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The post News Round-Up appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

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Anti-War Resisters Before the Courts

category international | anti-war / imperialism | news report author Tuesday March 18, 2008 07:44author by Ciaron - London Catholic Worker Report this post to the editors

London Catholic Workers Face Imprisonment for DSEi Arms Fair Resistance!

Zelda Jeffers and Fr Martin Newell of the London
Catholic Worker community were sentenced to
days in prison today, at Stratford Magistrates
Court, for pouring fake blood onto the gangway
entrance to the DSEi (Defence System Equipment
International) Arms Fair at Custom House DLR station
in east London in September. The entrance to one of
the world’s largest arms fairs was closed for at least
4 hours as a result.

The were found guilty of “criminal damage” at their
trial at the same Court in February and ordered to pay
fines and costs totalling £700. However, as they
refused to pay these, the Magistrate ordered them to
serve a custodial sentence. The two admitted pouring
fake blood, but denied that it was criminal damage. Fr
Newell had poured out five litres of red paint on the
gangway, saying 'rivers of blood that start here at
the DSEi Arms Fair’ . Having done this, he then knelt
down to pray. He was dragged away and arrested. Ms
Jeffers had held up a banner saying "Get the Guns Out
of London" and then poured fake blood on herself
before being arrested.

Martin Newell said in court today, “To pay this fine
would be to co-operate with a system that is fuelling
murder and mayhem around the world by promoting and
protecting the arms trade. We withdrew our
co-operation at the DSEi arms fair last September. We
continue that refusal to go along quietly with
manifest evil. In Holy Week, Christians and others
remember the price Jesus paid on the cross for
standing up for truth, life and freedom, when he was
arrested for his act of civil disobedience when he
cleansed the Temple of traders and bankers. It is a
great privilege to be able to follow, in a small way,
Jesus’ example of suffering for love and righteousness

At the trial in February, Zelda Jeffers said, “"I am
a mother, have held my babies, know the love and care
and concern a mother anywhere has for her children.
They have a right to physical integrity that is, not
to be blown up shot or burnt. I worked as a midwife
which is a respected profession, I helped babies be
born, I hoped for them to grow up. The week before the
arms fair Ryan was shot in Liverpool, with a gun that
was manufactured and traded, then ended a young life,
this is wrong, it should be stopped. I worked in
Nicaragua during and after the war there. I saw the
results of these arms not only in maiming and killing
but in poverty, ignorance and hunger. How can I not
try to stop this going on? The blood coloured paint
and dye was not damage but a statement of truth. The
action was not criminal but my duty as a human being."

Both Ms Jeffers and Fr Newell cp live and work at the
London Catholic Worker community house of
hospitality in Hackney, east London. The house
provides accommodation for asylum seekers, and members
run a community cafe and soup kitchen in Hackney.

The London Catholic Worker is part of the
international Catholic Worker movement, started in
1933 in New York to "explode the dynamite of Catholic
Social Teaching". The movement is committed
to radical social, political and economic change. The
London CW organises and campaigns for peace and
justice and publishes a quarterly newsletter as well
as a website.

Contact London Catholic Worker on tel: 020 7249 0041
(Ciaron), or 01923 777 201 (Scott)

LCW website:

US CW website:

author by Con Carrollpublication date Tue Mar 18, 2008 12:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Nice one.
more direct ction against the war-mongers. isto be acknowledege

author by Sentencingpublication date Tue Mar 18, 2008 16:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Fr. Martin Newell was sentenced at Stratford Magistrates Court Tuesday (18/3/07) to five days jail, he was immediately taken into custody. Sentencing on Zelda Jeffers has been postponed until next week. Zelda is a former "Shannon Banshee", 6 years a nurse in Nicaragua (where she also worked on Ken Loach's "Carla's Song") and 2 years a nurse with an indigeneous tribe on the Amazon. Zelda made it clear to the court that she refuses to pay fine, or contribute in any way to those who profit from the arms fair. The court said it could not take her pension but could take her to the High Court to get her bank details. The court postponed sentencing on Zelda for a week.

