Aug. 6 Pentagon Witness- 5 Arrested

IMG_20150806_081948_919A message from Art Laffin, of the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker in Washington DC

Dear Friends,

To commemorate the 70th year since the U.S. began the Nuclear Age by dropping an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, 30 friends from the Atlantic Life Community and other peace groups participated on August 6 in an early morning peace witness at the Pentagon that was organized by the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker. The group carried 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 then processed from Army-Navy Drive to the regular protest site near the Pentagon metro station. While most people entered the police designated protest area, five of our community remained on the sidewalk a good distance behind the main procession, and were prevented by police from walking any further. They proceeded to kneel or stand  across the sidewalk, holding photos of Hiroshima victims, as several people spread ashes on the pavement. Bill Streit, Nancy Gowen, Kathy Boylan and Andrea Eiland were arrested within ten minutes. Steve Baggarly, who handed out at least of dozen leaflets about the conversion of Fr. George Zabelka, the Enola Gay military chaplain, was also arrested for leafleting. They were all charged with “disobeying a lawful order.” Steve was given an additional charge under a “soliciting” statute. They were all  processed and released after several hours. They were given a trial date of October 1 in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, VA.    Continue reading “Aug. 6 Pentagon Witness- 5 Arrested”

Praying in Front of the Pentagon

The Dorothy Day Catholic Worker House in Washington D.C. has maintained a weekly peace vigil at the Pentagon since 1987. This is an excerpt from a piece that Art Laffin wrote for the The National Catholic Reporter in October:

This morning I was alone there and had an opportunity to be present to hundreds of civilian and military Pentagon workers, a number of whom acknowledged my “Good Morning” greeting.

During the vigil I prayed in repentance for my own complicity in our culture of violence and for a conversion of my own heart to the Gospel. I prayed, too, that all who work at the Pentagon as well as in the larger military-industrial complex, and who are responsible for directing, planning, and implementing overt and covert military interventions throughout the world have a conversion of heart away from war, weapons, killing and torture, and towards God’s way of nonviolence, justice and peace.

I also prayed for and remembered the victims of U.S. warmaking and poverty, past and present. And I prayed for all those seeking peace and reconciliation in war zones, all peace prisoners and all who are held captive, including those detained in Guantanamo, some of whom are still on a hunger strike.

I finally prayed that the Pentagon would one day be converted and that each of the five sides of the building be transformed into: a center for nonviolent conflict resolution training; a center for developing and providing alternative and renewable energy sources; a medical treatment center; a daycare center; and a bakery.