Archive for April, 2008

Anti-War Exorcism Carried Out in Raytheon, Brisbane, Australia

April 27, 2008
Anti-War Exorcism Carried Out in Raytheon, Brisbane, Australia
see link for report
http://bushtelegrap h.wordpress. com/2008/ 04/24/merchant- …eath/

In mid-88 I boarded the U.S.S. New Jersey docked in Brisbane with Jim Dowling (arrested in this action) and four others to carry out an exorcism of this death ship that had killed so many children in Vietnam and Lebanon. We passed through the military bag check, carrying blood we had donated to the action in blackcurrent juice bottles, and made our way to the foredeck overshadowed by its enormous guns. On another part of the ship parents and children were taking tours on what had been promoted by all levels of local state and Federal government as a tourist attraction. We poured the blood in a cross, named the ship for what it was and knelt in prayer. We were the arrested.

In late 1994 I accompanied Jim (again) and a heavilly pregnant Lisa (arrested in this recent action at Raytheon, Brisbane) into the offices of Petroz mining company in our hometown of Brisbane. We poured blood from bottles on the boardroom table, pasted photos of East Timorese around the boardroom and prayed. We were arrested. We had named Petroz as coluding with the genocidal Suharto governments crimes in East Timor to exploit the reserves in the Timor Sea.

We had been intoroduced to the political relevance and the radical praxis of exorcism in scripture by the theologian Ched Myers in his work of Mark’s Gospel “Binding the Strongman” (Orbis Press).

Now Raytheon, recently arrived in Brisbane, has been named and unmasked. See this link for an essay on political exorcism
http://www.ecapc. org/articles/ article-5117. htm

Raytheon, and its works of war, stretches from Brisbane to Derry to Iraq to Lebanon. Our humble resistance community streches over 30 years of sustained nonviolent resistance. I first met Jim in police custody in 1978. Lisa in the mid-80’s. My brother Sean (who I have known the longest!) accompanied Lisa & Jim into the Raytheon offices. While companies like Raytheon keep profiting from the killing of children, we’ll keep on keeping on.

Related Link: http://www.ecapc. org/articles/ article-5117. htm

 

 

Nearly 67,000 U.S. Troops Through Shannon Jan-March 08* Cops Spend 7 million on “Security”!

April 17, 2008

Irish Times April 11th. 2008
http://www.ireland. com/newspaper/ ireland/2008/ 0411/12078432914 13.html

Nearly 67,000 U.S. Troops Passed Through Shannon in January March 08

The numbers of U.S. troops going through Shannon airport in the first quarter of this year increased by almost 150% on the corresponding period last year.

Figures released by Shannon Airport Authority yesterday show that 66,667 U.S.S troops on 495 flights passed the airport between January and March – an increase of 144% on the 27,070 troops that used the airport’s facilities for the same period last year.

The figures show that 21,019  troop went through in March; 18,830 in February and 26,828 in January. If current troop levels are maintained for the remainder of 2008, Shannon Airport looks on course to exceed last year’s total of 262,816 troops.

Troop levels going through Shannon dropped through first half of last year, however, this trend was reversed after U.S. troop carrier Omni Air significantly increased the number of aircraft going through Shannon to 100 a month.

Another of the carriers that moves troops through Shannon, American Transair (ATA) was declared bankruptcy last week and ceased operations immediately.  its demise is expected to have minimal effect on the numbers of U.S. troops going through Shannon.

A spokesman for the Shannon Airport Authority said yesterday:  “The authority regrets thee difficulties ATA finds itself in as th airport had a long relationship with ATA that dates back to the 1980’s through charter flights and transit flights.”

It is understood the percentage of U.S. troops which Transair moved through Shannon was low and any money that might be owed to the authority as a result of its bankruptcy is also low.

Last year, the number of U.S. troops using Shannon as a stop-off passed the one million mark since the war started on Iraq.

The authority does not release the profits made from the U.S. troop traffic, but it is estimated it made 7 million euro last year through the troop business.  This follows
an estimated profit of 16.4 million euro from the troop traffic in 2006 and 2005.

