Reflection for Aug. 9 White House Peace Witness

(Offered by Art Laffin)
We greet all who have come to the White House in a spirit of peace. We, members of the DDCW, Jonah House Community, Pax Christi, the Columban Fathers Office of Peace and Justice, The Open Door Community and other peace groups, come to the White House today, the 69th anniversary of the U.S. nuclear bombing of Nagasaki, to remember the past, repent the sin and reclaim the future. As people of faith we believe it’s a sin to build a nuclear weapon. We decry the existence and continued possession and threatened use of these and other idolatrous and murderous weapons.

hironagwhite

Photo by Ted Majdosz Photos shows people doing a symbolic die-in to remember the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

We apologize to the people of Japan for our country’s atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 69 years ago, and ask forgiveness for these atrocities and the ongoing suffering of those affected by nuclear radiation. We repent for the continued proliferation of nuclear weapons at the expense of unmet human needs. Further, we repent for the over 50 times the U.S. has threatened to use nuclear weapons since the first atomic bombings.

 
We call for the closing of all U.S. nuclear weapons facilities and for the disarmament and abolition of all nuclear weapons and all weapons of terror, including killer drones. As we call on the U.S. to abolish its nuclear weapons program, we call, too, on all nuclear powers to do the same. And as a first step towards bringing about a Nuclear-Free Middle East, we call on Israel to abolish its nuclear weapons program.
 
The colossal violence unleashed by the U.S. in Hiroshima and Nagasaki is mirrored today in the wars the U.S. has waged since 1945, including the U.S. slaughter of Vietnam, of Iraq and Afghanistan, in the use of killer drones and most recently, and in the U.S. supported Israeli slaughter of Gaza. We call for an end to all U.S. military intervention worldwide. We call, too, for an end to all U.S. military support and aid for Israel. We call, too, for an end to U.S. militarization of Africa and the Asian Pacific. With respect to the U.S. military pivot to Asia, we call for an end to the construction of a new U.S.-backed naval base on Jeju Island in S. Korea that will serve as a U.S. military outpost to threaten and contain China.  
 
We join with the imprisoned Transform Now Plowshares serving 3-5 year prison sentences, the jailed Jeju Island resisters, the Guantanamo hunger strikers, and all peace and justice makers everywhere in calling for a world without weapons, oppression, torture and war, where all the swords of our time are transformed into plowshares. We make this plea in the name of all victims of our warmaking empire, from Iraq and Afghanistan to Palestine, Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere. No More Hiroshima’s! No More Nagasaki’s! Disarm all weapons of mass murder! Abolish War!
Published in: on August 12, 2014 at 7:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

Report of August 6 Hiroshima Peace Witness at the Pentagon–3 Arrested

Dear Friends,
To commemorate the 69th year since the U.S. began the Nuclear Age by dropping an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, seventeen friends (including a 6 month old baby Eli and 2 1/2 yr. old Stephanie) from the Atlantic Life Community and other peace groups participated today in a noon-time silent peace witness at the Pentagon that was organized by the Jonah House Community and  the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker. Carrying signs, photos of the aftermath of the Hiroshima bombing and banners, two of which read: “Remember the Past, Repent the Sin, Reclaim the Future–Hiroshima and Nagasaki” and “Abolish Nuclear Weapons,” the group processed from Army-Navy Drive to the regular protest area near the Pentagon metro station. Instead of going into the police designated protest zone which is situated behind a fence, the group initially remained on the sidewalk. However after a police warning that everyone move into the designated area or face arrest, most complied. However Liz McAlister, Kathy Boylan and Eric Martin continued to remain on the sidewalk for about fifteen minutes. After giving three warnings to comply with the order or face arrest, Pentagon police placed the three under arrest and they were taken to the Pentagon police processing center. They were charged with “disobeying a lawful order” and after  being  processed were released. They will be tried on October 17 in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, VA.   

One thing of note during our witness was that numerous soldiers from different countries were either going into or leaving the Pentagon during the hour we were there. This is yet another reminder  that the Pentagon is the center of warmaking on our planet! We concluded our witness with a closing circle and read  Dan Berrigan’s poem, “Shadow on the Rock” (see below), offered prayers of intercession and sang “Vine and Fig Tree.”

