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Search words: nort...hwood

LONDON - Catholic Worker Anti-War Resistance at Northwood HQ on the "Feast of Holy Innocents" (D29)

category international | anti-war / imperialism | news report author Thursday December 30, 2010 11:26author by lcw - London Catholic Worker Report this post to the editors

NORTHWOOD PERMANENT JOINT HEADQUARTERS (British Military)
http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/AboutDefence/WhatWeDo...s.htm

Catholic Workers from St Francis House/ Oxford, Farmhouse/ Rickmansworth http://www.thecatholicworkerfarm.org/
and Giuseppe Conlon House/ London communities www.londoncatholicworker.org were joined by 20 anti-war activists, in solidarity with the imprisoned Pfc Bradley Manning, http://www.bradleymanning.org/
and in resistance to the continued war on Afghanistan, at the gates of Northwood HQ/ London on Wednesday morning Dec 29th.


*Interview with Ciaron O'Reilly commences at 9 min 45 secs
into this Press TV program and concludes at 14 mins 15 secs


ACTION DESCRIPTION

The participants marked the Catholic "Feast of the Holy Innocents" while seeing the contemporary victims of imperial power as those marked for death as "collateral damage" in wars on Iraq and Afghanistan. The British components of these wars are directed from Northwood HQ, located in leafy London suburbia!

Largely ignored by the more mainstream Britiish anti-war organisations, the central warfighting role of Northwood HQ and has been addressed consistently, in word and NVDA deed, over the past decade by the Catholic Worker movement. Resistance actions have also been undertaken recently by "Justice Not Vengeance" http://www.j-n-v.org/ and in the late 90's by "Reclaim the Streets" In recent years, the cashed up military have responded to such nonviolent resistance by redesigning the entrance to the base and remodelling the "Northwood Headquarters" sign. A sign that that has been regularly "enhanced" over the years by Catholic Workers staining it with red paint - symbolic of the Iraqi and Afghani blood spilt as the result commands issued from Northwood HQ.

As a group of 20 gathered at Northwood tube station for a preliminary vigil and procession to the base, seven Catholic Workers arrived at the gates of Northwood. They were surprised to find the base sign had been removed in keeping with the military's growing awareness of the relationship between the liturgical calender and potential nonviolent resistance actions at the base! With the sign unavailable for redesign, the red paint was poured in the shape of a cross on the roadway leading into the base.

80 year old Quaker, former Britsh Army veteran and Palestinian solidarity (CPT) activist John Lyons, Sr. Susan Clarkson of the Oxford CW, London CW/ retired social worker Angela Broome, London CW/ college teacher Henrietta Cullinan, London CW/ musician David Turley and Bristol university student activist Tim Saunders took up position blockading the entrance to the base. Veteran Catholic Worker/Plowshares activist Ciaron O'Reilly wearing a photo of imprisoned U.S. Pfc Bradley Manning spontaneously scaled the base fence, slowly negotiated his way through the razor wire and leapt in to the base.

The resistance group was joined by 20 anti-war activists who had processed to the base form Northwood tube station. This group included a combat veteran of the Iraq/Iran war of the '80's, a U.S. Air Force veteran, a former Trident 2000 plowshare prisoner, members of the Catholic Worker movement, Justice not Vengeance, Trident Ploughshares, Christian CND. Speak, as well as English, Irish, Scottish, Australian, Iranian, Polish, U.S., Swedish, Dutch, Brazilian paricipants.

This larger group formed an expanded blockade of the entrance at the roadside of the entrance and for the next 90 minutes respectfully read the names of Afghan and British war dead.
* British war dead in Afghanistan
http://www.icasualties.org/oef/Nationality.aspx?hndQry=UK
* A list of some Afghan war dead
http://pubpages.unh.edu/~mwherold/memorial.htm

They were joined in the "Presente!" response; after each fatality was read out, by the six blockading the gate. O'Reilly maintained an inaccessible position inside the fence of the base for the next 90 minutes conversing with police, the combat veteran solider deployed to block any further advancement into the base and support people. An attempt by Tim Saunders to enter the base was thwarted by police. Tim was arrested taken to a police van, questioned and release rejoining the blockade line at the gate.

