Kingsbayplowshares7 | June 13, 2019
The seven members of the Kings Bay Plowshares received a notice of hearing June 4 answering their request for an oral argument before District Court Judge Lisa Wood. The seven are ordered to be in Brunswick, GA in U.S. District Court on August 7 at 10 a.m.
This will be the first time the KBP7 have been before Judge Wood who will be their trial judge. The activists invite supporters to attend the hearing, which could last more than one day, but probably not more than two days.
August 7, which falls between the 74th anniversaries of the atomic bombings of Japan in 1945, marks the first time the seven will be together in court since last November. The primary focus of their oral argument will be to explicate their objections to the 80-page report released in April from Magistrate Judge Benjamin Cheesbro. He had recommended the denial of defense motions to dismiss the charges based on the evidence presented concerning the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Judge Wood will make the final decision on the motions.
Defendants have already responded with written objections, and Judge Wood is willing to hear from the defense and the government regarding the objections. Cheesbro’s report, although a denial, concluded that the seven KBP defendants did perform “prophetic” and “sacramental” acts of “symbolic denuclearization” as an extension of their “sincerely held religious beliefs.”
In the meantime, the Plowshares defendants also plan to file motions asking Judge Wood to reconsider pretrial release (without conditions) for Fr. Steve Kelly, Mark Colville and Elizabeth McAlister, and for the removal of ankle monitors and pretrial curfews for the remaining defendants.
A Kings Bay Plowshares 7 global petition
calling for the dismissal of charges is being circulated and has been signed by thousands along with over 100 world-renowned leaders including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Beatrice Fihn, Mairead McGuire, and other Nobel laureates, Martin Sheen, Angela Davis, Phyllis Bennis, Rev. Dr. William Barber, Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, Oscar Lopez Rivera, Noam Chomsky, Dan Ellsberg, Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, and Huwaida Arraf.