Ash Wednesday Prayer Service of Repentance at the White House

When: Ash Wednesday, February 10, 2016 from Noon-1:00 p.m.

Where: White House (north side on Pennsylvania Ave.)

“The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the Gospel.” (Mk.1:15)


Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent. Lent is a time for personal and societal repentance, a time for radical conversion, renewal and transformation. Living under the brutal occupation of the Roman empire, Jesus declared: “The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the Gospel.” (Mk.1:15) Living in the U.S. empire, which is responsible for so much needless death and suffering in our world, we need to heed Jesus’ proclamation now more than ever.


On Ash Wednesday people from the faith-based peace and justice community in the D.C. area will hold a prayer service in front of the White House to call for repentance and conversion of ourselves, our society and our churches to the Gospel way of justice, nonviolence and a reverence for all life and creation. Seeking to eradicate what Martin Luther King, Jr. called the triple evils of poverty, racism and militarism, we call for an end to corporate domination and systemic exploitation and discrimination; debt forgiveness for poor countries and justice for the poor and all immigrants; an end to torture, indefinite detention and the mass incarceration complex; an end to the death penalty; and the abolition of war and the conversion of our war-based economy to one centered on serving the common good, alleviating poverty and protecting the earth. We commit ourselves to ending all forms of racial hatred and profiling, and demand accountability for those responsible for acts of violence, especially with respect to the killing of so many blacks by white police.


During this Lent, we are also mindful of the imperative to be people of mercy, as Pope Francis has declared in this Jubilee Year of Mercy. We, therefore, call on the U.S. to embrace a spirit of mercy and repent for the violence, death and suffering that it has inflicted on other countries, most recently in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Libya. We also call on the U.S. to reject the way of revenge and retaliation as a response to conflict and to find ways to make peace with the Islamic State instead of bombing them. We call, too, on the U.S. to halt all arms sales worldwide and to demand an end to Israel’s illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. And we call for the closure of the nearly 1,000 U.S. military bases worldwide, including new bases being constructed in Jeju Island and Okinawa.

As the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist has now moved the doomsday clock to three minutes to midnight, because climate change and the danger of nuclear war pose an ever-growing threat to civilization and are bringing the world closer to doomsday, we call for urgent action to be taken to end the climate crisis, safeguard the environment and abolish all nuclear weapons. We call, too, for an end to all U.S. military intervention worldwide, for an end to the U.S. militarization of space, and for the elimination of all weapons–from guns to killer drones.

Let us begin Lent together by joining in this important Ash Wednesday witness as we strive together to make God’s reign of love, justice and peace a reality.

Ashes will be blessed and distributed. Please join us.

For more info contact Art Laffin of the Dorothy Day Catholic

Published in: on February 6, 2016 at 4:21 am  Leave a Comment  

Three Part Harmony Farm: Urban Farming in D.C.

Speaker:  Gail Taylor

Date: Friday, February 5, 2016 @ 7:30 p.m.

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

Gail Taylor is the owner/ operator of Three Part Harmony Farm, a vegetable operation located in Brookland. A long-time resident of the District, Taylor has worked in the Latin America Solidarity community, with affordable housing organizations, and now with the food sovereignty movement. A farmer, yogi and social justice activist, Taylor lives in an intentional community in Petworth.

For more info about Three Part Harmony Farm see:
Please join us!
For more information contact Dorothy Day Catholic Worker: 202-882-9649 
Published in: on January 30, 2016 at 5:51 am  Leave a Comment  

No Clarification of Thought Talk @ DDCW in January–Please Support Witness Against Torture Fast For Justice Events

Dear Friends,
There will not be a Clarification of Thought talk in January at the DDCW. Instead, we are encouraging everyone to support and participate in the Witness Against Torture Fast for Justice.
From January 4-12 the Witness Against Torture community will fast, reflect and lift the voices of the men unjustly detained at Guantanamo Bay Prison in the streets of Washington, DC.  January 11, 2016 marks 14 years of torture and indefinite detention at the prison, as well as President Obama’s 8th year of broken promises. This is our final chance to hold his administration accountable to their promise to release those unjustly detained and close the prison. Right now 107 men remain detained, 48 of whom have been cleared for release and are held without charge or trial.
During the Fast for Justice, there are several events that we especially invite you to attend. Please see below. Here is the link for the entire schedule for the Fast for Justice:

We hope to see you at one or more of these events.

