court wields hammer too
Plowshares Indicted; Trial Set for March 19

by Elizabeth McAlister

Maryland - 4 February: Plowshares VS. Depleted Uranium have been indicted by jurors of the State of Maryland, for Baltimore County on five charges. They are Sabotage (carrying 10 years); Conspiracy to commit Sabotage (10 years); Malicious Destruction of Property (3 years); Conspiracy to Maliciously Destroy Property (3 years); and Trespass (90 days). Their trial has been scheduled to begin in Circuit Court in Towson MD on March 20, 2000. We will have a Festival of Hope the night before the trial, March 19.

Initial charges of burglary were replaced in the indictment by Sabotage and Conspiracy to commit Sabotage, as well as Conspiracy to Maliciously Destroy Property. The indictment defines Sabotage as follows: to hinder, delay, or interfere with the preparation of the United States for defense or for war, or with the prosecution of war by the United State.

How does one commit Sabotage against Depleted Uranium? Depleted Uranium has done grave damage to the land and people of Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Bosnia; it has afflicted the people who live adjacent to US military bases in Vieques, Puerto Rico and Okinawa, Japan as well as neighborhoods by weapons manufacturers; and it has been injurious to the health of our own military personnel. The munitions are offensive to humanity, decency, and any definition of responsible conduct; they are a violation of the laws of war, international law, and the natural law.

Despite the indictment being handed down by the grand jury on the 18th of January, it did not come to the defendants until February 1. They now struggle to prepare to stand trial against these charges. They are aided by Ramsey Clark and Jon Katz who, it is hoped, will stand with them in court.

We ask you to alert your local or national press to the wrong that DU munitions represent and to the absurdity of the charges against our friends. They remain incarcerated in Baltimore County with large bail levied against them.

Contact Jonah House, 1301 Moreland Ave., Baltimore MD 21216; 410/233-6238;