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Jailed Dominicans Visit United Nations To Advocate for Nuclear Disarmament

NEW YORK- January 21, 2008-- Dominican Sisters Ardeth Platte and Carol Gilbert spent several days in New York City last week, including a visit and opportunity to speak to NGO Representatives at the United Nations. said Tuesday they will keep protesting the U.S. government's use of nuclear weapons, and they encouraged those who heard them speak, to do the same.

"Our state of mind and our attitude has strengthened," said Hudson. "I was inspired by their conviction," said Eileen Gannon, OP (DLC/NGO representative to the UN). "They know that this issue is not viewed as a signficiant one by many people here, but they help me continue to recognize the connection between poverty and lack of healthcare in this country with the proliferation of weapons of mass desctruction," she said.

The two Grand Rapids Dominicans along with Dominican Jackie Hudson, OP, were convicted in 2003 of obstructing national defense and damaging government property after they cut through a chain-link fence at a Minuteman III silo in Weld County, CO. They used baby bottles to draw a sign of the cross in their own blood. Hudson and Gilbert served 30 months and 33 months, respectively, while Platte earned a 41-month sentence. She was released in late December after a judge gave her credit for time served. According to lawyers representing the sisters, those sentences were among the harshest punishments even handed down for what amounts to a trespassing case with damage done to a section of chain-link fence.

All three sisters are currently on probation for their civil disobedience protesting nuclear weapons.   For Ardeth and Carol, bringing attention to the atrocities of nuclear weapons was an attempt to unmask the national security's mission containing the rhetoric of patriotism.  Their months of imprisonment have offered them a deeper perspective of bringing peace to our world in a non-violent way and, their commitment and witness to peace provide us with a challenge to confront the national defense system courageously as they have done.

This past week they visited the New York area and offered and challenged us to reflect on the world’s possession of nuclear arms. 

During their visit, they met with NGO representatives, the Dominican Volunteers, and members of the Blauvelt, Caldwell, Hope and Sparkill congregations.  The conversations were lively and challenging; the film Conviction provides background the current story of three brave women who live out their passionate conviction in the ultimate evil of nuclear weapons to Earth and all her people.

Many who missed this opportunity to hear their story will have a chance when they return to NY later this year.

DVUSA and Sisters
Carol Gilbert, OP and Ardeth Platte, OP meet with a group of Dominican Volunteers in New York, as part of their visit to the United Nations.


Prison Letters

Grand Rapids Domincans Join Federation Corporate Stance on Nuclear Disarmament

Latin American Dominicans Express Support for Three Who Went to Prison


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