With hope for the New Year,

Dorothy Day Catholic Worker  

Saturday, January 9th Panel

Panel:  Less Than Human: Guantanamo Bay, Guantanamo North and the Criminalization of Muslims in the War on Terror

When: 7 to 9 PM
First Trinity Lutheran Church
501 4th Street NW (entrance on 4th St)
Washington ,DC 20001 (4th and E Sts NW)
(Judiciary Square Metro)
This panel will examine the physical confinement and conditions under which the Muslim body has been held in the War on terror.  Further, the discussion will focus on the ways in which Muslims have been criminalized by virtue of their religious and racialized identity and subjected to a separate system of justice. Using specific examples, panelists will speak both to prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay, and Communication Management Units, two prisons that are notorious for their treatment of Muslim prisoners. Underscoring all of these issues, the panel will also interrogate the degree to which state violence has become law.

  • Major Raashid Williams, Counsel of Ammar Al-Baluchi
  • Abdul Ali (Avon Twitty), Current leader of Dar At-Tawhid Masjid and Former Communication Management Unit prisoner 
  • Dr. Maha Hilal, Executive Director, National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms
Moderator:  Darakshan Raja, Program Manager and Helga Herz Organizing Fellow
There will be artwork available for purchase by Mohammed Shnewer, Muslim prisoner of the Fort DIx Five Case.
Sunday, January 10th Concert
Visions of Homecoming: Close Guantanamo!

When: 5pm to 7pm.


Where: Impact Hub DC  

419 7th Street NW 3rd Floor

Washington, DC 20004


Join us for music, poetry, and movement building with The Peace Poets.  


As January 11, 2016 will mark 15 years of indefinite detention and torture in Guantanamo, musicians, poets and activists will come together to work towards a world where human beings are no longer locked in prisons cells.  During our recent trip to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, we witness the impact on the Cuba people being denied their home by the continued occupation of the U.S. Naval base in Guantanamo and confronted the reality of the men that have had years of their lives stolen away from loved one and families.  Join us, as we dream of homecomings for the Cuban people and those locked away in Guantanamo and domestic prisons.   


The Peace Poets will perform.


Witness Against Torture and Code Pink will discuss their most recent trip to Guantanamo bay, Cuba. 


The Center of Constitutional Rights will share the stories of the men they represent in Guantanamo.  


Brought to you by Witness Against Torture, Code Pink, National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms, Center for Constitutional Rights and The Peace Poets


Monday, January 11th– White House Prayer Service and Rally

Where: White House (North Side)

What: Interfaith Prayer Service: 12:00 noon

Rally: 12:30


Last Chance for Leadership: Close Guantánamo


President Obama has just one year left to fulfill his first-term promise by closing Guantánamo and ending indefinite detention. Doing so will demonstrate leadership and fidelity to the principles on which he campaigned and won office.


On January 11, 2016, the prison at Guantánamo will enter its 15th year of operation. More than 100 men remain there, the vast majority of whom will never be charged with crimes. Dozens of prisoners are cleared for transfer. Some remain on hunger strike and are force-fed, and a handful are facing charges in unfair trials. There has been no accountability for the torture that many detainees have suffered.


Though Congress has placed obstacles to closing Guantánamo, President Obama can and should make significant progress towards reducing the population and shuttering the prison. He must order the Secretary of Defense to expedite transfers and accelerate the Periodic Review Board process, and tell the Justice Department not to reflexively oppose habeas petitions in federal court.  He must also reject a policy of indefinite detention, and formally try or release all detainees.


In addition, President Obama should order all relevant agencies to read the full Senate torture report.  Refusing to read the report, more than a year after receiving it, reflects the “bury your head in the sand” mentality that will prevent the country from adequately learning from its past and permanently ending torture.  Further, the Obama administration should prompt the Department of Justice to open a new, comprehensive investigation into the clear acts of criminality described in the report.