Last December, Minister for Justice Brian Lenihan confirmed that that 7 million  euro had been spent on preventing incursions to Shannon Airport from anti-war activists over the past two years.  He said 4.69 million euro was spent on policing arrangements at Shannon last year.

Reflection on this State of Affairs
by Ciaron O’Reilly

This is interesting announcement by the government on the cusp of an escalation of the U.S. war effort and the setting up for an attack on Iran

“Last week’s congressional testimony by Gen. David Petraeus and Green Zone administrator Ryan Crocker set the propaganda stage for a Bush regime attack on Iran. On April 10 Robert H. Reid of AP News reported: “The top US commander has shifted the focus from al-Qaida to Iranian-backed ‘special groups’ as the main threat . . . The shift was articulated by Gen. Petraeus who told Congress that ‘unchecked, the special groups pose the greatest long-term threat to the viability of a democratic Iraq.'”………

http://www.counterp unch.org/ roberts04142008. html

The Irish government announces that it has spent over 7 million euro “on preventing incursions to Shannon airport from anti-war activists over the past two years. He said 4.69 million was spent on policing arrangements at Shannon last year.”

This seems a little excessive given the last demonstration at the airport involving over 100 people (2-300) was the Anti War Ireland/Catholic Worker/Iraq Veterans Against the War effort on Halloween 2006, some 17 months ago. The only one at Shannon in 2006 involving such numbers. There wasn’t any such effort in 2007 and none planned for 2008. This, of course, does not factor in the constant plane spotting ongoing since 2002 and smaller efforts including a monthly vigil now occurring.  To be honest, in Ireland we have an anti-war remnant not an anti-war movement!

The history of incursions into airside Shannon are also of increasingly distant memory….
Christmas 2001 Dubsky & others jump the fence
-mid-2002 Dubsky spraypaints windscreen of U.S. military plane
-Oct 2002 a group pull the fence and sit in airside.
-Jan 2003 Mary Kelly’s disarmament action
-Feb 2003 Pitstop Ploughshares

-March 1st Garda Spend 1 million euro on Stopping Libertarians Pulling Down Fence at Airport
Easter 2003 Catholic Worker potato planting on runway
-Haloween 2004 Catholic Worker Banshees reading the names of the dead on runway.

So this 7 million was spent after the last of these airside actions. Go figure?
It may indicate how severely humiliated the government was by the two disarmament actions happening in rapid succession at the time. That no way they can let it happen again to the point of getting jumpy
http://www.indymedi a.ie/article/ 85992

It may indicate although a lot of people have lost their lives in this war that Ireland continues to be complicit in – some have made a lot of money.

Related Link: http://www.peaceontrial.com

 

Audio Visual of Debate on “Reporting War”, Dublin, Ireland.

April 14, 2008

Report, photos and audio of “Reporting War” Debate

http://www.indymedia.ie/article/87124

RTE.ie have put up the video of this debate:
(2 hours)
http://www.rte.ie/news/2008/0409/newsspecial.html

Reporting War Tag Teams

DIT, Aungier St., Dublin April 10th. 2008

Panel includes:
Pepe Escobar – Asia Times / Real News Network
Dahr Jamail – Independent Journalist, author “Beyond the Green Zone”
Patrick Smyth – Irish Times Foreign Editor
Joe Zefran – RTE.ie News Editor
Harry Browne – DIT lecturer
Ciaran O’Reilly – Anti-war Activist
Fergal Keane – RTE Journalist

Folks in Prison for Nonviolent Resistance to S.O.A.-write’em a letter!

April 11, 2008

More background on the School of the Americas/Assassins
www.soaw.org

*More background on the SOAW 11 prisoners http://www.soaw.org/site/article.php?id=1621

*You can write direct to the prison (must use the prison numbers listed)
or
c/-SOA Watch,
PO Box 4566,
Washington, DC 20017
USA
(letters will be redirected in case of prison move or release!)

Last week, nine of the School of the Americas Watch (SOAW) 11 reported to federal prison today to serve sentences ranging from 30-90 days for their nonviolent witness in opposition to the SOA/WHINSEC. The SOAW 11 were sentenced in federal court on January 28, 2008 carrying the protest to close the School of the Americas (SOA/WHINSEC) onto the Fort Benning Military Reservation, publicly defying the laws which prevent political speech on military bases and making a bold call for justice and accountability.

