On February 13th, Ash Wednesday, a number of Catholic Workers were among over 100 people went to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to call for and pray for repentance from the sin of the possession and threat of use of Trident, the British nuclear weapons system of mass destruction. As part of the liturgy, 5 CWs (Mirjam Johanssen, Henrietta Cullinan, John Lynes, Martin Newell and Scott Albrecht) marked the walls of the MoD with blessed charcoal. See pictures below. There were no arrests.
The witness continued on the Monday of Holy Week: `Cleansing of the Temple Monday', when Martin Newell returned to mark the walls again. He was arrested, charged and bailed. On returning to Whitehall on Maundy Thursday for the CW organised `Stations of the Cross of Non-Violent Love', Martin was arrested for breach of bail conditions, detained for 2 days and re-bailed at Westminster Magistrates Court on Holy Saturday March 30th.
Photo of Martin Newell being arrested at the Ministry of Defence, Whitehall, London. The words say God Says Disarm Trident Nuclear Bombs - Trident = Death Machine - God is Peace and Love
On April 10th Martin went to Westminster Magistrates Court for a plea hearing. He pleaded `not guilty', while agreeing that he had written on the MoD walls as described. On agreeing the evidence, and due to the District Judge's reading of English legal precedent (the case of Jones), interpreted to mean that he had no legal defence, the case was heard that day. The Judge gave Martin plenty of time to give his evidence, during which Martin said that despite this reading of the law, he did not believe he had done anything wrong. And that since `mass destruction' was the worst thing that could possibly happen, if it was the case that preparation for such an act (and such preparation is on-going at the MoD) was not a crime, then the word `crime' has been emptied of meaning. He urged the court to act on conscience and acquit him. Martin was found guilty and given a conditional discharge, and costs and compensation of 205 pounds to pay, which he has no intention of paying.
Saturday morning @narcho-refugee football is back!!!
Last week's lineup included folks from Africa, Australia, England, Germany, Nowray,
Sweden, Ukraine, Uzbekistan
Anarcho-football back on
5 May 2013
Anarcho refugee football resuming is resuming at a new venue: Chestnut Park, Harringey. Kick-off is every Saturday at 10am. This is a resumption of the weekly game that ran in Finsbury Park for over 12 months.
Bradley's on trial for us, We're on the streets for him!
Vigil for Bradley Manning today at 1700hrs, US EMBASSY, GROSVENOR SQUARE, LONDON. Join us at the US Embassy whilst we
play audio (30mins) of Bradley Manning's courtroom statement .The vigil will be
followed by reflections and information sharing. Placards will be brought but please
feel free to make or bring your own. BOND STREET tube. INFO: BEN 07866 559 312
We have a bunch of events to which all are welcome:
Palm Sunday - March 24th - Faith and Resistance Reflection Day
Email us, or telephone 020 8 348 8212, if you are interested in coming.
Susan Clarkson (Oxford CW) will speak about her recent trip to Afghanistan and Ciaron O'Reilly will lead reflections on Palm Sunday scriptures, resistance to empire and solidarity.
Stations of the Cross of Non-Violent Love
around the 'Geography of Suffering' in central London. Thursday March 28th (Holy Thursday)
Starting 12noon opposite Downing Street , will finish between 4pm and 5pm.
Our prayer and witness will be based around using the stations of the cross written by Emanuel Charles McCarthy, and reflections on our context and location. For more information, read this.
Easter Monday, April 1st: Some of us will be going to Aldermaston for a CND and Action AWE protest:
We will be at Tadley Gate, which is the 'Faith Gate', from 12noon - 2pm.
There are coaches going from London and elsewhere. For more info, read this.
on April 27th,
'Ground the Drones' protest:
some of us will be going to this Stop the War organised event
at RAF Waddington near Lincoln, where British drones are being controlled from.
There are coaches going from London.
For more info go here.
17 Mar 2013
Lots has been going on lately but the webmaster has been on sabattical so it's time for a round-up.
Bradley Manning's 1,000th. day in U.S. military
custody was marked in solidarity actions in 70 cities around the world on Saturday
Feb 23rd. On that morning activists moved around central London from Trafalgar Square to
Buckingham Palace staging Bradley Manning solidarity vigils and distributing
Vigils of solidarity with Assange have been ongoing at the Ecuadorean embassy. You can see recent pictures of six months of solidarity.
