On Friday, four pacifists calling themselves the St. Patrick’s Day Four, pleaded innocent in federal court to charges stemming from a March 17, 2003 protest at a military recruiting station in Lansing, New York outside of Ithaca. As part of the protest, the four activists entered the recruiting station, said a prayer and then poured their blood on the station’s windows, walls, the U.S. flag and on the stand-up cut-outs of smiling military recruits in order to make “visible the blood that is shed by the work of the center.”
One of the defendants Clare Grady, 46, said Friday, “What we do, I don’t consider it as protesting. I consider it as upholding the best of human law that we’ve come up with so far, and upholding God’s law.” The protest came three days before the U.S. invaded Iraq.
Grady and her co-defendants Teresa Grady, 39, Daniel Burns, 44, and Peter De Mott, 58, each face up to six years in prison and as much as $250,000 in fines. The main charge against them is conspiracy to impede an officer of the United States. They have also been charged with injury and damage to government property, entering into a military station for unlawful purposes and entering into a military station after being removed. A tentative trial date is scheduled for May 7 under Judge Thomas J. McAvoy.
The trial will mark the second trial for the St. Patrick’s Day Four. State charges were dismissed after a hung jury. Listen to a 2004 radio broadcast featuring recordings from inside the courtroom.