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Vigil today plus latest newsletter 12 April 2013

Bradley Manning is back in front of the Military Tribunal this week at Ft. Meade.

The prosecution are pursuing charges that carry the death penalty or life imprisonment without parole. In his own words he explained at the last hearing what he did and why he did it. Why he felt in necessary to expose U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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

You may also be interested in our latest newsletter.

Forthcoming events 22 Mar 2013

We have a bunch of events to which all are welcome:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Recent round-up 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 flyers.

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 trial".

At the London vigil silence was observed for Aaron Swartz, as folks reflected on the powers and pressures arraigned by empire against people they label as an obstacle to power.

[Video and further photos of London solidarity vigil | Report from Bradley Manning pre-trial hearing at Ft. Meade | For more info about solidarity for Bradley, contact Veterans for Peace in the UK | Photo above courtesy of London Friends of WikiLeaks]

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 Catholic Worker.

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 demonstration.

Pic courtesy ITFriendsofBM. More here.

Talk and Vigil next week 10 Oct 2012

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!

Guilty verdict for three Catholic Peace Activists 5 Sep 2012

Twenty-five supporters joined Ray Towey, Henrietta Cullinan and Katrina Alton for a time of prayer outside Hammersmith Magistrates' Court today before a three-hour hearing which found them guilty of causing criminal damage.

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 Pax Christi

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. Whenever 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!).

Bradley 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 solidarity.”

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.

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URL of this website: http://londoncatholicworker.org
Last modified: 9 July 2014