Friday, December 10, 2010

Disarm Now Plowshares trial day 3: The defense makes its case

News Release


December 9, 2010


For Immediate Release


Disarm Now Plowshares trial day 3: The defense makes its case


Tacoma, Washington, Wednesday, December 9, 2010: In a packed courtroom

the trial of the Disarm Now Plowshares went into its third day with

the prosecution resting and the defense making its case.


The government’s line of questioning continued to document the damage

and the associated financial costs to its facilities and fences at

Strategic Weapons Facility, Pacific (SWFPAC).


In cross examination both Susan Crane and Bill Bichsel introduced

situations in which fences are illegal.  Crane said to Jason Stark who

was in charge of repairing the SWFPAC fence alarm system, “I was

thinking in Germany in WWII there were concentration camps and fences

around them.”  She asked Stark how he would feel about taking care of

fences like that.


Anne Montgomery , RSCJ, invited the jury and all present in the

courtroom to join in community to abolish nuclear weapons.  “We felt

that we could show a way for people who feel isolated and helpless,

show that we are vulnerable too, we are afraid, but we had hope,

walked through that to find freedom from the prison of fear and



The first defense witness was Scottish Trident Ploughshares activist

Angie Zelter, who has been acquitted for Ploughshares actions in

Scotland.  In response to the question of whether she and the

defendants share a sense of urgency about nuclear weapons, she

answered, “Yes.  We have had conversations about the number of

accidents and how nuclear weapons are proliferating.  The U.S. and

U.K. expect others to not have nuclear weapons and are still relying

on them themselves.  Yes, it felt very urgent.”


The next witness was Steven Leeper, Chairman of the Hiroshima Peace

Culture Foundation.  When asked if he had encouraged the Disarm Now

Plowshares defendants in any way he said, “Yes, I told them, ‘Yes, do

anything you possibly can to bring this to the consciousness of the

world, because Americans more than any other people in the world are

unconscious of what’s going on.’ ”


Captain Tom Rogers, Retired, is a 31 year career naval officer who

commanded nuclear submarines for three years during the Cold War. He

said that if he as commander was ever ordered to launch strategic

nuclear missiles, this would be contrary to what he knows of the laws

of armed conflict, which state that a commander is responsible for

following the rules of humanitarian law.  “That commanding officer is

powerless, and that’s an awful feeling.”


Dr. David Hall is board member and former President of the Washington

State Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility.  When asked his

impression of Disarm Now Plowshares Hall said, “I’m very impressed

with the humanitarian core of your motive.”  When asked what his

understanding of what those core beliefs are he answered, “Life is

sacred… above all else, do no harm.”


Michael Honey holds the Fred T. and Dorothy G. Haley Endowed

Professorship in the Humanities at the University of Washington,

Tacoma.  When asked if Bill Bichsel is making a difference he said,

“He doesn’t let silence prevail.  Injustice anywhere is a threat to

justice everywhere.  You must speak out.  The whole history of social

justice is built on that.”


Each night after trial there has been a potluck gathering with the

members of Disarm Now Plowshares and distinguished speakers.

Tonight’s speaker was Anabel Dwyer, Member of the Board of Directors

of the Lawyers’ Committee on Nuclear Policy and pro-bono advisory

legal counsel to Disarm Now Plowshares.  In her talk she said that no

one has the authority to commission, build, deploy, or use weapons of

mass destruction.  Members of Disarm Now Plowshares are exposing war

crimes committed at Bangor, and the jury should convict the real



Tomorrow Disarm Now Plowshares continues to present its case.


Updates and more at


Contact: Leonard Eiger  (425) 445-2190

Media & Outreach Coordinator

Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action





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