Mark Colville Sentenced to 21 Months, Informs Court of Its Own Criminality

by Kingsbayplowshares7.org

Luz and Mark Colville

More than three years after he and six other anti-nuclear activists entered Kings Bay Naval Base, home to six Trident nuclear submarines, a federal judge sentenced Mark Colville, a New Haven resident from Amistad Catholic Worker, to 21 months in prison.

Over a video conference, Judge Lisa Godbey Wood sentenced Mark to the minimum of the recommended guidelines provided by prosecutors. Mark is the last of the Kings Bay Plowshares 7 to be sentenced. Five are now in prison. Prior to the trial, Mark had already served about 15 months of his sentence, which will count towards his 21 months.

Mark told the court that its refusal to recognize the right of his family and community “to live without a nuclear gun on hair-trigger alert held perpetually to our heads… (has) placed it firmly in a posture of criminality.”

“This government, in its lawlessness, has hidden first strike weapons with enough firepower to kill six billion people,” he read from his sentencing statement today. The court has a responsibility “to allow the law to be applied beyond the fence at Kings Bay… a fence that I and my loved ones, with much fear and trembling, freely answered the call of faith, the call of conscience, and the call of generations yet unborn, to breach.

“In a very real sense, then, this hearing today is itself irrelevant. The court has already pronounced a sentence on me, on my family, and on my neighborhood. We are hereby condemned to live as members of a rogue state, which, in the face of a global consensus that outlaws nuclear weapons, has budgeted what amounts to $100,000 per minute over the next ten years to upgrade its stockpile of these useless, poisonous idols.”

As with all six of his co-defendants, Mark was also ordered to share payment of restitution of $33,503.51. He was also sentenced to three years of supervised probation.

Mark called on teacher and activist Stephen Kobasa as his sole character witness.

“Mark Colville doesn’t need me here,” Stephen said. “His consistency, his passion, his fierce commitment to hope are completely apparent to anyone who has encountered him.

“There is nothing in the world of more seriousness than what Mark and his companions in the Kings Bay Plowshares demand that we face. The weapons at Kings Bay condemn us to living each and every moment in fear of losing everything we believe matters, everything we have, in a single flash of unbearable light.”

Mark was given 60 days to report to prison.

Full article and more information at kingsbayplowshares7.org.

Also see The Nuclear Resister for its coverage and Mark’s sentencing statement to the court. https://tinyurl.com/colville-plow-7-sentence]

No More Jail Time for Nuclear Resister Mark Colville

by Stanley Heller, Administrator, Promoting Enduring Peace

The last of the Kings Bay Plowshare 7, New Haven’s Mark Colville, is slated to be sentenced Feb. 19. One of the other 7 has received 33 months in prison. Promoting Enduring Peace has started an online petition asking that Colville get no more jail time. The link is below, and the text of the petition is below that. It will be featured on the home page of PEPeace.org. https://www.change.org/p/judge-lisa-godbey-wood-no-more-jail-time-for-nuclear-resister-mark-colville

Petition Text

In view of the treaty that bans nuclear weapons possession, we call on Judge Lisa Godbey Wood to sentence Mark Colville to “time served” for his act of conscience.

Mark Colville and plaque with Kings Bay Plowshares 7 blood

On April 4, 2018, Mark Colville and 6 others entered the Kings Bay nuclear sub base in Georgia and purposely damaged a plaque on a wall and a model of a Trident nuclear-armed submarine. They felt they had to do something to alert the world about the paths being taken towards nuclear war. Indeed the U.S. has undertaken a $10 trillion modernization program of those weapons and has renounced arms control treaties. On Jan. 22, 2021, a treaty went into effect banning possession of nuclear weapons. 50 nations have signed it though the U.S. government has not done so. In view of the rising chance of nuclear war and the wave of worldwide revulsion against nuclear weapons we call for Colville’s sentence to be the 15 months of imprisonment that already has been “time served”.

The nuclear sword hangs over us all as the Doomsday Clock is only 100 seconds from midnight. We learned from Nancy Pelosi’s call to the head of the Joint Chiefs that any U.S. president (no matter how unbalanced) can order a nuclear strike at any time. We hope this petition will help spur more anti-nuclear weapon work and a new look at the idea of “No First Strike.”