Jesuit priest Stephen Kelly, 62, of Oakland, and Sister Anne Montgomery, 84, of Redwood City, were among a group of five senior peace demonstrators who were sentenced to federal prison in Tacoma, Washington, today. The group were all convicted of conspiracy, trespass, and destruction of government property in December and were facing up to ten years in prison for cutting through fences at Bangor Base on November 2, 2009, to get to an area containing ten Ohio-class submarines.
The protesters had put up banners near the bunkers, sprinkled blood on the ground, scattered sunflower seeds, and prayed until they were arrested. Father Kelly was sentenced to 15 months in prison and was ordered to be taken to prison immediately. The judge in the case, U.S. District Judge Benjamin H. Settle, was going to allow the other defendants to report to prison next month, but they were also taken to prison immediately when they told him they might not show up. Sister Montgomery got two months in prison and four months home monitoring.
Settle praised the group's humanitarian work, but he had to "send a message" regarding the trespassing and property damage charges. The protesters were prohibited from using international law and the lethality of nuclear weapons as a defense.