Twelve conscientious citizens will stand trial in federal court in Knoxville, Tennessee on Monday, May 9, on charges of criminal trespass for their July 5, 2010 act of nonviolent civil resistance in protest of continuing nuclear weapons production at the Y12 Nuclear Weapons Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
A ruling by federal magistrate Bruce Guyton on Thursday, May 5 cleared the way for the trial, scheduled to begin with jury selection at 9:00am in Courtroom 3A of the Howard Baker Federal Courthouse on Market Street in Knoxville. Guyton’s ruling removed defendant David Corcoran, who is hospitalized in Des Plaines, IL, from the current trial and reset his trial for August 22.
Earlier rulings by Guyton have attempted to impose strict limitations on the testimony defendants will be allowed to present to the jury, limits that some have called a “gag order,” because he forbids the defendants to use defenses which refer to their religious, political or moral beliefs, their beliefs about nuclear weapons, or international law.
The twelve remaining defendants come from across the United States; their action was part of a Declaration of Independence from Nuclear Terrorism on July 4th weekend last year. Appearing on Monday, May 9 to stand trial will be Steve Baggarly of Norfolk, Virginia; Brad Lyttle of Chicago, Illinois; Jackie Hudson of Poulsbo, Washington; Bill Bichsel of Seattle Washington; Bonnie Urfer of Luck, Wisconsin; Mary Dennis Lentsch of Washburn, Tennessee; Beth Rosdatter of Lexington, Kentucky, Carol Gilbert and Ardeth Platte or Baltimore, Maryland; Michael Walli of Duluth, Minnesota; Dennis DuVall of Prescott, Arizona; and Jean Gump of Bloomington, Michigan. The Celebration was co-sponsored by the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance, Nukewatch, and the Nuclear Resister.
A Celebration of Hope-Filled Resistance will be held on Sunday, May 8, 2011 beginning at 7:15pm at Church of the Savior, 934 Weisgarber Rd, Knoxville, Tennessee. The celebration will include music by the Carawans and testimony from each of the defendants along with expressions of support from members of the community.
A pre-trial procession will begin at 7:30am from the parking lot of First Presbyterian Church, 600 State Street, in downtown Knoxville on Monday, May 9. Defendants and others will march from the parking lot to the courthouse.
More information is available from Ralph Hutchison at 865 776 5050