'Forswear blockading or face seven years' jail'

IssueJuly-August 2012
News by David Polden

On 21 May, a US judge in Pennsylvania asked peace activist Norman Lowry, prosecuted for blockading a local recruiting office, to ‘forswear’ blockading military recruiting offices in future. Otherwise the court would be ‘obliged’ to impose the maximum sentence of seven years. 

Lowry refused to give such an undertaking and was sentenced to one-to-seven years, the implication being that if he later agreed to give such an undertaking, he could be paroled after serving a year.

Lowry was convicted of breaking the windows of military recruiters’ vehicles outside the same office in February 2009; and then refused to leave the office in January 2010, receiving sentences of seven and then 18 months in prison for his actions.

Before sentence, Lowry read out a statement describing it as ‘quite absurd’ to be asked to ‘cease breaking laws that cover-up and protect the obvious tyranny of unconstitutional wars’ and ‘continued usage of… the nuclear threat’.

Topics: Prison, Activism