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ENGLAND - "Faith & Resistance" - At Aldermaston on 30th. Anniversay of Plowshares

category international | anti-war / imperialism | news report author Wednesday September 08, 2010 15:04author by Ciaron O'Reilly Report this post to the editors

A Report (with lotsa links) by Ciaron O'Reilly

A few months ago the Catholic Worker network in England decided to embark on a series of "Faith and Resistance Retreats" as a basis of nonviolently confronting the war & the war machine and deepening our broader sense of community beyond our specific projects & living/working situations. The first was timed to mark the 30th. anniversary of the original Plowshares 8 action and to nonviolently confront Britain's ongoing production and refinement of nuclear weapons at Aldermaston.

As we gathered in Oxford last Saturday, word was coming through from Dublin that all wasn't going well for the Tony Blair autobiography book launch tour. The author was being greeted with a hailstorm of eggs, shoes and dissent.
See here for photos and footage

It sounds like it was an egg splat heard around the world. It has nourished a mass nonviolent movement in England & beyond of moving the Blair's bio into the "crime section" of whatever book store you find it in and has directly lead to the cancellation of the London leg of his tour slated for Picadilly this week.

We were gathering in Oxford to celebrate the 30th. annivesary of the Ploughshares 8 who enfleshed the prophecy of Isaiah September 9th. 1980 at the General Electric factory in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. G.E. were working on a first strike nuclear delivery system at the time. U.S. friends are returning to the site this week which is now owned by Lockheed Martin and still developing weapons of mass destruction

We were hosted in Oxford by Stephen Hancock of the Upper Heyford Ploughshares in a house once owned by the celebrated English author Graham Greene

On Saturday evening we sat down to a film recounting the Catonsville 9 draft board raid in 1968 "Investigation of a Flame" The Plowshares movement was very much influenced by the draft board raids of the Vietnam War period. We look forward to a more expansive & detailed documentary "Hit and Stay"
on this movement that should be released later this year. I think one of the major lessons drawn by the Plowshares movement from these earlier experiments with prophetic resistance is that community makes nonviolent resistance viable and sustainable

By Sunday morning our numbers included Australian, Dutch, English, Irish, Malaysian Swedish and U.S. folks, Catholic Workers, students, lecturers, musicians, mothers, fathers, priest, supporters of Totenham, Villa, Wednesday, Man United, Oxford F.C. and some people (believe it or not) with no interest at all in football!

We celebrated mass outside and this was followed by a go around and a check in - of introductions and how we felt presently about the war and the war machine and the potential for resistance to it. The general feeling was distress with the general disengagement with the war and gratitude that we could gather together to facilitate some resistance.

We then gathered in the rotunda for a talk on the Plowshares movement. I gave a talk using the academic work on the movement undertaken by Sharon Nepstead "Religion and War in the Plowshares Movement" . Based on surveys and interviews with plowshares activists, this is a fine objective look at the plowshares movement from the outside in and I can't recommend it highly enough. THIS IS A REALLY REALLY IMPORTANT BOOK! It is particularly good on the problems, and otherwise, of transfering the Plowshares actions outside the U.S. context. I also shared from personal experiences with three plowshares communities on 3 continents in which I have participated.

ANZUS Plowshares

Jabiluka Plowshares

Pit Stop Ploughshares

We also heard firsthand the insights and experiences of
-Chris Cole who shared from his BAE plowshare witness

-Fr. Martin Newell from the Jubilee Ploughshares

-Susan Clarkson from the Riverside Plowshares

Following lunch we were joined by Brian Larkin from Trident Ploughshares who brought us up to speed on what is happening at the nearby Aldermaston Atomic Weapons Establishment. The news is not good! We also heard more about where the Trident Ploughshares movement is at 14 years into their struggle to rid Britain of nuclear weapons.

We then broke up into action and solidarity groups to prepare for Monday at Aldermaston.
The day ended with a cabaret in the rotunda. Although Bristol Nick's Dylan/Rovics covers,
Martin's unaccompanied rendition of very early Tom Jones, Miriam's poetry and Soo Tian's Seeger cover offered stiff's pretty hard to beat the professionalism and onstage presence of "Lovers Electric" who have just signed with a German label. Check them out.....

By Monday evening a group of us were gathered at Newbury Police station to welcome out Susan, Martin and Chris. They return to court in mid-December as the Attorney General decides whether the will be charged under the SOCPA anti-terror legislation. They had cut their way into Aldermason nuclear bomb factory The rest of us had gathered at the gate to reflect on the nature of this demonic locale and what nonviolent resistance we can offer to it.

Meanwhile good friends Kathy Kelly, John Dear and other fine folk are before the courts in Nevada September 14th. for their resistance to drone warfare

Disarm Now Plowshares have been recently indicted by a Federal Grand Jury in Washington state

The rhythym of nonviolent resistance and solidarity continues. It is our only hope against the escalating war and the war machine.

*For a photo of Chris, Susan and Martin arrested at Aldermaston and a group photo of the Faith & Resistance Retreat. Scroll down the following blog....

