Statement of the Silo Pruning Hooks
Indictment of the State by Silo Pruninghooks Plowshares
SILO PRUNING HOOKS
12, 1984 Carl Kabat, of the Plowshares Eight and Plowshares Number Seven; Paul Kabat,
an Oblate priest from Minnesota; Larry Cloud Morgan, Native American and mental
health care worker from Minneapolis, MN; Helen Woodson, mother of eleven
children and founder of the Gaudete Peace and Justice Center from Madison, WI;
entered a Minuteman II missile silo controlled by Whiteman Air Force Base in
Knob Noster, Missouri. Once inside the silo area, they used a jackhammer and
air compressor to damage the silo cover lid. They then offered a Eucharist and
left at the silo a Biblical and Native American indictment of the U.S.
government and the institutional church for their complicity in the pending
omnicide of nuclear holocaust. They were arrested close to an hour after their
action by armed military guards authorized to use "deadly force"
against intruders. Following their arrest, they were declared by the court to
be a "threat to the community" and were thus held on "preventive
detention" and denied bond.
They underwent a jury trial in Federal Court in February 1985 in Kansas City,
Missouri. They were convicted of destruction of government property,
conspiracy, intent to damage the national defense and trespass. On March 27,
1985 they received the most severe prison sentences to date of any Plowshares
group: Larry - eight years; Paul - ten years; and Carl and Helen - eighteen
years. They were also given three to five years probation and ordered to pay
$2,932.80 each in restitution. On November 1, 1985 U.S. District Judge D. Brook
Bartlett, their trial judge, reduced Helen's sentence from eighteen to twelve
years, including 5 years probation. In March 1987, Larry and Paul were released
from prison following a sentence reduction hearing. Larry's sentence was
reduced to 36 months and three years probation while Paul's sentence was
reduced to 40 months and 4 years probation. Both were required to perform 300
hours of community service and not violate the law for the duration of their
probation. All but Helen appealed. Their appeals were denied in the spring of
On April 22, 1987 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled not to consider Carl's appeal.
His sentence has since been reduced to 10 years including 5 years probation. On
April 12, 1991 Carl was released on probation with the condition that he pay
restitution. For reasons of conscience he has refused to comply with this
order. On January 27, 1989 Larry was convicted of two counts of going out of
the district of Minnesota, a violation of his probation, and was sentenced to
prison for one year. The occasions of his departures were to attend protests at
the Trident base in King’s Bay Georgia. He was taken into custody by U.S.
marshals at a church near the Trident base. Due to health reasons the Judge
recommended that Larry be sent to the Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in
Rochester, Minnesota. Larry was released on November 13, 1989.
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