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*Take Action* Judge Thapar - Leniency for the Oak Ridge 3, Nonviolent Protesters of Nuclear Weapons

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: abuse, americans, constitution, dishonesty, ethics, freedoms, Govtfearmongering, lies, media, Nuclear Weapons, politics, propaganda, right to protest )

- 1600 days ago -
Please write to Judge Thapar to encourage leniency for the Oak Ridge 3, nonviolent protesters of nuclear weapons - Sign Petition and write comment.

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Kit B (276)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 7:10 am
Photo Credit: Roots Action

Please sign Petition --

Please write to Judge Thapar to encourage leniency for the Oak Ridge 3, nonviolent protesters of nuclear weapons

On January 28, 2014, three nonviolent protesters against nuclear weapons, Sr. Megan Rice, Michael Walli and Gregory Boertje-Obed, are scheduled to be sentenced in U.S. District Court in Knoxville, Tennessee, for the supposed crime of sabotage.

In a separate case in Kansas City, nuclear protesters were recently sentenced to write explanations of their concerns to be included in the court records. That seems far more appropriate than prison for people upholding the law and morality.

Please sign this petition that we'll be delivering to the judge:

The Honorable Amul R. Thapar
United States District Court
35 West Fifth Street
Covington, Kentucky 41011

Dear Judge Thapar,

By now I am sure you have received hundreds, if not thousands of letters supporting Sr. Megan Rice, Michael Walli and Gregory Boertrje-Obed prior to their sentencing. Megan, Michael and Greg are not saboteurs. Theirs was no act of sabotage. When you stated in court that the law written by Congress made no distinction between peace activists and terrorists, you rightly recognized they are peace activists.

Megan, Michael and Greg risked their lives quite literally by standing in a free-fire zone––a courageous act––to bring attention to our desperate need to eliminate nuclear weapons. While nuclear weapons may be “legal,” they will never be moral. They kill all living things indiscriminately and cannot be used without inflicting harm on oneself as well as on a potential adversary. If we don’t accept our responsibility to rid ourselves of these weapons, each day brings us one day closer to the inevitable, be it an accident, a miscalculation, a mistake, or the madness of war. We need to honor and fulfill our legal obligations to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

The action taken by Megan, Michael and Greg was done from a commitment to nonviolence and from an allegiance to the future for our children and our planet, trying to insure that life will not be terminated by a nuclear war. I regret that some people are threatened by nonviolence. Yet nonviolence is about relationships, recognizing and loving “the other” rather than trying to kill him. It is about working out problems as mature adults without violence. Violence engenders retaliation, whereas nonviolence offers to take on suffering. Evidence truly does suggest that with this suffering may come an inexplicable healing energy and reconciliation.

What Megan, Michael and Greg did was extraordinary, a quiet, meditative walk to death’s door to bring clarity and understanding about issues we attempt to deny, and to soften our hearts to affirm life. Their actions were an invitation to change our behavior––and a change is desperately needed concerning our nuclear weapons policy. For some, nuclear weapons seem to make sense in the short run, but offer only death in the long run.

Megan, Michael and Greg chose through nonviolence to engage with power. And because of this, all of us have been called to self-examination. Tolstoy once said, “Everything I understand, I understand because I love.” Can love be a methodology for learning, for opening doors to the human heart and mind, for transcending the fear and the violence that is so pervasive in our society? I pray so. Their engagement is the power of love, refusing to kill yet willing to die, stepping beyond fear toward a new psychology of openness, oneness and transformation. Hence their name, Transform Now Plowshares. Megan, Michael and Greg have stepped forward to lead the way.

Fate has given you a rare opportunity, which requires a special understanding of our connectedness and the ability to see ourselves in an authentic relationship with each other and the rest of life. I hope and pray you will understand the extraordinary service you can render to all of humanity and all living creatures by addressing the true issues of this case: nonviolence and the need to eliminate nuclear weapons. I understand there is nothing easy about any of this for you, but hope you will discern the love and understanding that motivated these three, and allow this love to guide your forthcoming decision. Thank you.

Please sign and add your own comment.

******* first amendment: an overview*****

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution protects the right to freedom of religion and freedom of expression from government interference. See U.S. Const. amend. I. Freedom of expression consists of the rights to freedom of speech, press, assembly and to petition the government for a redress of grievances, and the implied rights of association and belief. The Supreme Court interprets the extent of the protection afforded to these rights. The First Amendment has been interpreted by the Court as applying to the entire federal government even though it is only expressly applicable to Congress. Furthermore, the Court has interpreted, the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment as protecting the rights in the First Amendment from interference by state governments.

The most basic component of freedom of expression is the right of freedom of speech. The right to freedom of speech allows individuals to express themselves without interference or constraint by the government. The Supreme Court requires the government to provide substantial justification for the interference with the right of free speech where it attempts to regulate the content of the speech. A less stringent test is applied for content-neutral legislation. The Supreme Court has also recognized that the government may prohibit some speech that may cause a breach of the peace or cause violence. For more on unprotected and less protected categories of speech see advocacy of illegal action, fighting words, commercial speech and obscenity. The right to free speech includes other mediums of expression that communicate a message. The level of protection speech receives also depends on the forum in which it takes place.

Despite popular misunderstanding the right to freedom of the press guaranteed by the first amendment is not very different from the right to freedom of speech. It allows an individual to express themselves through publication and dissemination. It is part of the constitutional protection of freedom of expression. It does not afford members of the media any special rights or privileges not afforded to citizens in general.

