Contact Beth Preheim or John LaForge
Clam Lake, WI -- Civil resistance to the nuclear Navy in Wisconsin is crowding Ashland's court calendar, and there's no let-up in sight.
Sara Arndt, Lena, WI, and Gail Vaughn, Ferryville, WI, were arrested and charged with trespassing Tues., July 4 after they entered the property of the Navy's "Project ELF" submarine transmitter near here. The two were briefly jailed in Ashland County, then released pending an August 1 arraignment in Ashland County Circuit Court. It's the same arraignment date set for two others arrested Sunday June 25 at the same site. Katie Berrigan, Baltimore, MD, and Annika Spalde of Sweden were also jailed briefly before being released without bond.
|photo by Sara Arndt|
On June 24, two demonstrators -- calling their act "Silence Trident" -- used hand-held bow saws to cut down three of the wooden poles that hold the ELF antenna line, which extends for 28 miles through the Chequamegon National Forest. Bonnie Urfer and Michael Sprong, both of Luck, WI, were arrested and jailed on the 24th, but charges have yet to be filed in the case. Sprong was released on bond July 27.
Project ELF (extremely low frequency) sends coded signals to submerged Trident missile-firing submarines around the world. Because it can bring the submarines to the surface simultaneously for a coordinated sneak attack, ELF is known to critics as a "nuclear war starter pistol." Gail Vaughn, a long-time peace activist, is scheduled to go on trial Monday July 10, along with Mike Miles, Luck, WI, and Dan Buchanan, St. Joseph, MN for ELF trespass. The charge stems from the May 14 Mothers' Day demonstration at the controversial transmitter. The three face a fine of $212.00 or 60 days in jail for refusing to pay. (However, some have been sentenced to 9 days for the identical refusal.)
Meanwhile, two anti-nuclear protesters remain in Ashland County Jail for refusing to pay fines, known as "forfeitures," for ELF trespass convictions. Kurt Greenhalgh, Duluth, MN, has been in jail since turning himself into deputies May 14 during the Mothers' Day demonstration. Greenhalgh is scheduled to be released July 12. Bonnie Urfer has been held since the June 24 pole cutting, for refusing to pay previous ELF trespass fines.
The June 24 disarmament action was the fifth time since 1984 that the transmitter has been shut down by anti-war activists who have downed poles supporting the antennae line using handsaws. The transmitter poles stand unguarded and unfenced on public land in the Chequamegon National Forest