Joan Anderson, Ozone Bhaguan, LeAnne Clausen, Ed Lewinson, Chris Lieberman, Tiel Rainelli, Gus Roddy, Stephen Schwietzer and Michelle Yipe will be reporting to federal prison throughout today. Diane Lopez-Hughes decided to self report following her trial and was released on March 11, 2008 after serving 45 days in Muscogee County Jail. Art Landis, of Perkasie, PA, is expected to report on April 10th.

We ask that you keep the SOAW 11 in your thoughts, honor them by taking part in the April Fast to close the SOA/WHINSEC and send them words of encouragement and friendship to the addresses listed below:

–> Tips on writing to Prisoners – http://www.anarchistblackcross.org/support/writing.html

–> SOAW 11 PRISON ADDRESSES AND SENTENCES:

Joan C. Anderson #93649-020 – (30 Days)
FDC SeaTac
Federal Detention Center
P.O. Box 13900
Seattle, WA 98198
USA

Ozone Bhaguan #92123-020 – (90 days)
FPC Duluth
Federal Prison Camp
P.O. Box 1000
Duluth, MN 55814
USA

McHenry County Jail
LeAnne Clausen – (30 days)
2200 N. Seminary Avenue
Woodstock, IL 60098
USA

Edwin R. Lewinson #92126-020 – (90 days)
FCI Elkton
Federal Correctional Institution
P.O. Box 10
Lisbon, Ohio 44432
USA

Chris Lieberman #93645-020 – (60 days)
FCI La Tuna
Federal Correctional Institution
P.O. Box 3000
Anthony, TX 88021
USA

Teri L. Rainelli #93552-020 – (90 days)
USP Hazelton
U.S. Penitentiary
P.O. Box 2000
Bruceton Mills, WV 26525
USA

McHenry County Jail
Augustine Roddy – (30 days)
2200 N. Seminary Avenue
Woodstock, IL 60098
USA

Stephen P. Schweitzer #93647-020 – (60 days)
MDC Brooklyn
Metropolitan Detention Center
P.O. Box 329002
Brooklyn, NY 11232
USA

Carna A. Yipe – (30 days)
Sedgwick County Jail
141 W. Elm St.
Wichita, KS 67203
USA

R.I.P. Tom Lewis of the Catonsville 9

April 7, 2008

March 17th, 1940-April 4th. 2008

Catonsville 9 Draft Board Raid Footage

We share this news of Tom Lewis with heavy hearts. Tom is one of the people who has always been where he needed to be – where the struggle was real and intense. In spit of the evidence of fragile health, we were unprepared for his death yesterday. And it feels so bad to us that he died alone. Maybe it makes the reality of our loss harder to absorb. He was just with us in D.C. at the Holy Week “Faith and Resistance” retreat and he brought banners he had made. It was a joy to be with him. His art is ubiquitous. May he live in our hearts; may his art enable us to remember him always.
Folks at Jonah House Community

Tom Lewis-An Artist-Activist
By Scott Schaeffer-Duffy

On April 4, 2008, the 40^th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., Thomas Patrick Lewis died of natural causes at his home Austin Street home in Worcester, Massachusetts. His commitment to
justice and peace flowed out of his love and art and began with civil rights, continued with opposition to the Vietnam War, the nuclear arms race, and the current US War in Iraq. He was arrested many times for
nonviolent civil disobedience, serving more than 4 years of his life in jail for his acts of conscience, including a multi-year sentence for his
part in the burning of draft files in Catonsville, Maryland in 1968.

Tom was born on Saint Patrick’s Day in 1940 in Baltimore, Maryland. He is survived by his daughter Nora Marie Borbely-Lewis, his mother,
Pauline, his brothers Don and John, and his sister, Paula Anne Sheye. When he was 17, his family moved to the suburbs of Baltimore where Tom
won a football scholarship to Saint Joseph’s Xaverian High School. Upon graduation, he joined the National Guard “because we never had an anti-war discussion in any Catholic school I attended. I didn’t even
know what a conscientious objector was.”