Now is the time for Obama to accomplish a central goal of his administration by closing Guantánamo. There is today a renewed climate of fear and hate reminiscent of the post-September 11 mindset that led to torture and indefinite detention in the first place.  Guantánamo is the bitter legacy of a politics of fear, which must be rejected.


This is the President’s last chance to keep his promise and close Guantánamo.  If he does not do so, there is a real chance that the current detainees will die there, and that more detainees will join them.


We cannot let that happen.  Close Guantánamo now.


Tuesday, January 12th–Peoples State of the Union Action

When: 1:30pm
Where: In front of the U.S. Supreme Court on First Street, NE across
from the U.S. Capitol       

President Obama will give his final State of the Union address on January 12, 2016 and the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance is calling on people to join us in speaking out and delivering our State of the Union petition to President Obama and the U.S. Congress.


Sponsored by the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance: For more information or to get involved contact: or


Published in: on January 6, 2016 at 2:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

Report of the December 28th Holy Innocents Pentagon Witness

by Art Laffin

Biblical Account

In Matthew’s account, magi from the east go to Judea in search of the newborn king of the Jews, having “seen his star in the east.” The King, Herod the Great, directs them to Bethlehem, and asks them to let him know who this king is when they find him. They find Jesus and honor him, but an angel tells them not to alert Herod, and they return home by another way. The Massacre of the Innocents text is Matthew 2:16–18, although the preceding verses form the context:

When the Magi had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. Get up, he said, take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him. So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.” When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old or under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: “A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”


Report of Witness
On December 28th, 50 people from the Atlantic and Southern Life Communities held a nonviolent witness at the Pentagon to commemorate the feast of the Massacre of the Holy Innocents. The noon-time witness began with a procession in which participants carried banners and signs from Army-Navy Drive to the police designated “protest” area located near the Pentagon south metro entrance.  Recently, the Pentagon Police, citing security concerns, moved our vigil site down the sidewalk, away from the metro entrance and in the direction of the south parking lot.


Upon our arrival, we encountered a sizeable police presence who directed everyone to go into the fenced off designated protest area. Seven did not comply and remained along the building side of the sidewalk, directly across from the designated protest area, and held a large banner that said “Wage Peace–Practice Nonviolence.” I also held a sign which said “The U.S. Bombing of A Doctors Without Borders Hospital in Afghanistan is A War Crime–U.S. Out of Afghanistan Now!”  Unlike some recent Pentagon action arrests, police moved to arrest very quickly, taking only a few minutes. Joe Byrne led us in singing two verses of the “Coventry Carol” as the first and second arrest warnings were given. As police gave a final warning to leave, Patrick O’Neill then led us in the “Lord’s Prayer,” at which point, we were all arrested. I was able to offer an abbreviated version of the  song “A Voice Is Heard In Ramah,” as I was being taken into custody.
As the police were moving in to make arrests, the community gathered in the designated protest area began the program part of the witness which lasted nearly an hour. During this time, a statement regarding who we are and the purpose for our action was made, the Gospel account of the massacre of the Holy Innocents was read, an excerpt from an Allen Ginsberg poem was shared, and songs and New Year’s Resolutions for a nonviolent world were offered. Please see below the statement and some of the New Year’s Resolutions that were offered. Also please see photos and short video clip taken by our wonderful stealth photographer!
The seven of us who were arrested were taken to the Pentagon Police Center, which once upon a time served as a day care center, and charged with “Violation of Lawful Order.”  All were released and are scheduled to appear for a February 4, 2016 court date at the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, VA.


Those Arrested:

