GMOs & Organ Damage
Edward S. Herman
Movements V. Correa
Stephen R. Shalom
Epic Recession II
Enemy at Home
Zaps - 03-10
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Priest Gets "Time Served" for ICBM Protest in Colorado
In his December trial in Greeley, Colorado for "trespass" and "mischief" last August 6 at the site of a U.S. nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), Fr. Carl Kabat, a 76-year-old Catholic priest, was interrupted on the witness stand a dozen times with technical objections. Finally, he made a demand of "the people," as the prosecutor David Skarkin kept calling himself: "I wish you'd object to nuclear weapons as much as you object to me."
Kabat at the N-8 ICBM site
Kabat's action took place at N-8, the U.S. Air Force's nickname for one of its 450 land-based Minuteman III thermonuclear weapons still at-the-ready across the Great Plains. There are 150 at Minot, North Dakota; 150 at Malmstrom Air Force Base, near Great Falls, Montana; and 150 at the Colorado/Nebraska/Wyoming field controlled by F.E. Warren AFB outside Cheyenne. During the protest, Kabat hung banners on the fence surrounding the ICBM launch site, cut through the chain link to enter the "restricted area," and tried to gain access to the underground facility.
Two public defenders helped Kabat present his case, making opening statements, interviewing prospective jurors, cross examining government witnesses, and questioning two defense witnesses. Toward the end of the trial, Kabat politely dismissed his defense attorneys and proceeded to testify on his own behalf and make a closing argument to the jury.
About 25 supporters followed the trial, coming from as far away as Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.
During the trial, the prosecutor Skarkin tried to trip up the jail-weary Kabat in cross-examination.
In his closing argument Kabat urged the jury to remember that helping enslaved people to escape was a felony, but that juries often refused to convict Underground Railroad workers "because they knew the law was wrong. You are intelligent, serious, and significant actors who have a role…the conscience of the community."
After hearing from several Air Force police officers, a sheriff's deputy, two defense witnesses, and from Kabat himself, the jury of six took an hour to find the long-time nuclear weapons abolitionist "guilty" of two gross misdemeanors. The charges each carried a maximum penalty of one year in prison.
Judge Nichols sentenced Kabat to 137 days, the amount of time he'd already served. The misdemeanors and the comparatively light sentence (Skarkin had urged consecutive maximums, a total of two years) came in striking contrast to previous sentences Kabat had been given after dozens of previous nuclear weapons protests. Since 1980, Kabat has served over 18 years in jail and prison, more than any other individual in U.S. anti-nuclear history.
In 1979, Kabat was a guest lecturer for an ethics course. He sat on the teacher's table, feet dangling, and told the undergraduates that Hitler's mass slaughter was carried out with the official stamp of state legitimacy; that the Holocaust and, indeed, all the great crimes of human history had been crimes of obedience. The lesson these crimes teach us is that we must disobey illegitimate authority.
On the witness stand 30 years later, Kabat said the legal protections given to nuclear weapons and their operators today are hardly different from those given to the Third Reich's death camps and slave labor industries. "Apartheid, Hitler's acts, slavery were all, like most evils of the world, legal…. The Nazis killed six million. In 30 minutes that's what 2 of these Minuteman IIIs can do."
Z Magazine Archive
CUBAN 5 - From May 30 to June 5, supporters of the Cuban 5 will gather in Washington DC to raise awareness about the case and to demand a humanitarian solution that will allow the return of these men to their homeland.
Contact: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org.
BIKES - Bikes Not Bombs is holding its 24th annual Bike- A-Thon and Green Roots Festival in Boston, MA on June 3, with several bike rides, music, exhibitors, and more.
Contact: Bikes Not Bombs, 284 Amory St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130; 617-522-0222; mailbikesnotbombs.org; www.bikesnotbombs.org.
LEFT FORUM - The 2013 Left Forum will be held June 7-9, at Pace University in NYC.
Contact: 365 Fifth Avenue, CUNY Graduate Center, Sociology Dept., New York, NY 10016; http://www.leftforum.org/.
VEGAN FEST - Mad City Vegan Fest will be held in Madison, WI, June 8. The annual event features food, speakers, and exhibitors.
Contact: 122 State Street, Suite 405 B, Madison, WI 53701; email@example.com; http://veganfest.org/.
ADC CONFERENCE - The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) holds its annual conference June 13-16 in Washington, DC, with panel discussions and workshops.
Contact: 1990 M Street, Suite 610, Washington, DC, 20036; 202-244-2990; convention @adc. org http://convention.adc.org/.
CUBA/SOCIALISM - A Cuban-North American Dialog on Socialist Renewal and Global Capitalist Crisis will be held in Havana, Cuba, June 16-30. There will be a 5-day Seminar at the University of Havana, plus visits to a co-op and educational and medical institutions.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.globaljustice center.org/.
NETROOTS - The 8th Annual Netroots Nation conference will take place June 20-23 in San Jose, CA. The event features panels, trainings, networking, screenings, and keynotes.
Contact: 164 Robles Way, #276, Vallejo, CA 94591; email@example.com; http://www.netrootsnation.org/.
MEDIA - The 15th annual Allied Media Conference will be held June 20-23, in Detroit.
Contact: 4126 Third Street, Detroit, MI 48201; http://alliedmedia.org/.
GRASSROOTS - The United We Stand Festival will be hosted by Free & Equal, June 22 in Little Rock, Arkansas. The festival aims to reform the electoral process in the U.S.
LITERACY - The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) will hold its conference July 12-13 in Los Angeles.
Contact: 10 Laurel Hill Drive, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003; http://namle.net/conference/.
IWW - The North American Work People’s College will take place July 12-16 at Mesaba Co-op Park in northern Minnesota. The event will bring together Wobblies from across the continent to learn skills and build one big union.
PEACESTOCK - On July 13, the 11th Annual Peacestock will take place at Windbeam Farm in Hager City, WI. The event is a mixture of music, speakers, and community for peace. Sponsored by Veterans for Peace.
Contact: Bill Habedank, 1913 Grandview Ave., Red Wing, MN 55066; 651-388-7733; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www. peacestockvfp.org.
LA RAZA - The annual National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Conference is scheduled for July 18-19 in New Orleans, with workshops, presentations, and panel discussions.
Contact: NCLR Headquarters Office, Raul Yzaguirre Building, 1126 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036; 202-785-1670; www.nclr.org.
ACTIVIST CAMP - Youth Empowered Action (YEA) Camp will have sessions in July and August in Ben Lomond, CA; Portland, OR; Charlton, MA. YEA Camp is designed for activists 12-17 years old who want to make a difference.
Contact: email@example.com; http://yeacamp.org/.