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2003-07-07

Domestic Weapon Inspecting Nuns Face up to 10 Years in Prison for Anti-Nuclear Protest Action

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Roman Catholic nun Ardeth Platte talks with Democracy Now! about why she broke into a nuclear silo in Colorado to hammer on a U.S. warplane. This weekend she protested outside the National Security Agency for its role in providing the intelligence that led to the invasion of Iraq.

A court in Ireland last week failed to reach a verdict in a case involving an Irish woman who was charged with damaging a U.S. warplane while it was stopped in an Irish airport for refueling. The plane was headed for Iraq but was grounded after the woman, Mary Kelly, caused up to $1.5 million Euros in damage to the plane.

Anti-war activists and supporters cheered the hung jury last week. Soon after the trial ended, Kelly, a 50-year-old mother of four said, "It’s a great victory for Ireland."

Here in the United States, three Roman Catholic nuns, Carol Gilbert, Ardeth Platte and Jackie Hudson, will be sentenced later this month for a related anti-war action

On the morning of Oct. 6, 2002 the Roman Catholic nuns cut the chain securing a nuclear missile site in northeastern Colorado, and entered.

They hammered on a 110-ton concrete lid covering the Minuteman III missile silo. They poured their own blood in the shape of crosses from plastic baby bottles. They sang, and they prayed for world peace.

A Denver jury convicted them last month of injuring and obstructing national defense, and of inflicting more than $1,000 of damage to government property. Prosecutors said they will ask U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn to sentence the nuns to up to 10 years in federal prison and tens of thousands of dollars in fines.

  • Sister Ardeth Platte, Roman Catholic nun and Plowshares activist.

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