We continue to wait for a sentencing date to be announced. There have been delays in getting all the necessary pre-sentencing reports done by the probation officers. The defendants were originally told that sentencing would be 60-90 days from the conviction date on October 24th. After the reports are received each defendant has two weeks to make any corrections of their record and challenge the probation office’s findings. Then there is additional time for more responses from the government. Sentencing may take place in March.
Shortly after the trial an appeal was filed to drop one of two charges; one for destruction of government property or another for depredation of property on a naval base. The attorneys argued that the two charges are redundant, and one should be dropped (the 2 charges appear to be for the same thing). There has been no decision on this appeal so far.
——————Other News ——————-
On January 23, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists moved the Doomsday Clock to 100 seconds to midnight, the closest it has ever been in 72 years, “the most dangerous situation that humanity has ever faced. Now is the time to come together – to unite and to act. ”The Doomsday Clock statement highlights three worsening factors: nuclear weapons, climate change, and cyber-based disinformation. For more: https://kingsbayplowshares7.org/2020/02/doomsday-clock-now-closer-to-midnight-than-ever-in-its-history/
New York City Council
The New York City Council held a historic hearing on January 28 to affirm NYC as a nuclear free zone, to support the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and to divest NYC ‘s $62 billion pension fund from all nuclear weapons related investments. NYC’s divestment with one of the largest municipalities’ pension funds in the country will send a powerful message to Wall Street. Cities and municipalities can send a strong signal that no activity related to nuclear weapons is acceptable by adopting a resolution or city order on divestment. Information about how your city and municipality can follow NYC’s example is at our “Get Involved” page.
Thanks are due to Anthony Donovan and Brendan Fay who have been pushing this issue for several years. Statements were read at the hearing from KBP7 defendants Martha Hennessy and Fr. Steve Kelly. Liz McAlister and her daughter, Frida Berrigan, testified in person. More than 60 representatives of peace groups also presented short oral testimonies along with written submissions in support of these bills. There is sufficient council support to override any mayoral veto. Video of the full hearing is available at the official site. You might want to skip from 15 min. to 53 min. which is a back and forth as to which city agency could oversee denuclearization. https://councilnyc.viebit.com/player.php?hash=EyjCy2Z9pnjd
Of interest to many of you will be an anti-nuclear gathering in Tennessee on May 22-25. This year is the 75th anniversary of the first use of nuclear weapons at Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the 40th anniversary of the first Plowshares action and also of the beginning of the Nuclear Resister newspaper and Nukewatch. The Stop the New Nuclear Arms Race conference will be at Maryville College near Knoxville and Oak Ridge where uranium has been processed for the bombs for the past 75 years. This will be a great gathering of activists from across the country to look back and also to build a movement for the future. If you want housing at the college, registration is at: http://orepa.org/registration-form/
New Nuclear Warhead on Trident
Finally, you may have heard that the modified W 76-2 warhead has been deployed on Trident submarines beginning with the USS Tennessee out of Kings Bay. This is a 5-kiloton version of the 100-kiloton W-76 or about a third the destructive force of the Hiroshima bomb. It is supposedly a response to counter small Russian warheads but can be dangerously destabilizing as a more usable nuclear weapon for “limited nuclear war”. For further information see the Federation of American Scientists site: https://fas.org/blogs/security/2020/01/w76-2deployed/