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Read on for the latest news from the LCW...
Kites not drones
5 March 2015
Maya Evans will be coming to Guiseppe Conlon House to speak about drones and run a kite-making workshop on Thursday 12th March. All are welcome from 6.30pm. Maya's talk will start at 7pm. We are also organising a solidarity action in London for Fly Kites Not Drones day, Saturday 21st March.
RSVP if you wish to attend the talk and workshop, especially if you plan to stay for our communal dinner afterwards, at 9pm: our email is londoncatholicworker [at] yahoo.co.uk More details here.
Member of the LCW in Afghanistan
3 March 2015
The photo shows the December 2014 VCNV Peace Delegation to Kabul: Maya Evans, Mary Dobbing and Henrietta Cullinan standing outside the Borderfree Centre. Below is Henrietta's brief report....
We stayed with the women’s community of the Afghan Peace Volunteers, who run a community centre, the Borderfree Centre, home to humanitarian and cultural projects. The centre runs literacy and numeracy classes for street children, and organises local seamstresses to make duvets which are then handed out to IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) and day labourers. The volunteers host many delegations from the US, Australia and the UK. They also join Global Days of Listening in Skype calls with people all over the world.
In Kabul I shared in the daily life of the women’s community, cooking and cleaning, took part in workshops at the Borderfree Centre and went out to see the duvets being distributed to internally displaced families in a refugee camp and to day labourers. During our visit Mary Dobbing from Voices for Creative Nonviolence and Drone Wars UK delivered an international workshop on the UK use of drones for Afghan journalists and the APV. Drone experts joined us from UK by Skype: Chris Cole from Drone Wars UK, Chris Woods investigative journalist and author, and Jennifer Gibson an international human rights lawyer with Reprieve.
The purpose of the visit was to show solidarity with the peace activists in a war torn country, at the very time when the ISAF forces were pulling out of Afghanistan after thirteen years of war. I also wanted to be able to report back to friends in the UK on the terrible effects of war and intended to challenge the militarisation of our society, which assumes you can only visit Afghanistan with guards and guns.
This site hasn't been updated too much lately, so if you would like to know what the LCW have been doing you should read our latest newsletter...
Farm Folk Festival
14 July 2014
The Catholic Worker Farm folk festival is happening on2nd August 2014, 2pm-11pm. It was great last year. This year it will be even better!
Tickets £5 at the door, under 12's free. Or buy tickets in advance to help us plan for the day. To get here you could take the tube and then a bus for about £2.70 or taxi for about £8/car. We are also happy to pick people up from the nearest tube Stop which is Rickmansworth. There will be food and drinks for sale at good prices.
These are just a few of the bands that will be playing: John McClean & The Clan, Razz The Poet, Peter Nutkin and Roland & Sue.
For more details visit the farm news page, or contact the farm on 01923777201, 07983 477819
21 May 2014
You are warmly invited to join the London Catholic Worker for two events during Refugee Week 2014 from 16 to 22 June.
On Sunday 15th June, 2-5pm - we will be having a picnic and handing out leaflets at the CCelebrating Sanctuary event on the South Bank (Bernie Spain Gardens, next to Oxo Tower Wharf, London SE1 9PH ) - (picnic: 2-3pm; leafleting: 3-5pm);
On Wednesday 18th June, 4-6pm - Join the London Catholic Worker in a vigil outside Home Office, 2 Marsham Street, Westminster SW1P 4DF. The vigil will be a call for the UK to honour the right of all refugees to live in dignity. We also call for the UK to increase the resettlement of refugees from Syria and other war torn counties.
Archbishops in the house
6 April 2014
The Cardinal Vincent of Westminster and the archbishop of Canterbury visited Guiseppe Conlon House today. More pics can be found here.
Catholic Worker released from prison
29 March 2014
Martin Newell is home, safe and well after his release from HMP Wandsworth yesterday, where he served 14 days of a 28 day sentence for nonpayment of fines all incurred as a result of acts of peaceful protest. He sends thismessage:
Thanks for all the cards, letters, messages of support and prayers.. My prayer isthat we will all deepen our commitment to work for peace and justice in God'sworld.
Catholic Priest Fr. Martin Newell , was sentenced to 28 days in prison fornon-payment of fines arising from numerous nonviolent peace protests against warand war preparations. Fr. Martin had told the court that for `for reasons of faith and conscience' hewould not pay fines of £565 that had been imposed following protests against thewars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as the UK's use of armed drones and Tridentnuclear weapons system. Fr. Newell said,
Jesus taught us to love not just our neighbours but also our enemies. He showed usby his life and example how to resist evil not with violence but with loving,persistent, firm, active non-violence. It was this revolutionary patience on behalfof the poor and oppressed that, humanly speaking, led to him being arrested, tried,tortured and executed by the powers that be. The acts of witness that resulted inthe fines I have refused to pay were a form of conscientious objection. Refusing topay them is a continuation of that objection. It is a privilege to be able tofollow on the path that led Jesus to the way of the cross and resurrection.