Related Link:
author by The Catholic Worker Farmpublication date Wed Sep 08, 2010 15:54Report this post to the editors

"Faith and Resistance" in Oxford 2010

"Faith and Resistance" in Oxford 2010
"Faith and Resistance" in Oxford 2010

author by The Catholic Worker Farmpublication date Wed Sep 08, 2010 15:57Report this post to the editors

"Faith and Resistance" in Oxford 2010

Disarmament Gate
Disarmament Gate


author by Nickpublication date Wed Sep 08, 2010 17:01Report this post to the editors

Not Catholic, Not Worker..Bristol Nick's Reflections

author by U.S. Plowsharespublication date Fri Sep 17, 2010 13:29Report this post to the editors

LINK to Photos and Video - U.S. Celebration of 30th. Anniversary of Plowshares 8 at King of Prussia, Pennsylvania

author by Frankpublication date Fri Sep 17, 2010 17:15author address Kansas City, Missouri, USAReport this post to the editors

Flickr photo slide show of Sept 8, 2010 - 8 Arrested at KC N-Plant


KCUR 89.3 FM Public Radio KC MO interview of Jay Coghlan, executive
director of Nuclear Watch New Mexico

New Honeywell Nuclear Weapons Plant (Up to Date, 9-9-2010) Recently,
politicians, workers and others attended a groundbreaking ceremony at
Honeywell's new nuclear weapons plant that will replace the current
one at the Bannister Federal Complex.

There's no doubt that the plant has an economic impact on Kansas City.
About 2,600 employees will work at the $687 plant, but what does the
new plant bring to Kansas City that the old plant didn't, and more
importantly, why are we still building nuclear weapons in a day and
age when countries are trimming - not expanding - their nuclear

Steve Kraske talked with Jay Coghlan, executive director of Nuclear
Watch New Mexico and others about the plant, how its non-nuclear
components manufacturing line interfaces with the nuclear parts plants
in other regions of the country, what the plant means to Kansas City's
economy, and why so many people favor construction of the plant.

author by Kansas Citypublication date Sat Oct 09, 2010 08:08Report this post to the editors

The Kansas City Star

Anti-nuclear protesters go to court, then city hall

author by DMCWpublication date Sun Oct 10, 2010 09:04Report this post to the editors

DMCWers Ed Bloomer and Frank Cordaro were arrested and charged with
disorderly conduct after disrupting a KC MO City Council meeting on
the afternoon of Thursday Oct 7th. After spending 22 hours in the KC
police 'bull pin" with 50 other 'guest', with nothing but a cement
floor to sleep on, three meals of baloney sandwiches, no medical
personal on site and no meds, Bloomer and Cordaro joined 66 others (16
women added to the group) for Jail Court at 9 a.m. Friday Oct 8th. The
two DMCWers plead guilty to a close circuit TV Judge, in the room next
to the holding cell where they spent their night. With help from our
attorney Henry Stoever, the TV Judge gave us time served and we were
finally set free at 3:30 p.m. Below is NCR Joshua McElwee's account of
the confusing events that took place Thursday Sept 8. Further down is
a summery of the different sentencing outcomes for all 14 defendants.

Plus check out these links to the KC Star article
and the Nuclear Resister Felice Cohen-Joppa's Common dreams article FC)


Oct. 8, 2010 - National Catholic Reporter
Opposing nuclear weapons plant, activists arrested at city meeting

author by Ciaron - Giuseppe Conlon House/ London Catholic Workerpublication date Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:36Report this post to the editors

Ploughshares activists Chris Cole, Sr. Susan Clarkson from St. Francis House/ Oxford Catholic Worker and Fr. Martin Newell from Giuseppe Conlon House/ London Catholic Worker are presently in Newbury Court for a plea hearing. They are charged under SOCPA legislation with "criminal damage" and "criminal trespass".

Charges arise out of their Sept '09 actions at Alderemaston (nuclear) Weapons Establishment (AWE).

Latest report states that today's proceedings have been held up due to Ministry of Defense forgetting to bring papers to court. MOD have gone to fetch them. So it's "hurry up and wait" down at the old Newbury court house presently.

author by the woifepublication date Thu Jan 06, 2011 14:08Report this post to the editors

Latest conversation I had, they'd broken for lunch, still no sign of MOD Plod...

author by TrialHearingDatepublication date Thu Jan 06, 2011 21:36Report this post to the editors

ENGLAND - Catholic Workers given hearing date for Aldermaston (AWE) Break in - May 24th (Bob Dylan's 70th.!)

Ploughshares activists Chris Cole ("BAE Ploughshares" 1993), Sr. Susan Clarkson ("Riverside Plowshares" 2003) from St. Francis House/ Oxford Catholic Worker and Fr. Martin Newell ("Jubilee 2000 Ploughshares") from Giuseppe Conlon House/ London Catholic Worker appeared in Newbury Court for a plea hearing Thursday January 6th..

The three are charged under SOCPA legislation with "criminal damage" and "criminal trespass".

Charges arise out of their Sept '09 actions at Aldermaston (nuclear) Weapons Establishment (AWE).

Father of three Chris Cole, Sr. Susan Clarkson and Fr. Martin have been given
a hearing court date of 24th May. Bob Dylan’s 70th! (the old 3 score and 10!)

..........must be a good sign!

Here's "License to Kill" going out to Sr. Susan a big Dylan fan!

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