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Four Catholic Workers Arrested at Northwood Military HQ, London.

category international | anti-war / imperialism | news report author Friday December 28, 2007 12:44author by Ciaron - London Catholic Worker Report this post to the editors

They're in There for Us, We're on the Loose for Them!

Four members of the Catholic Worker movement were arrested at 9am on Friday December 28th, during a non-violent peace witness at Northwood Joint Forces Military HQ in Hertfordshire, England.

Northwood is the headquarters for all British forces deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Northwood facility has 2,000 employees and is presently undergoing a major expansion, upgrading and refit. The Catholic Worker maintains a weekly peace vigil at the base and has been involved in nonviolent resistance at the base since 2001.

Scott Albrecht, Sr Susan Clarkson and Fr Martin Newell, poured red paint representing the blood of the victims of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, onto the "Northwood Headquarters" sign at the main entrance to the base. They then knelt down and prayed. They displayed placards saying "War shall cease all over the Earth… Psalm 46" and "We all have blood on our hands."

Meanwhile, three other Catholic Workers kept vigil on the opposite footpath reading out the names of Iraqi, Afghani, and British military victims of the war on terror. They held placards with the words "Northwood HQ, calling the shots in Iraq and Afghanistan from leafy suburbia!", "We mourn Pte. Gordon Gentle, aged 19, killed by bombing in Iraq" and "We mourn Roza Khan, aged 13, killed by Nato gunfire in Afghanistan". Police arrived immediately and arrested the three on charges of criminal damage.

Maria Albrecht was also arrested at the scene and her camera was confiscated by police. The four were taken to Watford Police Station, where they remain at the time of writing.

Three other Catholic Workers maintained vigil opposite the entrance gates - reading the names of the dead and singing the response "We remember you!"

The Catholic Worker Farm van was later stopped by police impounded. The support group, now on foot, was kept under surveillance for the next couple of hours.

The three read a statement which said:
"We come here today on the Feast of the Holy Innocents, when the Christian churches commemorate the day when Herod ordered the killing of small children in his attempt to kill the child Jesus, to pray, to remember, to resist and to repent.
We pray for all the dead of the wars on Afghanistan and Iraq, civilian and military but especially for the innocent. We pray that our hearts may be strengthened with the faith to embrace nonviolence as a means of resolving conflicts.

We remember those who have had their lives devastated by war. War does not work; it kills the innocent and destroys our earth.

We resist the war making machine of the government of this country by coming to this military headquarters and transforming the signs outside. We use signs and symbols to reveal the bloodshed of war and our hope that the message of nonviolence which Jesus gave us in the Gospels, and for which he gave his life, will be for the healing of the nations.

We repent for our complicity in the deaths of the innocent by too often allowing our fear to keep us silent. We pray that our hearts may be disarmed and invite our brothers and sisters in the military to allow their hearts to be disarmed also. We encourage them to refuse to fight and kill".

*Maria Albrecht, mother of four & teacher, lives at the Catholic Worker Farm near Rickmansworth.

Scott Albrecht (45), father of four and former United States Air Forces, lives at the Catholic Worker Farm near Rickmansworth. The Farem offers hospitality to refugees from Congo & Nigeria.

*Sr. Susan Clarkson sc (56) lives at St Josephs Catholic Worker House, Oxford offering hospitality to refugees from Iran & Sierra Leone.

Fr Martin Newell cp (40) lives at Dorothy Day Catholic Worker House in Hackney, London. The house runs a soup kitchen and cafe for the marginalised and offers hospitality to refugees from NIgeria, Ethiopia, Algeria, and Iran.

DONATIONS
*In terms of finances we are £250 down on retrieving the vehicle etc.
Consider a donation to
"London Catholic Worker"
16 De Beauvoir, De Beauvoir Town,
London N1 5SU

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Ciaron O’Reilly (+44) 07950 290 857

For photos and reports of previous nonviolent resistance at Northwood HQ, see "resistance" section of the website below

Related Link: http://www.londoncatholicworker.org
author by CMcCpublication date Fri Dec 28, 2007 13:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A clear call to peace above the moronic din of commercialised Christmas! I will certainly donate. Congratulations & admiration.

author by Zeldapublication date Fri Dec 28, 2007 14:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dear Friends, good wishes and well done. It is so important that governments' violent actions, and preparations for more are kept in the front of people's vision at this time of year. There is so much emphasis on buying and consuming we must not forget the suffering innocent. Or the distress of the not so innocent.
Hope those of you locked up are out soon.
A Happy New Year full of peace, justice and colours to everyone.

author by Ciaron O'Reilly - London Catholic Workerpublication date Fri Dec 28, 2007 19:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Scott & Maria Albrecht, Fr, Martin Newell and Sr. Susan Clarkson remain in custody at Watford Police station after being arrested at Northwood Military HQ at 9am this morning. Their anti-war witness invoved the Northwood Headquarters sign being covered with red paint symbolising blood spilt in Iraq and Afghanistan by the daily grind of Northwood HQ. A respectful and dignified liturgy then unfolded as both soldiers/police and Catholic Workers listened to the names of the dead - British military, Afghani and Iraq civilian, how old they were, when they died, when and how they died. The refrain "We remember you!" was sung after every name was read. Both resisters, military and soldiers acted with dignity throughout the proceedings.

At approx 5pm the Catholic Worker farmhouse containing London Catholic Workers Ciaron and Chris, three of the Albrecht children and a number of refugee guests was raided by 6 police officers. The plainclothes detectives, wearing anti-stab vests, appeared very sophisticated, highly educated etc. The search was extensive and concentrated on the master bedroom and study. The search was very thorough.

I attempted to engage two of the officers positioned in the kitchen in discussion pointing out that this seemed to be an exercise in overkill and waste of police resources in relation to minor charges of criminal damage. I suggested that surely they had enough evidence at the scene this morning to pursue their charges. After one officer offered examples of follow up investigations into the patterns of recividist shoplifters. I suggested this looked like a conspiracy fishing expedition. I got a reluctant nod from one of them.

The criminalisation of dissent, the misuse of conspiracy laws and the hyping up of nonviolent direct action into something sinister gathers apace in Britain. The war escalates in Iraq & Afghanistan and expands into Pakistan, Somalia, Lebanon. Civil liberties shrink and many who marched in 03 have disengaged. Where is this leading? We await the return of Maria & Scott, Fr. Maritn and Sr. Susan and the deliverance of us all from this madness.

Ciaron O'Reilly

Related Link: http://www.londoncatholicworker.org
author by Peace Ciaronpublication date Fri Dec 28, 2007 20:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors


Be calm, this is the second time today that a call came from an activist who is watching
these horrors. (the other was from a US citizen horrified by the Bhutto killing).

Be calm-keep the head and watch what they do.= Witness.

regards.

author by Rentonpublication date Fri Dec 28, 2007 20:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors


Consistent highlighting of the mass injustice is what is needed. Once again, fair play to the Catholic Workers. It is unfortunate that Shannon airport (US military transporting hundreds of thousands of soldiers and weapons via this facility) is used for the slaying of thousands of poor innocent civilians whilst many in our nation (uncritical of society and its problems) get fatter and drunk this Xmas.
Cheers to the Irish - sure they are great craic!

author by Ciaronpublication date Sat Dec 29, 2007 06:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Maria, Scott, Fr. Martin & Sr. Susan were released at midnight on bail conditions banning them from a mile radius of any UK military base.

Next court appearance is January 16th. All are presently charged with one count of criminal damage under £5,000.

Related Link: http://www.londoncatholicworker.org
author by Roger Cole - Peace & Neutrality Alliancepublication date Sat Dec 29, 2007 14:20author email pana at eircom dot netauthor address 17 Castle Street, Dalkey. Co. Dublinauthor phone Report this post to the editors

May I offer my congratulations to the London Catholic Workers on their protest. From the 1st of January 2008, Northwood will also be the operational Headquarters of the EU Nordic Battle Group
which includes troops from Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Estonia. The EU Nordic Battle Groups are little more than an extension of NATO's military forces allowing formally neutral states to be integrated into the EU/US/NATO military structures.
The Peace & Neutrality Alliance since 1996 has campaigned against the process by which Irish Neutrality was being destroyed as Ireland was integrated into the US/EU war machine.
PANA will be campaigning actively against the Renamed EU Constitution(the Lisbon treaty) and has been considering holding a demonstation at Northwood as part of that campaign.

