Seven Catholic peace activists are heading to trial on October 21 after a federal judge rejected a request to dismiss their charges. The activists were arrested in April 2018 after they secretly entered the Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in Georgia armed with hammers, crime scene tape and baby bottles containing their own blood. The activists — who are known as the Kings Bay Plowshares — face up to 25 years in prison. Earlier this week, a judge rejected their attempt to cite the Religious Freedom Restoration Act as part of their defense. Kings Bay Plowshares defendant Patrick O’Neill appeared on Democracy Now! earlier this year to talk about their novel defense.
Patrick O’Neill: “You have to have a religious belief that is sincerely held. And you also have to show that you’ve been burdened by the government’s reaction to what you’ve done and that this burden is limiting your practice of your religion. … Our whole religious symbolism going into the base was clear. It was documented in our statement. It was documented by the blood. It was documented by scripture, by the Bible, by the spray painting of the religious scripture quotes.”