From the “We support the troops by smearing blood all over their offices” file:
The infamous “St Patrick’s Four” anti-war zealots who “poured their blood” all over a military recruiting center in Ithaca, N.Y.–on the walls, windows, doors, and smeared on an America flag–are back in court today for a re-trial:
Four anti-war protesters who spilled their own blood at a military recruiting station accused the Bush administration of trying to intimidate them and others from demonstrating against the Iraq war by prosecuting them in federal court.
The four defendants _ dubbed “the St. Patrick’s Four” for their March 17, 2003 protest _ go on trial in U.S. District Court beginning Monday. The U.S. Attorney’s Office decided to prosecute the four following a mistrial in April 2004 in Tompkins County Court, where the 12-person jury ended in a deadlock after nine members voted to acquit the protesters…
Two days before the invasion of Iraq, Burns and co-defendants Peter DeMott, 58; and sisters, Teresa Grady, 39; and Clare Grady, 46; were arrested at a U.S. Army and Marine Corps recruiting station at a mall in Lansing, about 65 miles south of Syracuse. During the protest, they splattered their blood onto the windows and walls, posters, pictures and an American flag.
The four are members of Catholic Worker, a social justice organization with 130 communities in the United States. They contend the U.S. war in Iraq is illegal and said they were upholding international law in a justifiable nonviolent protest.
Burns and DeMott were previously convicted of trespassing at the recruiting station in December 2002 and each spent a week in jail.
The four were tried on charges of trespassing and criminal mischief, misdemeanors punishable by up to one year in jail.
After the mistrial, Dentes said rather than run the risk of another hung jury, he would turn the case over to federal prosecutors.
If convicted in federal court, each could face up to six years in prison and fines as high as $250,000 on the primary charge of conspiracy to impede an officer of the United States. They also are charged with damaging governmental property and entering a military station for unlawful purposes.
Wonder if Cindy Sheehan has scheduled a photo-op at the courthouse while she’s in NY?
Hat tip: Stop the ACLU