Related Link: http://www.pana.ie
author by Sue - Little Flower Catholic Worker Farmpublication date Sat Dec 29, 2007 18:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ciaron,

thanks to all for the good action there. About 75 folks are
currently at St. Stephen's, our biggest Faith and resistance Retreat in
years. 5 arrested at the Pentagon yesterday, including Liz MacAlister and Sr. Margaret McKenna.

Great street theater at the Department of Energy yesterday and off to the White House today.

Please thank all there.
Much love,
Sue

author by Mariapublication date Sun Dec 30, 2007 10:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Northwood sign covered in red paint symbolising the blood of innocent victims.

Northwood Sign
Northwood Sign

author by CW supporter - (Eastern EUroLandia - Now Schengen Enhanced)publication date Sun Dec 30, 2007 14:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dec 28, 2007

Statement by StratCom Line Crosser, Dagmar Hoxsie a 76 year old Catholic Worker from Yankton SD. This was Dagmar’s third line crossing at Offutt AFB

As a child growing up in Germany, I could not understand: Why war? Why the bombing of our homes, death and destruction of civilians?

After the war, finding out about the mass murders in concentration camps, it was impossible to understand. I only knew Christian people, grew up with faith-filled Catholics. Looking back now, some folks did not know, some ignored it all, some were afraid to take a stand – to oppose meant a death sentence, and many died.

As a young adult I came to the United States. I learned about what happened at Hiroshima and Nagasaki where hundred of thousands of civilians were incinerated, innocent lives. The terrible suffering of the survivors and the radiation never to go away. How can anyone understand such evil?

The United States has thousands of nuclear weapons, many on hair-trigger alert. There easily could be an accident. Just recently 6 nuclear armed missiles disappeared in North Dakota, flown to a base in Louisiana by mistake, called an “unacceptable mistake”. With the President willing to use Nukes and unwilling to join the Nonproliferation Treaty, a dark cloud looms over our world.

Will we watch our children die an excruciating death? Will we witness the end of all life? My faith gives me no choice but to oppose this insanity. As a Catholic Christian I am taking a stand: Eliminate Nuclear Weapons stop the arms race!

Instead of spending another $150 billion dollars on warhead replacement, use it for education, reduce hunger and homelessness, and fight global warming. And finally I understand, whenever evil occurs, good people need to rally no matter what the cost.

Dagmar Hoxsie

Emmaus Catholic Worker House

P O Box 353

Yanton SD 57078

emmaushouse@peacemail.com

Group Photo at Offutt AFB
Group Photo at Offutt AFB

Dagmar Hoxsie handcuffed
Dagmar Hoxsie handcuffed

At Offutt line with B52 in background
At Offutt line with B52 in background

John Bach arrested
John Bach arrested

author by Peter Terry - Free Thinkerpublication date Mon Dec 31, 2007 03:00author email nambassa at hotmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

While the need certainly exists for direct action against any symbols of war and human rights abuses, I find it rather ironic to find individuals in protest action who are clearly not motivated by true love and compassion, but by the need to use the protest movement and the media (staged photo opportunities) to peddle symbols of religious sectarianism. If these people were truly sincere about what they are doing they would not need to dangle religious insignia as part of their protest action. One must assume, and quite correctly so, that here we have individuals motivated by secrete religious agendas. Speaking of the colour red that these catho workers prefer to paint the town with, rivers of spilt red blood of innocent people flow behind Catholicism; the Roman Catholic Church has a history of heinous crimes against the innocent, second to none. It’s a fact of historic record that this religion has displaced, maimed and murdered tens of millions of innocent people for no other reasons that so called heretics chose to follow other religious and cultural belief systems! I ask, would a true church of Christ have such a barbaric history. “By their fruits we shall know them” said the humble Mediterranean peasant.

I would encourage that these people continue their good works as individuals without the need to peddle religion or they could attract sincere protest against themselves in the near future.

kindest regards Peter Terry

Related Link: http://www.nambassa.com
author by Ciaronpublication date Mon Dec 31, 2007 03:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dear Peter,

Where to start? Is it worth starting at all?

There is a war on! All you are required to do is to keep your mouth shut and pay your taxes. Attempting to attack, even pathetically here, those resisting the war, is not required of you. You really don't need to be expended this effort here, it's beyond reqirements of what is expected of you.

"Free thinker", you don't sound to free and you don't seem to be have thunk to deep deeply here. The group that carried out this action were a priest, a nun, a convert. Those in support were Anglican, 2x cradle RC's and a post evangelical. Our resident anarchist athiest couldn't make it as she was preparing for her 60th. birthday party that evening.

Pete, we are not protesting. Protesting is like when you're playing football and you entrust an objective refereee to ajudicate. You get scythed down and you writhe around and look to the ref and protest/appeal. We don't think there is an objective referee to which to appeal to stop this war. Pete, we are not protesting - we are resisting. Know that if you ever get your sorry athiest ass busted resisting this war - we will be there in solidarity with you.

Do some research and come back again....
www.cathpolicworker.org
www.plowsharesactions.org
www.londoncatholicworker.org

Related Link: http://www.londoncatholicworker.org
author by Peter Terry - www.nambassa.compublication date Mon Dec 31, 2007 06:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ciaron,

Ciaron said, “Where to start? Is it worth starting at all?”

Thank you for taking the time to respond as it would be easier not to be transparent and to have run away from public comment. In my instance I would have followed though, right at your heels. ;-) After all this is a free alternative media channel and here we demand that dissention is addressed, right?

Where were you and your fellow Catholic workers along with your priests and nuns, when our children were being raped and pillaged by fellow Catholic workers? And your Bishops and Pope were doing everything in their power to conceal the crimes. Indeed your voices were silent then! Where were you when John Paul and his African Bishops were telling black Africans that they would go to hell and burn forever if they used condoms to protect themselves against AIDS? This, even after the UN pleaded with them to change their policy for nothing more than pure compassion. And what was their response to this, “Africans need to learn about morality and to cease having sex.” In the meantime millions are dying! Indeed your voice was silent then!

The peace movement is a soft target for the likes of you folks- jumping on the bandwagon, perpetuated by big-egos and private agendas. This all brings to mind Jesus’ complaint concerning the moral aptitude of those professing to be supporting his revolution for change, but who were slowly swallowing his movement. Quote “When I leave bad men will come and do bad things in my name.” After all brother, your church has been peddling inhumane crimes against innocent people in the name of Christ since Nicea 300. Lest we not forget, that when Brother Francis’ spiritual Franciscans or Fraticelli movement was annexed by the Roman Church after he died, and when they attempted to restore the original Franciscan ideals professed by Francis, they were brutally repressed! I draw these similarities because the bigger picture is greater than you even realise and you people out of pure naivety are being used as pawns in the bigger game. Does you local Bishop on the odd occasion give you a rewarding pat on the head for your good works, or perhaps you get to receive communion (ritual cannibalism) TWICE in one day? The only war that matter mate, and will change all these fundamentals of warlike culture you and I aspire towards, is the “war in heaven”. And the Catholic workers movement or your affiliating religion is NOT the answerer. Been there and done that and we all know the result, right?

Foremost, its quite debatable as to whether your blood protests (referring to your other anti-war efforts) are effectual in any way, in fact I would go as far as to say that you are doing the overall international protest movement a great disservice. The books of history are open and the whole world now knows what a heinous criminal the Catholic Church is and so by this attempt of your group to overlay The CATHOLIC Workers movement as a symbol of peace is contentious and makes a mockery of people’s intelligence.

I commend you in your work, but do this from the heart and not as stooges for the Catholic Church...it does NOT deserve you as it has never ever been a peace maker except when it needs supporting propaganda to prop itself up.

