Four arrested during protest at Des Moines drone command center

photo by Frank Cordaro

Four Catholic Workers were arrested on December 28 at a protest that connected King Herod’s murder of young children in his quest to kill the infant Jesus with the deaths of innocent people killed by U.S. drone strikes.

The Des Moines Catholic Worker and Voices for Peace co-sponsored the Feast of Holy Innocents Faith and Resistance Retreat and Witness, which took place December 27-28 to coincide with the December 28 Feast of the Holy Innocents.

The retreat began on December 27 with a Bible study led by Des Moines Catholic Worker Frank Cordaro, and a report on drones by New York Catholic Worker Brian Hynes and Des Moines Catholic Worker Julie Brown, who knows drone victims through her work with Christian Peacemaker Teams in Iraqi Kurdistan.

On December 28, the group celebrated a liturgy with Fr. Carl Kabat, and planned and carried out an action at the entrance of the Iowa National Guard Drone Command Center. They held banners that read: “Herod Killed the Infants. (Matt. 2:16.) Today the Des Moines Armed Drone Command Kills Them Too! Celebrate Christmas. Shut Down DM’s Drone Command!”

photo by Frank Cordaro

After refusing to leave, four Catholic Workers – Hynes, Ed Bloomer and Al Burney from Des Moines, and Greg Boertje-Obed from Duluth – were arrested and spent the night in the Polk County Jail.

All four were released on December 29 and charged with misdemeanor trespass. Burney pled guilty and was fined, while Hynes, Bloomer and Boertje-Obed pled not guilty and hope to receive a jury trial in Des Moines.

photo by Frank Cordaro