Sentencing arises out of the Feb 15th. conviction
for nonviolent resistance at 2007 London Arms & report of action

Zelda Jeffers and Fr. Martin Newell live and work at the London Catholic Worker which offers shelter and hospitality to refugees fleeing wars fueled by the arms trade. They also run a cheap local cafe/social centre in Dalston and a free Sunday soup kitichen for the homeless in Hackney.

Martin Newell was a member of the Jubilee Ploughsares 2000 group that disarmed a nuclear convoy vehiccle at RAF Wittering

The London Times on Martin Newell "Following Jesus in Love and Anarchy"

For more information contact Ciaron in England

Ph. Landline (England) 0207 249 0041
Mobile 0795 029 0857

Related Link:
author by CKpublication date Tue Mar 18, 2008 16:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Great work. Where can we find more Catholics who are willing to upset the tables?

author by Clarificationpublication date Tue Mar 18, 2008 16:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Zelda is the anarchist athiest tendency of the London Catholic Worker!

author by Joe.publication date Tue Mar 18, 2008 17:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Solidarity with Father Martin, Zelda and all.
Keep up the great anti-war camapigns.

author by Mairtinpublication date Tue Mar 25, 2008 16:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As a Catholic who is inspired by the social teaching of the Church and Jesus' teaching and life example on earth the actions of these brave few are a challenge to the Catholic Church to stand up against the times and become unpopular for legitmate reasons this time!! The Kingdom of God will not grow in silence and aquiesence to the wrongs of the rich elite of this world who protect themselves by sponsoring and perpetrating death and violence...more and more Catholics have to risk their lives in this world for the building of the Kingdom of justice and peace...this is the good news that Jesus preached to the poor of this world...and I am pleased to say, from my experience in Ireland and Latin America, there are many Catholics and Christians and others who are ready to risk all for the construction of the Kingdom, proclaimed 2000 years ago!

author by Ciaronpublication date Wed Mar 26, 2008 19:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

On Tuesday March 25th. Zelda Jeffers was sentenced to 14 days imprisonment. She has been moved to Holloway Prison, London.

Consider sending Zelda a solidarity postcard or letter. Send it to the following address and it will be redirected
to the jail or passed on to her upon release.

Zelda Jeffers
London Catholic Worker
16 De Beauvoir Rd,
De Beauvoir Town
London N1 5SU

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author by Solidaritypublication date Mon Apr 07, 2008 08:30author address Omaha, Nebraska, USAauthor phone Report this post to the editors

Link to Dec 28, 2007 Feast of Holy Innocents Retreat and Line Crossing
at STRATCom - Offutt AFB in Omaha Report:

Dagmar Hoxsie, 76 of the Yankton Catholic Worker and John Bach, 33 of
Des Moines IA were summoned to appear in the Omaha Federal Court to
answer charges of criminal trespass steaming from their "line
crossing" at Offutt AFB - the home of STRATCom - the most dangerous
place on the planet . This is
a misdemeanor charge that carries a maximum penalty of six months in
jail and a $5.000 fine.

Dagmar and John were part of the annual Feast of the Holy Innocents
Retreat that takes place in Omaha which ends with a witness and line
crossing at the main gate of Offutt AFB on Dec 28th - the day the
Catholic Church remembers the children killed by King Herod in the
Gospel of Matthew story of the birth of Jesus.

On Wednesday April 2nd they appeared before Federal Magistrate Judge
Gossett in Federal Magistrate Court in Omaha NE. They were both found
guilty of criminal tresspass. Both were given probation and fines for
their crossing the line unto the property line at Offutt AFB. John
plead guilty and was given a $100 fine and two years probation. Dagmar
plead "no contest", found guilty and was given a $200 fine and two
year probation.

