FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – DECEMBER 11, 2010
Case Dismissed for Peace Activists Arrested at the Pentagon
The case against Joy First,
The motion to dismiss was with prejudice, which indicates that the court has made adjudication on the merits of the case and a final disposition. However, in one place in the order, it states “without prejudice.” The defendants brought this to the government’s attention, and it was agreed it was a typo. The case has been adjudicated.
First and Obuszewski are members of the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance, and have participated in actions of nonviolent resistance to bring an end to the illegal and immoral wars in
As the citizen activists arrived at the Pentagon Reservation at the Metro entrance, they were stopped by several Pentagon police officers with large rifles. A Pentagon police officer asked them what they were doing, and the activists explained they had sent a letter seeking a meeting. They said they had grave concerns about what the Pentagon is doing as the biggest polluter/destroyer of Mother Earth on the planet and added their concern about the wars in
Soon after, two special agents came to talk with the four citizen-activists. However, it was soon apparent the topic of discussion was not a meeting with some Pentagon official. The agents seemed to be investigating the temperament of the four. Since the two criminal investigators from the Pentagon Police were not there to facilitate a meeting to discuss the Pentagon’s role in the destruction of the planet, there was no need to continue the discussion. Soon thereafter, the activists were arrested and changed with failure to obey a lawful order.
First, Kilbride and Obuszewski then appeared in federal court in
Prior to the court appearance, the defendants filed a Motion to Compel Additional Discovery and asked the government to turn over all action plans, audiotapes, documents, emails, files, photographs, police reports, transcripts of electronic transmissions and videotapes. This Motion sought a copy of the August 9, 2010
In court, the government agreed to provide the activists with additional discovery. Magistrate Judge Theresa Buchanan granted a continuance until January 2011. However, the defendants did not receive any additional discovery. And in early December, the government mailed out a Motion to Dismiss. First and Obuszewski speculate that the reason for the dismissal may have been because the Pentagon Police did not want to provide them with the intelligence report or other material suggesting surveillance was taking place. A similar case at the Pentagon in 2008 with First, Obuszewski and others arrested for violating a lawful order also resulted in dismissal. At that time, as well, the defendants did file a Motion to Compel Additional Discovery. Since 9/11, activists around the country engaged in nonviolent direct action have been placed in government databases. It could be argued in this case that the police agencies have something to hide.
Obuszewski, First, and Kilbride plan to continue following their obligations under
Obuszewski added, “It is a dire necessity to challenge the Pentagon’s role in the destruction of the planet. We the people have a responsibility to preserve the Earth for those who will follow; otherwise future generations will try to survive on an uninhabitable planet.”
The National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance has put out a call to action and is working with other organizations to plan an action of nonviolent civil resistance at the Pentagon on April 8, 2011. For more information or to get involved contact firstname.lastname@example.org .