Letter to Judge Requesting Leniency in Sentencing of Mark Colville

by Promoting Enduring Peace

Mark Colville is scheduled to be sentenced April 9 for his participation in the Kings Bay Plowshares anti-nuclear action. The following letter was sent to the judge who will sentence him. For information: kingsbayplowshares7.org.

February 12, 2021

The Honorable Lisa Godbey Wood
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Georgia
801 Gloucester Street, Brunswick, GA 31520

Dear Justice Wood:

I write to you on behalf of the members of Promoting Enduring Peace, an organization founded in Connecticut in 1952. Our mission is to bring together the movements for international peace, planetary harmony, and social justice. We are best known for the American equivalent of the Nobel Peace Prize, known as the Gandhi Peace Award, bestowed first on Eleanor Roosevelt in 1960, and since then presented annually to leaders of peace and progress such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Daniel Ellsberg, César Chávez, and Ralph Nader.

Since 1952 we have supported nonviolent ways to highlight the need to put aside weapons of mass destruction that threaten civilization. We are especially moved by peace advocates willing to pay a price to carry out their religious commitment to peace via nonviolent action.

In that regard, we implore you to show leniency in the sentencing of Mark Colville, regarded in our community as a great moral leader. We ask specifically that his sentence be time served.

We ask you to consider the nature of the time when Mark Colville and the other members of the Kings Bay Plowshares entered the Naval facility. They were responding in a noble and completely nonviolent way to the announcement of a $10 trillion “modernization” campaign of U.S. nuclear weapons, and when the President renounced virtually all U.S. weapons control treaties and threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea. These few explained that they were desperate to warn the world that we were on a path towards nuclear war. We believe that all of us should follow their example in taking a stand against these supremely destructive weapons systems. But at the time of the Plow-shares action, no one else was listening.

Many of us in Promoting Enduring Peace personally know Mark Colville and can attest to his outstanding and merciful work for the homeless. His family home has been a soup kitchen for years. He has also made great efforts to stop torture everywhere. He has now served 15 months in prison.
Please understand the sacrifices he has made to help make us all safer. Please let him return to his family and his admirable work.

For peace and progress,

James C. van Pelt, President
Stanley Heller, Administrator

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.”

Kings Bay Plowshares 7 – Update on Sentencing Dates Sept. 3 and 4

Seven Catholic plowshares activists entered Kings Bay Naval [nuclear] Submarine Base in St. Mary’s, Georgia on April 4, 2018. They went to make real the prophet Isaiah’s command to “beat swords into plowshares.”

The seven chose to act on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who devoted his life to addressing what he called the “triple evils of militarism, racism, and materialism.” Carrying hammers and baby bottles of their own blood, the seven attempted to convert weapons of mass destruction.  They hoped to call attention to the ways in which nuclear weapons kill every day, by their mere existence and maintenance.

Liz McAlister was sentenced by video conferencing with the court on June 8, 2020. She was sentenced to time served, 3 years of supervised probation and a portion of the $33,000 restitution.

On September 3, Carmen Trotta is scheduled for sentencing at 9 a.m., Steve Kelly at 1 p.m., and Clare Grady at 4 p.m. On September 4, Mark Colville at 9 a.m., Patrick O’Neill at 1 p.m. and Martha Hennessy at 4 p.m. These dates may yet again be pushed back depending on the course of the virus. The defendants prefer to be sentenced in person in open court with family and supporters present as is their right. It is not sure when it will be safe for all parties to be present.

For more information on this and other actions against nuclear weapons, visit https://kingsbayplowshares7.org.

Plowshares 7 Need Your Help As They Face Sentencing

Urgent: Please Write Letters To These Judges Now.

As the coronavirus kills and terrifies prisoners around the world, the Kings Bay 7 anti-nuclear protesters and two drone war whistleblowers – Brandon Bryant and Daniel Everett Hale – are facing prison time.

These pending court actions can be seen as marking a moment in history when anti-drone war protesters join anti-nuclear war protesters in the group of Americans who remain inspired to actively oppose the creation and use of, particularly heinous weapons in the face of the wide acceptance of these weapons by the American public. Here is a summary of the status of the cases, and we urge you to write immediately to the judges on behalf of the Kings Bay 7 and Brandon Bryant.

Please click to read more about who to write to: Plowshares 7 Need Your Help As They Face Sentencing – PopularResistance.Org

Because Federal Government Is Allowed to ‘Weaponize the Law,’ Plowshares 7 Found Guilty for Anti-Nuclear Weapons Protest

Eoin Higgins, Common Dreams News

Seven anti-nuclear activists face up to 20 years in prison after a jury in Georgia on Thursday found the activists guilty of four counts of destruction and depredation of government property in excess of $1,000, trespassing, and conspiracy, charges that could land each member of the group in prison for up to 20 years.

“I really think that the verdict was, frankly, reactionary,” defendant Carmen Trotta said in a statement.

Trotta and Steve Kelly, Mark Colville (from New Haven), Clare Grady, Patrick O’Neill, Elizabeth McAlister, and Martha Hennessy on the night of April 4, 2018 entered the U.S. Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay in Georgia and took part in a symbolic closure of the facility in protest of its housing of the base’s Trident nuclear program and then “split into three groups and prayed, poured blood, spray-painted messages against nuclear weapons, hammered on parts of a shrine to nuclear missiles, hung banners, and waited to be arrested.”

The Kings Bay Plowshares Seven hoped to use a necessity defense, claiming the omnicidal potential of the Trident program—that the weapons could end all life on the planet—made their actions a moral imperative. On October 18, Judge Lisa Wood rejected the defense and in her ruling (pdf) barred the defendants from using it or calling on expert witnesses like Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg to address the jury.

Read the whole story here: Because Federal Government Is Allowed to ‘Weaponize the Law,’ Plowshares 7 Found Guilty for Anti-Nuclear Weapons Protest | Common Dreams News

Local Catholic Worker Mark Colville Jailed for Plowshares Action against Nuclear Missiles

by Stephen Kobasa, Kings Bay Plowshares support group

Mark Colville of the Amistad Catholic Worker House in New Haven was one of seven Catholic Plowshares activists who carried out a Plowshares action on April 4, at the Kings Bay Naval Base, St. Mary’s, Georgia, where Trident ballistic missile submarines and their nuclear weapons are based.

The seven chose to act on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who devoted his life to addressing the triplets of militarism, racism, and materialism. In their statement, which they carried with them, the group quoted King: “The greatest purveyor of violence in the world (today) is my own government.”

A federal indictment charges the seven with four counts: Conspiracy, Destruction of Property on a Naval Station, Depredation of Government Property and Trespass. In response to news of the indictment, Mark wrote from the Camden County Jail, “Once again the federal criminal justice system has plainly identified itself as another arm of the Pentagon by turning a blind eye to the criminal and murderous course from which it has repeatedly refused to desist for the past 70 years.”

While Mark is in prison, the work of the Amistad Catholic Worker is being continued by Luz Colville. Support for that work can take any of several forms:

1) Donations of items for the community breakfast program: old-fashioned oats, grits, eggs, coffee, creamer, sugar, pancake mix, pancake syrup, cereal, milk powdered or fresh, canned evaporated milk, margarine, pasta, pasta sauce, tomato sauce, rice, beans, napkins, toilet tissue, rolls of paper towels;

2) Gift cards for purchase of above items;

3) Checks made out to the Amistad Catholic Worker and delivered or mailed to 203 Rosette St., New Haven, CT 06519.