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Scots Show Solidarity with US Anti-Nuke Protesters

MSPs among those signing letter to judge.

Scots, including 11 MSPs, have registered their support and solidarity with seven US peace activists as they face the possibility of long prison sentences following a protest at a nuclear weapon submarine base in Georgia.

On April 4th, 2018, seven Catholic Plowshares activists - Carmen Trotta Mark Colville, Clare Grady, Steve Kelly, Martha Hennessy, Elizabeth (Liz) McAlister, Patrick O’Neill - entered King's Bay nuclear weapon submarine base in St. Mary’s, Georgia, USA, carrying hammers and baby bottles of their own blood. They went to make real the prophet Isaiah’s command to “beat swords into plowshares”. They were convicted in October last year on charges of destruction and depredation of government property in excess of $1,000, trespassing, and conspiracy, and could be facing up to 20 years in prison. Sentencing is expected on the 8th, 28th and 29th June.

The letter of support1 asks the sentencing judge to consider the risks to the seven of jail time in the middle of the COVID-19 emergency and points out that they pose no risk to the public. The signing MSPs2 are members of the parliament's Cross-Party Group on Nuclear Disarmament.

Janet Fenton, Vice-Chair of Scotish CND, said:

When the UN adopted the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons on that wonderful day in July 2017 I was privileged to be in the room in new York, sitting with the Plowshares nuns who, along with Liz McAllister had given me hospitality a few years earlier in a US Catholic worker house. Together we had distributed essential food to some of America’s poorest in the morning and helped immigrant children speak Engish in the afternoon, and in the evening we swapped action and arrest stories, Faslane and Y12, Coulport and King's Bay, but the long prison sentences and the stigma that is faced in the US for taking peaceful action requires a very deep and lifelong kind of courage. From Scotland, we can recognise the loving bravery of the seven and we are writing to Judge Wood in hopes of gaining some degree of humanity for them in a brutal and repressive prison system. But fully honouring the courage of the US peace activists requires an and to these weapons end any system that considers them to have utility.”

Contact: Janet Fenton 07795 594573 Lynn Jamieson 07974 631397


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