The video below chronicles the return of Deirdre Clancy and Ciaron O'Reilly of the Pitstop Ploughshares
community to Shannon Airport on Sunday 3rd February, on the 10th. anniversary of the action that disabled a U.S. Navy warplane en
route to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. This small airport in "neutral" Ireland became
a major hub for the U.S. invasion, occupation and looting of Iraq. Most U.S. troops
who deployed to the invasion and occupation of Iraq passed through Shannon Airport
where their troop carriers were refeueled
On Feb. 3rd 2003, the Pitstop Plougshares were charged with $2.5 million "criminal
damage" followng their nonvolent disabling of a U.S. Navy warplane. Initially remanded
in Limerick Prison they were brought to trial three Itmes over the following three
years at Dublin's historic Four Courts. In 2006 following two mistrials, the
Ploughshares - Deirdre Clancy, Nuin Dunlop, Karen Fallon, Damien Moran and Caron
O'Reilly - were unanimously acquitted of all charges by a Dublin jury. Accordng to
WikiLeaks released Dubln U.S. embassy cables, the action and acquittal sent shock
waves through the U.S. and Irish government war conspirators.
On 7th February, the Oxford Union held the debate This House Would Not Fight for Queen and Country. Amongst those speaking for the motion were Ben Griffin, former SAS soldier, member of Veterans for Peace, and friend of the LCW. A transcript of his inspiring speech can be found here. Despite Ben's stirring words the motion was defeated on the night.
964 days for Bradley Manning, and counting...
20 Jan 2013
On Bradley Manning's 964th day of imprisonment without trial anti-war activists,
including veterans of the wars in Afghanistan & Iraq, held a solidarity vigil
outside the U.S. embassy in London. Meanwhile at Ft. Meade Maryland/ USA Bradley's
defense was arguing for a dismissal of charges on the bases of a lack of a "speedy
Bradley's in jail for us, we're on the loose for him
Guardian article and video on Catholic Worker Farm
15 Jan 2013
Saturday's Guardian had an article with Scott, Maria, Justin and Francis at the Catholic Worker Farm.
Click here to read the article.
The video below also shows the work of the Catholic Worker Farm.
Public meeting for Ash Wednesday act of witness
11 Jan 2013
On Sunday week, January 13th, 3-6pm, London Catholic Worker are hosting a public
event for anyone interested in finding out more about, and preparing for, the annual
'Act of Witness' at the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in Whitehall, London on Ash
Wednesday. All are welcome.
The Ash Wednesday 'Act of Witness' is a prayerful, liturgical call to personal and
corporate repentance, where we mark a part of the 'head' of the national 'body' ,
which the MoD is, as it is part of the UK government. The call is to repent from
British nuclear weapons, currently the Trident sumarine based missiles, and instead
to work for a nuclear free world.
Martin Newell, of the London Catholic Worker, said
Marking the walls of the MoD
with blessed charcoal is an integral part of the
act of witness. Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent and the journey to Holy Week
where we recall the events that led Jesus to arrest, sentence and execution. Those
who mark the MoD walls are risking arrest and begining a journey that can lead to
court and prison.
Anyone interested in taking part in marking the walls, this
year or in the future, should contact Martin Newell at the London
The Open Meeting will be at: Giuseppe Conlon House, 49 Mattison Road, London, N4 1BG.
The Ash Wednesday Act of Witness itself will start at 3pm in Embankment Gardens,
near Embankment tube station, on February 13th. More details are here.
Feast of innocents action
10 Jan 2013
Catholic Workers mark "Feast of Innocents" at police siege of
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange
For radical Christians, the Christmas narrative can only be understood in the
context of the "Feast of Innocents" that follows on Dec. 28th. The feast day
exposes imperial power and its collaboraters, in this case King Herod, striking back
when sensing the imperial arrangement threatened. The children slain by Herod are
echoed today by those killed in U.S. and British drone strikes, the thousands who
have died in the recent invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan and those threatened by
the continual preparations for nuclear and interventionary war.
There are also stories of heroic nonviolent resistance contained within the
narrative. The Maji break Herod's injunction and refuse to return to him with
targeting intel for his search and destroy mission against the Christ child. Today
that resistance is echoed in the lives of Bradley Manning imprisoned in the U.S.
facing military court martial and Julian Assange presently encircled by British
police in the Ecuadoran embassy in downtown London. Bradley and Julian are being
pursued by modern day Herods who would rather we were kept in the dark in relation
to the nature of their murderous deeds.
