kelly, S.J. (who is still in jail), all Catholic Workers — said, “Nuclear weapons eviscerate the rule of law, enforce white supremacy, perpetuate endless war…and ensure impunity for all manner of crimes against humanity.”
Their trial is scheduled to begin Monday. Activists from around the country are converging on Brunswick, Georgia for the trial as well as vigils at the Trident nuclear submarine base in Kings Bay, Georgia where the the Plowshares activists were arrested following an April 4, 2018 action to nonviolently disarm nuclear weapons.
The New Haven Independent just interviewed Mark Colville: “Jailed Activist Targets ‘Culture Of Death.’”
Said Colville: “Nuclear weapons have been called the taproot in our civilization. They contribute to the cheapening of life and inform the other forms of violence. [What is new is that] a deep connection is coming to the surface, between climate change and nuclear weapons. What’s of particular interest to me in this [the Kings Bay action] is that the willingness to use nuclear weapons is of a piece with a general willingness to rape the earth by digging for oil when we know we’re killing ourselves in the process. … When we talk about school shootings, we don’t talk about the cheapening of life that permits this.”
When asked: And the defense will be what?
Colville responded: “Three arguments:
“International law at the World Court has found nuclear weapons to be illegal.
“Necessity, where you break a law to prevent a far greater harm.
Also, see 1996 opinion “Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons” form the International Court of Justice. The then-president of the Court, Mohammed Bedjaoui of Algeria, stated at the time: “Nuclear weapons, the ultimate evil, destabilize humanitarian law, which is the law of the lesser evil. The existence of nuclear weapons is therefore a challenge to the very existence of humanitarian law.” (Reuters in New York Times, July 9, 1996: “World Court Condemns Use of Nuclear Weapons.”)
For interviews with the Plowshares activists and other information, contact:
Ellen Barfield, [now in Georgia] (410) 908-7323, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Anne Grady Flores, (607) 280-8797, email@example.com
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020, (202) 421-6858; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167
October 18, 2019