Patrick O’Neill

Joan Wages

Janice Sevre-Duszynska

Chris Spicer

Elizabeth Naro

Joe Byrne

Art Laffin



Statement and New Year’s Resolutions


                                           THE MASSACRE OF THE INNOCENTS IS MAGNIFIED
Today, Christian churches commemorate the Massacre of the Holy Innocents, recalling how Herod, as he sought to destroy the child Jesus, ordered the slaughter of boys under two years old in and around Bethlehem. Today, the lives of countless innocents, like those in Bethlehem, are endangered. Every hour of every day, the United States military magnifies destruction across the globe.  From overt wars to covert “dirty wars,” lives are destroyed, millions of families are torn apart, people are disappeared. On October 3, 2015, the U.S. bombed a Doctors Without Border Hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, killing 42 people and injuring 30. A survivor of the attack described how patients in the hospital were literally burning to death in their intensive care unit beds.
Every second of every minute, the world’s addiction to oil, natural gas and nuclear power is the cause of environmental contamination that is threatening global devastation. The unrelenting violence of the U.S. power structure continues to crush the poor and target people of color. Fear and violence are pervasive everywhere. And always, the existence of nuclear weapons puts all life in utter peril.  We respond to these and other horrors with a resounding “No!” This is a time when we call for transformation and resolve to magnify God’s creation with joy. We, members of the Atlantic and Southern Life Communities and other peace groups, invite you to join us in making the following New Year’s Resolutions a reality as we strive to create the beloved community and a nonviolent world.
New Year’s Resolutions for 2016  

Abolish All Nuclear and Conventional Weapons Now!

Halt All Research of Nuclear Weapons Now!

Stop the U.S. Militarization of Space Now!

Pursue Climate Justice Now!

Abolish War Now!

Repent for 24 Years of U.S. Warmaking in Iraq and Make Reparations to the Iraqi People Now!

Repent for 14 Years of U.S. Warmaking in Afghanistan and Make Reparations to the Afghan People Now!

Make Peace with the Islamic State and Stop Bombing Them Now!

Stop All U.S. Drone Attacks in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia and Make Reparations to All Victims of U.S. Drone Strikes Now!

End Islamophobia Now!

Close All U.S. Military Bases, including on Jeju Island and Okinawa Now!

End the Israeli Occupation of Palestine and All U.S. Military Aid to Israel Now!

Close Guantanamo, the SOA/WHINSEC and All Military Torture Centers Now!

Free All Political Prisoners Now!

Tear Down the Border Wall and Welcome Immigrants Now!

Save the World’s Children Dying From Poverty Now!

Eradicate Poverty Now!

End Racism and All Forms of Discrimination Now!

That the U.S. Government Honor All Treaties With Indigenous Peoples and Make Reparations to Them Now!

Money for Human Needs Not for Wall Street and the Pentagon Now!

Abolish The Death Penalty Now!

Stop All Police and Vigilante Violence Against African Americans Now!

Money for Schools Not the Prison Industrial Complex Now!

Demand Universal Health Care and Affordable Housing Now!

Respect All Life and Creation Now!

Live, Practice, and Teach Nonviolence Now!

Published in: on December 29, 2015 at 8:17 pm  Leave a Comment  

Invitation to Dec. 28 Holy Innocents Pentagon Peace Witness

Dear Friends,

We are writing to invite you to a nonviolent witness at the Pentagon on December 28th to commemorate the Massacre of the Holy Innocents (see below announcement).

If you are able to join us please let us know. Contact Kathy Boylan at 202-882-9649 regarding hospitality. And please share the below information with other friends.

One new piece of information to share is our new police designated vigil location. On Monday, November 3, we arrived at the Pentagon for our weekly early morning vigil only to discover that Pentagon police had moved our vigil site down the sidewalk, away from the metro entrance and in the direction of the south parking lot. In explaining the reason for the change, a Pentagon Police Sergeant, passing on information from his superiors, cited security reasons, namely that we were too close to the ground vents. He also indicated that the change was necessary because of a new visitor’s entrance that will soon be opened next to the Pentagon metro entrance. Despite attempts that are being made to move us farther away from the building, we assured the Sergeant that we are not going away.

With gratitude,

The Dorothy Day Catholic Worker


Holy Innocents Peace Witness

When and Where:

Monday, December 28, 2015: Nonviolent Witness at the Pentagon. Meet on corner of Army-Navy Drive and S. Eads St. @11:30 a.m. Witness at Noon.


Please join members of the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker and other peacemaking friends in a nonviolent witness to commemorate the Massacre of the Holy Innocents – past and present. We will also proclaim, in the form of New Year’s Resolutions, our hope for a world of nonviolence, peace and justice. Please bring a resolution to offer during this witness.

Let us pray for each other as seek to make the Word flesh in building, ever wider and stronger, the Beloved Community. Let us recommit ourselves to ending the slaughter of innocents everywhere. 

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

Published in: on December 7, 2015 at 8:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

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