Resistance to Missile Testing, Space-based Weapons, Drones, and the U.S. War Machine
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KINGS BAY PLOWSHARES 7 UPDATE

Kings Bay Plowshares 7 activists
Clare Grady, Elizabeth McAlister, Patrick O’Neill, Carmen Trotta, Fr. Steve Kelly, SJ, Martha Hennessy, Mark Colville

On October 15, 2020 Fr. Steve Kelly, SJ, received a sentence of 33 months in federal prison, minus the two and a half year’s already served in Glynn County Jail, which equates to approximately another three months more.

However, it is unclear if he will receive credit for good behavior while in the county jail. If he does, then it should be time served. Plus he is ordered to pay $33,503.51 restitution for damage done, payable in monthly payments of no less than $25 per month. No interest and no fines imposed. Plus a $310. special court assessment due immediately. Plus three years supervised probation upon release from prison, including monthly DNA samples.

Fr. Steve Kelly, SJ

It is fairly certain Steve will refuse to pay any restitution or special court assessment as he never cooperates with this unjust, illegitimate, corrupt, and immoral system.

Indeed, he refused to stand and approach the bench while sentencing was pronounced. He had to be escorted by U.S. marshals and a chair placed in front of the bench for him to be seated.

This is in no way just. Rather, it is a subversion and mockery of justice. A miscarriage of justice. The real and abominable crime is U.S. nuclear weapons and U.S. imperial policy to use them in a pre-emptive strike, destroying all life on the planet. As became clear in court, the certain use of the most diabolical weapons ever made in human history will be carried out legally by U.S. imperial laws. May God have mercy on US.

BELOW IS THE STATEMENT DENNIS APEL READ TO THE COURT AS CHARACTER WITNESS FOR FR. STEVE KELLY.

Dennis arrested at Lockheed Martin in 2016

I was asked by Fr. Steve Kelly to be a character witness at his sentencing. While I am more than honored to do so, I want to be clear regarding my intent. I am not trying to affect the sentencing. My fantasy would be to have Fr. Steve’s character precipitate a conversion among those present in the courtroom. As anyone who has been involved in this case is aware, if you believe that Steve Kelly is operating from deeply held convictions and a radical faith in the gospels, he is a prophet. If you don’t believe him, he is just an opinionated criminal. As someone who knows Steve well, I assure you that the first assessment is the truth and the second is false.

I am no stranger to the typical U.S. courtroom where the “law” is treated as God while justice takes a back seat; where even the most fundamental morals are ignored for the sake of upholding the system designed to maintain idolatry to the Pentagon; where witnesses are sworn in with the admonition “to speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God” and then essentially gagged in front of a jury of their peers through motions In Limine, denied the ability to speak the truth about why they did what they did, the horrors they are confronting and the spirituality behind their actions.

Prosecutors assume the role of protecting the military as if the most powerful military in the history of humankind were not able to protect itself. Prosecutors assume the role of establishing the motives and character of those they designate as criminals and of whom they haven’t the slightest clue regarding their true character or motivations. Nor do they care to learn because, in our system, character and motives are irrelevant. The character of the accused is no more relevant to the purpose of the law than is the will of God. Entire careers and livelihoods are based solely on convictions and sentences. In what kind of system could a person with the spirituality, conviction, and love of God’s children that Fr. Steve Kelly has, be dismissed as a criminal and left to languish for two and a half years in county jail, while his basic message is expunged in the courtroom; the message that the most horrific and abominable weapons designed by human technology, weapons that have and will visit unfathomable horrors on the children of God and likely exterminate God’s creation, are allowed to exist and proliferate while the most basic of reasonable detractors are gagged and put away. As Steve often reminds us, “When the nuclear holocaust comes, it will be completely legal.”

Fr. Steve Kelly is a man of deep faith who speaks truth to power and accepts the consequences. That is his character. Any other assessment of his character is false. I know this because I have known Steve for decades. He has spent more than 10 years of his life behind bars, giving up the warm embrace and camaraderie of loved ones as well as the comforts of a truly-accessible easy life, to instead speak the truth that God sees nuclear weapons as an abomination. I defy anyone in this courtroom to make a case for a God who embraces weapons of indiscriminate destruction and human misery. It is not complicated. We who accept nuclear weapons are wrong, wrong, wrong. Fr. Steve just says that with his life and body. That is his character. He has taken up his cross to follow Jesus, pure and simple. We dismiss that fact at our own peril.

So, the question before this court is, “What to do with Fr. Steve Kelly; what is the proper punishment? What shall we impose so that he and others of his ilk are deterred? How can we maintain the order and protect the military from those like Fr. Steve who may want to shine a light on a crime infinitely more serious than trespass and vandalism, namely the extermination of the human race?” The answer is, it doesn’t matter the punishment. Steve will accept it and continue his prophetic mission. The question ought not to be how to punish Steve but rather what is it going to take for those who have ears to hear but cannot hear, and eyes to see but cannot see, to give up their idolatry to weapons of mass destruction and turn toward the God of love; to once and for all beat their swords into plowshares and study war no more? My advice to those in this courtroom is to take an honest look at the true character of Fr. Steve Kelly and to try to emulate it rather than defile it. Or don’t.

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