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Plowshares activist back in court; continues to declare nuclear weapons immoral and illegal
Susan Crane, one of the five plowshares activists who entered the U.S.
Navy's Pacific Trident Naval Base at Kitsap Bangor (NBKB) in Washington
State in November 2009 has been ordered to appear before Judge Benjamin
Settle at the U.S. District Court, Tacoma, Washington on July 23, 2012.
Crane has already served 15 months in prison. The government is seeking
revocation of Crane’s current additional 1 year term of supervised release,
alleging noncompliance with some of the terms of her supervised release.
Crane, a mother of two grown children, and a grandmother, maintains now, as
she did throughout her trial, that the five came to the Navy base to
peaceably state the truth “Disarm Now: Trident Illegal and Immoral.”
Crane said, “The eight Trident submarines deployed from NBKB constantly
threaten to unleash nuclear holocaust. Each of the 800 nuclear weapons
there is an instrument of mass murder. It’s unlawful and against the law
of Naval operations to prepare, threaten or use such weapons because they
indiscriminately kill civilians, cause radiation burns, poison the
environment and create sickness and genetic damage for generations to
“We were only pointing out our common responsibility to advocate
non-violently for good-faith nuclear disarmament,” continues Crane. "We
have not fled from that responsibility or the grim reality of these
All five were indicted, charged, tried and found guilty in Federal district
court in Tacoma Washington. The court and the prosecutor refused to admit
defense evidence showing that the preparations and ongoing threats to use
nuclear weapons at and from NBKB pose enormous and present dangers not only
to the Seattle area but to life itself.
Crane added, "We were found guilty for peaceably pointing out fundamentally
unlawful and immoral plans, preparations and threats to use weapons of mass
Bill Quigley, a law professor and Director of the Law Clinic and the Gillis
Long Poverty Law Center at Loyola University New Orleans, and Associate
Legal Director at the Center for Constitutional Rights said of Crane’s
current situation, "We look forward to the day when the courts will
challenge the criminality of nuclear weapons rather than the probation
status of those who challenge them."
At issue in any consideration of revocation of supervised release would be
whether the individual presents a risk to the community. Crane believes
she has clearly demonstrated that she does not present any risk to the
community, whereas the threat of use of the nuclear weapons deployed by the
U.S. government are a clear and present danger on a global scale.
Supporters of Crane and Disarm Now Plowshares will hold a vigil outside the
Tacoma Union Station Courthouse on July 23rd from 12 noon to 1 pm, prior to
Crane’s 1:30 pm hearing. Franciscan priest, and advocate for justice and
peace, Fr. Louie Vitale will speak at the noon vigil. Fr. Vitale
co-founded the Nevada Desert Experience and its enduring movement to end