More than three years after he and six other anti-nuclear activists entered Kings Bay Naval Base, home to six Trident nuclear submarines, a federal judge sentenced Mark Colville, a New Haven resident from Amistad Catholic Worker, to 21 months in prison.
Over a video conference, Judge Lisa Godbey Wood sentenced Mark to the minimum of the recommended guidelines provided by prosecutors. Mark is the last of the Kings Bay Plowshares 7 to be sentenced. Five are now in prison. Prior to the trial, Mark had already served about 15 months of his sentence, which will count towards his 21 months.
Mark told the court that its refusal to recognize the right of his family and community “to live without a nuclear gun on hair-trigger alert held perpetually to our heads… (has) placed it firmly in a posture of criminality.”
An excerpt of Mark’s statement is here. Read the full statement on the Plowshares website.
“I am speaking to you from land that was taken from the Momauguins, members of the Quinnipiac Indian Tribe, here in what is now called the Hill Neighborhood of New Haven, Connecticut. So to begin, I wish to acknowledge them, and bow to the spirits of a people who treated this territory with reverence, as the sacred space that it is.
What I have to say today is simple, and it echoes the message I have borne from the first time I walked into your courtroom three years ago. My neighborhood, my family and I have a right to live without a nuclear gun on hair-trigger alert held perpetually to our heads. That right is ours, both by birth and by law. It is neither granted by courts, nor denied by them, but this court’s refusal to defend that right- or even to recognize it- has now, with no fewer than 28 convictions against me and my companions, placed it firmly in a posture of criminality. On this the world agrees, as the international consensus prohibiting the building and possession of nuclear weapons became law, by ratified treaty, on January 21st of this year. I bow then, also, to the vast multitude of neighborhoods worldwide — beginning with Hiroshima and Nagasaki — whose people have been demanding to be free of this scourge for more than 75 years, and who now await our nation’s compliance.