Pope Arriving, Civil Disobedience Ramps up

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Pope Arriving, Civil Disobedience Ramps up

WASHINGTON - Peace activists are planning a series of actions in Washington, D.C. and around the country coinciding with the visit of Pope Francis.

[Today, the Syracuse Post-Standard reports “Five demonstrators were arrested Monday morning at the main gate of Hancock Field while demonstrating against a weaponized drone program operating out of the base. The group, which regularly rallies against the unmanned aerial vehicles and wars in the Middle East, held signs reading ‘Drones Kill Children’ before members were arrested. … The protesters said in a statement that they staged the demonstration in honor of the International Day of Peace, a UN-designated day of non-violence and ceasefire.” Activists from Catholic Worker communities participated in the protests. Contact: Ellen Grady: demottgrady6 at gmail.com. There were similar protests today organized by the Nevada Desert Experience, with three arrests outside Creech Air Force Base. info at nevadadesertexperience.org; Brian Terrell [shortly in D.C.], brian at vcnv.org.]

Members of the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance “have been speaking out against the illegal actions of the United States government since 2003. They have organized numerous actions across the country involving nonviolent civil resistance as they call attention to the crimes of our government.

“Members of NCNR have written letters calling on both Congress and the White House to make drastic policy changes to bring about real change in ending war, poverty, the climate crisis, and systemic violence. NCNR has not received a response to either letter, so citizen activists will go to [House Ways and Means Committee chair Paul] Ryan’s office and the White House to seek a meeting to discuss these urgent matters. This action is part of the week of actions called for by Campaign Nonviolence with over 325 actions around the country between September 20-27.

“Just prior to the historic visit of Pope Francis, when he will visit the White House and address Congress, we call on our government to heed his words and stop the warmongering, protect Mother Earth and end income inequality. If our elected officials fail to heed the pope’s warnings, our planet will continue to suffer irreversible and deadly consequences.”

Contacts: Joy First, joyfirst5 at gmail.com, Malachy Kilbride, malachykilbride at yahoo.com, Max Obuszewski, mobuszewski at verizon.net

Speakers at the Tuesday rally at Edward R. Murrow Park near the White House will include Fr. John Dear and Kathy Kelly from Voices for Creative Nonviolence who was just in Afghanistan. She states she will risk arrest Tuesday because “the Obama administration bears responsibility to educate the U.S. public about the greatest terrors we face — the terrors of what we are doing to our own environment. Not one dime of U.S. resources should ever again go to war profiteers, war planners, and Pentagon exploits. Instead, those resources should be used to alleviate the impact of climate change and to meet human needs within the U.S. and beyond.” For more details, see the group’s Facebook page.

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