15 Activists Found Guility of Speaking Truth.
The action took place November 7, 2001 at Alliant's new corporate headquarters in Edina, Mn. The question asked that day of Alliant: Who profits? Who Dies? The activists walked onto the lawn near the parking lot which Alliant Tech rents, planting small warning flags to alert passersby of the danger of decisions being made inside.
Three Sisters of St. Joseph choose jail.
(Minneapolis) On March 27, 2002, in Hennepin County District Court, a six person jury found 15 peace activists guilty of trespass at Alliant Techsystems (ATK) last fall. They were sentenced to 10 days in jail or an alternative of 10 days community service. Some, including three Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, are choosing jail in solidarity with prisoners, here and abroad, who are not allowed alternatives; and to emphasize the devastating impact of ATKs weapons on civilians and earth, including the devastating consequences of military spending on domestic needs. Several other defendants are also considering incarceration. Four of the fifteen will be sentenced April 24.
At trial, the group claimed they had a right, even an obligation to break the silence (Nuremberg Principals oblige citizens to speak out) on what they argued was a violation of International Law by Alliants production and sales of weapons such as cluster bombs, landmines and munitions containing depleted uranium. These weapons systems cause undo damages on indigenous populations (article 51 of Geneva Convention) or which are indiscriminate. (Geneva Protocol I). They cited Article VI of the US Constitution which says that such international treaties are the supreme law of the land superseding any state laws.
The fifteen activists include: Tom Bottolene, John Braun, Steve Clemens, Marguerite Corcoran, CSJ, Rita Foster, CSJ, Mary Ellen Halverson, Kate McDonald, CSJ, Rita McDonald, CSJ, Char Madigan, CSJ, Liz Moorhead, Mary Lou Ott, Pepperwolf, Barb Pratt, Kathleen Ruona and Rita Steinhagen, CSJ. They are among 25-50 people who vigil at ATK every Wednesday mornings 7-8am.
400+ arrests in the past six years at ATK have led to a dozen trials, with five acquittals. This is the first time a jail sentence has been imposed and people will be incarcerated for a nonviolent act of civil obedience at AlliantTechsystems.
Interview / Information:
Rita Steinhagen, CSJ
Char Madigan, CSJ