After 90 minutes O'Reilly made a speech form within the base, read out the statement of faith and surrendered to the military. He was taken by a soldier to the police within the base questioned and searched. The blockaders collectively read out the statement of faith and concluded their blockade. After some negotiating with the police the demonstration temporarily withdrew and O'Reill was released. This was followed by a closing circle, transportation from the site to a debrief.

STATEMENT OF FAITH & RESISTANCE

“We come here this morning, the day after the Feast of the Holy Innocents to remember, to repent, to pray and to act.

We remember the innocent children slaughtered by Herod in his pursuit of thethe child, Jesus. We also remember the innocent children slaughtered by Herod in his pursuit of the child, Jesus. We also remember all innocent victims of war, cynically defined by our government as "collateral damage", especially those in the current war on Afghanistan.

We repent the actions of our own government that have resulted in such deaths. We come in a spirit of repentance too for our own failure to live according to the teachings of Jesus, our friend and brother,"

We pray for all victims of war, civilian and military, and for those whose lives have been shattered by the violence in our world and by the policies of our government.”

We act by entering Northwood Headquarters and kneeling in prayer for an end to war and war-making. We are inspired by the nonviolent resistance emerging from within the British and U.S. miilitary. We celebrate the courage of Joe Glenton who went to a Colchester prison rather than re-deploy to Afghanistan. We pray for Private Bradley Manning presently imprisoned in the United States accused of exposing the massacre of children, parents and journalists by US forces in Iraq. We pray for the day when the skills and talents of the personnel on this base are used for peace
not destruction, and Government budgets are used for better things than
war. Our belief in nonviolent ways of enng conflict is rooted in Jesus' message oflove and non-violence that is proclaimed in his Gospel.
LOVE ONE ANOTHER

Angela H. Broome
Susan Clarkson
Henrietta Cullinan
John Lyons
Ciaron O'Reilly
Tim Saunders
David Turley

RETREAT REPORT

The action at Northwood HQ was preceed by a 36 hour "Faith and Resistance" retreat involving 30 people aged 6 months - 80, there were folks from @narchist, Anglican, Evangelical, "No Faith", Quaker, Muslim. "No Faith" and Roman Catholic traditions. There were Aussies, Brazilain, Dutch, English, Gringo, Iranian, Irish and Swedish participants. We include veterans of ANZUS (20th. anniversary this New Year's Day 2011!), Jabiluka, Jubilee 2000, Pitstop, Riverside plowshare and EDO 9 disarmament communities. Our number included veterans of the Brtiish Army, U.S. Air Force and a combat veteran of the Iraq/Iran war ogf the 1980's. Present were people nonviolent resisaters who have been incarcerated for peace & justice sake in Australia, England, Ireland, Kenya, New Zealand, Palestine, Scotland and the United States. We included academics, catholic workers, gardeners, homeless & refugee shelter workers, journalists, mathematicians, nuns, parents, priests, professional musicians, social workers, solidarity activists (Palestine, East Timor), students, teachers & techies.

The schedule included check in & introductions, a theological presentation by Scott Albrecht of the CW Farm on the "Feast of Holy Innocents" and a political presentation by Gabriel Carlyle on the "War on Afghanistan".

DONATIONS

If you couldn't be with us, but would like to financially support the gathering and nonviolent resistance you can send a cheque made out "London Catholic Worker" to
Ciaron O'Reilly "Faith & Resistance Retreat" c/- LCW 49 Mattison Rd. London N4 1BG

This would help to defray the costs of the gathering, provide transport to the gathering for some of our "time rich/ resource poor" participants, help finance our next "Faith & Resistance" rettreat in Lodnon during Easter season.

WHAT IS A "FAITH AND RESISTANCE GATHERING"

"Faith & Resistance" retreats come out of the Catholic Worker and faith based draft board raid movements of the Vetnam War period in the United States. As most people are aware, the Catholic Worker praxis is based on community building and the twin ministries of Christ - the acts of mercy and the nonviolent confrontation with the principalities, powers, governments and corporations that cause poverty, exploitation and death.

We see war preparations and making as the lynchpin in maintaining the global systems of exploItation that doom so many to homelessness, poverty, exile, early mortality and reduced to the status of "collateral damage" in the wars that sustain and expand empire. The Catholic Worker resists being boxed off as a mere charity, affirmed for its work with the homeless, it steps out to confront those who would prefer to patronise and co-opt us while continuing to cause homelessness and refugees on a massive scale. We refuse to be co-opted, "take the soup" - we choose to resist!

