Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Plowshares activist released from prison; promptly arrested for alleged probation violation

News Release


9/12/2011 For Immediate Release


Plowshares activist released from prison; promptly arrested for

alleged probation violation


A Plowshares activist was released today after serving the majority of

her sentence, only to be promptly arrested for allegedly violating the

terms of her probation.


Lynne Greenwald was released earlier today from the SeaTac Federal

Detention Center in Washington State after serving five and a half

months of a six month sentence for her participation in the 2009

Disarm Now Plowshares action at the Bangor Trident nuclear submarine

base and Strategic Weapons Facility, Pacific.


Greenwald is a grandmother, retired social worker, peace activist, and

until her time in prison worked at Irma Gary House, a transitional

house for women recently released from prisons in Washington State.


Greenwald arrived at the Federal Progress House (the organization that

was to provide community supervision while she is under house arrest

for the remaining two weeks of her sentence) before noon as she had

been instructed by Bureau of Prisons (BOP) officials. While working

through her paperwork U.S. Marshals arrived and arrested Greenwald for

allegedly violating her conditions of release. They transported her to

a holding cell in Tacoma awaiting transport back to the SeaTac Federal

Detention Center this evening.


Upon learning of Greenwald’s arrest supporters immediately contacted

the U.S. Marshal’s office as well as attorneys working on Greenwald’s



Attorney Blake Kremer said that Greenwald was picked up on a probation

violation based on the requirement that she go “immediately” to the

halfway house (Irma Gary House). A brief videotaped interview and time

spent with well-wishers who went to the prison to meet her are the

issue. Greenwald did go directly from SeaTac to Irma Gary House and

then on to Progress House where she did what was required by checking

in before noon. The marshals were sent by the BOP, not requested by

Progress House or Irma Gary House.


According to the Marshal's office generally when Marshals pick up

someone for the BOP at a halfway house, the issue is handled

administratively and without a hearing. Kremer said that her case

could either be handled administratively or through a hearing. A

hearing would likely be held tomorrow at the U.S. District Courthouse

in Tacoma, Washington.


Greenwald and her fellow Disarm Now Plowshares co-defendants, Bill

“Bix” Bichsel, SJ, Susan Crane, Steve Kelly, SJ, and Anne Montgomery,

RSCJ, challenged the legality and morality of the US storage and

threat of use of thermonuclear missiles by Trident nuclear submarines

stationed at the Kitsap-Bangor Naval Base outside Bremerton

Washington. They entered the U.S. Navy’s nuclear weapons storage depot

at Bangor, Washington on November 2, 2009 to symbolically disarm the

nuclear weapons stored there, and expose the illegality of the

government's continued preparations for nuclear war.


The five admitted from the start that they cut through the chain link

fence surrounding the Navy base during the night of All Souls,

November 2, 2009. They then walked undetected for hours nearly four

miles inside the base to their target, the Strategic Weapons

Facility-Pacific. This top security area is where activists say

hundreds of nuclear missiles are stored in bunkers. There they cut

through two more barbed wire fences and went inside. They put up two

big banners which said "Disarm Now Plowshares: Trident Illegal and

Immoral," scattered sunflower seeds, and prayed until they were

arrested at dawn.


Prosecutors said the government would neither admit nor deny the

existence of nuclear weapons at the base and argued that "whether or

not there are nuclear weapons there or not is irrelevant." Prosecutors

successfully objected to and excluded most of the defense evidence

about the horrific effects of nuclear weapons, the illegality of

nuclear weapons under US treaty agreements and humanitarian law, and

the right of citizens to try to stop war crimes by their government.


After difficult deliberations the jury finally found all five

co-defendants guilty on all charges of Conspiracy, Trespass,

Destruction of Property on a Naval Installation and Depredation of

Government Property. The five co-defendants received varying sentences

including up to fifteen months confinement.


Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor and Strategic Weapons Facility, Pacific

represent the largest concentration of operational nuclear weapons

according to the Kansas City Star.   The U.S. is currently working on

plans for a new fleet of ballistic missile submarines to replace the

current Trident fleet. The new fleet armed with nuclear armed missiles

would operate through the year 2082.


There have been more than 100 Plowshares Nuclear Resistance Actions

worldwide since 1980. Plowshares actions are taken from Isaiah 2:4, a

book in the Hebrew Scriptures of the Bible, “God will judge between

the nations and will settle disputes for many people. And they shall

beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.

And nations will not take up swords against nations, nor will they

train for war anymore.”


Contact: Leonard Eiger, 425-445-2190, subversivepeacemaking@gmail.com

Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action

16159 Clear Creek Road NW Poulsbo, WA 98370




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