Fifty people involved with the Holy Week Faith and Resistance retreat in Washington, D.C., sponsored by Jonah House and the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker, held a nonviolent witness at the Pentagon early this Good Friday morning. Dressed in black robes and white masks to symbolize the war dead, retreatants silently processed to a solemn drumbeat around the south side of the Pentagon carrying signs reading: Put Away the Sword, Remember the Victims of War, Abolish All Nuclear Weapons, War Never Again. Other signs contained facts about the U.S. nuclear arsenal. As the main procession entered the designated fenced off “protest zone” outside the Pentagon Metro Entrance, Pentagon Police arrested eight people as they prayed around a cross on the sidewalk near the “protest zone.” They were taken to the nearby Navy Annex for processing, charged with “Disobeying a Lawful Order of a Government Agent” and were given a June 19 court date. Those arrested were: Susan Crane, David Ryle, Sr. Margaret McKenna, Molly Brechtel, Brian Hynes, Nancy Gowen, Bill Frankel-Streit and Art Laffin.
In a related noontime action at the White House during the “100 Days Campaign to Close Guantanamo” vigil, Paul Magno, dressed in an orange jump suit and black hood, climbed up onto the White House sidewalk ledge in the “picture post-card zone”, and with his arms outstretched, was chained by two supporters to the White House fence. For thirty minutes hundreds of tourists witnessed the contemporary crucifixion of a torture victim as supporters sang “Were You There When They Crucified My Lord.” He was arrested by U.S. Park Police and as of this writing, is still in police custody.
On this Good Friday, as we remember the crucifixion of Jesus, we are so very mindful of all those who are crucified today by our warmaking empire. We remember, too, all those who await execution and all who are crucified to the cross of exploitation, poverty and starvation. We offer prayers of gratitude for the 14 arrested yesterday at Creech AFB in Nevada for calling for the immediate disarmament of the Predator and Reaper Drone Warplanes, as well as for all sisters and brothers who, this Holy Week, have engaged in acts of nonviolent witness to the God of Life and Love in resistance to the forces of oppression and death.
With love and gratitude, Art Lafin – Dorthy Day CW, Wash DC
For more info contact: Jonah House 410-233-6238 or Dorothy Day Catholic Worker 202-882-9649