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Sacred Earth And Space Plowshares II update

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  • Scott Mathern-Jacobson
    Dear friends, We hear from Sr. Carol and Sr. Ardeth. They are active with helping others, answering mail and preparing their legal defense. We miss them here
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 1, 2003
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      Dear friends,

      We hear from Sr. Carol and Sr. Ardeth. They are active
      with
      helping others, answering mail and preparing their legal
      defense. We miss them here at Jonah House....We're sending
      this update so you can read about their current legal
      situation. If you can, take a minute to send in the
      form to stand in solidarity with the sisters. The forms
      may be used in court...or once on the mailing list, you may
      be asked to write to the judge directly....thanks.
      Love and peace, Liz, Gary and Susan at Jonah House

      Sacred Earth And Space Plowshares II

      "They shall beat their swords into plowshares..." Isaiah
      2:4

      Amid all the talk of other countries possessing weapons
      of mass
      destruction, three Roman Catholic Sisters--Ardeth Platte,
      Carol Gilbert and
      Jackie Hudson--decided to look in the US to expose weapons
      of mass
      destruction here. Consequently, since October, they have
      been in jail in
      Colorado.

      Early in the morning of October 6, 2002, the first
      anniversary of the US
      bombing of Afghanistan, the sisters, wearing hazmat suits
      labeled "Citizens
      Weapons Inspection Team" and "Disarmament Specialists",
      inspected a
      suspicious site on a farmer's field in Colorado and found a
      first-strike 300
      kiloton (20 x the Hiroshima bomb) Minuteman III nuclear
      missile on
      high-alert. They symbolically disarmed the missile with
      household hammers
      and their own blood. They opened the site for public
      inspection. Forty-five
      minutes later they were arrested and taken to jail.

      The nuns and their legal team argue the obvious. Any
      United States
      threat or use of any weapon or tactic of mass destruction
      is every bit as
      illegal and criminal as anyone else's. Any threat or use of
      the Minuteman
      III nuclear weapon is a war crime. The US must pursue and
      complete good
      faith negotiations for nuclear disarmament in all its
      aspects as agreed to
      in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. This, necessarily
      non-violent
      process, includes declaration of all nuclear weapons,
      taking them off high
      alert and allowing inspections to verify disarmament.

      Jackie, Ardeth and Carol began a reasonable, non-violent
      and symbolic
      inspection and nuclear disarmament process in compliance
      with US and
      international law. Yet, they are charged with Sabotage and
      Malicious
      Destruction of Property of the United States. These two
      charges carry
      maximum sentences of 20 and 10 years respectively, and up
      to $250,000 in
      fines on each count.

      Srs. Carol Gilbert, OP, Ardeth Platte, OP and Jackie
      Hudson, OP are
      still in the jail in Georgetown. The sisters and their
      legal team filed
      motions on Jan 10: motions to dismiss the sabotage and
      depredation of
      property charges.

      The sabotage charge is based on destroying or attempts
      to destroy
      "national defense materials." The sisters argue that the
      Minuteman III is
      not "national defense material" because a nuclear weapon of
      horrific mass
      destruction such as the Minuteman III can never be legally
      threatened or
      used within the intransgressible rules and principles of
      humanitarian law.
      "National defense materials" cannot legally include a
      weapon such as the
      Minuteman III, N-8 that intentionally targets civilians,
      poisons and
      destroys the environment.

      The depredation of property charge concerns "property"
      of the US that
      has "practical usage." The laws of war prohibit any threat
      or use of the
      alleged "property", the Minuteman III. According to the
      U.S. Constitution,
      the Prosecutor may not do what he tries in this case. The
      general protection
      of property statute may not be applied in this way that
      ignores or abrogates
      the laws of war or that condones an instrument of a war
      crime.

      On the same day that these motions were filed, the US
      Attorney filed
      motions, also. One motion was for all prior arrests to be
      brought forward
      during the trial. Other motions seek to prohibit praying in
      front of the
      jury and a third asks to prohibit defendants or defense
      council from
      referring to the defendants as "Sisters." The Prosecutor
      also moved to
      exclude "choice of evils, justification or international
      law defenses."

      Just remember, as a first strike high alert weapon, the
      Minuteman III is
      part of an active and massive nuclear first strike
      threatening all life on
      this planet. By bringing this prosecution, the Prosecutor
      himself has
      raised and cannot exclude the laws of war that prohibit any
      threat or use of
      the alleged "national defense materials" and "property"
      elements of the
      crimes charged.

      The 300 kiloton Minuteman III actively threatens and
      intends to vaporize
      every living being within 50 square miles. Outside the 50
      square miles,
      extending over hundreds of square miles, the blast, heat,
      firestorms and
      neutron and gamma rays are intended to kill, severely wound
      and poison
      millions of people both immediately and into future
      generations, destroy or
      render useless all buildings and facilities and cause
      widespread, long term
      and severe damage to the environment. Ardeth, Carol and
      Jackie reasonably
      and lawfully showed how we can rid ourselves of such a
      ghastly prospect by
      systematic and non-violent nuclear disarmament.

      Court dates at Denver Federal Court:
      Motions Hearing: February 21, 2003
      Pretrial Hearing: March 28
      Trial : March 31st 10:30 am

      Write to the sisters at:
      Clear Creek Co. Jail
      Box 518
      Georgetown, CO 80444
      USA

      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
      ----

      An Invitation to stand in Solidarity With The Sacred Earth
      and Space
      Plowshares II

      I stand in solidarity with Sisters Carol, Ardeth, and
      Jackie of the Sacred
      Earth and Space Plowshares II, calling for nuclear
      disarmament and an end to
      war-making on behalf of present and future generations and
      of the Earth.

      Name (Print & Signature)

      Address (Street, Post Office, City, State, Zip)

      ____I understand that my name may be used in a public way
      or in print or in
      a statement of solidarity in the court proceedings.

      Please send to:
      Citizens For Peace In Space
      Box 915
      Colorado Springs, CO 80901
      USA

      For more information contact:
      Jonah House
      1301 Moreland Ave
      Baltimore, MD 21216
      USA

      Email disarmnow@..., Phone: 410-233-6238


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