The KBP7 trial commences. The indictment is read to the jury: The U.S. vs. Stephen Kelly et al. Count 1: Conspiracy; Count 2: Destruction of government property; Count 3: Depredation of government property; Count 4: Trespass.
Conspiracy is a charge they claim, in the truest sense of the word. Breathing together to enact the biblical prophecy to hammer nuclear swords into plowshares. Count’s two and three should be: “Disarmament,” “Disarmament,” not “Destruction” and “Depredation.”
During jury selection Judge Wood conducts the voire dire. Two questions are telling: Does any juror believe the defendants are guilty? Ten say yes–one juror, we learn later, never heard of the case prior to coming to court. Does any juror have a strong opinion or philosophical belief about nuclear weapons? 72 jurors who comprise the jury pool are silent.
Why such silence? From the judiciary, the prosecutors, prospective jurors? How can anyone be silent in the face of Trident–a weapon system of indiscriminate mass murder that endangers all of life and God’s creation? The KBP7 broke the silence on April 4, 2018, the day of their prophetic witness at the the Kings Bay Naval base, home-port to the Trident submarine.
Why are the KBP7 on trial? They committed no crime as they clearly intended to prevent the unspeakable crime of nuclear war! They should never have been arrested, charged and jailed as they were engaging in an act of “crime prevention.” Trident is the Crime! U.S. nuclear policy and the latest Pentagon pronouncement: “Nuclear Operations,” which calls for the “flexibility” to wage a “limited nuclear war,” is the crime! The $1.5 trillion nuclear modernization program over the next 30 years is the crime! Trident and U.S. nuclear war preparations should be on trial, not the KBP7 who have risked their lives and their freedom, out of obedience to God’s law, to symbolically begin the process of nuclear disarmament.
Sitting in the courtroom during jury selection, I am mindful that the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist Doomsday Clock is set at 2 minutes to midnight, due to the twin dangers of climate chaos and nuclear war. The six Tridents based not far from here, which have the destructive power of 3,600 Hiroshima’s, could be used at any moment in a nuclear attack. Trident, and all nuclear war preparations, are a flagrant violation of numerous international laws and treaties, including the new UN Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons!
Moreover, Clare Grady, a KBP7 defendant who spoke at the Festival of Hope on Oct. 20 in Brunswick, declared at the Festival and in court, that the Trident is used daily to enforce a system of military and economic domination that is based on White Supremacy which subjugates and oppresses the poor and people of color and is destroying the environment.
What’s clear from the outset of this case, is if you challenge the triple evils of poverty, racism and militarism, if you challenge Trident and resist the nuclear idol, to the point of breaking the empire’s laws, you are arrested and jailed, and in the case of the KBP7, face a maximum 25 year prison sentence.
The consequence for Dr. King, as Jim Douglass related at the Festival of Hope, was assassination by the U.S. government.
Jim also described the KBP7 as “Hibakusha (A-Bomb survivors) witnesses. Their witness in court and trial is a continuation of their action to resist immoral and illegal preparations for a global nuclear holocaust!
During her moving opening statement, Clare conveyed to the judge, prosecutors and jury that we are all here in court to pursue “justice!” She then quoted Dr. Cornell West who declared: “Justice is What Love Looks Like in Public.” She then spoke to the jury stating that the most important virtue of being a juror is to be “human” and to use your head and your heart in determining the facts and truth of the case. She then spoke about how the evidence will show that they acted out of a deep love for God and and that all of God’s creation hangs in the balance. Weapons of mass destruction are immoral and illegal and Trident is the most deadly weapon system on earth. She concluded by quoting the prophet Isaiah: “They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks, nation will not lift up swords against nation, never again shall they train for war!”
The law which protect Trident and sanctions nuclear war preparations and nuclear war, is an obstacle to truth and justice. God’s law of Love and Justice are SUPREME, not the laws of the U.S. empire! Thou shalt not kill is not an optional command from God our creator, the source of all life. It is a mandate!
Thank God for the Kings Bay Plowshares 7!
Postscript: Despite the fact that the KBP7 were convicted, the TRUTH of their witness stands for all to see–no matter what!