Citing the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination this week, seven peace activists were arrested on Thursday morning after they made their way overnight onto the U.S. Naval Base in Kings Bay, Georgia where some of the nation's nuclear-armed submarines are stationed.
According to a post by the group on Facebook, the seven people involved in the action and subsequently detained by authorities were: Elizabeth McAlister, 78, of Jonah House, Baltimore; Steve Kelly, S. J., 69, of California; Carmen Trotta, 55, a NY Catholic Worker; Clare Grady, 59, of Ithaca, NY Catholic Worker; Martha Hennessy, 62, of NY Catholic Worker; Mark Coleville, 55, of Amistad Catholic Worker in New Haven, CT; and Patrick O'Neil, 61, of Fr. Charlie Mulholland Catholic Worker in Garner, NC.
Local news outlet First Coast News, citing military officials at the base, report that the seven are facing trespassing and defacing government property charges.
The statement from the group further explained:
The seven chose to act on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Who devoted his life to addressing the triplets of militarism, racism and materialism. In their statement, which they carried with them, the group quoted King, who said: "The greatest purveyor of violence in the world (today) is my own government."
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Carrying hammers and baby bottles of their own blood, the seven attempted to convert weapons of mass destruction.
Kings Bay Naval base opened in 1979 as the Navy's Atlantic Ocean Trident port. It is the largest nuclear submarine base in the world. There are six ballistic missile subs and two guided missile subs based at Kings Bay.
The activists went to three sites on the base: The administration building, the D5 Missile monument installation and the nuclear weapons storage bunkers. The activists used crime scene tape, hammers and banners reading: "'The ultimate logic of racism is genocide,' Dr. Martin Luther King"; "The ultimate logic of Trident is omnicide"; "Nuclear weapons: illegal - immoral." They also brought an indictment charging the U.S. government for crimes against peace.