Incidentally, you will find nowhere in the gospels where Christ says that blood is a holy sacrament. The last supper is clearly a textual overlay, an ideology which sits better with the likes of the Mithra movement and classical paganism, than with Christ. After all, human sacrifice contravenes Jewish law anyway. And the humble Mediterranean peasant said, “It is kindness that I want, NOT sacrifice.”

Kindest regards,
Peter Terry.

author by Peter Terry - Free Thinkerpublication date Mon Dec 31, 2007 07:19author email nambassa at hotmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Indeed, Herod did kill the infants, as did Moses have killed the first born of every family! And over the centuries the Roman Catholic Church has directly and indirectly had bludgeoned to death countless numbers of children for no other reason than their parents and families had refused to align their spirituality to the dogma and political allegiances of Roman Catholicism.

I wonder how many children could have been saved from the horrendous death of AIDS had Rome encouraged their parents to use condoms for safe sex, instead of telling them that if they protected themselves it was a mortal sin punishable by hell!...Speaks volumes eh my friends and give new meaning to heinous crimes against humanity!?

May I suggest that if you wish to have credibility and support of your credible protest then drop the Catholic workers movement tag. ;-)

From downunder have a warm and comfortable New Year; it looks very cold up there.

Kindest regards Peter Terry

Related Link: http://www.nambassa.com
author by Ciaronpublication date Mon Dec 31, 2007 07:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sorry Pete but on second reading it sounds like the rantings of an anti-Catholic bigot, which is standard when ever a post is put up in regards to Catholic Worker activists.

So I'm not going to pursue this debate on this thread as it is a distraction form the thread'subject - DA against the war, a call for active solidarity with folks before the courts fpr resisting the war.

We had a Catholic Worker for 5 years in Dublin, I don't think we ever got accused of trying to recruit anybody. So yur anxieties like your critique are baseless. Chill.......

Related Link: http://www.londoncatholicworker.org
author by Peter Terry - free Thinkerpublication date Mon Dec 31, 2007 07:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The first letter of this thread is full of Christian dogma and to this I am responding. (read it again please)

I do apologise if you are offended by some facts, however, you have to accept that in a free and transparrent democracy free speech is paramount whether or not you agree with the content.

Good luck with your court cases and I would expect that you will robably get off, after all you have done little to deserve a jail sentence. Been in that predicamment many a times though so I can sympathise with the worry of anticipation.

good luck mate.

Arohanui

Peter Terry

author by Jimbobeirepublication date Mon Dec 31, 2007 11:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Gospel according to Pete Chapter 7:12

"The peace movement is a soft target for the likes of you folks- jumping on the bandwagon, perpetuated by big-egos and private agendas."

Ya wha?

The Catholic Worker movement accused of a) being one and the same as the Catholic Church and accountable for all it's faults... (that I could put down to anger/hatred towards the Catholic Church , but b) being johnny come lately types jumping on the bandwagons?

You may not like their beliefs amigo, but these folks have been resisting war for a long time, not just when it became fashionable and got big mainstream coverage. Where were you when all these things were going on? Standing with thousands in a big safe demo? or with a handful, in the cold when few others would risk it?

You should remember you were given two ears and only one mouth for a reason. Methinks the ears and eyes are underused in your case.

Fair play to these people for continuing to show resistance to war.

author by Peter Terry - Free Thinkerpublication date Mon Dec 31, 2007 14:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You were not paying attention Jimbo- it is the religious connotation behind everything this group does that in this instance irks. Do you really think that being a public nuisance, as well as squirting a bit of blood and red paint at the enemy is going to stop Britain from being a US lapdog to a Foreign policy ideal which the rest of the world now rejects? Jesus had more gumption than that when he trashed the markets to prevent the capitalists from exploiting places of discourse and culture. As far as their rights to do this goes, I would support them unconditionally, in as much as I would expect simpletons such as you to give some credence to my right to be heard voicing my disapproval of the methodology by which they publicly market their protest efforts.

Now pull your head in Charlie!

Peter Terry

Related Link: http://www.nambassa.com
author by Chris's Presentationpublication date Mon Dec 31, 2007 18:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Chris prepared a reflection on the "Slaughter of the Innocents" story in Matthew Chapter 2

Chris got sick and couldn't make it. His presentation was prefaced by a meditation on the crib scene. Reflections that came out of it included the role of Herod's imperial census - purpose of which would have been for colonial taxes and inteligence military recruitment.

Also reflection on how one thing the giving off presents by the Maji has been hyped and spun by capitalism at the expense of all the themes and factors in the scene eg. the marginalised social position of the shepherds, holy family as soon to be refugees, the Maji breaking Herod's injunction, God's power expressed in the vulnerability of the infant, the collateral damage of then and now - the Feast of the Holy Innocents.

Chris's Holy Innocents reflection

Read the passage. Matthew Ch:2

This time of the year is a special time for children. We long for all children to be happy, to be safe and secure. To be innocent perhaps in the ways of the world – not to be worried, afraid, fearful etc.

This juxtaposition of this story of the massacre of the innocents in the Christmas season is no coincidence and no joke.

Like most powerful people, the number one priority is to hold on to power at all costs and Herod is no exception. The biblical passage says that Herod ‘heard’ about the Maji’s visit and was ‘disturbed’. The powerful, as we know have spies and informants listening our for and disrupting anything that may challenge their grip on power – Herod is of course no exception.

When he hears of this challenge to his power, he gets his special advisors – "spads" as we call them today – and legal advisors together to try to work out what is going on how they can snuff out this threat. The Magi, Herod works out are obviously the ones in the know and are the most useful way in.

But the visitors from the east – who must have been wealthy and powerful themselves to make that kind of journey with those kind of gifts – need to be treated, how shall we put it - with kid gloves. No heavy hand tactics – not water boarding for them – but he calls them in for an interview - where he tries to co-opt them into being informers too with his lies and disinformation – “let me know as soon as possible so I can go and worship him too”.

And the passage goes on to say that after they had heard him out – it doesn’t say that they agreed to anything - they didn’t sell Jesus out if you like - they continued on their way. I imagine it kind of like our interviews sometimes with the cops – treading a fine line between being respectful, friendly, cooperative even, but not crossing the line, not giving the game away.

So they continued & found Jesus and gave them their gifts and having completed their mission, they quietly and carefully withdrew- clearly breaking the law, defying the powerful. Disobedient.

And so the word came down on high to Joseph – get the hell out of there , they’re after you – run. And run now. In our work, in our resistance that’s not an experience that many of us have had. Woken in the middle of the night to be given a few minutes or a few hours warning of the need to flee as your life and the life of your family is in danger – but we know that is a common experience in our world for many who challenge the powerful. And that’s what happened in the biblical story.. Joseph wakes Mary and they get their things together and flee to Egypt – refugees, leaving behind family, friends, community.

And boy is Herod pissed. His carefully laid plans, his network of informants, his special advisors & legal experts, his cultivating of the Magi - all of it has been useless. He has been, as the passages says ‘outwitted’ and he knows it. He is humiliated – and underneath it all – scared. So there is only one option left – what known these days as ‘the nuclear option’. Kill ‘em all – kill all boys under two - a neat and deadly solution – a pre-emptive strike - see if they can get out of that!

Herod was not the first and certainly not the last ruler to lash out in anger and fear, creating havoc, mayhem and murder in order to stay ‘in control’ or for ‘the good of the state’, or ‘in the public interest’. To try to convince themselves that the consequences of their actions are, well, sad of course, but necessary – the ends justifying the means. Throughout the 20 centuries since that massacre of innocents to our very own time, the innocent have been victim of the powerful, time and time again. In our own time of course we think of Iraq, and Afghanistan, and all the other wars whereby the powerful seek to impose their authority in order that the status quo is maintained...

