Monday, September 6, 2010

Throwback To Vietnam-era Radicals "Jesuit Fathers Bichsel And Kelly" Indicted On Numerous Federal Charges

Fr. Stephan Kelly, S.J. (collar) and Fr. William Bichsel, S.J. (hat)
Such are one's thoughts upon encountering a Seattle Times report on September 4, 2010, that a federal grand jury in Tacoma has indicted five Isaiah-spouting antiwar protesters on charges of conspiracy, trespass, destruction of property on a naval installation, and depredation of government property. Each defendant faces a maximum 20½ years in federal prison and fines up to $250,000.
In a throwback to Vietnam-era radicals, these alleged conspirators, trespassers, destructionists and depredators have been dubbed the Bangor 5, which sounds downright scary. Until, that is, you learn they're remnants of the 1980s Christian pacifist Plowshares Movement, and consist of a pair of Jesuit priests (81-year-old William Bichsel of Tacoma and 60-year-old Stephen Kelly of Oakland, Calif), a nun (age 83), and two female social activists (ages 65 and 60). That sort of takes the edge off. Not exactly in the same league as the Black Panther Party, Weather Underground or Symbionese Liberation Army. Don't count on a fiery televised shootout as ATF agents assault the assisted living facility.
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