Attorney Henry Stoever stands at left with most of the defendants for the Nov. 1 trial.--Photo by Jeremy Ruzich

Trial brief supports defendants’ line-crossing at nuclear weapons parts plant

Defense attorney Henry Stoever submitted a 19-page legal brief Oct. 23 for the Nov. 1 trial; the 15 defendants had crossed a property line at the nuclear weapons parts plant in Kansas City, Mo. Stoever says in the brief, “Where defendants know even a limited exchange of nuclear weapons would cause irreparable harm to our planet, then the defendants assert … that they are exercising their constitutional rights and privileges to protect this very precious U.S. Constitution.”

Chris Rhink and Lois Swimmer are among about 90 persons at the May 27 peace witness. Photo by Mark Semet.

Putting nukes on trial, 15 line-crossers at a nuke-parts plant receive guilty verdict

The Kansas City, Mo., Municipal Court trial Nov. 1, 2019, put nuclear weapons on trial. The fifteen defendants had crossed the property line at the local nuclear weapons parts plant, and each spoke about the need to take that action to call for a nuke-free world. For example, Jim Hannah admitted it breaks the law to cross the property line at the nuke-parts plant. He added, “At one time, slavery was the law, and my ancestors broke the law. I believe there’s a higher law concerning these destructive weapons.”

Line-crossers and supporters gather outside Municipal Court before the Nov. 1 trial.—Photo by Jeremy Ruzich

Guilty: 15 activists in KC seeking a nuclear-weapon-free world

On Nov. 1, in the Kansas City, Mo., Municipal Court, 15 peace activists, in an act of nonviolent civil resistance, were found guilty of trespassing at the National Security Campus in Kansas City, Mo. The NSC plant is where 85 percent of the non-nuclear parts are manufactured or procured for the U.S. nuclear arsenal. The peace activists, insisting that nuclear weapons are illegal, immoral, and threaten all life, crossed the “property line” at the plant after a PeaceWorks-KC rally. The line-crossers were arrested on Memorial Day, May 27, to heighten awareness to the dangers of producing nuclear weapons—many workers at KC’s former nuke-parts plant have died.

Byron Clemens, second from right, after leaving court and a restaurant, with (from left) Henry and Jane Stoever and Chrissy Kirchhoefer.—Photo courtesy of PeaceWorks-KC

Byron Clemens comes to trial Sept. 5 in KC for ‘trespassing’ at nuke-parts plant

Byron Clemens gained “diversion” instead of a stiffer sentence Sept. 5 in the Kansas City, Mo., Municipal Court. He was charged with trespassing July 4 at KC’s National Security Campus (NSC), where 85 percent of the non-nuclear parts for US nuclear weapons are made or procured.