But wait. Lest we all sit here in quiet righteous indignation, furious at the Herods and the Hitlers, the Blairs and Brown, lets pause for a minute. I want to share with you the story of the death of Aden and Dawit, a story which has affected and inspired me a lot in the 10 years since it happened.
Eritrea and Ethiopia - up until mid-1990 neighbours and friends - literally brothers. Border conflict - brought about - wider economic issues, conflict escalates and war breaks out. On June 5th 1998 (what we're you doing then) Ethiopia and Eritrea started bombing each other. Eritrean aircraft bombed Ethiopian town of Mekele, small town children were finishing school for the day - when bombs rained down from sky and the school was hit by number of cluster bombs. (OHP) Aden aged 4 rescued by passer by Dawit. Aden died of his injuries at the scene – Dawit continued to try to resuce more people but was killed by delayed action cluster bomblet. Some 40 people were killed including children - just one minor incident in one minor war - nothing to do with us. But Eritrea nor Ethiopia have an indigenous arms industry - those planes and cluster bombs were imported - not saying from UK but possibly. We know for certain that cluster bombs made in the UK – in Bedford in fact – were used in the war.
So why do I bring this up? Well I wanted to make the point that the focus of our scorn –the blame for the massacre of the innocent in our world, for all the terrible things that happen in our world cannot simply and easily be laid on the heads of those in charge. They cannot be our scapegoats. I think that is unarguable that as we live in the rich north, we too are ‘the powerful’, that we benefit hugely from the status quo that say , sadly and unfortunately the innocent around the world will always get killed – nothing personal.

I want to make one more related point. The biblical story pits babies against kings, the weak against the strong, the vulnerable against the secure. The way the world goes, there should only be one winner, right? Yet the passage continue that it is Herod who dies and Jesus returns to triumph as we known, not just over kings but over prinicipalities and powers and over death itself.

In our time, “security” has come to be almost the ultimate value. In my own work, when I meet with other groups and NGOs, we don’t talk about "peace" so much any more , we talk about building ‘human security’ – and there are good reason for the that – to challenge the concept of military security etc – won’t go into that. But I wanted to make the point that the gospels call us to not to security but to vulnerability. However this is something that I personally struggle with very much – and we can talk about this together

Right around the world the search for peace and security has becoming more and more central to how we live our lives and order our society. However, almost without exception, ‘security’ and ‘peace’ have been linked with militarism, arms and intolerance. This is nothing new. At the same time that Jesus and the early Christians were urging people to love their enemies (Matt 5:44-45) and extolled the virtues of - what we now call - nonviolent peacemaking (Matt 5: 4-12). Roman military commander Flavius Vegetius Renatus wrote ‘If you want peace, prepare for war’. Whilst one ‘philosophy’ hailed armed conflict as a means of security, the other suggested that real peace and security lives in the practice of love and justice. The same is very much true today.

Whilst no one would seriously argue that working for security or self-defence or defence of another is wrong, as Christians we are committed to much more. American theologian Lisa Sowle Cahill who has written extensively around these issues suggests that “Treating the right of self-defence (“security”) as paramount, even when exercised on behalf of an innocent victim, .... has a way of insidiously shifting the foundation of the discussion to a different view of the moral life than that embodied in the gospel. The foundation of moral reflection becomes, not a discipleship of love and the cross, but self-assertion and the limitation of the obligation to include, to love, to forgive, to serve.” (very rich – could spend a lot of time on that)

As Biblical Christians we are committed to loving our enemies. As Latin American Jose Comblin puts it “In Christian ethics, love is the absolute value, even in the face of the overwhelming danger of losing security.” So, for Christians, building peace means taking the cross seriously, being willing to cross comfortable boundaries, take risks, challenge presumptions and stereotypes, confront injustice and sometimes be willing to stand alone.

To finish a short poem

This is no time for a child to be born,
With the Earth betrayed by war and hate
And a comet slashing the sky to warn
That time runs out and the sun burns late.
That was no time for a child to be born
In a land in the crushing grip of Rome
Honor and truth were trampled by scorn --
Yet here did the Saviour make his home.
When is the time of love to be born?
The inn is full on planet earth,
Any by a comet the sky is torn --
Yet Love still takes the risk of birth.
Madeleine L'Engle

author by Peter Terry - Free Thinkerpublication date Mon Dec 31, 2007 21:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This is all very well Chris, and I'm sorry to spoil the party, but I must add that these are effectively meaningless words without foundation. It is too easy to use the gospels like putty or plastercine, and mould text into what ever shape you so desire to suit the dogma of the day. You need to read the complete text of Matthew 23 because it applies to you people. While the high values and morals of Christ are without approach, the vast majority of practicing Christians on the ground have in no way ever reflected these values. If you believe otherwise, then you refuse to accept scholarly proof. History proves without any doubt whatsoever that Christianity does not represent Christ’s spiritual base. Christ is simply used by Christians as an object of worship to give credence to itself! In fact I would go so far as to say that since the Nicea 300, Christianity as an organisation, has done everything it possibly can to salt the name and message delivered those 2000 years ago. This is serious stuff my friend, because while we can forgive Christians for their sad plight, history will never forgive the heinous crimes it has committed against innocent people, because sins against the ‘holy spirit’ are never forgiven!

To the good people within Christianity there is only one option, and that is to remove the bleeding and lamenting Jesus from your cross because your pagan religion has extracted and drunken sufficient blood from his dead corpse! If you have ears listen.

“Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, Come out my people! Come out of her!
You must not take part in her sins; you must not share in her punishment!
For her sins are pilled up as high as heaven, and God remembers her wicked ways.
Treat her exactly as she has treated you; pay her back double for all she has done.
Fill her cup with a drink twice as strong as the drink she prepared for you.
Give her as much suffering and grief as the glory and luxury she gave herself.
For she keeps telling herself”
Here I sit as a queen!
I am no widow, I will never know grief!
Because of this one day she will be struck with plagues- disease and famine.
And she will be burnt with fire.” Revelations 18, 4-8

I am coming with fire in the eyes and a sword from the mouth!!

Peter Terry

author by Jonahpublication date Mon Dec 31, 2007 21:52author address Washington D.C., U.S.A.author phone Report this post to the editors

“Take the child and his mother and flee… Herod seeks to destroy
him…”

A fluctuating number of people, between 70 and 100, gathered in D.C. for the Holy Innocents Faith and Resistance Retreat. We started Thursday night, Dec. 27. Steve Baggerly, Kristin and Sam from the Norfolk Catholic worker opened the retreat with a reflection on the theme: the hope and cost of Advent; the conflict between babies and Kings, between hope and power.

Early the next morning, Dec. 28, we went to the Pentagon to remember the war refugees– every bit the victims of Empire of today as the Christ child was of the Roman empire.

A large horse and donkey puppet reminded us that all creation is
endangered by the Pentagon and its wars.

Several people participated in a die-in. Sr. Margaret McKenna and
Aaron Weiss from New Jerusalem Community in Philadelphia, Tom Lewis from Emma House Catholic Worker in Worcester, Mass., Marcus Melder, Little Flower Catholic Worker in Virginia, and Liz McAlister from Jonah House in Baltimore were arrested; they have a court date March 21, 2008 at 9 a.m. at the Alexandria Federal Court.

Late that afternoon we went to the Department of Energy. About 20 of us went inside where there is a display lauding the glories and history of nuclear weapons which included a missile and a timeline of weapon testing and use. We asked to talk to a representative of the DOE about the display: a lying history which omits any reference to the fact that it displays weapons of mass destruction that have destroyed untold human lives and created incalculable and irreversible damage to the earth in the mining, development, testing and use of nuclear weapons.

As no one was willing to talk with us, we began to correct the history
by adding pictures to the display, and then gathered for a closing
circle. Two security men came to tell us that we had to leave. We told
them our concerns and invited them to join us in a closing prayer. One of them joined in our prayer circle…

Outside, a well prepared and humorous street theater was happening. Simulating the sham DOE briefing of late, Bill Streit played the DOE director as he attempted to defend its death dealing programs with the ever-present aid of Fox News. Watch for this on Youtube! Special thanks to Sue Frankel-Streit for the street theater….

That evening, Kathy Breen spoke on her experiences working with
refugees from Iraq who are in Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. She spoke of their intense suffering, how they can’t work, can’t get papers to leave, can’t support themselves and use up any savings they have. The US is not accepting its share of refugees.

