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Patrick O'Neill Plowshares Defendant Sentenced for actions at Kings Bay nuclear base

category international | anti-war / imperialism | news report author Tuesday October 20, 2020 22:45author by Justin Morahan Report this post to the editors

A Third Plowshares Defendant Gets 14 Months in Prison

Patrick O'Neill told the court of Ankle monitoring in America on the Day of his sentencing. On Friday last, 16 October, Patrick O'Neill was sentenced in Georgia to 14 months in prison for a non-violent protest In Kings Bay Trident Nuclear Base on 4 April 2018. He is the third of the Kings Bay 7 to be convicted.

On Friday last, 16 October, Patrick O'Neill was sentenced in Georgia to 14 months in prison for a non-violent protest In Kings Bay Trident Nuclear Base on 4 April 2018. He is the third of the Kings Bay 7 to be convicted.

One by one these defendants, all of whose actions are faith based, have been making powerful statements about their witness - so powerful that they cannot but impress those of us who are not faith based. They have also lifted a veil on court proceedings for those who were not present there. In the case of Patrick O'Neill who was one of four who opted for bail, he also exposed the cruelty of US ankle monitoring.

His statement is packed with challenging one-liners:

"Although the base commander testified that he would neither confirm nor deny that Trident is a weapon of mass destruction, it is common knowledge";

"in this courtroom, the fact that Trident is a diabolical death machine has been deemed irrelevant";

"If the Trident D-5 missiles are ever launched and millions of people die, including many of you who reside here at the center of Ground Zero, one fact will remain clear: No laws were broken".

"Rather than criminals, we are Messengers, just like the abolitionists were in the face of legalized slavery, or pacifists who went to prison rather than kill";

Historically, the Boston Tea Party and biblically, Jesus cleansing the temple of the money-changers, both involved damage to property to make a point and to challenge injustice"

"So, off to jail and prison we go, all 7 of us thrice convicted felons"

"I think the message we brought to Kings Bay and to this court is painful to hear, and unthinkable to contemplate". "... you, Judge Wood, in perhaps the only time you expressed your personal opinion during the trial, said Trident is probably not unlawful"

"Giving agency to Trident submarines and their cargo of nuclear weapons of mass destruction carried the day over our sincere religious intentions. So our jury never heard any evidence about the Religious Freedom Restoration Act".

To Irish people who find Covid-19 lock downs intolerable the following account of how gentle pacifists were ankle monitored and surveilled in the USA for two and a half years will make stark reading:

"From Day 1 of our arraignment, this court has taken a very hard line against the 7 of us, and for more than 2 and one half years now that punitive policy has been unrelenting.

"First came a high cash bond, house arrest and ankle monitors; justified by claims that we were a danger to community safety. Requests for loosening those restrictions were mostly denied. Since my release from the Glynn County jail in the spring of 2018, my life has been under the daily management of my probation officer, Woody King, who I personally like and have gotten to know. However, he treats me like a teenager, not an adult.

"When Woody stopped by my house as I was taking out the trash, he said, 'Mr. O’Neill, you’re supposed to be in your house.'

“ 'I’m just taking out the trash,' I replied.

'Tell Mary to do that,' Woody said. I’m not sure that was the way Magistrate Stan Baker saw my house arrest, but that´s what Woody thought.

"When I had my first meeting with Woody and his supervisor, I was told I was allowed to go to Mass on Sunday, but I was not permitted to stay after Mass to share a cup of coffee with my faith community. I was only allowed out for two hours on Sundays.

"In addition, my more than two years under supervised house arrest and curfew will not count toward my sentence, despite the fact that I have now spent more than 400 days (thatś 400 24-hour days) confined to my house.

"Three times since my release under these strict conditions I have had my children hospitalized outside the Eastern District of N.C., so I was unable to get permission to visit with them because of my home confinement, even though the Chapel Hill hospital was just 35 minutes from my home.

"When I told Woody my daughter Brianna was in the hospital with postpartum complications following the birth of my grandson, Luke, Woody said coldly, matter of factly, he could not approve the hospital visit. He never said anything kind or comforting about my daughter’s plight or ever asked again about her well being.

"Like your families need you, my family needs me. The harsh conditions of pre-trial and post-trial release were hard on all 14 of us — Mary and I, our 8 children, two grandchildren and two sons-in law. I think it is clear that all seven of the Kings Bay Plowshares are honorable people who devote our lives to making the world a more peaceful, loving and safe place".

The full text of Patrick's statement and that of his daughter Bernadette Naro can be found at http://www.nukeresister.org

author by Justin Morahanpublication date Fri Oct 23, 2020 21:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

According to Ellen Davidson, Colm Roddy and Dave Donnellan were found NOT GUILTY by a jury of their peers in Dublin this week. .

author by Justin Morahanpublication date Fri Jan 15, 2021 18:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Patrick entered prison yesterday 24 January 2021 full of hope. Kings Bay Plowshares 7 reports in an email:

Driving through Ohio, about to begin a 14-month sentence for his part in the Kings Bay Plowshares 7 disarmament action Patrick O'Neill didn't sound like someone about to enter federal prison within minutes. "I'm going in there with hope. There's cause for optimism right now."
At 2 pm today, January 14, Patrick O'Neill walked into the Federal Correction Institution (FCI) Elkton, in Lisbon, OH. He has already served 7-1/2 weeks pretrial. He should be released in 11 months with good-time credit. He might also get an early release to a halfway house. This father of eight, grandfather of 2, and devoted spouse of Mary Rider may be there until November....

You can contact him at:
Patrick O’Neill #14924-018
FCI Elkton
Federal Correction Institution
PO Box 10
Lisbon, OH 44432

 
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