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Activists guilty of breaking into Kitsap naval base

Post by Adam Lynn / The News Tribune on Dec. 13, 2010 at 12:45 pm |
December 13, 2010 12:53 pm

A federal jury has convicted five anti-war activists who broke into Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor to protest the nuclear weapons stored there, the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action and the U.S. Attorney’s Office reported.

The jury today found guilty on all counts the Rev. Bill Bichsel, 82, a Jesuit priest in Tacoma; the Rev. Stephen Kelly, 60, a Jesuit priest from Oakland, Calif.; Sister Anne Montgomery, 84, of Redwood City, Calif.; Susan Crane, 67, a retired public school teacher from Baltimore; and Lynne Greenwald, 60, a social worker from Bremerton.

The five were charged with using bolt cutters to cut through three chain-link fences to enter an area where nuclear warheads are stored on the base, about 40 miles northwest of Tacoma.

The were convicted of conspiracy, trespass and destruction of government property.

Bichsel told The News Tribune for a story earlier this month the nuclear weapons at Bangor are illegal under international law because “they are indiscriminate killers of civilians and combatants.”

But U.S. District Judge Benjamin Settle prohibited arguments relating to the interpretation of international law as a defense in the trial, according to court documents.

Sentencing is set for March 28. The defendants face a maximum of 10 years in prison although they are expected to get lighter sentences under federal guidelines.

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