1 March 2005
Jackie Hudson, well-known local peace activist, to be released from federal prison on March 4, 2005
Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action
16159 Clear Creek Road NW  Poulsbo, WA. 98370
Website: www.gzcenter.org E-mail: info@gzcenter.org

 

Contact:: Karol and Glen Milner (206) 365-7865

Jackie Hudson, well-known Northwest peace activist and member of the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action, will be released from federal prison in Victorville, California after the completion of her 2 ½ year sentence. 
 
Jackie Hudson was convicted in July 2003 for a nonviolent demonstration at a Minuteman III nuclear missile silo site in Colorado on October 6, 2002.  She and two other Dominican nuns, Ardeth Platte and Carol Gilbert, had poured their own blood and hammered on the silo lid.  The three nuns, in addition to prison time, were ordered to each pay a $200 special assessment and $3,080.04 restitution to the U.S. government, plus three years of supervised release.
 
Jackie Hudson has recently told the Western Washington Probation Office that she cannot pay the restitution for reasons of conscience.  As a result, she has been refused probation in Washington State.  She has recently been ordered to report for probation in Colorado.
 
Supporters of Jackie Hudson around the world have offered an “alternative restitution” in which they will pay or work for peaceful and useful social services.  Over $112,000 has been offered by others for this alternative restitution.  U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn, in Denver, Colorado will rule on this offer.
 
Jackie Hudson stated recently, “I refuse to pay money to this morally bereft government which presently spends over one billion dollars a day to slaughter or in planning the slaughter of millions of innocent persons.”  She added, “I am complicit enough by claiming citizenship in this nation.”
 
Sister Hudson will be released from federal prison on March 4, 2005.  She plans to spend 2 days in Southern California before her return home.  She will arrive at Sea-Tac Airport on Sunday, March 6 at 2:15 pm.  She will meet with friends later in the day at the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action in Poulsbo on March 6 at 6 pm.
 
On March 7, Jackie Hudson will telephone the Chief U.S. Probation Officer in Colorado Springs, Colorado to report for probation.  It is uncertain at this time if Sister Hudson will then be issued a warrant for her arrest or be allowed to stay at her home in Bremerton, Washington.
 
The sabotage conviction against the three nuns is currently under appeal in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.  Oral arguments on the overzealous prosecution of the nuns were heard in Denver federal court on October 1, 2004.  A decision could be released at any time.


Fact Sheet:

Jackie Hudson, well-known local peace activist, to be released from federal prison on March 4, 2005
 
Jackie Hudson, 70, Carol Gilbert, 58, and Ardeth Platte, 68, are members of the Dominican order.  On October 6, 2002, the three nuns cut through a security chain to enter the N-8 missile silo site.  All three were on the site for several hours, and, in an act of disarmament, hammered on the tracks that carry the lid of the silo to its firing position.  They then poured their own blood on the tracks and the silo lid.  Their act of resistance was named the Sacred Earth and Space Plowshares II.  Plowshares actions fulfill the biblical mandate, “They shall beat their swords into plowshares...” - Isaiah 2:4
 
At the time of the nun’s action, the U.S. was threatening the use of nuclear weapons against  the people of Iraq.  The U.S. was also claiming that the nation of Iraq was actively building a nuclear weapons program.  The three nuns believed it was their duty to inspect, expose, and then symbolically disarm this one nuclear weapon in the United States.
 
The nuns were found guilty at the Federal Courthouse in Denver on April 7, 2003 on two counts of Injury/Interference/Obstruction of the National Defense and Injury of Property of the United States.  The sabotage charges brought a possible sentence of up to 30 years in jail and up to $500,000 in fines.  U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn, before the trial, had released a 32 page opinion, barring the jury from hearing international law and Nuremberg defenses during the trial.  After being found guilty, the three nuns addressed the jury, thanking them for doing the best they could with the instructions they had been given and with the evidence allowed in court.
 
The three nuns brought world attention to the massive stockpile of weapons of mass destruction housed in Colorado.  The 49 nuclear-armed Minuteman III missiles in Colorado each have the explosive power of 300 kilotons (approximately 25 times the size of the Hiroshima bomb).
 
The Minuteman III missile is a land-based system that has undergone continuous redesign since the 1970’s to keep up with advancing technology.  The Minuteman III is currently being refurbished with newer rocket boosters, more accurate satellite guidance, and the larger W-87 nuclear warhead.  The missile has an 8,000 mile range, can reach its target in about 30 minutes, and can strike within 300 feet of its intended target.
 
The Minuteman III, because of its speed and accuracy, is considered an offensive, first strike weapon.
 
Jackie Hudson, 70, lives in Bremerton and is a member of the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action.  Prior to moving to Bremerton, she had been an instrumental music teacher in Michigan.
 
Carol Gilbert, 58, lives in Baltimore and is a member of the Jonah House and the Atlantic Life Community.  In the past she has worked as a junior high school teacher.
 
Ardeth Platte, 68, lives in Baltimore and is a member of the Jonah House and the Atlantic Life Community.  She has been a high school teacher and principal, a City Councilwoman and Mayor Pro Tem in Saginaw, Michigan.
 
For more information on Jackie Hudson’s probation and the federal government’s refusal to let Jackie Hudson go to her home in Bremerton, Washington, please call:
 
Margaret K. Kellow, Senior U.S. Probation Officer and William S. Corn, Chief U. S. Probation Officer for Western District of Washington Probation Office in Seattle at (206) 370-8550

 


( Other reports on 3 ploughshares nuns here )


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