Both John and Damgar were represented Chuck Hannon, an attorney and
Catholic Deacon from Council Bluffs IA to represent them. Chuck has
done this service for Offutt protesters for a number of years now, at no charge.

author by Ciaron - Catholic Workerpublication date Tue Apr 08, 2008 07:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Four Catholic Workers - Maria & Scott Albrecht (Farmhouse), Sr. Susan Clarkson (Oxford) and Fr. Martin Newell (London) go to court Wed April 8th. at Watford. The four were arrested on the "Feast of the Holy Innocents" 28/11/08 after enhancing the sign at Northwood Military HQ on the outskirts of London full report

Northwood, located on the outskirts of London, is the headquarters for all British forces deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Catholic Worker has sustained nonviolent resistance at the headquarters since the initial bombing of Afghanistan in 2001. Scot Albrecht, a former member of the U.S. Air Force sustained a weekly vigil at the Base gates preceding this action on Dec 28th. Many of the troops on guard duty at the base are veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan,

Related Link:
author by Ciaron - Ploughshares/Catholic Workerpublication date Mon Apr 21, 2008 07:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In June 2007, five Christian peace activists (Sarah Williams, Simon
Reeves, Carole Powell, Krystal Spencer and Simon Moyle) were arrested
while protesting Australia/US war games in Shoalwater Bay Military
Training Area in central Queensland, Australia. In August one pleaded
guilty to the Commonwealth trespassing charge, and four pleaded not
guilty; they go to trial Thursday April 24 .

"Currently, this week I join 3 other Christians from Melbourne who
will face court in Yeppoon, QLD. We have been charged with trespassing
on Commonwealth land during the 2007 Operation Talisman Saber "war
games" hosted biannually in Australia. This involves approx 30,000
Australian and U.S. troops practicing 'interoperability.' We walked
down the tarmac of Samuel Hill airbase with a frisbee. a letter for
the Generals of both armies and a peace flag with the message "we want
to practice for peace and not war." We spent approx 1 1/2 hours in the
hangar of the base discussing the Iraq war with the soldiers and the
use of depleted uranium, we talked about their lives and broke down
the barriers that we usually experienced when behind the fence with
blank faces staring at us. When we were eventually taken off the base
I could see large tanks and soldiers in the bush who had to stop for a
couple of hours whilst we were on the base. Our presence highlighted
to the military that it was possible to enter (as the base is the size
of Belgium) and that our other friends were on the base. Until then it
was denied."
Sarah Williams

This link is where you will find
the latest news including what happened, various musings from the
group about their experiences, any court developments that will
subsequently happen, and news related to saving Shoalwater Bay.

Related Link:
author by Margaretpublication date Fri Apr 25, 2008 08:15author address Queensland, Australiaauthor phone Report this post to the editors

1) Catholic Workers Jim Dowling, Lisa Bridle and Sean O'Reilly occupy Raytheon Office in Brisbane, Australia

2) Samuel Hil Four Found Guilty in Rockhamtpon for
Tresspass at U.S./Oz Military Exercise Operation Talsman Sabre 07

Are the Frisbee 4 Ordinary People?

The verdict in the court case for the Samuel Hill 4, basically came down to the question: Are they ORDINARY people?

The sitting magistrate Ms Baldwin quoted Justice Brennan in rejecting a plea of not guilty and finding the 4 did not have ‘lawful excuse’ for being on the Shoalwater Base. [warning loose quoting ahead] Brennan had said“Lofty aspirations should not be confused with rule of law” and “it is essential to separate the functions of court and government”. I think Brennan had been trying to intimate you can't influence public policy through the court system.

The 4 defendants made an excellent case that they were not attempting to 'influence public policy" but to interfere directly in the "social harms created when people are given skills and knowledge and tactics for mid to hight intensity combat" [Simon Reeves]. Mr Simon Moyle said: "Training for war creates more war; training for peace creates peace".

Like the Pine Gap 4 and others before them, the 4 attempted to convince the magistrate that they had a legitimate purpose in being there: to prevent GREATER HARMS.

The magistrate first addressed the defence under 10.3 of the Commonwealth criminal code: the idea that the 4 had an extraordinary emergency that gave them reason to be on the tarmac stopping the training and skilling in combat methods. She did however say in relation to the defence that “in the circumstances [she] would be prepared to find that [the reasons they were there] were extraordinary”.