The right to assemble allows people to gather for peaceful and lawful purposes. Implicit within this right is the right to association and belief. The Supreme Court has expressly recognized that a right to freedom of association and belief is implicit in the First, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments. This implicit right is limited to the right to associate for First Amendment purposes. It does not include a right of social association. The government may prohibit people from knowingly associating in groups that engage and promote illegal activities. The right to associate also prohibits the government from requiring a group to register or disclose its members or from denying government benefits on the basis of an individual's current or past membership in a particular group. There are exceptions to this rule where the Court finds that governmental interests in disclosure/registration outweigh interference with first amendment rights. The government may also, generally, not compel individuals to express themselves, hold certain beliefs, or belong to particular associations or groups.

The right to petition the government for a redress of grievances guarantees people the right to ask the government to provide relief for a wrong through the courts (litigation) or other governmental action. It works with the right of assembly by allowing people to join together and seek change from the government.

Franshisca Dearmas (89)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 7:54 am
Noted and signed. TY Kit

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 8:12 am

Gladly signed.

Thanks for posting, Miss Kitty!


Solitary Eagle (324)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 8:35 am
Signed and shared. Thanks, Kit.

Past Member (0)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 8:55 am
S+S-thx Kit

Ben O (170)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 9:14 am

Kit B (276)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 10:25 am

Obviously I added the additional information about the first amendment. Many of us were arrested for protests in the 60's, few of us were finger printed or put in a jail cell. We had the right to protest, all citizens have that right, democracy might be a little messy, but to put people in jail much less prison for a non-violent protest is against every thing democratic ideals are supposed to stand for.

Animae C (513)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 1:46 pm
1,461 54 seconds ago AniMaeChi

Angelika R (143)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 1:51 pm
SIGNED in A HEARTBEAT! THX!! (must still be in my email)

Terrie Williams (798)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 2:54 pm
Signed and shared in private email earlier today. Noted. THX Kit.

Lois Jordan (63)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 3:02 pm
Signed, sent & noted. Thanks, Kit.

Terry King (113)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 3:03 pm

. (0)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 4:36 pm
Signed and noted. Thanks for sharing, Kit.

JL A (281)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 4:46 pm
I think I'd signed before but it took again. Thanks for posting Kit

Vicky P (476)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 5:48 pm
noted, signed

Jae A (316)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 8:26 pm
Great read first of all....secondly ....DONE !

Bridget Robertson (106)
Thursday January 9, 2014, 1:22 am
Noted , signed and tweeted.

Giana Peranio-paz (398)
Thursday January 9, 2014, 2:05 am
Noted and signed, thanks Kit.

David C (131)
Thursday January 9, 2014, 6:17 am
done. thanks.

Arielle S (313)
Thursday January 9, 2014, 7:37 am
There should never be a penalty for trying to protect us and our planet - signed with thanks, Kit.

Abdessalam Diab (145)
Thursday January 9, 2014, 9:08 am
Thank you for asking the judge for leniency. Noted too. Thanks Kit


Birgit W (160)
Thursday January 9, 2014, 2:47 pm
Signed, thanks Kit.

Sheryl G (360)
Thursday January 9, 2014, 2:53 pm
Thank you for asking the judge for leniency.

The oldest, Sister Megan Rice, a nun who peacefully protested against radioactive weapons of war has received a 20-year sentence for embarrassing the military-industrial complex. The other two men, who were with Sister Megan were Irwin Boertje-Obed, age 58 and Michael Robin Walli, age 64.

Sister Megan, adamant about not harming any living thing, vowed that if they were attacked by guard dogs inside the complex she would not even raise her hands in self-defense.

If people think that the Elders are not being active in this Country think again. Yes, the youth are needed to join in and stand up for what is a better vision for this Nation, but the Elders today were the youth back when and they have not given up a "better vision".

Gloria H (88)
Thursday January 9, 2014, 2:54 pm
might as well come and arrest me, because my heart is with them.


Judy C (97)
Thursday January 9, 2014, 6:35 pm
I love these courageous, admirable people. Signed & tweeted. Thanks Kit.

Nancy C (806)
Friday January 10, 2014, 12:38 am
Posted the arrest when it happened and am still outraged at the treatment of this courageous three...ty Kit

Dogan Ozkan (5)
Friday January 10, 2014, 3:07 am
noted and signed

Craig Pittman (52)
Friday January 10, 2014, 6:30 am
Signed and note thanks Kit. Moral indignation and non-violent protest brings jail terms, Wall Street greed does not. Where is the justice?

Jane H (139)
Friday January 10, 2014, 6:58 am
gratefully signed and e mailed ofriends

Sheryl G (360)
Friday January 10, 2014, 8:28 am
Thank you Craig for the green why I left the part:

Sister Megan, adamant about not harming any living thing, vowed that if they were attacked by guard dogs inside the complex she would not even raise her hands in self-defense.

Yet, we have those who destroy lives and environments from the Corporate and Wall Street types and they just sun themselves at some fancy resort, fly in their private planes, drink the fancy wines, and get ready to screw us all over for another day.

These non violent people......get to do 10 to 20 years in prison.

Kathleen R (138)
Friday January 10, 2014, 3:26 pm
signed & noted

Colleen L (3)
Friday January 10, 2014, 9:10 pm
Petition signed. Thanks Kit

Ondine J (134)
Saturday January 11, 2014, 3:08 pm
Noted and signed, thanks And we call this democracy ??

Past Member (0)
Tuesday January 14, 2014, 6:35 am
Noted and signed ~ Thank you Kit!

Bryna Pizzo (139)
Tuesday January 14, 2014, 9:41 pm
Thank you! (s, n, p, t)
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