The Catholic Worker is quite miraculous considering how decentralised and inclusive involving people of varied and no faiths in its anti-war and homeless work. The CW movement remains coherent in word and praxis 30 years after the death of its founder Dorothy Day.

Sharon Nepstead in her recent work "Religion, War Resistance and the Plowshares Movement" (now free on the net ...)
http://www.scribd.com/doc/40408179/Religion-War-Resista...ement
..makes the observation is that it is the shared risk and praxis of solidarity through the many trials and jail sentences that has knitted and coalesced the Catholic Worker as a movement, beyond a series of atomised grouplets. This has been our experience in England ovet the past decade as our Oxford/St. Francis House, Farmhouse amd Giuseppe Conlon/ London gathered once more to pursue peace and justice collectively.

While we gathered in England others will be at silmilar F & R retreats in
..... in Washington DC
http://www.jonahhouse.org/FRDec10flyer.html

,,,,,,,,,,at STRATCom, Omaha, Nebraska
http://groups.google.com/group/National-CW-E-mail-List/...df5ef

and at the Trident nuclear weapons base near Tacoma Washington USA
http://disarmnowplowshares.wordpress.com/2010/12/23/an-...-war/

Our last "F & R" retreat in Oxford in Sept 2010 saw Sr. Susan Clarkson, Fr. Martin Newell and Chris Cole arrested cutting into Aldermaston (Nuclear) Weapons Establishment
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/97610?search_text=alder...aston

Our next F & R retreat will be in London during the Easter 2011 season
...stay tuned

Related Link: http://www.londoncatholicworker.org
author by lcwpublication date Thu Dec 30, 2010 13:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Photos, courtesy of Marcin Gulbicki... (please credit)

1prayer.jpeg

2climbing.jpeg

3free_the_northwood_1.jpeg

4prayer_front.jpeg

5coffin.jpeg

Related Link: http://www.londoncatholicworker.org
author by lcwpublication date Thu Dec 30, 2010 14:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Photos of the event, courtesy of Marcin Gulbicki (please credit)

6procession_arrives_northwood.jpeg

7ciaron_smoking.jpeg

8two_banners.jpeg

9banner_pushchair.jpeg

10tim_fence.jpeg

author by lcwpublication date Thu Dec 30, 2010 14:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Photos, courtesy of Marcin Gulbicki... (please credit)

11tim_fence2.jpeg

12scott_megaphone.jpeg

13ciaron_megaphone.jpeg

14soldier.jpeg

15ciaron_released.jpeg

author by lcwpublication date Thu Dec 30, 2010 14:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Second batch of photos, courtesy of Miriam Johansson...
(please credit if used)

1vigil.jpeg

2vigil.jpeg

3procession.jpeg

4sign.jpeg

5ciaron_out.jpeg

author by lcwpublication date Thu Dec 30, 2010 14:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Second batch of photos, courtesy of Miriam Johansson...
(please credit if used)

6leaving_j.jpeg

7leaving_a.jpeg

author by thecatholicworkerfarm - the catholic worker farmpublication date Thu Dec 30, 2010 14:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

After compromising perimeter security at Northwood HQ/ London (command centre for all British forces deployed abroad), Ciaron O'Reilly reads the 'Statement of Faith' of the Feast of Innocents 2010 action. O'Reilly is wearing a photograph of Bradley Manning presently detained in military prison in the United States accused of the WikiLeaks release of footage of a U.S. helicopter gunship massacre of unarmed journalists, civilians and children in Iraq. The speech is made as the front gate to the base is blockaded by 6 other Catholic Workers. 20 more anti-war activists have gathered at the entrance to read the names of British and Afghani war dead. The speech is made just before O'Reilly is detained by the military and handed over to the police.

RAF Warrior Military Base, Northwood, Middlesex. U.K.

