TUSCON, AZ: CPTer Scott Kerr sentenced for protesting at Raytheon weapons plant

13 January 2006

TUSCON, AZ: CPTer Scott Kerr sentenced for protesting at Raytheon weapons


On 4 January 2007, Pima County Court Judge Maria Felix sentenced Nancy
Gallen and CPTer Scott Kerr to eight hours of community service for
obstructing a highway. Kerr, currently a seminary student at Iliff School
of Theology in Denver and Gallen, a retired schoolteacher, had blocked the
highway as part of a nonviolent protest at the Raytheon Missile Systems
Plant south of Tucson last 20 March, the third anniversary of the U.S.
invasion and occupation of Iraq. They pleaded no contest to a charge of
obstructing a highway, a Class 3 misdemeanor.

Gallen and Kerr were the last of six defendants arrested last March during
for blockading the road. The defendants each addressed the court after
receiving their sentence. Gallen condemned the Iraq war as "sinful and
immoral" and bemoaned the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and
3,000 U.S. servicemen and women. She said her action at Raytheon stemmed
from her belief that those who oppose such slaughter should take action to
stop it. "Basically, I'm unrepentant," Gallen concluded. Scott Kerr
contrasted the name Raytheon, which means "Light of God," with Epiphany, the
current Christian season celebrating the heavenly light that guided the Magi
to the newborn Jesus. Two thousand years ago, King Herod, who sent the wise
men, later had babies killed to protect his imperial power from the
prophesied King of Kings. Raytheon's weapons kill and maim without
discrimination in the service of Empire, just as Herod did, Kerr explained.
"Herod is still killing babies." Kerr reminded the court of its own
complicity in this slaughter of the innocent, by convicting peacemakers who
tried to stop the killing.

The other four defendants received the same sentence in November. All six
defendants had faced four additional charges of unlawful assembly,
disorderly conduct, being a public nuisance and being a pedestrian on a
roadway. Judge Felix dismissed those charges.