In a 1997 interview in /The Catholic Radical/ Tom said that it was during his military service that he started “a slow process of waking up to the problems of war.” He said, “We did ABDC (Atomic, Biological, and
Chemical) training…. When a tactical nuclear weapon was shot, we were trained to go to ground zero immediately after the weapons exploded to clear out any surviving enemy. The theory was that the radiation hadn’t
fallen to the ground yet. At worst, you might lose some hair and if it were too dangerous, the badge you were wearing would turn a particular color.”

Simultaneously, Tom was developing into a talented artist who became involved in the liturgical movement of the early 1960s. He took courses to improve his skills and found work in churches that were looking for
new forms of sacred art. This work also brought Tom into contact with dynamic clergy and the works of people like Tielhard de Chardin. In his own words, Tom “had the opportunity to listen, talk to, and question people in the liturgical renewal.”

About this time, a friend named Fred Nass took Tom to a German bar saying, “I want you to meet this priest I know.” The priest was Philip Berrigan (a World War II veteran, Holy Cross College graduate, and Josephite). Of the meeting, Tom said, “I was very impressed with how
human this person, Phil Berrigan, was; how he was willing to sit down and eat some pretzels, drink a beer, and talk about some important things. This was pretty different from other people in the Church I had
known… I was touched by how human and knowledgeable and special he was.
It was through Phil that I started to wake up to civil rights issues and nuclear issues.” Phil would also be the one to take Tom to New York City to visit the Catholic Worker house on Christie Street where they met
Dorothy Day.

But Tom also stresses that his art itself drew him to activism. He described this dramatic examples of how that happened: ” I heard about a demonstration at Gwen Oak Amusement park in Baltimore (where Black
people were barred), so I went there to do some sketches. I was hoping to get some in the Catholic press because they had been using some of my artwork…. I thought they might want some civil rights drawings. I was there sketching with the group all around the demonstrators and as the demonstrators were hauled to the police van, the people I was standing with got uglier and uglier, yelling at the demonstrators, throwing little rocks and firecrackers. I had this awful feeling that even though I was sketching, I wasn’t really separate from them. Even though I was there as an artist, a reporter, I really wasn’t separate from the crowd and what they were doing. I was frightened by that, and stepped back, looked over the at the legal support demonstration. It was very clear that anyone who sat down or got near the people at the entrance would be
dragged away and arrested. So I went over to carry a sign in the legal demonstration. I think it said, ‘Jim Crow Stops Here.’ This was quite frightening to do for the first time. I think I was in a cold sweat the
entire time.”

Following this demonstration, in 1964, Tom joined the Congress for Racial Equality (CORE) where he met “a wonderful Black organizer” named Walter Carter who “had the patience to move people along slowly.” With
Carter’s help, Tom started joining marches and was eventually arrested in a protest for housing integration. Tom and five others, three of whom
were black, attended a public open house at a Baltimore apartment complex. When told by the manager that rentals were only open to whites, Tom and his comrades sat down and refused to leave. Six hours later, after many management threats, including one to fumigate the apartment, they were arrested.

It was only natural that Tom would become involved in opposition to the Vietnam War with friends like Phil Berrigan, but added to those relationships was the fact that his own younger brother was sent to Vietnam. By 1968, Tom would be a central character in two draft board protests, The Baltimore Four and The Catonsville Nine, which would capture the imagination of the entire country. He would eventually serve three years in jail without being deterred from his commitment to peace.

Since moving to Worcester in the late 1970s, Tom has been a leader in the peace movement. He organized a long and successful campaign to end work on the MX nuclear missile at GTE in Westboro. He vigiled at the
plant faithfully for years and was arrested there 4 different times. In 1989, after civil disobedience at the GTE plant, he and his 4 codefendants were acquitted by a Worcester jury of six who agreed with
Bishop Bernard J. Flanagan who said, “There are times and situations where civil disobedience is not only justifiable, but may actually be a duty.” The MX contract was withdrawn and the plant converted to civilian use.