Remembering the massacre at Wounded Knee, Dec 26, 1890, Cornelius Red Deer spoke Saturday a.m.of the native way which is in harmony to the earth, the creatures and each another. What a contrast to the way of domination; military conquest and empire which is endemic to the U.S. conduct in our world.

Later on Dec. 30, the Jonah House donkey joined Mary, Joseph and the Jesus, as we walked through Lafayette Park to the White House. Continuing the theme of the retreat, we were accompanied by many war refugees to the “Refugee Camp” tent set up in front of the White House.

The donkey was given a ban and bar from the District of Columbia, and Patrick O’Neil from Martin de Porres Catholic Worker in Raleigh, North Carolina and Eve Tetaz from D.C. were arrested at the White House. They have a court date Jan 22, 2008.

In the evening, we celebrated the marriage of Gary Ashbeck and Eden Coughlin, who met at a Faith and Resistance retreat, and who were engaged on Jan 11, 2007 at the Close Guantanamo occupation of the Federal Courthouse.

The next day we ate breakfast at the Nipponzan Myohoji Japanese
Buddhist Temple. Sister Takako Ichikawa welcomed us and led us in prayer that included drumming and chanting. Then we heard from Ashim Pannasami and U Indasara who spoke to us (through an interpreter) about the plight of the monks and the people of Burma, and who encouraged us to work so that Burmese people would not be deported: a certain death.

Together with the monks we processed to the Burmese Embassy. Sister Ichikawa led us in drumming and chanting Na Mu Myo Ho Ren Ge Kyo. We were joined by children and adults from Burma. At the Embassy, we held banners on the steps, and remembered the nonviolent struggle of the monks and people who are suffering under military rule. We were joined by many Secret Service police.

Later we had a closing circle in a nearby park.

Check out the Jonah House website in he oming days for details and pictures:
www.jonahhouse.org

author by Peter Terry - Free Thinkerpublication date Mon Dec 31, 2007 22:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Christian Church of Sri Lanka has traditionally served as the
propaganda arm of the Tamil grievances in the Sri Lankan 'ethnic
conflict'. It was the Vatican through is communication network
disseminated to the world the event of July 83 painting the Sinhalese
Buddhist as 'uncivilized barbarians'. From that point onwards the
western funded and the Church guided National Peace Council unleashed
its propaganda machine to justify all the heinous crimes committed by
the LTTE justifying those as 'retaliatory activities' prompted by the
July 83 incidents. In actual fact by July 83 the Tamil guerillas had
broken in to 15 banks and 18 police stations making it impossible for
the civil administration to maintain law and order and in the North
and hence July 83 was the effect of those activities. But the NPC
propaganda made July 83 a 'cause' to justify the killings and maiming
of thousands of innocent civilians, in their homes, in their sleep, in
places of worship, places of work and just on the road. Ironically
even though LTTE has come to be known as the 'world's most ruthless
terror organization' none of its activities received the same
publicity that July 83 received in the Vatican.

Show solidarity and please cut and paste this link to view the rest of this thread!

http://groups.google.com/group/soc.culture.sri-lanka/br...b9970

Peter Terry

author by Peter Terry - Free Thinkerpublication date Mon Dec 31, 2007 23:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Lest we not forget that the spirituality, culture and politics which have delivered us the Middle Eastern and Vietnam wars is CHRISTIAN!

While the Catholic Workers group protests against war, the main body of its religion continues to pursue policies which amount to crimes against the innocent! What astounds me is the hypocrisy of these folks who refuse to look inwards and to clean up their own grubby back yards, but rather finding other heinous crimes in history in which to base their emotive protests upon. "The Feast of the Innocents" They seem to be oblivious to the fact that they are following and partaking of a religious autocracy whose extent of debauched history would make Hitler and the Nazis look like angels.

It was very appropriate that Blair should convert to Catholicism, and so now that he has returned home, he too may be used as a vehicle of propaganda to prop up a religion which has historically feasted upon and gained capital from the purge and crimes it has itself commit against the innocents.

Jesus said to Peter, “Though art Peter and upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it”

As history provides, the gates of hell have already prevailed against Catholicism and continue to do so this very minute. So we must draw the obvious conclusion that Christianity can NOT possibly be the representation of good which Christ was referring to. Indeed this is the litmus test; and by their fruits we shall know them.
The spiritual authenticity or success of any system be it political or religious, is measured upon the performance and behavior of those who prescribe to it!

Arohanui

Peter Terry

http://www.nambassa.blogspot.com/

author by Scepticpublication date Tue Jan 01, 2008 10:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In the Middle East the 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973, 1982 and 2006 wars were not begun by Christians nor by Christian nations. Neither were the Iran Iraq war of 1980 nor the Kuwait invasion of 1990 nor the Algerian civil war. In Vietnam the US intervened in a war already taking place between a communist north and the largely Buddhist south. The Afghan war begun in 1979 was started by the communist USSR and the war of 2001 was begun by an Islamist NGO (Al Qaeda) operating under the protection of the then Afghan Taliban regime attacking the US.

author by leo bloomerspublication date Tue Jan 01, 2008 10:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If you are taking 'by their fruits you will know them...' as your criterion, Catholic Worker are not doing too badly. A lot of people have been brought up Christian & feel loyalty to Christ's teachings, despite the worldliness of too many churches, recognising something in the Gospels that the world of money - making & shallow appearances can't give. As a label, as with other faiths, 'Christian' doesn't mean much more than a national or racial tag without considering what the Christian group or individual is doing. Undeniable that Christians have committed horrendous crimes, along with other faiths, & atheists too, yet that doesn't cancel out the genuine charity & bravery of others who have given freely.

author by Scepticpublication date Tue Jan 01, 2008 11:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Suez in 1956 was a joint Anglo French Israeli enterprise.

author by Wpublication date Tue Jan 01, 2008 11:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In my limited experience a lot of Catholic Workers are vegetarian and a lot of trolls are wankers.

author by CWpublication date Tue Jan 01, 2008 12:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

NORTHWOOD

Local History

Local associations in history include that of the only English Pope, Nicholas Breakspear, with Harefield; Cardinal Wolsey and the Duke of Monmouth with Moor Park; Thomas Gray, who wrote Elegy in a Country Churchyard, with Stoke Poges; and Milton, who alternated between boredom and matrimonial strife at Chalfont St Giles.

Finally, it was recorded in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I that “Five Ruislipians and eight Uxbridge men with unknown malefactors to the number of a hundred, assembled themselves and played a certain unlawful game called football, by reason of which there arose a great affray, like to result in homicides and serious accidents.”

Northwood Permanent Joint Head Quarter’s mission can be summarized as follows:
As part of the Defence Crisis Management Organisation, provide politically aware military advice to the MOD to inform the strategic commitment of UK forces to overseas Joint and Combined operations
When directed by the Chief of Defence Staff, exercise operational command of UK forces assigned to overseas Joint and Combined operations, either led by the UK or another nation, in order to achieve MOD UK’s strategic objectives
In conjunction with the Front Line Commands and MOD, develop the UK’s Joint warfighting capability. The HQ has some 630 personnel from the 3 Services and the Civil Service. The HQ is responsible for directing, deploying, sustaining and recovering UK joint forces, however, there are certain areas that the HQ will not be involved. These are: Strategic Nuclear Deterrent; Defence of the UK Home Base Territorial Waters and Airspace Northern Ireland Counter-terrorism in UK; NATO Article V (General War)
Northwood's role in the Falklands war (1982), the bombing of Serbia and Kosovo (1999) and the attacks on Afghanistan (2001) and Iraq (1998, 2003).

A £1.15 billion contract for the redevelopment, management and operation of facilities on the Northwood Headquarters site was announced by Ministry of Defence Minister Tom Watson.

The 25 year contract for Northwood has been finalised with Eastbury Park Limited, a joint venture between Carillion Private Finance (Defence) Limited and HSBC Infrastructure Fund Management Limited. It will see the significant redevelopment of the 43 acre site at Northwood, Middlesex, the home of the Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ), which runs all UK military operations worldwide.