To mark the 69th anniversary of the U.S. nuclear bombing of Nagasaki, the group will hold a noon-time nonviolent witness this Saturday, August 9, at the White House.

With gratitude,
Art

Shadow on the Rock

by Daniel Berrigan, S.J.

At Hiroshima there’s a museum

and outside that museum there’s a rock,
and on that rock there’s a shadow.
That shadow is all that remains
of the human being who stood there on August 6, 1945
when the nuclear age began.
In the most real sense of the word,
that is the choice before us.
We shall either end war and the nuclear arms race now in this generation,
or we will become Shadows On the rock. 

Published in: on August 7, 2014 at 6:41 pm  Leave a Comment  

Peace Witnesses to Commemorate the U.S. Nuclear Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Dear Friends,
Please join with the Jonah House Community, the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker and other friends from the Atlantic Life Community for the annual Hiroshima and Nagasaki actions which will be held on August 6 and August 9. See details below. Please share with others

August 6 and August 9  Peace Witnesses

Commemorating the U.S. Nuclear Bombings

of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

hiroshima

  “Let all the souls here rest in peace, for we shall not repeat the evil”.

(Epitah at bottom of the Hiroshima Peace Park Memorial Cenotaph and Peace Flame to remember all the victims of the atomic bombings)

 

Sixty nine years ago the American government did the “unspeakable” and dropped atom bombs on the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Japan. Please join in two nonviolent actions as we seek to remember the pain, repent the sin and reclaim the future.

       
When and Where:

Wednesday, August 6  (Anniversary of the U.S. nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and the feast of the Transfiguration): Nonviolent witness at the Pentagon. Meet on corner of Army-Navy Drive and Fern St. @ 11:45 a.m. Witness from Noon – 1:00 p.m.

 

Saturday, August 9 (Anniversary of the U.S. nuclear bombing of Nagasaki): Meet at 16th and H St. NW at 11:45 a.m. and process to White House for a Noon – 1:00 p.m. witness.

Please join us!

Dorothy Day Catholic Worker: 202- 882-9649artlaffin@hotmail.com;

Jonah House: 410-233-6238, disarmnow@verizon.net

Published in: on July 18, 2014 at 2:22 am  Leave a Comment  

Ending the Crime of Torture

 Speaker: Beza

 
Beza is a professional physicist who was tortured in Ethiopia. He is a member of the Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition International (TASSC) and will speak for the first time about his experience as a torture survivor. The mission of TASSC, the only organization founded by and for torture survivors, is to end the practice of torture wherever it occurs and to empower survivors, their families and communities wherever they are.
 
Please join TASSC in celebrating its 17th Annual June Survivors’ Week from June 25th to June 29th in D.C. focusing on the theme “Building Bridges Together”.  During the week TASSC will have different workshops, a human rights training, a Congressional visit, and a 12 hour vigil on June 28 from 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. at Lafayette Park across from the White House. There will also be a hearing at the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission. Survivors and prominent human rights experts will speak at the workshops and at the Tom Lantos Commission.
For more info please see: www.tassc.org
Please join us!
 
Date: Friday, June 6, 2014 @ 7:30 p.m.
Place: Dorothy Day Catholic Worker, 503 Rock Creek Church Rd. NW, Washington, DC 20010 For more info contact Dorothy Day Catholic Worker: 202-882-9649

 

Published in: on May 27, 2014 at 4:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

Vegetarianism & Nonviolence

Speaker: Bruce Friedrich

BF and Hilly, low res, photo credit Jo-Anne McArthur

Former Catholic Worker and Plowshares activist Bruce Friedrich will lead a discussion of vegetarianism as an ingredient in lived nonviolence. Bruce will speak briefly about the contributions of modern agriculture to environmental problems, global poverty, and cruelty to animals, after which he hopes for a spirited discussion. Bruce lived at the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker from 1990-1996 and was a member of the Pax Christi-Spirit of Life Plowshares action, for which he spent 15 months in prison.

 

Date: Friday, May 2, 2014 @7:30 p.m.

Place: Dorothy Day Catholic Worker, 503 Rock Creek Church Rd. NW, Washington, DC 20010

For more information contact Dorothy Day Catholic Worker: 202-882-9649

Published in: on April 28, 2014 at 3:26 pm  Comments (2)  
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