Related Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQHWLC16tq4
author by bristolstudentpublication date Thu Dec 30, 2010 22:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dammit Scott don't go telling everyone!

author by DEMOTIXpublication date Fri Dec 31, 2010 04:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

DEMOTIX SLIDESHOW - (Hi Quality Photos,Youtubes) - D29 Catholic Worker NV Anti-War Resistance at Northwood HQ, London in Solidarity with Bradley Manning

http://www.demotix.com/news/546841/anti-war-activists-p...entre

YOUTUBES -

- Interview with Ciaron O'Reilly after release from custody (46 secs)
- Speech, reading of the statement by Ciaron O'Reilly while on base side of the periimiter fence preceeding surrender to the military. (3 mins 27 secs)
- Line of activists blockading the entrance to the base (57 secs)
- General footage including the reading of the names of Afghan and British war dead.
(1 min 41 secs)
- Footage of procession from Vigil at Northwood tube station to Northwood HQ (49 secs)

author by Frankpublication date Sat Jan 01, 2011 05:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

DEMOTIX SLIDESHOW YOUTUBES -

- Interview with Ciaron O'Reilly after release from custody (46 secs)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xAYLNw6DBQ&feature=play...edded

- Speech, reading of the statement by Ciaron O'Reilly while on base
side of the periimiter fence preceeding surrender to the military. (3
mins 27 secs)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKXGvoBU4wM&feature=related

- Line of activists blockading the entrance to the base (57 secs)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmB1GPcbeo8&feature=related

- General footage including the reading of the names of Afghan and
British war dead.
(1 min 41 secs)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsIFqEb7g30&feature=related

- Footage of procession from Vigil at Northwood tube station to
Northwood HQ (49 secs)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpc7dNSMg2o&feature=related

author by Frank - Des Moines Catholic Workerpublication date Sun Jan 02, 2011 05:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The 32nd annual Feast of the Holy Innocents Retreat and Witness at
STRATCOM was a low key affair by an measurement, never breaking the
double digit mark until our closing ceremony on Tuesday Dec 28th when
11 folks showed up.

It began with a reading of the Gospel of Matthew's Christmas narrative
at noon on Monday, Dec 27th at the main gate of Offutt AFB in Bellevue
NE, just south of Omaha. Offutt is the home of STRATCOM. The most
dangerous place on the planet.
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=8810
http://www.resistinc.org/newsletters/articles/stratcom-...raska

After the reading of Matthew's Christmas narrative we got in our cars
and re- gathered in the basement of St John's Church on the campus of
Creighton University. We spent the next 22 hours renewing old
friendships, building links of solidarity and community with
each-other, telling stories of Christmases passed and reflecting on
the meaning of it all - in our personal lives and in the nation we
live. Meals were prepared by folks at the Omaha CW. Mass was
celebrated by Fr Jim Murphy on Tuesday a.m. in the basement chapel at
St John's right before we headed out to the base.

After Mass we returned the the main entrance of Offutt AFB for our
annual presence.

It was a simple, poignant, very humble, seemingly unnoticed presence.
Given the reality of what takes place at Offutt and the mission of
STRATCOM - our efforts surely felt pathetic. Not much different from
the impression the first Christmas made on world scene.

Yankton CWer Mike Sprong began with reading Mathew's Christmas story,
than sharing how this years Feast of Holy Innocents Witness marked the
30th Anniversary of his first act of civil disobedience by his
crossing the line at Offutt in this very spot on Dec 28, 1980. Mike
said he was one of the youngest people gathered at Offutt in 1980. He
was also the youngest person gathered this year at the base....

The whole effort at the gate took no more than 20 minutes, most of
which was captured in the two below video links.

8 1/2 min Video - Mike Sprong reading the Mathew Christmas Text, than
sharing how this years Feast of Holy Innocents witness at Offutt
marked the 30th Anniversary of his first act of civil disobedience by
crossing the line at Offutt on Dec 28, 1980. This clips ends with Fr
Jim Murphy's brief comments. Video by Mark Welsch - NFP Omaha
coordinator. :
http://www.facebook.com/NebraskansforPeace#!/video/video.php?v=490360528489

7 min Video - Elaine Wells, Dagmar Hoxzie, Denny Davis share briefly
and close witness with singing Christmas carols. Video by Mark Welsch
- NFP Omaha coordinator. :
http://www.facebook.com/NebraskansforPeace#!/video/video.php?v=490371988489

Link to 7 photos taken by Mark Welsch - NFP Omaha coordinator.
http://www.facebook.com/NebraskansforPeace#!/photo.php?fbid=10150093262494241&set=a.10150093262319241.268567.118178884240&pid=5668448&id=118178884240

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