But she didn’t think that it was ‘reasonable’ that they were there. Perhaps “subjectively”; but according to her “objective” test their actions were not reasonable.. She said she needed and “objective assessment of reasonability." Quoting from Mr Justice Gallop in the case “Mark and Henshaw” she said “the critical issue [is] not the appellants belief or state of mind...[but] will come from an objective assessment ...[which] requires application of community standards ...[as to] whether the conduct is acceptable to the community.”

Earlier she had invoked the “man on the Clapham bus” as the standard of ordinary set by some English judge sometime. [I’ll come back to that]

But now she discussed the “ultimate impact of a breach of law on the community standards”. she implied that such breaches of law went against “community standards”. She pointed out that that the people involved in Talisman Sabre were also entitled to the protection of the law.

Ms Baldwin said “I believe all four defendants believed that what they were doing was reasonable but on an objective test could not be seen to be reasonable.”

She also addressed 10.4 of the criminal code: the idea that Samuel Hill 4 were compelled to intervene in the training and skilling of people in violent methods [war games] in defence of others who would otherwise be subject to great harm. She said that none of the defendants was ultimately able to show imminent peril and therefore she “must determine reasonability in relation to community standards. She again thought that community standards didn’t yet extend to “allowing breach of the law” and this was “not withstanding the method of execution through nonviolence.”

Margaret's Comment

So were they ordinary people? Each of the 4 thought they were pretty ordinary. Simon Reeves claimed to use bikes [he also has a bike he said!] But apparently it is not ordinary in our society to listen to the stories of people around you and then translate that to behaviours that intervene in the unjust acts that you hear about in those narratives.

Personally I thought they were pretty extraordinary not withstanding their use of buses and rather lowly jobs in the outer suburbs of Melbourne.

I thought they were extraordinary because of the way they engaged intellectually with the legal material, the way they showed respect and love in the court room, the way they spoke clearly and brilliantly about why they did what they did. I loved how they summoned Gandhi and King and John Dear and Dorothy Day - yay.

From Simon Moyle’s evocation of the nonviolent Jesus.; Chrystal Spencer's bold solidarity with Indigenous Australians and their Country; Sarah’s appeal that they were “everyday Australians armed with another message : ‘Love at All Costs’; Simon Reeves’ argument about concerning the 3 harms of Talisman Sabre and his own compulsion to intervene in those harms on humanity and the Earth each person was particularly lovely there in the court room. Each participant spoke thoughtfully from the heart and with the Spirit of God shining forth.

Blessed Be.

Margaret Pestorius

author by Court Reportpublication date Fri Apr 25, 2008 16:21author address Rockhampton, queensland, Australiaauthor phone Report this post to the editors

Court Report on this link

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author by Patrick O'Neill - Raleigh Catholic Workerpublication date Mon Apr 28, 2008 08:21author address Raleigh, North Carolina, USAauthor phone Report this post to the editors

Outnumbered 500 to 1, a small band of jittery peace activists from
throughout the Triangle attempted to march in today's "Salute to Our
Troops" parade in downtown Raleigh. From the get go it was clear that
the bankers, the Pentagon, the news media, the police and thousands of
pro-war spectators were of one mind as they encountered our group
marching behind a banner stating "Don't Celebrate War."

Led by a group of Veterans for Peace (with their banner), the 20 or
so activists attempted to march in the parade seconds after four F-15E
Strike Eagles passed overhead to wild cheering from the crowd along
Fayetteville St. Police immediately interdicted the group while the
cameramen from WRAL TV averted their cameras so as to not report the
story. To my knowledge not one peace activist was interviewed by a
television station despite the fact that TV reporters often go out of
their way at our events to find naysayers.

The Raleigh Police were very rough, often shoving us and not stopping
people who kept taking our placards away and tearing them up. One cop
told me I had provoked the person who tore my "Jesus Said: Love Your
Enemies" sign in half. I also had my "Gods of Metal Won't Save Us"
sign ripped out of my hands in front of a cop. Many people took and
read Cy King's fine "WHY WE ARE HERE -- WHY WE MOURN" leaflet that
explained our presence.

