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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
http://www.wsm.ie/c/dublin-protest-war-criminal-tony-blair

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 http://www.craftech.com/~dcpledge/brandywine/plow/webpa...8.htm 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 http://www.craftech.com/~dcpledge/brandywine/plow/webpa...S.htm 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" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5UWcjDNnmM 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" http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/934604446/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" http://www.cambridge.org/us/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isb...17670 . 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 http://www.craftech.com/~dcpledge/brandywine/plow/webpa...S.htm

Jabiluka Plowshares http://www.craftech.com/~dcpledge/brandywine/plow/webpa...S.htm

Pit Stop Ploughshares http://www.craftech.com/~dcpledge/brandywine/plow/pit_s...s.htm

We also heard firsthand the insights and experiences of
-Chris Cole who shared from his BAE plowshare witness http://www.craftech.com/~dcpledge/brandywine/plow/webpa...S.htm

-Fr. Martin Newell from the Jubilee Ploughshares http://www.craftech.com/~dcpledge/brandywine/plow/webpa...0.htm

-Susan Clarkson from the Riverside Plowshares
http://www.craftech.com/~dcpledge/brandywine/plow/river...s.htm

Following lunch we were joined by Brian Larkin from Trident Ploughshares http://www.tridentploughshares.org/index.php3 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 competition...it's pretty hard to beat the professionalism and onstage presence of "Lovers Electric" who have just signed with a German label. Check them out..... http://www.loverselectric.com/flash.html

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 http://www.indymedia.ie/article/97586 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
http://vcnv.org/vcnv-calendar/put-drone-warfare-on-tria...ch-14

Disarm Now Plowshares have been recently indicted by a Federal Grand Jury in Washington state
http://www.jonahhouse.org/DNPindictment.htm

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....
http://ljud.wordpress.com/2010/09/06/to-speak-truth-to-...ower/

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

 #   Title   Author   Date 
   "Faith and Resistance" in Oxford 2010     The Catholic Worker Farm    Wed Sep 08, 2010 15:54 
   "Faith and Resistance" in Oxford 2010     The Catholic Worker Farm    Wed Sep 08, 2010 15:57 
   Not Catholic, Not Worker..Bristol Nick's Reflections     Nick    Wed Sep 08, 2010 17:01 
   LINK to Photos and Video - U.S. Celebration of 30th. Anniversary of Plowshares 8 at King of Prussia,     U.S. Plowshares    Fri Sep 17, 2010 13:29 
   Catholic Workers & Friends Blockade Groundbreaking at New Nuke Bomb Factory Kansas City, USA     Frank    Fri Sep 17, 2010 17:15 
   Nuke Bomb Factory Resisters go to Court in Kansas City, USA     Kansas City    Sat Oct 09, 2010 08:08 
   Des Moines Catholic Workers Released     DMCW    Sun Oct 10, 2010 09:04 
   "Hurry and Wait" for Catholic Workers at Newbury Court House today!     Ciaron    Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:36 
   Update form court     the woife    Thu Jan 06, 2011 14:08 
 10   ENGLAND-Catholic Workers given hearing date for Aldermaston(AWE)Break in -May 24th (Bob Dylan's 70th     TrialHearingDate    Thu Jan 06, 2011 21:36 


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