National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance
Year 2009 Report on Resistance Against
Thanks to all of you who were able to risk arrest or to support such protests against the occupation of
8—[WDC] Eight activists held in contempt after refusing to pay an assessment fee ordered by Superior Court Chief Judge Rufus King III are scheduled for a show cause hearing. Maria Allwine, Johnny Barber, Michelle Grise, Joan Nicholson, Max Obuszewski, Kay Warren, Bill Wylie-Kellerman and Jerry Zawada were convicted on charges relating to protests on Capitol Hill against war funding on either Sept. 26 or 27, 2006. King found them in contempt on May 11, 2007, and wanted to jail them. They demanded a trial.
They are scheduled to appear before Judge John Bayley, Jr. The previous judge ruled that the contempt case will be continued until after the appeals of the conviction are completed. A decision on the appeals is expected some time in 2009.
3—[WDC] Seventeen members, including Pete Perry and Eve Tetaz, of the March of the Dead, who were arrested on Jan. 6 in the Hart Senate Office Building have a status hearing in Superior Court of the District of Columbia.
12—[Santa Barbara, CA] Defendants Dennis Apel, Jeff Dietrich, Fr. Louie Vitale, OFM, and Fr. Steve Kelly, SJ, are to be sentenced after being found guilty of trespass on Dec. 4, 2008. They were arrested outside Vandenberg AFB on May 19, 2007. Prior to the trial, the judge granted the prosecution’s motion in limine, which prohibited the defendants from making a comment or statement with regard to their religious or political reasons or views for their act of trespass. This ruling essentially gagged the defendants from making any meaningful statement in their defense since the foundation of their action was inspired by their beliefs.
After an evidentiary hearing on defendant Mike Wisniewski's motion to dismiss the trespass charge, the magistrate ruled against the motion. However, during the trial, a video of the witness at the base was shown. After the prosecution rested its case, Wisniewski's public defender made a motion to acquit, which was granted as the government failed to prove Wisniewski was given a warning. He hopes to have the life-time "ban and bar" from Vandenberg removed.
13—[Chicago] Martin Bates, Janie Stein and Joe Wyse pled guilty to trespass after participating in a die-in outside the headquarters of Boeing on Jan. 19. The action was taken to honor Martin Luther King’s call to end racism, militarism and poverty and was conceived during a Christian Peacemaker Teams training. The die-in highlighted Boeing’s deadly connection to
The judge did not permit the activists to make a statement. However, Janie, right before pleading, said "If it please the court, it's not O.K. for corporations to build bombs that kill innocent people. If I'm accused of trying to stop that, then I am guilty as charged." The judge said she had read the details of the report & understood what the group did and why it went to Boeing. The defendants were given three months of unsupervised probation, and good behavior could expunge the record in two years. After sentencing, the activists interacted with the two Boeing representatives, who indicated respect for the protesters.
11—[WDC] The District of Columbia Court of Appeals ordered that the appeals filed by Ellen Barfield, Tim Chadwick, Max Obuszewski, Manijeh Saba and Eve Tetaz were to be consolidated and that within 30 days a report must be filed regarding the acquisition of a transcript from the trial of the Ghosts of the Iraq War, the post-verdict hearing and the sentencing. The activists are appealing the Oct. 24 guilty verdict rendered by the jury. The appeal will challenge many of the judge’s decisions.
9—[Pettus, WV] Fourteen people, including Chad Stevens, were arrested trying to stop Massey Energy's mountaintop removal "madness.” This demonstrated the environmental activists' growing willingness to take nonviolent direct action in the fight against dirty coal. The action took place on
19—[Bangor, WA] Holding a large sign quoting Dr. King; Larry Kerschner, Jessica Smith, Gilberto Perez, and Jessica Artega were arrested for blocking the entrance to the Trident sub base.
On Jan. 5, he went to the Douglas Co. Court House and told a Judge he could not in good conscience pay a $500 fine which was assessed when he was convicted on Nov. 12, 2008 of being in "violation of an ordinance with the City of
13—[Tacoma, WA] Three civil resisters of nuclear weapons, Fr. Bill Bichsel S.J., Rev. Anne Hall and Tom Karlin, were acquitted of trespass in federal court. They were arrested on May 31, 2008 when they tried to invite the base commander at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor to engage in dialogue to establish the Puget Sound Nuclear Weapon Free Zone. Twelve people were arrested at the anti-nuke protest. Seven--Father Bill Bichsel, Jessica Smith, Joe Power-Drutis, Thomas Karlin, Denny Moore, Joe Marinello and Rev. Anne Hall--were arrested while trying to deliver the letter, and five demonstrators--Lynne Greenwald, Sallie Shawl, Mary Gleysteen, Kim Wahl and Glen Milner--were arrested while trying to display a banner on a freeway overpass. The banner activists were charged with disorderly conduct and failure to disperse. Only three of the letter carriers were cited for violation of 18 USC 1382--trespass on a military installation.
Early in the trial, the judge granted the motion to dismiss charges against Anne Hall and Tom Karlin on the basis that the trespass statute requires knowledge of debarment (which was not proven by the government). After further proceedings in which Judge Kelley determined that the government had not proven certain essential acts in the case, he allowed a motion to give a directed verdict, thereby acquitting Fr. Bichsel.
12—[Madison, WI] Charged with trespass, twelve participants in WITNESS AGAINST WAR, a 450 mile walk from Chicago to last summer’s Republican National Convention in St. Paul, MN “to challenge and nonviolently resist our country’s continuing war in and occupation of Iraq,” were convicted in U.S. District Court. Thirteen activists from around the country were arrested by Department of Defense Police on Aug. 10, 2008 as they attempted to enter the gates of
Col. Daniel A. Culver of the fort’s Office of the Command Judge Advocate, cited “risk of disruption to
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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs