The Saint Patrick's Day Four

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Saint Patrick's Day Four (also, The Saint Patrick's Four, or SP4) are four American peace activists of Irish Catholic heritage who poured their own blood on the walls, posters, windows, and a US flag at a military recruiting center to protest the United States' impending invasion of Iraq.[1] Peter De Mott, Daniel Burns, Teresa Grady, and Clare Grady each were members of the Ithaca Catholic Worker community, which teaches that Christians should practice non-violence and devote their lives to service of others. They each served between four and six months in federal prison for their action on Saint Patrick's Day, March 17, 2003, in Lansing, New York, near Ithaca where they reside.

Two Trials[edit]

Their first trial on state trespass charges, held in Ithaca, ended in a mistrial due to a hung jury.

The four activists were then retried on federal charges in Binghamton, generally considered to be a more conservative area where obtaining a conviction would be easier. However, local activists staged a massive protest outside the courthouse each day of the trial, and organized a six-day Citizen's Tribunal on Iraq (modeled after the World Tribunal on Iraq), featuring many internationally known speakers.

The four defended themselves pro se, but were assisted by a team of attorneys, such as William P. Quigley.[2] Although they were cleared of the most serious charges, they were convicted of misdemeanor charges of damage to government property and entering a military station for an unlawful purpose.

The four defendants[edit]

Daniel Burns was born in 1963 the tenth of twelve children of a former mayor of Binghamton, NY. He worked for twenty years in the film industry, and is a member of the Directors Guild of America. He has traveled to Iraq and to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as part of a delegation from Christian Peacemaker Teams. Some of his siblings perform as The Burns Sisters.

Teresa Grady was born in 1965. She worked as a dance instructor, and as a licensed massage therapist with a private practice. She is a founding member of the Ithaca Catholic Worker community after working with a similar community in San Jose, CA. It was there that Teresa says she began to understand the connection between local poverty and global war-making. Fluent in Spanish, Teresa also works to assist refugees from Latin America. Along with Burns and her sister Clare, she visited Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2005 and attempted to gain access to the U.S. military base there to protest the treatment of the detainees, many held without charges.[3][4]

Clare Grady was born in 1958, and has worked as a kitchen coordinator at Loaves and Fishes Community Kitchen for seventeen years. In addition to belonging to the Ithaca Catholic Worker community, she also belongs to the Atlantic Life Community, Phillip and his brother Daniel Berrigan being notable members. She is married to Paul Sayvetz, and has two daughters. Clare and Teresa are daughters of John Peter Grady, a peace activist, who as one of the Camden 28, broke into a local draft board and destroyed records.[5][6]

Peter De Mott was born in 1947 and died in 2009. He served in the Vietnam War as a United States Marine and later served in Turkey as a U. S. Army translator.[7] During this time he developed strong anti-war beliefs, and joined the Catholic Worker Movement in 1979, with a focus on addressing the causes of poverty, unemployment and homelessness. In 2003, he traveled to Iraq as part of a Christian Peacemaker Team. He was married to Ellen Grady (sister of Clare and Teresa), and they had four daughters.

Kings Bay plowshares action at Trident nuclear submarine base[edit]

On October 24 in 2019, Clare Grady was convicted on four counts in federal court in Brunswick, GA for entering and symbolically nonviolently disarming the Trident submarine's nuclear weapons. On April 4, 2018 Grady with six other people entered the base and performed symbolic acts of disarmament. Other defendants were Elizabeth McAlister, Martha Hennessy (granddaughter of the founder of the Catholic Worker, Dorothy Day), Carmen Trotta, Patrick O’Neill, Fr. Steve Kelly, SJ, and Mark Colville.[8] In November 2020 two of the seven activists were sentenced, with Clare Grady receiving a prison sentence of one year and one day and Carmen Trotta receiving a prison sentence of 14 months. The defendants were also ordered to pay a share of the 33,503.51$ it cost to clean and repair the damage done.[9]

In popular culture[edit]

In 2006 documentary film about the activists titled The trial of the St. Patrick's four was made by Adolfo Doring[10]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Quigley". Archived from the original on December 22, 2007.
  3. ^ Hafetz, Jonathan (2016-06-17). Obama's Guantánamo : stories from an enduring prison. Hafetz, Jonathan. New York, NY. ISBN 9781479852802. OCLC 935250435.
  4. ^ The United States and torture : interrogation, incarceration, and abuse. Cohn, Marjorie, 1948-. New York: New York University Press. 2012. ISBN 9780814769829. OCLC 778271101.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  5. ^ "Camden28 - Anitwar Activists".
  6. ^ Seitz, Matt Zoller (2007-07-27). "The Camden 28 - Movies". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-10-31.
  7. ^ National Catholic Reported 2-20-2009 "Peace Activist Peter DeMott Dead After Fall"
  8. ^ Di Corpo, Ryan (17 October 2019). "The Plowshares activists are on trial for anti-nuclear protest". America The Jesuit Review. Retrieved 25 October 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. ^ "Peace activists receive prison sentences for submarine base protest". National Catholic Reporter. 2020-11-12. Retrieved 2021-03-17.
  10. ^ The Trial of the St. Patrick's Four, November 2006, retrieved 2019-10-31

External links[edit]