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Peace Activists Sentenced For Damaging Submarine

September 7, 1996

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) _ Three peace activists who hammered a Navy submarine and poured their blood on it were given federal prison sentences Friday ranging from four months to 18 months.

The three, who pleaded guilty in May to conspiracy to damage federal property, are all members of the peace group Plowshares.

They cut a hole in a fence at Newport News Shipbuilding before dawn on Aug. 7, 1995, and walked nearly a mile to the nuclear-powered fast attack submarine Greeneville, which was under construction.

They poured their blood into missile tubes and damaged the tubes with hammers. The government estimated the damage at $23,000. The submarine was completed this year and turned over to the Navy on schedule.

Michelle Naar-Obed, 39, of Baltimore, was sentenced to 18 months in prison. Richard Sieber, 47, was sentenced to nine months and his son, Erin Sieber, 21, got four months. The Siebers are from Philadelphia.

``Why would a stable person, which I think I am, do this?″ Ms. Naar-Obed said during the sentencing. ``It is an act of love and an act of hope to show there is another way to live. We went there not to destroy, but to beat swords into plowshares.″

As she was led out of the courtroom, she turned to those in court and flashed the two-finger peace sign. About 50 supporters returned the gesture.

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