All the latest from the LCW...
Report by Ciaron O'Reilly
Last week, we made our way to the book launch of ``Dirty Wars - the world is a battlefield" by former New York Catholic Worker now celebrated investigatory journalist Jeremy Scahill. Jeremy gave an excellent speech naming Guantanamo as the most visible point of a massive iceberg of a U.S. policy of torture and assassination. So if Obama closes Guantanamo and escalates his assassination program while maintaining other black site torture chambers we will know our work is far from over.
So I bought the book, joined the queue, got my snap and have started churning through this well documented tome. I highly recommend getting your hands on this one if you want to be brought up to speed on the nature of how the empire is waging wars these daze. A documentary accompanies the book and it just won an award at the Sundance Festival. Check out the trailer.
On Friday, some folks from the London Catholic Worker and Veterans for Peace joined hundreds internationally on the day long solidarity fast marking the 100th. day of the ongoing hunger strike by Guantanamo prisoners. One of the driving U.S. campaign groups, Witness Against Torture, was set up from the Catholic Worker pilgrimage walking through Cuba to Guanatanamo Bay several years ago. This grouping has done much to keep Guantanamo on the radar, in the courts with civil disobedience and visible on the streets of the U.S.A.
The solidarity demonstration at the U.S. embassy in London coincided with the annual European Catholic Worker gathering, so 20 Catholic Workers drove up to London from our base in Kent. We included Catholic Workers from Australia, England, Germany Scotland, Sweden and The Netherlands. More pics of the solidarity demonstration outside U.S. embassy in London.
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.
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 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.
Location: Chestnut Park, Harringey is at the corner of St Annes Road and Black Boy Lane. The N15341 and 67 buses both stop next to Chestnut Park.
More info, ......... or if the weather is shite and you want to confirm it's still on. Ph./text Ciaron Sat. 9 a.m. Ph. 079 27 259 363
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