PJHQ is responsible for all UK involvement in overseas operations as well as maintaining the Permanent Joint Operating Bases ranging from the South Atlantic to the Indian Ocean.

The Northwood Headquarters is a high-density, 43-acre site providing employment for over 2000 military and civilian personnel. Whilst part of the underground facility has benefited from major investment, the remainder of the site infrastructure needs to be upgraded.

The site hosts the Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ), which commands all UK overseas military operations.
The contract will bring about a mix of new buildings, the retention and refurbishment of some existing buildings and the demolition of surplus buildings. This will be achieved through a phased process over a five-year period.

Scott Albrecht, former member of the U.S. Air Force, of the nearby Catholic Worker farmhouse has maintained a weekly anti-war vigil at Northwood for the past 6 months. Catholic Workers Ciaron O'Reilly, Sr. Susan Clarkson and Scott Albrecht were arrested and charged with criminal damage of the Northwood HQ sign in 2001 http://www.cambridgeclarion.org/northwood_court.html in response to the bombing of Afghanistan.

In 2003, in anticipation of the invasion of Iraq Sr. Angela Broome, Scott Albrecht and Damien Prescott transformed the Northwood HQ sign with red paint. There have also benn larger actions at the base over the years by "Reclaim the Streets", "Voices in the Wilderness", "D10 Crew". Many of the soldiers on armed guard duty are veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

author by Peter Terry - Free Thinkerpublication date Tue Jan 01, 2008 13:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The skeptic my man, you conveniently left out the mother or all inhumanity, bloodshed and mass murder..WW2. 50 million people died in WW2 and in Europe that war was essentially Christians murdering Christians. Got any stats on WW1 ;-) There are no winners or losers in wars, just innocent people butchered to death for nationalism.
Peter Terry

author by Ciaron - Catholic Workerpublication date Tue Jan 01, 2008 14:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The question posed by the four arrested is not - why don't you become a Roman Catholic like us?

The question posed is what is your response to this war?
Do you acknowledge that there is a war underway and other people are doing the killing and dying for you?

All the war making state requires of Peter and the trolls is their silence. The cynicism they direct against these people who put their liberty on the line is not required, it is a bonus for the state. If they're not being paid by the state, Peter and the trolls should apply for a grant.

Maybe they agree with the indiscriminate killing going on with air strikes in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Maybe they don't agree with it, but are too chicken shit to do anything about the war? If this is their position than they're right cynicism is your best option....the cowards' option.

For those of us operating in a pluralist activist movement prepared to confront power, we are not bothered by the spiritual beliefs and traditions of our comrades.

If a pagan is putting themselves on the line at Tara, they're my kind of pagan bless'em.

I'm not that interested in their subjective understandings or how they have come to terms with the existential questions of
What the fuck am I doing here (existence)? and
I'm not going to be here for fiuckin long (mortality)?

I'm not going to feel threatened by their different belief system or traditions. I'm not going to blame them for the Manson Family excesses or those of various Roman emperors. I'm going to muster whatever solidarity I can and direct it toward them.

With the trolls and police agents, I'm not going to talk to them.
I'm going to talk about them and expose them.
And hopefully the indy editors will do their job after a well deserved break in this holiday season

Related Link: http://www.londoncatholicworker.org
author by Iowa Update - Des Moines Catholic Worker/ SODaPOPpublication date Tue Jan 01, 2008 16:33author address Des Moines, Iowa, USAauthor phone Report this post to the editors

The Des Moines Catholic Worker website has been updated to include video and press coverage of yesterday's arrests during the SODaPOP (Season Of Discontent a Presidential Occupation Project)action.

Kathy Kelly, who testified at the three Dublin trials of the Pitstop Ploughshares, and two others were arrested occupying pro-war Republican Presidential Rev Mike Huckabee's office - posing the question "Who Would Jesus Bomb?"

Go to the homepage and click on the photo of those arrested on the
right of the page at:
www.desmoinescatholicworker.org

Or go to the video of the action on YouTube at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrjecBEX1HQ

Related Link: http://www.desmoinescatholicworker.org
author by Amypublication date Wed Jan 02, 2008 05:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Here are a few photos taken before the Northwood action of the messages we were trying to send.

sign made to reiterate joint culpability in violence
sign made to reiterate joint culpability in violence

another sign being made-a wish for us all
another sign being made-a wish for us all

Ciaron from London CW displays his sign
Ciaron from London CW displays his sign

Maria from The CW farm remembers children killed in the war
Maria from The CW farm remembers children killed in the war

Angela from London CW remembers those UK soliders killed in the war
Angela from London CW remembers those UK soliders killed in the war

author by Ciaron - London Catholic Workerpublication date Thu Jan 03, 2008 05:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Snapshots of ALC network gathered for "Faith & Resistance" on the Feast of the Doly Innocents (28/12/07). The Atlantic Life Community (ALC) is a nonviolent resistance network including Catholic Workers, other resistance communities, families and individuals around the northeast of the U.S. The ALC has been going for over 30 years and includes many military veterans and peace activists who have served years in prison for draft board raids, plowshares actions www.plowsharesactions.org and other nonviolent resistance to the war machine .

The ALC gathers twice a year on long weekends in reflective retreat away from the cities and three times a year in the nation's capital Washington D.C. for the more activist "Faith & Resistance" retreats.
The D.C. gatherings are timed around the feast day of the Holy Innocents (Dec 28th), Holy Thurday-Easter Sunday and around Hiroshima Day (August 6th). The gatherings are a mix of community building, academic & scriptual presentations, action prep and NVDA (often at the White House, Pentagon, Air & Space Museum, Department of Energy, various embassies of oppressive regimes...in D.C. one is spoilt for choice!). The photos below are snapshots of the ALC network gathering - there are a lot more kidz these daze and at this one two people got married on the retreat, a bunch of people got arrested and a donkey was served with a ban & bar letter by the D.C. cops. Go figure!
http://www.jonahhouse.org/FRDec07snaps.htm

People gathered at the retreat decided to bring the issues of war refugees to the White House, the address in the world most responsible for driving people from their homes and destroying communities. The White House is situated (on one side )opposite La Fayette Park where a number of homeless people sleep out in bitterly cold D.C. winters. Photos below show street theatre raising the issues of war refugees and two people arrested for refusing to compromise their right to free speech in fronto of the White House.
http://www.jonahhouse.org/FRDec07WH.htm

The Department of Energy (DOE) is responsible for the development & maintenace of nuclear weapons in the U.S. Amongst other things DOE would run the nuclear test site in Nevada. The DOE building has been a reglular target for NVDA raising anti-nuke concerns over the years. Photos below of street theatre perfromed outside of DOE
http://www.jonahhouse.org/FRDec07DOE.htm

Burmese Solidarity Walk to Embassy from NiponzonMyohoji Temple.
Although predominantly a netowork of radical catholics, the ALC is not exclusively catholic or christian it is a faith based network but has been inclusive of protestant, pagan, buddhhist, jewish and agnostic participants. The monks of the small Buddhist order Nipponzon Myhoji order have a long relationship witht the Catholic Worker and ALC. Some of the monks chanted and kept vigil outside the three Pitstop Ploughshares trials in Dublin, Catholic Workers have joined them on the long peace walks (London to Belfast '96, London to Faslane 2000, Auschwitz to Hiroshima '95, Panama to D.C. '93). Here the monks and ALC accompany Buddhist monks form Burma to the Burmese Embassy in D.C.
http://www.jonahhouse.org/FRdec07Burma.htm

author by Frank - Des Moines Catholic Worker/ SODaPOPpublication date Fri Jan 04, 2008 04:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Twelve people were arrested today for occupying the campaign
headquarters of two leading presidential candidates. Members of
SODaPOP (Seasons of Discontent: a Presidential Occupation Project) http://www.desmoinescatholicworker.org/sodapop.html arrived at the campaign offices of Senator Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney early this afternoon. All 12 spent the night in the Polk Co Jail and will appear before a Judge on Thursday morning.

