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NSA TO PROSECUTE FOUR PEACE ACTIVISTS

From: DavidMcR (at) aol.com [mailto:DavidMcR (at) aol.com]
Sent: Saturday, March 02, 2002 5:30 PM
Subject: NSA TO PROSECUTE FOUR PEACE ACTIVISTS


In a message dated 3/2/02 7:59:53 PM Eastern Standard Time,
globalnet (at) mindspring.com writes:

<< Baltimore Emergency Response Network, 325 E. 25th Street, Baltimore, MD
21218 PHONE: [410] 377-7987

PRESS RELEASE-FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 2, 2002

CONTACT: Max Obuszewski 410-323-7200 or 410-377-7987 or
mobuszewski (at) afsc.org
or Jonah House 410-233-6238

NSA FINALLY GOES AFTER FOUR PEACE ACTIVISTS
WHO: The Baltimore Emergency Response Network and Baltimore's Jonah House
have been organizing demonstrations at the National Security Agency since
1996. See James Bamford's book BODY OF SECRETS, which details the spy
agency's response to these nonviolent protests.

As part of the INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PROTEST TO STOP THE MILITARIZATION OF
SPACE, organized by the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in
Space in Gainesville, Florida, BERN members Ellen Barfield and Max
Obuszewski and Jonah House activists Sister Carol Gilbert, O.P. and Sister
Ardeth Platte, O.P. went to the National Security Agency [9800 Savage Road,
Fort Meade, Maryland]on October 12, despite the fact the area was on
highest
alert. At 7 AM, they walked through an open gate to try to deliver a letter
to Lt. General Michael V. Hayden, head of the National Security Agency,
demanding a meeting. BERN has tried to obtain a meeting with the director
of
the NSA each year since 1996.

WHAT: However, a security breach alert was sounded, and at least nine
vehicles, soldiers with drawn weapons and dogs soon arrived. The NSA
officials would not permit a meeting with Gen. Hayden, so Gilbert and
Platte
poured their own blood on the asphalt to represent all victims of the NSA's
work. Obuszewski held a sign "Unmask the Body of Secrets...No Star
Wars...Nonviolence Now...International Day of Protest - Oct. 12-13, 2001,"
while Barfield's banner read "No War On Afghanistan, Iraq, Whomever; No
Spying, No Star Wars, Work for Peace, Please!"

Each demonstrator was arrested and charged with trespass [six months/$2500
fine], destruction of government property [one year] and conspiracy [five
years]. The protesters were eventually released on personal recognizance,
but waited almost five months before receiving notice to appear in federal
court.

WHEN: Friday, March 22, 2002 at 10 AM

WHERE: U.S. District Court, Room 1B, 101 West Lombard St. in Baltimore

WHY: One can only speculate why the Department of Defense decided to
finally
prosecute the activists. It is suspected, though, the continued antiwar
protests by the NSA Four may have played a role.

All four defendants returned to the NSA on October 13 to join a protest.
Gilbert and Platte were arrested at the White House, after the U.S. started
bombing Afghanistan.

BERN organized an antiwar demonstration on October 15 at the Warfield Air
National Guard Base in Middle River, and Barfield and Brian Barrett were
arrested. On February 13, they were convicted of trespass and failure to
obey a lawful order. They then served ten-day sentences in Baltimore
County.

On January 29, 2002 BERN went to Baltimore's Fallon Federal Building to
visit the office of the Immigration and Naturalization Service to protest
the Department of Justice's treatment of the September 11 detainees. Six
BERN members were evicted from the building, and Obuszewski was told he was
banned from returning.

Obuszewski, raised in Erie, Pennsylvania, attended Erie Cathedral
Preparatory School for Boys, the same high school as Tom Ridge, the head of
the Office of Homeland Security. He and the others went to the NSA and
hoped
Gov. Ridge would hear of the protest and heed their call for real security:
NO THEATRE MISSILE DEFENSE! NO NATIONAL MISSILE DEFENSE! NO STAR WARS
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT! KEEP SPACE FOR PEACE! NO WAR! FUND HUMAN NEEDS!

The four defendants hope to use their trial to expose the NSA cloak of
secrecy, its covert actions, confrontations, undisclosed annual budgets and
interceptor sites throughout the world. They will argue the secret
activities of the intelligence agency actually make this country less
secure.
#####


Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
PO Box 90083
Gainesville, FL 32607
(352) 337-9274
www.space4peace.org
globalnet (at) mindspring.com
 
 

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