Misdemeanors Morph Into Felonies?

On Thursday, December 31, Plowshares activists received a cover letter and Order for Dismissal  from Jenny A. Durkan, United States Attorney, and Barbara J. Sievers, Assistant United States Attorney.  The letter was addressed to Magistrate Judge Karen L. Strombom, in the US District Court in Tacoma Washington.

The cover letter stated:  “Attached hereto is an Order for Dismissal in the above-entitled case.  Our office is working with the relevant law enforcement agencies to determine whether felony charges should be filed as to the underlying conduct in this case. As a result, we do not intend to proceed as to these misdemeanor charges at this time. “

Consequently, there will be no arraignment on January 6th at the US District Court for Bill Bichsel, S.J.,  Susan Crane, Lynne Greenwald, Steve Kelly, S.J., and Anne Montgomery, RSCJ.

The Plowshares Five are perplexed about where the decisions are coming from and what the politics are behind the decisions.

“On Nov 2, 2009, we were able to walk into a high security area where the nuclear weapons were stored, we were detained with hoods over our heads for hours, and then, later in the day, we were released without giving addresses or signing citations,”  Susan Crane reflected, “and now the misdemeanor charges against us are suddenly dropped!”

US Naval Base Kitsap- Bangor has the largest stockpile of illegal nuclear weapons in the country.  This stockpile holds nuclear warheads for the Trident D-5 missiles.

Fr. Bill Bichsel reflected,  “We understand our civil resistance action to be the upholding of international and domestic law.  We would be complicit in our country’s illegal course of action if we did not show our willingness to uphold the law. The Trident subs, with their illegal nuclear warheads,  roam the seas, and are a constant threat to those the US considers “enemy.”

Meanwhile, support for their Plowshares action, international law and the abolition of nuclear weapons grows.  Over 300 people, and 30 organizations have joined Nobel Laureate Mairead Maguire, West Wing “President” Martin Sheen, and Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton in signing the Disarm Now Plowshares support statement.

And in Japan, Mr. Sekiguchi, the Director of NBC Nagasaki T.V. has said that the information about the Disarm Now Plowshares is being translated in Japanese, and that the support for the Plowshares action in Japan is growing.

The Disarm Now Plowshares activists will continue to vigil at the gate of Naval Base Kitsap, and invite everyone to join them at the Martin Luther King celebration at the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action, in Poulsbo, Washington, on Saturday, January 16, 2010.

One Response

  1. […] last I’ve heard on the status of their case is that the misdemeanor charges were dropped, but the government is currently exploring whether it […]

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