Four were arrested in the Romney headquarters. They are: Chris Gaunt, 51, Grinnell, IA, Ed Bloomer, 63, Des Moines, Janice Sevre-Duszynska, 57, Nicholasville, KY, Suzanne Sheridan, 31, Chicago, IL.

Shortly after SODaPOP members arrived, Obama staff locked the doors to the office and ordered press reporters, volunteers, and visitors to leave at that time. Members of the press were not allowed to photograph, to witness or report any portion of the actions inside or the arrests that were ultimately made. Arrested in Obama headquarters were Vicki Andrews, 63, Grand Rapids, MI, Diane Haugesag, 48, Minneapolis, MN, David Hovde, 37, Evanston, IL, Dan Pearson, 26, Chicago, IL, Tom Roddy, 76, Evanston, IL, Brian Terrell, 50, Maloy, IA, John Tuzcu, 23, Des Moines, IA, Kathy Kelly, 55, Chicago, IL

All 12 who were arrested are being held overnight in the Polk County
Jail and are scheduled to be arraigned Thursday morning.

In a news release issued earlier by the Des Moines Catholic Worker,
Kelly, co-director of VCNV http://vcnv.org/ , was quoted as saying,
"We're very respectful of the Iowa caucus process and the long history behind it but we feel quite strongly that the issues of this war must be inserted into the process of narrowing down the candidates for the presidential election."

Kelly was also arrested on Monday during a similar occupation at the
Des Moines headquarters of Gov. Mike Huckabee.

Photos of the occupation may be uploaded with permission at:

Obama Occupation

http://www.flickr.com/photos/monashaw/sets/721576036109...8784/

Romney Occupation

http://www.flickr.com/photos/monashaw/sets/721576036108...0184/

author by Frank - Des Moines Catholic Worker/ SODaPOPpublication date Fri Jan 04, 2008 11:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Photos of this action taken by Mauro Heck may be viewed and down-loaded at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/monashaw/sets/721576036274.../show

Twenty-five members of SODaPOP appeared at Sen. Hillary Clinton's
Campaign Headquarters this afternoon with the intention of occupying that office until the senator agreed to pledge to bring an immediate end to the war in Iraq and to veto further funding of that war if she is elected president.

When Clinton staff saw SODaPOP members approaching their office, the door to the building was locked and entrance was barred to all SODaPOP members as well as press who had arrived to cover the occupation.

SODaPOP then stood in front of the entrances holding banners that read "End the War in Iraq" and "Stop War Funding" and handed out flyers outlining their reasons for being there. After several hours and when the headquarters were closing to leave for precinct caucuses, SODaPOP members decided to leave. No arrests were made.

This concluded the three-day campaign in Iowa. A total of 15 arrests
were made in the campaign that also included occupations at the
Huckabee, Romney, and Obama campaign headquarters in the Des Moines metro area. SODaPOP (Seasons of Discontent: a Presidential Occupation Project) is a project that intends to insert the peace movement into the U.S. presidential campaigns. It is coordinated by Voices for Creative Nonviolence, the Iowa Occupation Project and hosted in Des Moines by the Des Moines Catholic Worker Community.

In a news release issued earlier by the Des Moines Catholic Worker,
Kelly, co-director of VCNV, was quoted as saying, "We're very
respectful of the Iowa caucus process and the long history behind it
but we feel quite strongly that the issues of this war must be
inserted into the process of narrowing down the candidates for the
presidential election."

Related Link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/monashaw/sets/721576036274.../show
author by Youtube STRATCOM - Des Moines Catholic Workerspublication date Fri Jan 04, 2008 18:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PH539TmOTU

Video by: Sung-hee

On Dec 28th the actual Feast of the Holy Innocents and the final day
of the retreat by the five Midwest Catholic worker communities,
fifteen people gathered at main gate of Offutt AFB and home of the
STRATCom and US Military Space Command. Two people, Dagmar Hoxsie, 76 of the Yankton Catholic Worker and John Bach, 33 of Des Moines IA crossed the line as a protest against the StratCom and were arrested. Both are subject to charges of Fed trespass. Repeat offenders are
likely to be sent to jail. Dagmar is a repeat offender.

For more information,
www.DesMoinesCatholicWorker.org.

Related Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PH539TmOTU
author by the boy chickenpublication date Sat Jan 05, 2008 01:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

but no to vandalism

author by Voics for Creative Nonviolencepublication date Sat Jan 05, 2008 02:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

From December 31st until January 3rd, Seasons of Discontent: a
Presidential Occupation Project (SODaPOP) occupied four offices of
leading presidential candidates in Iowa. Members of the campaign
visited former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee (Dec 31), Governor MittRomney and Sen. Barack Obama (Jan 2), and Sen. Hillary Clinton (Jan 3).

In total, 15 members of SODaPOP were arrested. The demands of the campaign to the presidential candidates are a complete withdrawal of the U.S. military forces from Iraq and Afghanistan within 100 days of assuming the office of President and a halt to any and all military actions against Iraq and Iran. (see complete set of demands: http://vcnv.org/sodapop-demands)

Below you will find a list of articles, video, and media coverage.

In these crucial months ahead, as the electoral campaigns develop,
Voices would like for you to join us in a continued focus asking
presidential candidates and elected officials to end funding for the
wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and to further demand no war with Iran.
The Occupation Project remains a viable campaign and we will be in
touch in the coming weeks.

You may also wish to participate in Witness Against Torture--January
11th Day of Action, which marks the 6th anniversary of the first
arrival of "detainees" - prisoners - at the Guantanamo Bay Prison
Camp. Voices will be participating in Chicago, and there are 35 cities
across the US that are participating, including a main demonstration
in Washington, D.C.. See: http://www.witnesstorture.org/ for further
information.

SODAPOP UPDATE - LIST OF ARTICLES, VIDEO, AND MEDIA COVERAGE

* VIDEO: Kathy Kelly, with Voices for Creative Nonviolence, was
interviewed on C-SPAN: Washington Journal.
http://vcnv.org/kathy-kelly-c-span

* Clinton Campaign Office Re-Occupied by Peace Activists on Day of
Iowa Voting, Mike Ferner, Jan 3
http://vcnv.org/clinton-office-re-occupied

* Demonstrators held after Iowa anti-war protests, Daniel Nasaw in Des Moines, Guardian Unlimited.
http://tinyurl.com/2b6vnk

* VIDEO: Barack Obama campaign office occupation, Jan 2
http://vcnv.org/video-barack-obama-campaign-office-occu...ation

* Twelve Arrested in Des Moines as Obama Campaign Hinders Press Coverage of Protest, Michael Gillespie, Jan 2
http://vcnv.org/obama-campaign-hinders-press

* Obama and Romney Iowa Campaign Offices Occupied by Peace Activists, Mike Ferner, Jan 2
http://vcnv.org/obama-and-romney-offices-occupied

* Video: Reverend Mike Huckabee, Who Would Jesus Bomb?
http://vcnv.org/video-mike-huckabee

* Peace Activists Occupy Huckabee's Iowa Campaign Office, Mike Ferner, Dec 31
http://vcnv.org/activists-occupy-huckabee

FOR ALL SODAPOP RELATED MATERIAL SEE: http://vcnv.org/category/sodapop

SODaPOP is a project of Voices for Creative Nonviolence
(http://vcnv.org) and the Iowa Occupation Project
(http://www.desmoinescatholicworker.org/sodapop.html)

author by Youtube Iowapublication date Sun Jan 06, 2008 22:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Shows all three SODaPOP activist, Kathy Kelly, Mona Shaw and Robert Braam being taken to and loaded into Police Van following Hucabee office occupation.. Shows the intense media coverage on the site, the participation of the Ron Paul folks and Frank Cordaro's stump speech challenging the Gov. on which Jesus does he proclaims.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeYjYNnCQhw

Related Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeYjYNnCQhw
author by Democracy Nowpublication date Mon Jan 07, 2008 22:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Peace Activists Take Action to Keep Focus on War During Presidential Campaign

http://www.democracynow.org/2008/1/4/peace_activists_ta..._keep

Democarcy Now
Jan. 4, 2008

Over a dozen antiwar activists were arrested this week at the Iowa
offices of Mike Huckabee, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. The protests were part of a campaign called Seasons of Discontent: A Presidential Occupation Project. We speak to Frank Cordaro, a Des Moines Catholic Worker member who took part in the protests.

