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anti-war / imperialism |
Monday April 25, 2011 06:05 by Frank Cordaro - Des Moines/ Iowa Catholic Worker.... visiting London
LONDON -Good Friday Resistance: 3 CWers Arrested at 10 Downing St. - "Stop the Crucifixion of Bradley Manning, Iraq and Afghanistan!"
Flickr Slide Show of 2011 Good Fri. Stations of the Cross in London England
Flickr Slide Show of 3 Catholic Workers Arrested at 10 Downing St - 2011 Good Fri.
LONDON -Good Friday Resistance: 3 CWers Arrested at 10 Downing St. - "Stop the Crucifixion of Bradley Maning, Iraq and Afghanistan!"
Report by Frank Cordaro
Photos by Brendan
Three Catholic Workers (CWers) were arrested after they breached the security gate at the
entrance of 10 Downing St. in London, the home of the UK Prime
Minister in a "Free Bradley Manning" Protest. The three arrested were
Steve Jacobs of the Columbia MO CW, Frank Cordaro of the Des Moines IA
CW and Ciaron O'Reilly of the London CW.
The witness took concluded the annual Good Friday Stations of the
Cross organized by the London CW, the London CW Farm and the Oxford
CW. In the introduction to the booklet prepared for this years
Stations, the CW'ers note that Christians around the world remember
that Jesus was crucified, suffered and died to show God's love for us
on this day. CW'ers believe that Christ continues to be condemned and
crucified today, in those who suffer as a result of:
The Arms Trade – which crucifies the poor.
Climate Change - which crucifies creation.
War – which crucifies the innocent.
Torture – which is a form of crucifixion.
Nuclear Weapons – which threaten to destroy the earth
International Debt – which is like the burden of the cross to the poor.
Homelessness – which reveals the ragged face of the crucified Christ.
Immigration Policy-which condemns the innocent people fleeing
persecution, poverty and violence.
To highlight each of these forms of modern day crucifixions a
“Geography of Suffering” was mapped out in the heart of London. Using
the scripture reflections of Fr Emmanuel Charles McCarthy of the
Center for Christian Nonviolence's Stations of the Cross as a
template, 15 sites within walking distance were mapped out to
correspond to the 15 traditional Stations of the Cross.
Starting with the first station at 10 Downing Street, a procession of
20 people moved to the Ministry of Defense building, the Dept. of
Energy and Climate Change offices, the arms dealer Matra BAE Dynamics
Alenia headquarters, the Foreign Office, the Parliament, the Milbank –
home of the Committees on Arms Export Controls, the Security Service
MI-5 building, a Home Office building – responsible for immigration
control, former headquarter offices of Lockheed Martin – arms
manufacture, the headquarters of Qinetiq – a British global defense
technology company, offices of Rolls Royce – its military contract
branch, the Defense and Security Organization offices, the Treasury
Office and ending back at 10 Downing St.
When the group returned to 10 Downing Street. Ciaron O'Reilly made his
way to the front of the crowd of tourists, close to the security
gate. Frank Cordaro and Steve Jacobs followed close behind. At the
same time a London police security officer open the security gate to
let a car out of the Prime Ministers compound. That was all Ciaron,
Frank and Steve needed to slip past the security officer and set up
their protest inside the security space separating the public and the
Prime Ministers compound. (Stroke of luck? Act of God? There are no
What followed was a 40 minute stand off between the London police and
the three CW'ers. The time was not wasted. As soon as it was clear
that the police were not going to remove the three CW'ers immediately,
Ciaron started doing what he is know best for - “Soap Box” speaking.
As hundreds of tourists made there way past the site, Ciaron started
to inform them of why we were holding our protest to free Bradley
Manning. When he stopped Frank and Steve stepped in to fill in with
the public education moment, with help from NYC CW'er Carmen Trotta
and Oxford CW'er Sr Susan Clarkson.
At one point Frank was able to read the Gospel of Mark's Good Friday
account – stopping to remind the crowds were Jesus was being tortured
in the text.
Through out the stand off, different London police officers tried to
negotiate with Frank, Steve and Ciaron to remove themselves from the
site, informing them that they were illegaly occupying space that
could get them arrested and taken off to jail. All three CW'ers told
the officers that they were perfectly aware of the possibility of
arrest and jail and that despite this they were not going to remove
Armed police showed up immediately, followed by a couple of vans of
Police repeatedly informed Steve, Frank and Ciaron that they were
going to be placed under arrest.
The 40 minute stand off concluded when the three CW'ers were escorted
away from the prime ministers residence. All three were taken across
the street, questioned and released – no charges as yet been made.
For more info and updates contact:
London Catholic Worker
londoncatholicworker AT yahoo.co.uk
London CW Farm
Phone: (44) (0)1923 777201 Mobile: (+44) 07983 477819
E-mail: thecatholicworkerfarm AT yahoo.co.uk