Tom was also a participant in two demonstrations which involved symbolic
damage to nuclear weapons and a nuclear weapons carrying destroyer.
These protests called “Plowshares actions” after the Prophet Isaiah’s
call that swords should be beaten into plowshares, often resulted in
long jail sentences. Tom was unafraid of those consequences and
continued to participate in nonviolent civil disobedience until his death.

Remarkably, Tom continued an active career as an artist even during his
jail terms. He was never seen without his sketch pad. He made countless
sketches of inmates and jail scenes, as well as woodcuts, paintings,
etchings, and murals. He illustrated a number of scripturally-based
books about resistance to war. In the foreword to Father Daniel
Berrigan, S.J.’s book The Nightmare of God, the author describes Tom’s
art as “…a poignant and powerful witness to the survival of the
endangered conscience…. He heals the ancient split between ethics and
imagination.” And although Tom could well have made a comfortable living
teaching art classes full time, he chose to live among the poor in a
such a way that he was always free to go to jail for nonviolent civil
disobedience. Tom said that prison keeps “our minds sane and our
direction clear… The nuclear age is calculated to dull our senses with
false security and an illusion of hope, a hope which in fact is death. I
believe that to stay alive, one must risk or enter jail for non-violent
resistance to the Nuclear Beast. Otherwise we are dead before the very
first strike is made.”

Tom also challenged other injustices besides racism and war. In 2005,
Tom was arrested with 6 others at the Sudanese Embassy in Washington, DC
to call for an end to genocide in Darfur. He was also arrested years
earlier protests nuclear power at Seabrook New Hampshire and, last
January, protesting against torture and calling for the closure of the
US prison in Guantanamo, Cuba. After that, Tom traveled with a
collective of international artists to protest the construction of the
Israeli wall inside the occupied West Bank. With his typical artistic
calm, he taught Palestinian children his technique of non-toxic printing
in Ramallah.

On top of all this, Tom’s home, christened Emma House after a deceased
African American women who once lived there, has been home to many other
activists, friends, and even the homeless. Tom also helped out when he
could at the Mustard Seed Catholic Worker across the street.

Despite his focus on serious issues, Tom was also known for a fine sense
of humor. Just after his codefendant Father Phil Berrigan was sentences
to six years in jail for his part in the Baltimore Four, the judge asked
Tom if he had anything to say before sentencing. Tom said, “No, your
honor.” The judge pressed him, “These are serious charges, Mr. Lewis.
Don’t you have anything to say?” Tom said, “No, I’ve said all I want to
in my testimony.” But, when the judge persisted, “You could be sent to
jail for years Mr. Lewis, are you absolutely sure there’s nothing you
want to add?” Tom began to suspect that the judge wanted to scapegoat
Phil as the priest mastermind of the protest and hoped Tom would make a
last minute appeal for mercy, so Tom said, “Since you press me your
honor, there is one quote which is important to me.” The judge leaned
forward and said, “Yes, yes.” Tom straightened up and said soberly, “You
can lead a horse to water, but a pencil must be lead. That’s from Laurel
and Hardy
, your honor.” The furious judge gave Tom six years too.

When asked in 1997 what sustained him through all these years, Tom said
simply, “My faith and my art.” He also credited his father’s deep love
for the Bible. Long-time peace activist Elizabeth McAlister said that
when she met Tom in 1967 she know that he was “thoughtful, committed,
and real.” She said “Tom is moved by conscience and friendships.” His
brother Don said today, “Tom did everything possible to share his love
with us, his family, but he belonged to a much wider community.” His
Catholic Worker friend, Claire Schaeffer-Duffy said, “Tom epitomized
fidelity. As a young man he saw the truth of the evil of war and stayed
with that truth all his life, even when it cost him to practice it.” Her
husband Scott said, “Tom was a saint, plain and simple. He’s finally
able to practice his art with all the masters in a place where there is
no violence, war, or injustice. His joy is well-earned. He will be
enormously missed.”

Tom was in an Alexandria, Virginia court on Good Friday this year for
his part in protests at the Pentagon. His case was dismissed and he was
set free. His spirit was set free yesterday.

photos of Tom can be seen at www.jonahhouse.org

G’Day Gdansk

April 7, 2008

Putting the Band Back Together

with Polish Resistance to U.S. Star Wars Base!