AMY GOODMAN: We wrap up now with staying in Iowa. Juan?

JUAN GONZALEZ: Well, we end today's show with a different perspective from Iowa. Over a dozen antiwar activists were arrested this week at the Iowa offices of Mike Huckabee, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. The protests were part of a campaign called "Seasons of Discontent: A Presidential Occupation Project."

Frank Cordaro joins us in Des Moines. He took part in the protests
this week and is a member of the Des Moines Catholic Worker. Welcome to Democracy Now!

AMY GOODMAN: Thank you, Frank.

FRANK CORDARO: Great to be with you.

AMY GOODMAN: Thanks for coming in. What did you do this week? We have just one minute. Explain what happened.

FRANK CORDARO: Well, we tried to interject the war into the issues of the presidential candidates. And what your last two guests said about there's no difference between Hillary and Obama and/or Edwards about the war, they're correct. They're all about managing the war. They're all about keeping the empire afloat. And we were simply trying to interject into the public arena, through a great American democratic tradition of civil disobedience, a real discussion about this war, about this country's standing in the world, about us being an empire, and about us being an outlaw nation. So we did the best we could.

AMY GOODMAN: Frank, does the Occupation Project continue into New Hampshire?

FRANK CORDARO: Well, we sure hope it does. We hope it continues into the country. Folks, civil disobedience is the way we're going to get anything changed in this country at this moment. A lot of people are doing it. We need a lot more.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, we're going to have to leave it there, Frank. I
want to thank you for being with us. Again, arrests at the various
offices of the presidential candidates around the issue of war. That
does it for our broadcast from Iowa.

Related Link: http://www.democracynow.org/2008/1/4/peace_activists_take_action_to_keep
author by London C.W.publication date Tue Jan 08, 2008 19:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The four Catholic Workers Arrested at Northwood HQ (for all British Forces Deployed Overseas) on the Feast of the Holy Innocents have a pretrial appearance in Watford in January 16th.

. The four wish to thank the activist group, religious order and 3 individual activists who donated £450 for the release of the Catholic Worker Farmhouse vehicle from custody!

Sr. Susan Clarkson, Fr. Martin Newell, Maria & Scott Albrecht have all been charged with criminal damage for enhancing the Northwood Headquarters sign with red paint!

Related Link: http://www.londoncatholicworker.org
author by Court Update - Catholic Workerpublication date Fri Jan 18, 2008 04:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sr. Susan Clarkson (Oxford Catholic Worker), Fr. Martin Newell (London Catholic Worker), Scott & Maria Albrecht (Farmhouse Catholic Worker) appeared in Watford court Wednesday.

They have been given a court hearing date for Aprl 9th & 10th. on charge of criminal damage.

Bail conditions prohibit Scott's 6 month weekly vigil at the gates of Northwood HQ.

Related Link: http://www.londoncatholicworker.org
author by London Catholic Workerpublication date Tue Aug 05, 2008 01:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Fr. Martin Newell of the London Catholic Worker has been ordered to attend Highbury Corner Magistrates Court on Wednesday coming Aug 6th at 9.45am ( that is. listed for the morning session) for a Means Hearing. He has written to the the court again telling them that he refuses to pay the £315 fine for the 'Feast of the Holy Innocents' action last December at Northwood mililtaty HQ, to witness to the killing of God's children by UK forces in Iraq and Afganistan.
for more info see: http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2007/12/388559.html

Possible outcomes this Wednesday include, they'll tell him to go away and give me more time to pay or he'll get sent down. Max is 14 days (serve 7 with 'good behaviour' . ). Official minumum is 5 days sentence.

All support appreciated at:

Highbury Corner Magistrates Court
51 Holloway Road
London N7 8JA

nearest station: Highbury & Islington

Related Link: http://www.londoncatholicworker.org/
author by Court Report - London Catholic Workerpublication date Wed Aug 06, 2008 15:37author address London, Englandauthor phone Report this post to the editors


COURT REPORT

Martin turned up at Highbury Magistrates Court this morning as requested, accompanied by Sr Susan (Oxford CW) and Scott (CW Farmhouse) both co-conspirators in 'Holy Innocents' witness last Christmas, as well as Whitney, Taran and Gigi, all currently interns at the farmhouse. The court house on Holloway Road next to Highbury and Islington station, was a pretty intense place, signs outside on the doors and windows saying something like 'No Sleeping', 'No Drinking', 'No Drug Use'. The searches on entry were probably the most thorough I've experienced on entry to a Magistrates Court ('are you wearing a belt - can I see the buckle - turn it over please'!) , the building grotty and a bit overpowering. It felt a bit like hanging around the streets of Dalston Junction. Susan and Scott vigilled outside with placards and leaflets, while another man, Morrocan, disputing a London Transport fixed penalty fine, bought me a cup of tea for my pains.

Inside the court room, the judge was fairly informal and allowed me to explain our action and my conscientious objections and what is going on at Northwood HQ ( co-ordinating joint forces - air, sea, land and special forces), planning, and communications, plus expansoin work on - going to prepare for EU Defence Force) . But his disapproval deepened as he realised that I wasn't going to pay, and that I had no money or possessions that could be recquisitioned by bailiffs. Nevertheless, he didn't want to send me down, so he gave me 6 weeks 'to think about it', and a 7 day sentence suspended till then - September 17th. So if last time is anything to go by, it looks like I'll be spending a couple of days next month being moved from court cells to police cells overnight to prison to prison, via a few hours in 'sweat box' prison vans, with barely enough time on the wing (as one of the other prisoners said last time) 'to wipe my ass'! Not that I'm complaining
about the sentence being too short of course.

Back home now, feeling relieved, ready for a nap, and wondering about September 17th.

hope you are all well

Martin

London Catholic Worker website: http://www.londoncatholicworker.org/

Related Link: http://www.londoncatholicworker.org/
author by Fr.Martin Jailedpublication date Thu Sep 18, 2008 06:04author address Hackney, London, Englandauthor phone Report this post to the editors

Yesterday, Fr. Martin Newell of The London Catholic Worker was sentenced to prison for wilfully refusing to pay a fine at Highbury and Islington Magistrates Court.

On Dec. 28th 2007, on the Feast of Holy Innocents, Catholic Workers Scott Albrecht, Sr. Susan Clarkson and Fr. Martin Newell poured red paint symbolising blood on the sign at Northwood Military Headquarters. Northwood is the "Nerve Centre" for all British wars. The three knelt in prayer with banners reading "We All Have Blood On Our Hands" and "War Shall Cease All Over The Earth". They were arrested, placed in jail and each charged with £315 worth of criminal damage.

When called back to court for refusing to pay his fine, Fr. Martin stated that he had acted according to his conscience and that he had hoped that the judge would act according to his. Martin had the opportunity to decry the illegal invasion of Iraq, but the judge said Martin's stance was a moral one. The judge claimed that the "law must be upheld despite belief".

The invasion of Iraq, according to most international lawyers and Kofi Annan, was illegal. It was premeditated by those who formed the Project for the New American Century (Google it). Sadly, presidential hopeful John McCain's two top advisers formed this 'think tank'. If McCain wins the prospect of staying in Iraq "for a hundred years" is real and the possibility of invading Iran will grow stronger still.

At least 832,962 people have been killed on all sides since the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. Fr. Martin and the other Catholic Workers live with people from Iraq in their Houses of Hospitality. If 1% of those who marched against the war did non-violent direct action, the war might not have been executed.

If you wish to support Fr. Martin then you can email of write to:
The London Catholic Worker
14 Deal Street
London
E1 5SU.
ENGLAND

Related Link: http://www.londoncatholicworker.org
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