Anti-war activist Daniel Burns received a six month prison sentence on Monday (Jan 23) for his involvement in a 2003 protest at an upstate New York recruiting station. Burns is one of four non-violent peace activists known as the St. Patrick’s Four, convicted of pouring their own blood on posters, the flag, and the walls of an Ithaca recruiting station in March 2003. The action was a protest against the looming war on Iraq.
According to the website stpatricksfour.org, "Burns was the first of the St. Patrick’s Four to appear for sentencing in Binghamton, NY. Peter DeMott, Clare Grady and Teresa Grady will also be sentenced individually this week."
According to Newsday, Burns said "My conduct was honorable" at the sentencing hearing.
Burns said the federal government was being hypocritical for prosecuting him while carrying out an illegal war in Iraq and conducting illegal wiretaps on American citizens.
"It is the U.S. government that is guilty of much larger crimes," said Burns.
Newsday went on:
The U.S. Attorney’s Office decided to prosecute the four after a county court jury deadlocked over whether they should be convicted of trespassing and criminal mischief, misdemeanors punishable by up to one year in jail.
The four anti-war protesters, however, were acquitted of the most serious charge against them _ conspiracy to impede an officer of the United States, which carried a maximum sentence of up to six years in federal prison.
Newsday also reported that Burns is being investigated by the State Department for "illegally" travelling to Cuba to protest outside the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.