Sister Carol Gilbert and Sister Ardeth Platte are nuns who protest war and stand for peace. They are also labeled as terrorists in Maryland.
The Sisters have been practicing their faith for decades with a focus on world peace. That focus has seen them spend time in jail earlier this decade.
In 2002 the two sisters and another nun broke into a military base pouring blood on a nuclear missile silo in protest. The sisters also painted bloody crosses on the silo.
That act bought them time in the Big House. Sister Carol was sent up for 30 months while Sister Ardeth got a 41 month term. In 2005 when she was released from federal prison Sister Carol told the Baltimore Sun that she used her time as a meditation.
The time they spent in prison also put them on the national database as terrorists. They are on an extensive Maryland surveillance effort of antiwar protesters along with 53 other people.
The activists believe that surveillance effort goes further than the borders of Maryland.
The nuns aren’t the only religious members being watched in Maryland. Quakers, known for the peace stance, have also been part of those being watched. The Baltimore police teamed up with the National Security Agency in 2003 and 2004 to spy on Quakers.
A member of Code Pink, Nancy Kricorian, is also in the database. She has never lived nor protested in Maryland.
Lawyers for the sisters want their records purged. The police are willing to show those on the lists their files and have them purged but have denied them and their attorneys access to the hard copies.
The Washington Times reports:
“The fact there was a record with their name is the reason we’re in this situation that were in,” said state police spokesman Greg Shipley. “We’re certainly not going to perpetuate the problem by creating more records and handing them out.”
That’s not good enough for the sisters. They want the hard copies and won’t review their records until they have them
“Democracy is built on these elements on being able to speak out to speak what we believe is truth,” Sister Carol said.