The following report and observations are from MaryAnne Coyle:
DATELINE: December 8, 2010 Tacoma, WA via Buffalo, NY
PLAYLIST: Steve Earle, “The Revolution Starts Now”, everything in my library by Marvin Gaye, Meatloaf’s “Bat Out of Hell”
Yesterday began the trial of STATE vs. Steve Kelly, Susan Crane, Bill Bichsel, Anne Montgomery, and Lynne T. Greenwald. The antiseptic legalistic words of the case are thus: the five are accused of conspiracy, trespass, destruction of property on a naval installation, and depredation of government property (www.justice.gov/usao/waw/press/2010/sep/bangor5.html). Our friends Steve, Susan, Bill, Anne and Lynne were arrested after trespassing onto Kitsap Bangor Complex, (Bangor, WA). Part of the Plowshares disarmament movement, they act to demand that every one of us, as citizens of this planet, take some part of the movement for universal nuclear disarmament.
The reader wonders: Why Bangor? Russell Brown’s Adopt Resistance blogspot (http://adoptresistance.blogspot.com) of December 6, 2010 provides the following details about Bangor: “The Trident submarine base at Bangor, just 20 miles west of Seattle, is home to the largest single stockpile of nuclear warheads in the U.S. arsenal, housing more than 2000 nuclear warheads. In November 2006, the Natural Resources Defense Council declared that the 2,364 nuclear warheads at Bangor are approximately 24 percent of the entire U.S. arsenal. The Bangor base houses more nuclear warheads than China, France, Israel, India, North Korea and Pakistan combined.
The base has been rebuilt for the deployment of the larger and more accurate Trident D-5 missile system. Each of the 24 D-5 missiles on a Trident submarine is capable of carrying eight of the larger 455 kiloton W-88 warheads (each warhead is about 30 times the explosive force as the Hiroshima bomb) and costs approximately $60 million. The D-5 missile can also be armed with the 100 kiloton W-76 warhead. The Trident fleet at Bangor deploys both the 455 kiloton W-88 warhead and the 100 kiloton W-76 warhead.” (I share Russell’s format emphases.)”
http://disarmnowplowshares.wordpress.com/2010/12/07/on-the-eve-of-the-trial/ writes of activities on Monday night, the eve of the trial. Some of the text within was part of Tuesday morning’s press conference. As one our community who was devastated by the untimely death of Allison desForges (as if the death of anyone as monumental as Allison could ever be timely), Tony Conrad’s characteristically acute reference to “advocates for civil society” occasionally frames my thinking. Unsurprisingly, remarks addressing the responsibility of a citizenry in a democratic society to stand against the excesses of a State resounded clearly as a true bell.
http://disarmnowplowshares.wordpress.com/2010/12/07/first-day/ includes comments of one of the legal support team. After acting as court support in the Las Vegas trial of the Creech 14 I was yet again struck by the sensitivity, intelligence, perspicacity, style, and wit of the advocates for universal justice in the legal community that stand with us as we all struggle for a world in which we can all share equally in the beauty, bounty and wonder of Creation. Many of us are cynical about a legal system that seems to perpetuate an unjust order of domination and inequality, but it is abstraction to conceive of it that way. There are people with prejudices and interests of their own who act within it; and that it is morality, the mores of the people that produce the legal system, which can propel us into a better future.