These Nuns Need our Help

Many persons have been asking, "What can I do for Jackie Hudson, OP (facing 6-7 years), Carol Gilbert OP and Ardeth Platte OP (both facing 6 1/2 to 8 years)? It is suggested that letters of support be mailed to their probation department. These could take the form of your awareness of the Sisters personally or their character as an individual, or the letter could combine all three persons. Letters are due before June 1. Please write the letters to Judge Robert Blackburn but mail them to Susan Heckman at :

Susan M. Heckman
Senior US Probation Officer
1961 Stout St.. Suite 525
Denver, CO 80294-0101

Fax (303) 844 5439

Not long after sunrise on October 6, 2002, three people sliced through a security chain to invade what the U.S. Defense Department calls "November 8" - N8 - an unmanned Minuteman missile site in northeastern Weld County, Colorado.

Ardeth Platte, Carol Gilbert, Jackie Hudson
Photo: Bill Sulzman

Catholic nuns of the Dominican order Ardeth Platte, Carol Gilbert and Jackie Hudson were arrested at gunpoint after they used bolt cutters to enter the site. Once inside, they cut a chain-link fence, hammered at a silo and railroad tracks with a small hammer and painted six crosses on the tracks and silo with their own blood which they carried in baby bottles. The plan was a symbolic disarmament, they said.

The nuns would still have had to break through 120 tons of concrete to touch the actual missile. Nevertheless, they were indicted October 21 on federal charges of injury, interference and obstruction of the national defense, plus damaging government property.

Platte said they acted out of the same sense of obligation which would have justified any illegal acts by citizens in prewar Nazi Germany against Adolph Hitler and those he commanded.

"We're talking about a threatening of life, that is a genocide, that is an 'omnicide,'" Platte said. "These nuclear weapons, it's a gun at the heads of God's people throughout the world. You cannot wait until the nuclear weapons are used. You must stop the crime beforehand."

The sisters called their Weld County mission "Sacred Earth and Space Plowshares II." All three were also arrested for taking part in the first Sacred Earth and Space Plowshares in Colorado two years ago.

"I would have to say that we never know, when we attempt to speak truth and hold our government accountable to its laws and do what our God calls us to, what the consequences of those actions will be," Gilbert said.The women say God led them to the Weld County missile silo. For nine months before their arrest - as war with Iraq seemed more and more likely - the women gathered for prayer and discussion.

The Nuremberg trials after World War II established that citizens are obligated to violate domestic laws to prevent their country from committing crimes against humanity.

"It's like the Spirit led us to Colorado and there it was. It was something we had to do," Platte said.