Australian activists remove metal sword from large crucifix at war memorial in historic cemetery on Ash Wednesday

Brisbane-area Catholic Workers and friends visited the Australian city’s historic Toowong Cemetery on Ash Wednesday afternoon, March 1. At the gate stands a large stone crucifix, adorned by a metal sword that marks it as a war memorial.

“From the moment I saw that sword on the cross… I knew I could not not remove it,” said Jim Dowling. From a ladder leaned on the crosspiece, he used a crowbar to remove the sword. He handed it down to Tim Webb, who placed the sword on an anvil and reshaped it into a garden hoe, echoing the Biblical prophecies of Micah and Isaiah that, “They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.”

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Drone resisters acquitted by New York jury!

Photo by Jessica Stewart

from Upstate Drone Action

Four drone resisters who had been arrested in 2015 at Hancock drone base – James Ricks, Daniel Burns, Brian Hynes and Ed Kinane – were found innocent of all charges at 11 p.m. at the Dewitt Town Court in New York. After deliberating for only about a half hour, the jury returned with a verdict of not guilty on all charges. Applause erupted in the courtroom upon the jurors’ announcement of the verdict. The four were charged with obstruction of government administration, disorderly conduct and trespass, and faced a year in jail. Following the rendering of the verdict, a juror approached Brian Hynes and said, “I really support what you are doing. Keep doing it.”

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Six anti-drone activists arrested during two actions at California’s Beale Air Force Base

from Occupy Beale Air Force Base

Anti-drone activists blocked traffic at the Main Gate into Beale Air Force Base for over 30 minutes on February 28 during early morning commute hour.

Flora Rogers, Mike Rufo, Pamela Osgood and Toby Blomé were later arrested for trespassing as they entered the base. One was trying to deliver a group letter to the base commander, expressing opposition to the unlawful drone assassination program (see letter below).

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Two peace activists arrested after entering BAE site in England, intending to disarm warplanes bound for Saudi Arabia

from Campaign Against Arms Trade, caat.org.uk

Early on the morning of January 29, Reverend Dan Woodhouse, a Methodist minister in Leeds, and Quaker activist Sam Walton entered BAE Systems’ Warton site in order to disarm warplanes bound for Saudi Arabia. Both have been arrested and are being held “on suspicion of criminal damage” in Blackpool.

Their actions are aimed at preventing BAE’s delivery of fighter jets to the Saudi government. The planes were due to be shipped from the base in the next few weeks. A Saudi-led coalition has been carrying out devastating airstrikes in Yemen since 2015, and international human rights organisations have condemned the bombings, with widespread allegations of war crimes.

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Obama administration denies clemency for Leonard Peltier

from the International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee

January 18, 2017, in a letter addressed to Leonard Peltier’s lawyer, the Obama administration formally denied the request to grant clemency to Peltier.

Leonard Peltier, a Native rights activist and member of the American Indian Movement, has been incarcerated since 1976 convicted of a crime he did not commit. Peltier’s struggle to gain freedom has crossed the globe and supporters include the likes of Mother Theresa and Desmond Tutu, whom have all called for his clemency.

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Chelsea Manning to be released early as Obama commutes sentence

From the New York Times

by Charlie Savage

January 17, 2017

WASHINGTON — President Obama on Tuesday commuted all but four months of the remaining prison sentence of Chelsea Manning, the Army intelligence analyst convicted of a 2010 leak that revealed American military and diplomatic activities across the world, disrupted Mr. Obama’s administration and brought global prominence to WikiLeaks, the recipient of those disclosures.

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Pair arrested after labeling California drone base a “crime scene”

photo of Flora Rogers and Brian Terrell by Chris Nelson

from Occupy Beale Air Force Base

Occupy Beale started off a new presidential administration with a protest on Tuesday morning, January 25 at the Main Gate of California’s Beale Air Force Base, home of the Global Hawk drones. Before dawn, yellow “Crime Scene – Do not Cross” tape marked the Beale Air Force Base sign, which was also labeled with a poster stating that “Drone Warfare is a Crime.” Air Force police ignored this warning and once again arrested the wrong people, taking Flora Rogers and Brian Terrell into custody.

After a brief and cordial detention, they were released with federal trespass citations. “They say ‘if you see something, say something’ but they don’t like it when you do,” remarked Brian Terrell.

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Sixteen arrested in actions against torture, Trump’s cabinet nominees

Witness Against Torture photo

Witness Against Torture photo

100s DEMAND THAT GUANTANAMO BE SHUT DOWN

from Witness Against Torture

Clad in orange jumpsuits and Shut Down Guantanamo t-shirts, activists with Witness Against Torture (WAT) took over the Hart Senate Building on January 11 with a message for Senators, staffers, and the general public. They marked the 15th anniversary of the opening of the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The message was “Shut Down Guantanamo,” “No Torture Cabinet” and “Hate Doesn’t Make U.S. Great.” These statements were painted on banners that activists dropped from a balcony and spread on the floor as 9 members of the group dressed in orange jumpsuits and black hoods held a die-in, mourning those Muslim men who died at Guantanamo without ever being charged with a crime. The nine, plus three others, were arrested by Capitol Police as supporters sang “Oh America, don’t believe their lies. Their politics of hate will destroy our children’s lives.” The balconies were crowded with onlookers as the action unfolded. One of the two who unfurled the “No Torture Cabinet” banner was also taken into custody.

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Sixteen activists carrying words and images of Daniel Berrigan SJ arrested at Pentagon witness

Photo by Lin Romano

Photo by Lin Romano

Report of Holy Innocents Retreat and Pentagon Witness in Honor of Dan Berrigan

by Art Laffin

On December 27 and 28, over 50 members from the Atlantic and Southern Life communities, and other peacemaking friends, gathered for a retreat at St. Stephen and the Incarnation Church and a nonviolent witness at the Pentagon to commemorate the Massacre of the Holy Innocents – past and present. This year we honored in a special way, our friend and mentor, Dan Berrigan, SJ, who died on April 30, 2016.

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“Mary” and “Joseph” arrested enacting Nativity scene at Hancock drone base

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from Update Drone Action

On December 23, as many throughout the world prepared to celebrate the birth in Palestine of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, four members of the grassroots group Upstate Drone Action were arrested at the main entrance of Hancock Reaper Drone Base on East Molloy Road in the town of DeWitt in upstate New York.

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