"The parade today is more about showing off the weapons of war than
the tragedy of war," Cy wrote. "A more fitting tribute would be to
have a parade of those in wheelchairs and on crutches followed by a
demand that a sad but grateful nation provide the ongoing care that
these young people will need."

When a man covered my Love Your Enemy placard with his US Flag, the
Morgan St. crowd let out a roar of approval. It was clearly a
"You're-with-us-or-with-the-terrorists crowd today. Lots of "Love it
or Leave It" and "Go Back to Chapel Hill" comments; not much 1st
Amendment consideration.

Police monitored us closely, but Daniel Foster, a UNC-G student from
Fuquay-Varina walked onto Morgan St. and laid down in front of a very
large armored vehicle, bringing the parade to a stop. Daniel was
arrested for disorderly conduct. Peace folks scraped together his
$1,000 bond, and got Daniel out of the Wake County Jail by 3 p.m. He
has a May 29 Wake District Court date.

I did have an opportunity to tell Sen. Elizabeth Dole and NC Bankers
Association CEO Thad Woodard that I disagreed with them for promoting
a war parade. A few people nodded their heads in agreement at our
presence, but idolatry ruled the day as stern-faced soldiers marched
in formation behind many war vehicles as the throngs of spectators
screamed for joy at this massive show of force.

It was disheartening that the peace community was so poorly
represented at perhaps the largest-ever pro-war gathering in Raleigh.
I am thankful for those who turned out to break the unanimity at an
event that shamelessly glorified US domination through violence and

In Peace,
Patrick O'Neil
Garner Catholic Worker House
Raleigh, North Carolina, USA

author by Patrick O'Neill - Raleigh Catholic Workerpublication date Sat May 03, 2008 08:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This is a 9-minute video from last Saturday's "Salute to Our Troops"
Parade in Raleigh.

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author by Ciaron - Catholic Worker/Plowsharespublication date Thu Jun 19, 2008 17:41author address from Worcesteer, Mass, USAauthor phone Report this post to the editors

Five Catholic Workers are before the Courts in Worcester, Mass. for an anti-war occupation of their local Federal Building. Defendants include Scott Schaeffer-Duffy who attended the first Pitstop Ploughshares trial 03 in Dublin. Further report on court case on this link....

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author by 15,000 arrests in U.S. since 2002publication date Fri Jun 20, 2008 02:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There have been over 15,000 arrests in the U.S. for resistance to war since 2002. There were large numbers right after the run up to and invasion of Iraq. Recently, arrests have begun climbing again. Though arrests are a small part of anti-war organizing, their rise is an indicator of increasing resistance..............................

author by Californiapublication date Sun Jul 27, 2008 14:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

On July 17, Redwood City Catholic Worker, Larry Purcell, and Bay area
resident, Ed Ehmke, appeared for sentencing in Santa Barbara Federal
Court for their March 2nd witness (crossing the green line) at
Vandenberg AFB as part of the annual Pacific Life Community (PLC)

After giving their statements, Magistrate Rita Coyne-Federman
handed both resisters one day sentences with credit for time served.
No fines or court assessments were levied.

Both walked out of court
without jail time. On May 15, Ed's wife, Mary Jane, accepted a $250.
Fine for the same action. To read both Mary Jane and Ed's court
statements visit:

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author by Des Moinespublication date Tue Sep 02, 2008 22:05author address Des Moines, Iowa, USAauthor phone Report this post to the editors

Kirk Brown, Chet Guinn, and DMCWer' Mona Shaw and Ed Bloomer will go
on trial, beginning September 24, 2008, in the Polk County Courthouse
in Des Moines, Iowa. The four have pleaded not guilty to the charge
of criminal trespassing. They and their attorney, Sally Frank, will
argue that they followed the letter of the law in attempting to arrest
Karl Rove. It will be a jury trial. Friends and supporters are
welcome to attend the trial.

A link to Mike Gillespie's article that appeared recently in
Washington Report magazine about the arrest may be found at this link.

More information about the arrest may be found on the Des Moines
Catholic Worker website at this link.

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