On Trial in Federal Court:

Activists Charged with Trespass Seek Discovery of Government Information

Four Baltimore activists arrested at the National Security Agency (NSA) on Oct. 12, 2001--Ellen Barfield, Max Obuszewski, Sister Carol Gilbert, O.P. and Sister Ardeth Platte, O.P.--appeared before U.S. District Court Magistrate James Bredar on March 22 to be arraigned on charges of trespass, destruction of government property, and conspiracy. The defendants requested a jury trial, but at press time a judge and a trial date had not been set.

Acting pro se, the defendants have filed discovery motions for detailed information from the NSA and other government agencies, including audiotapes, documents, files, personal property [a hat, two backpacks, two books, two banners, etc.], transcripts of electronic transmissions and videotapes relevant to their arrest at Fort Meade.

The defendants' request for discovery includes information about them and organizations with which they are involved that has been gathered by government agencies from June 30, 1996 to the present. The federal agencies specifically named in the motion include the Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pentagon, the U.S. Army, including the Military Police at Fort Meade, the National Security Agency, and the following NSA departments--SSOC, the National Security Operations Center, Facilities Security, Public and Media Affairs and Protective Services.

For information and updates about the upcoming trial and the status of the discovery motions, call Max Obuszewski at 410-323-7200 or 410-377-7987 or Jonah House 410-233-6238.

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This story was published on April 4, 2002.