In other news.... our latest newsletter has just been uploaded.
Report from last week's vigil
3 Dec 2012
Twenty anti-war and solidarity activists gathered outside the U.S. embassy in London on Tuesday in solidarity with Bradley Manning. Those gathered included veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, former anti-war prisoners, members of Veterans for
Peace, Catholic Worker, London Guantanamo Campaign, Pay Day Mens Network.
Nationalities of the solidarity activists included Australian, Canadian, Chilean, Colombian, English, Irish, Italian, Latvian and U.S.
As the group stood in silence and the rain confronitng the U.S. embassy the
soundtrack of the www.collateralmurder.com footage was amplified.
[ photos | Video 1 | Video 2 ]
Manning faces a week long pre-trial hearing at Ft. Meade Maryland USA, in which he
will speak publicly for the first time since his arrests 2 1/2 years ago. Manning
faces 22 charges accused of releasing footage and cables of U.S. war crimes in
Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere to WikiLeaks in 2010. He was exposed to long months
of torture at Quantico marine base in the hopes he would crack and implicate Julian
Assange. Manning has refused to speak to investigators.
Bradley Manning Vigil coming up Tuesday 27 November
22 Nov 2012
Join us from 2pm, Tuesday 27 November at the US Embassy, Grosvenor Square
On the opening day of Bradley Manning’s latest motion hearing, the LCW will join
with Veterans for Peace to play the complete audio track (40mins) of Collateral
Murder at the US Embassy.
Placards will be brought but please feel free to make or bring your own.
Nearest tube Bond Street. For info call Ben on 07866 559 312.
Brief report on Bradley Manning vigil
18 Oct 2012
Yesterday, October 17th, as Bradley Manning was once again brought before a military tribunal at Ft. Meade, Maryland, 30 activists staged a solidarity vigil for Bradley Manning at the US embassy, London. We then proceeded down to the Ecuadorian embassy to offer solidarity to Julian Assange. Armed diplomatic police briefly detained and questioned 2 activists at the U.S. embassy where speeches, updates and reflections were shared. Outside the Ecuadoran embassy WikiLeaks staff greeted activists and embassy staff signaled appreciation and took photos of the solidarity
We have two events coming up next week to which all are invited:
7pm, Tue 16 Oct, talk by Chris Cole, founder of Drone Wars UK:
Drones – otherwise known as UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) – are a form of ‘robot warfare’. General Atomics, based here in the heart of London in Tower 42, manufacture them. They are already being used by the US and UK, in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia among other places. They enable our governments to fight wars – that is, kill people - without bothering our conscience, because we hardly notice.
The talk will take places at Giuseppe Conlon Hall, 49 Mattison Road,
London N4 1BG. Tel: 020 8 348 8212. Come and find out what you can do about drones!
2pm, Wed 17 Oct, silent vigil at US Embassy: Bradley Manning is back in court on Wednesday 17 OCT for another motion hearing. A silent vigil will be held facing the US Embassy, there will then be a period of information exchange. Tube – Bond Street.
3pm, proceed in loose formation to the Ecuadorian embassy: We will walk
carrying our banners to the Ecuadorian Embassy, which is just over a mile. Route: Park Lane, South Carriage Drive, Sloane Street, Hans Crescent.
4pm, Ecuadorian embassy, stand for Assange: Julian Assange has been in the Ecuadorian
Embassy for over three months. Although he has been granted asylum he still faces
extradition to Sweden. Sweden refuses to guarantee that Julian will not be forwarded
on to the US. Tube – Knightsbridge. We have a number of placards and banners but
please feel free to make/bring your own.
Some great pics of a recent LCW protest against drones can be found here. And check out are latest newsletter, out this week!
The three offered clear and moving accounts of their peace actions at the Ministry
of Defence during Holy Week 2012 when they marked the building with blessed charcoal
using words such as Trident Crucifies the Poor and Disarm Trident. Reports from
arresting officers were read out in court which affirmed that there actions had been
totally nonviolent and that they had not resisted arrest in any way. While not
disputing the fact of their action, they all argued that they had lawful excuse
and moral convictions for what they did.
