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US nuns go on trial for Military break-in

With anti-war protesters cheering them on, three nuns went on trial on Monday for alleged sabotage and malicious destruction of property related to a break-in at an unmanned missile silo in northern Colorado.

Dominican Sisters Carolyn Gilbert, Jackie Hudson and Ardeth Platte have said they broke into the Minuteman III silo on 6 October to "unmask the false religion and worship of national security."

The trio cut cables and made the sign of the cross with their own blood on the lid of the silo near Greeley, Colorado. They were in the silo for about an hour before military police arrived and took them into custody.

Supporters, who packed the courtroom yelled "We love You" as the women entered the room, handcuffed and wearing orange jail jumpsuits.

The nuns waved and smiled back just before US District Judge Robert Blackburn ordered the courtroom cleared to make room for prospective jurors.

A jury was selected and opening statements were scheduled for yesterday. If convicted, the women face a jail sentence of up to 30 years and fines of up to $250,000.

The judge recently ruled that the nuns, one of whom is representing herself, could not use the Nuremberg defense, which allows a citizen to break the law in order to prevent a crime against humanity.


Nuns' nuke trial under way (Rocky Mountain News)

2 Apr 2003