Back in 01, before the U.S. invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, the priorities of the international anti-war movement were pretty much the low intensity conflict being launched by the U.S. in Colombia and U.S. aspirations to exploit an historic window of opportunity for full spectrum dominance through the “Star Wars” program.

A month ago Colombian, Venezuelan & Ecuadorean millitaries mobilised towards their borders indicating U.S. aspirations in Latin America have not gone away. Also the steady developments of the first strike nuclear warfighting Star Wars program continues. Friends in Australia www.pinegap6.org U.S. www.space4peace.org & England are now joined by those in Poland in resisting this program that brings us closer to nuclear omnicide.

My Pitstop Ploughshares co-defendant Damien Moran has been based in Warsaw for the last two years. Damien has been organising against Polish military involvement in the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan & Iraq and the CIA renditions program that until recently ran a secret gulag i Poland. Damien has also been organising against U.S. intentions to build a Star Wars related base near Slupsk in the north of Poland. I decided to answer his call to head to Slupsk on March 29th. to join Damien and others in a demonstration against this proposed U.S. base. Peaceful Protests End in Police Brutality – 25 anarchists and artists gassed, battoned, assaulted, jailed in Slupsk, Polska

FRI. MARCH 28th.

Ciaron O’Reilly at Press Conference Statement – Slupsk, Polska

“Good afternoon my name is Ciaron O’Reilly. I am from Australia.

I come to Slupsk from 30 years of anti-war activism.The proposed U.S. base in Slupsk, and its associated nuclear weapons system, will make this area a target from people it will make a target. These weapon systems are not secure and they do not secure us..

The United States is a modern empire with a military presence in over 100 countries. I have been involved in many acts of nonviolent resistance across the globe to this murderous war machine. From disarming a B-52 Bomber in upstate New york on the eve of the 1991 U.S. massacre over Iraq to blockading a U.S. Star Wars base in the Australian outback to disabling a U.S. war plane at its refueling depot at Shannon Airport, Ireland, on the eve of the 2003 of Iraq. I have spent over two years in prisons in Australia, the United States and Ireland for nonviolent resistance to war and war preparations.

The United States has dragged Poland, Ireland, Australia and many other countries into wars on Iraq and Afghanistan – the United States now has Iran in its gun sights.

These wars have been denounced as “immoral” by the Pope, “illegal” by Kofi Anan the head of the United Nations” and “unwinnable” by a growing number of military experts.

As the biggest and deadliest empire in human history, the United States attempts to dominate the earth and now reaches for the heavens with its “Star Wars” and related “missile defense” programs. The United States wants to drag Poland into this escalation of war preparations as it has dragged Poland into the military disasters of Iraq and Afghanistan.

We believe “security” comes from peace and justice. “Security” does not come from invading other people’s countries, bombing their children and threatening the world with nuclear weapons.

The U.S./Polish governments and the U.S. weapons corporations – Raytheon, Boeing, Lockheed Martin – want you to believe “security” is a commodity they can sell you at the expense of other people’s security, lives and children.

The missile defence system, and this base planned for Slupsk, is a scam!

If this base goes ahead it will make Raytheon, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and the politicians they bribe, a lot of money. If this base goes ahead it will make the world a much more dangerous place!

We must make sure this missile base planned for Slupsk does not go ahead!

We must resist it directly, nonviolently and with the same intensity that those who wage war and destroy our planet pursue their own objectives..

Let’s go forward to wage peace and stop this base!”

Ciaron O’Reilly

SAT MARCH 30TH.

Pod Cast – Ciaron Oz Solidarity Speech March in Slupsk, City Square

First video (multimedia) on the link below has English speech from Ciaron O’Reilly of the Catholic Worker. Second, talking head in Polish, third has part of march.)

SUN MARCH 31st

Peace Protest Ends in Brutal Police Violence Against Artists and Anarchists – 25 Jailed in Slupsk.

Read full report by Damien Moran in English

Further anarcho analysis (in English) of the demonstration and various vid and audio links of demonstration and coverage

http://www.indymedia.ie/article/86962