Ray, Henrietta and Katrina explained the relevance of the time and symbols used:
Lent, a time for reflection and repentance at both personal and community levels and
charcoal, a known symbol of that repentance that is used within
the Christian faith community. The protection of life and people was at the heart
of their actions and they all stated that these were more important than property
or buildings. Their intention in marking the Ministry of Defence building was to
engage the Ministry and those who work there in critical reflection on the UK's
nuclear defence policy and the Trident programme in particular in order to change
it and prevent nuclear weapons from ever being used. Judge Susan Williams
acknowledged her understanding of this in her questioning of Ray Towey, and again
in her summing up saying that these were profound means used to highlight the
folly of humankind.
The three, who defended themselves, were given substantial time to present their
own evidence and outline why they did what they did. The Judge said that she needed
a good amount of time to reflect on what she had heard and the legal implications
and adjourned the hearing
for almost two hours. Before adjournment, Ray Towey made a short intervention
inviting the Judge to discharge them and to stand outside the normal boundaries of
the legal institution and set a precedent. On her return she gave a fulsome summary
- showing that she had listened with great care to all that she had heard - but
ultimately finding them guilty of criminal damage. They were each charged with
paying £200 court costs. While the Ministry of Defence had put forward a claim for
£400 cleaning costs the Judge refused to enforce this. The three were
given an absolute discharge. All of them made it clear that they could
not in conscience pay the court costs.
Their action was supported by the London Catholic Worker, Catholic Peace Action and
In other news... Don't forget the visit of John Dear this coming Monday.
Manning and Assange solidarity
28 Aug 2012
This week Bradley Manning is back before a military tribunal at Ft. Meade,
Maryland USA facing 23 counts, one carrying the death penalty.
Bradley is dragged before the courts, we hit the streets. In London we
head to the U.S. embassy. WikiLeaks' Julian Assange remains in the
Ecuadorian embassy in London surrounded by British police. Solidarity
activists are presently maintaining a round the clock presence outside
the embassy (next to Harrods. Knightsbridge tube...drop by!).
Manning and Julian Assange are surrounded accused of exposing U.S. war
crimes in Iraq. A war millions of us marched against in
2003. These anti-war resisters should not be abandoned by an anti-war
movement that incited them to nonviolently resist this illegal, immoral
war. Meditate on the following collateal murder footage and reflect on
how you can join with others to support Brad and Julian in this their
hour of need and stop these U.S. wars on the poor
A report of a solidarity vigil held last Saturday can be found here. You may also be interested in the following video in which LCWer Ciaron O'Reilly reflects on two years of solidarity with Brad and Julian (sound improves after 30 seconds).
Nobel prize nominee comes to LCW
10 Aug 2012
John Dear, Nobel peace prize nominee, is coming to speak at Guiseppe Conlon House at 7pm, Monday 10th September. John has been to prison for a couple of
Ploughshares actions and has been arrested over 60 times for peace activism. He's a very good speaker, has written a lot of books and is also speaking at
Greenbelt Christian festival this year. He's also a Jesuit priest. More information can be found in this leaflet.
Catholic Worker arrested and charged for peace action
8 Aug 2012
Henrietta Cullinan of the London CW was one of the MoD 3 who, along with Ray Towey and Katrina Alton, marked the walls of the MoD (Ministry of Defence) with blessed charcoal on Ash Wednesday and again on the Monday of Holy Week, April 2nd.
On the second occasion they were arrested, detained and charged with 'criminal
damage'. They will be in Marylebone Magistrates Court in London, on September 3rd. Support is welcome. In a recentCatholic Peace action newsletter) they reflect on their experience.
Catholic Workers join protests in support of Manning and Assange
17 Jul 2012
After over two years in prison awaiting trial for allegedly leaking
information revealing US war crimes to the organisation WikiLeaks, PFC
Bradley Manning was again in front of a US military judge for another
pre-trial motion hearing on July 17th.
In solidarity with Manning, 25 people including a large contingent of Catholic
Workers gathered in London’s Grosvenor Square to face the US Embassy in silence. Afterwards information was exchanged on the current state of play in the Manning
case, Julian Assanges position as it stands and possible future action
which will be publicised once dates are set. We then walked from the US Embassy to the Ecuadorian Embassy where WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange has sought political asylum.
People stood for Assange for a couple of hours despite the poor weather.
When people are subjected to persecution for resisting war it is our
duty to support these people in any way we can. “Offering support by our physical presence on the streets is a simple and effective act of
A daily vigil has taken place outside the Ecuadorian Embassy since
Assange sought refuge there almost a month ago. Please drop by if you
are passing through London.