Nonviolence, Community, Resistance: Jonah House | WitnessPhoto | tom | plowsharesPOP

In the pre-dawn hours on Ash Wednesday, February 12, 1997, Tom Lewis, along with Susan Crane, Steve Kelly, Steve Baggarly, Mark Colville, and Phil Berrigan, boarded the USS Sullivans, a nuclear-capable Aegis destroyer at Bath Iron Works in Maine. They hammered and poured blood on different parts of the battleship, including the Pilot House, the Bridge, the Helicopter pad, and several missile hatch covers. As they read their action statement and unfurled a banner, armed military security forcibly pushed them to the deck and placed them under arrest. During their jury trial in US District court in Portland, ME, they were not allowed to present expert witnesses, except for Daniel Berrigan, S.J. whose testimony was restricted. When they were prevented by the Judge from speaking to the jury about the moral and legal intent of their action, they withdrew from the trial and offered a Scripture reading and prayer. Most supporters were removed from the courtroom for singing and speaking out. On May 7 they were convicted of destruction of government property and conspiracy. They were all sentenced to prison. Upon release from prison, Tom was ordered to pay restitution, which he refused to do. He was eventually given another four months in jail.
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