On February 1st, a group of peace activists gathered in the undersized Hennepin County Courtroom in Edina, MN to once again face charges of "criminal trespass" for entering the property of Alliant Techsystems, a local war profiteer and notorious manufacturer and seller of indiscriminate and illegal weapons such as cluster bombs, depleted uranium munitions, land mines, as well as rocket motors for delivery of nuclear bombs via missiles.
78 defendants were on the court docket and over 40 had shown up for trial, claiming their innocence even though the Edina City Prosecutor offered a deal of a $5.00 fine for those choosing to plead guilty. Many defendants were anxious to have the opportunity to speak in court about their convictions which led them to this collective act of resistance to this present war (where some of these weapons have been used) and to corporations profiting from war and offensive weapons which masquerade as 'national defense'.
Before the trial began, the Prosecutor requested to meet with a smaller representative group of the defendants. When he inquired as to what we'd like to see happen, a member of AlliantACTION, the group coordinating the weekly vigil presence in front of the offices of this war profiteer stated, "We'd like to see these charges dismissed." Patrick Leach, the Prosecutor for the City of Edina where Alliant Techsystems (ATK) has their world headquarters, readily agreed. He expressed his concern about the cost to the city of having a number of police officers waiting around in court, ready to testify against us rather than out performing their public safety roles.
AlliantACTION has faithfully voiced opposition to the weapons made by ATK for more than ten years, with 666 arrests having been made for nonviolent civil resistance over the years. Four times in that 10 year period juries have found defendants 'not guilty' of criminal trespass charges after they have carefully listened to testimony about ATK as a war profiteer and maker of illegal, indiscriminate weapons.
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