Judge Lisa Godbey Wood, presiding over the trial and sentencing of the Kings Bay Plowshares in Brunswick, GA, has denied any further continuances for sentencing as requested by the last four defendants due to COVID-19 restrictions. The remaining KBP7 defendants have been ordered to be sentenced on November 12th and 13th. Despite their desire to be sentenced in person in open court as is their legal right, three of the defendants have reluctantly chosen to do it remotely via video because of the health risks of travel to the court in Georgia for themselves and supporters. Mark Colville has filed a motion to challenge this order.
Although the judge has delayed the sentencing five times because of health and safety concerns, she said that was enough even though the nation is now experiencing record breaking numbers of more than 120,000 daily cases. “With nearly a quarter of a million US COVID deaths, and prison cases exploding again, more court delays are certainly advisable, ” said Veterans For Peace activist and KBP7 supporter Ellen Barfield of Baltimore.
The court plans to convene for sentencing on Thurs. Nov. 12, at 10 am for Carmen Trotta, and 1 pm for Clare Grady and on Friday, Nov. 13, at 10 am for Mark Colville and at 1 pm for Martha Hennessy.
A phone number will be made available early next week by the court to listen to the sentencing of the last four defendants as was done with first three. It will be sent out in a future notice and also be posted on the website.
In a rare opportunity, as a consequence of COVID-19 court and travel restrictions, hundreds of people were able to listen on a conference call line to the October sentencing of Fr. Steve Kelly and Patrick O’Neill who gave their final statements as to why they were compelled to act against the nuclear doomsday machine at the Trident nuclear submarine base at Kings Bay. They also heard the testimony from character witnesses for the defendants attesting to the good things they do in their lives and their devotion to peace. Many of these statements are posted on the website in recent news.
Some of the supporters were moved to tears but also filled with joy by their courage. We invite you to call in to hear the four defendants’ profound and powerful statements and to hear the testimony from their character witnesses.
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There will be a virtual Festival of Hope on Sunday, Nov. 8 at 4 pm EST for Kings Bay Plowshares members, Mark Colville, Clare Grady, Martha Hennessy, and Carmen Trotta, as they prepare to be sentenced.
The festival will feature:
* Diné/Navajo activist against nuclear colonialism Leona Morgan
* Recently acquitted Resister to US warplanes at Shannon, Irish activist, Edward Horgan
* Poor People’s Campaign co-chair, Rev. Liz Theoharis
* German activist Marion Kuepker, from Nonviolent Action Group for the Withdrawal of US Nuclear Weapons from Buchel AFB
* Fordham University theology Prof. Jeannine Hill-Fletcher
*Martha Hennessy doing a reading from her grandmother, Dorothy Day, on her 123rd birthday
*International peace activist Kathy Kelly
* OREPA activist Ralph Hutchison working on Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
* Detroit activist Lydia Wylie-Kellerman
* Buddhist nun, Indigenous People’s ally & anti-nuclear activist Jun-san Yasuda
* Musicians: Tom Chapin and the Chapin Sisters
Please click the link below to join the webinar which will be hosted by Code Pink:
Or iPhone one-tap :
US:+16465588656,,86326440605# or +13126266799,,86326440605#
Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
US: +1 646 558 8656 or +1 312 626 6799 or +1 301 715 8592 or +1 346 248 7799 or +1 669 900 6833 or +1 253 215 8782
Webinar ID: 863 2644 0605
International numbers available: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/keIRW1Dp3C
Fr. Steve Kelly has continued to be held in jail in Brunswick while the Bureau of Prisons has taken an inordinate amount of time to calculate that he has fulfilled the time for his sentence of 33 months. He is now expecting to be transported in the next week to Tacoma, WA by federal marshals to answer to a probation violation from a prior trespass conviction at the West coast Trident base. We will let people know what happens when we find out. It may take several weeks to bring him to Tacoma.
Patrick O’Neill has been ordered to report to the federal prison camp in Elkton, OH on January 14 for his 14 month sentence. This is more than an 8 hour drive from his home in North Carolina.
On Oct. 24 the historic Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was ratified by the 50th nation necessary for this international law to enter into force. This law making nuclear weapons illegal now takes effect on Jan. 22, 2021, a little more than 75 years after the US dropped atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. More information can be found at https://www.icanw.org/the_treaty
We understand that many are struggling financially at this time. We ask for donations only if you are able and doing well. Thank you for all the support you have given through these past two and a half years. Your support for the Kings Bay Plowshares 7 will help cover the ongoing costs surrounding the seven co-defendants while in prison and their families and communities. Checks can be sent to Plowshares, PO Box 3087, Washington, DC 20010. Or donate online here at this link: https://www.nonviolenceinternational.net/donate_isaiah