Fr. Newell is a member of the Passionist Order. He currently works with homelessrefugees at the London Catholic Worker, and is planning to move soon to start a newproject in Birmingham.
Ash Wednesday actions at the MOD
11 March 2014
Martin Newell sent out the following report of the day's events: It went very well at the MoD today. About 100 people for the liturgy, younger age profile than I've seen before, a good spread across the ages from young 20's up. Scott Albrecht marked the Old War Office, was arrested, taken to Charing Cross police station and bailed to return in May - I think it was the 14th. They will decide whether to charge Scott under Section 128 of SOCPA, concerning military establishments, and for criminal damage. For the Socpa charge they have to ask the Attorney General.Ray Towey marked the pillars and the main entrance to the MoD in the morning, I made a mark at the back at the end of the liturgy. Neither myself nor Ray was arrested. The photo was taken by Father Joe Ryan. A longer report is here on the Pax Christi website.
Solidarity with the family of imprisoned Pvt Manning in Dublin
15 December 2013
Inspiring solidarity events for Chelsea Manning have been taking place recently in Dublin. Click here to read a report from Genny Bove, and to watch a bunch of videos shot in support of Chelsea.
CWers found guilty for Drone protest.
11 November 2013
Protests outside Lincoln magistrates court during the trial
On October 7th, three Catholic Workers were among the "Waddington 6" who were ontrial at Lincolnshire Magistrates Court. They were charged with criminal damage, forcutting the fence at RAF Waddington in June this year before exploring the base tolook for the drone control units. RAF Waddington is where UK armed drones arecontrolled from as they fly over and attach targets in Afghanistan.
The LCW farm's first ever folk music festival! Saturday the 12th October 2PM-11PM
We have lots of really good musicians coming. Among others John McClean and theClan, Ben Holland and Loudspeka. More will be announced in our facebook group.It's going to be great and we are all really excited!
The festival is a fundraiser for our work with our homeless women and children.Entry 5 pounds.There will be food and drinks to buy.If you are travelling by tube we can pick you up at Rickmansworth tube Station.There are also buses.
... and 12 years of Non-violent anti-war resistance of the LCW.
Giuseppe Conlon Hall Venue Oct 5th event (7 mins) Joe Black, Ciaron O'Reilly, Guy Smallman, Andy Worthington & anti-war/solidarityactivists at Giuseppe Conlon House, Sat August 5th.
On Sat 5th Oct, speakers, musicians, anti-war activists, former political prisoners& a British Army veteran were among those who marked the anniversary at a public event on Satnight Oct 5th.The event was addressed by author Andy Worthingtonauthor of "Guantanamo Files", photojournalist GuySmallman and anti-war activist/ former prisoner of the United States CiaronO'Reilly.Musicians Joe Black from Dublin & Tottenham's were joined by British Army veteran/Malaya campaign Walter and Claudia in song. Formalities were followed by a fine mealprepared by John Hamblet and a music session. More pics here.
Those attending included representation form the Guantanamo Campaign, Fitwatch,Manning & Assange solidarity networks, Harringay activivsts, Jesuits, Jean Vianney parishoners.
PFC Manning who has been sentenced to 35 years for exposing the war on Afghanistanand Julian Assange presently surrounded by London Metropolitan police were remembered throughout the evening.
Solidarity with Ecuador & Julian Assange in London
20 June 2013
Report and call-out by CiaronO'Reilly
Song in support of Bradley Manning Julian Assange andEd Snowden by RoJ LiGht
CALL OUT Julian Assange will make a speech at 2pm on Sat 22 Junefrom Balcony of Ecuadorian Embassy, Knightsbridge, London. Come and stand in solidarity!
REPORT Wednesday June 19th marked a year since WikiLeaks editorJulian Assange entered the Ecuadorian embassy in London seeking sanctuary. TheEcuadorian government was immediately threatened in private correspondence fromBritish Foreign Minister Hague with the loss of diplomatic status and a consequentraid. The Ecuadorian government made the private threat public, held their groundand conducted an inquiry into the Assange case. This was the same government thathad previously responded to a U.S. request for a U.S. military base in Ecuador with,"if you let us have an Ecuadoran base in Florida?"
During this period of inquiry, the London Met were deployed in large numbersaround the embassy with 30 police stationed there 24/7. Anti-War, human rights,Latino, Veterans for Peace, Catholic Worker, Occupy & other activists maintained asolidarity vigil at the embassy. Following the completion of the Ecuadorian inquiryand the formal granting of asylum for Julian Assange in August 2012, the Met bobbiesleft to be replaced by 10 members of the Diplomatic Protection section of the Metand a police conference van permanently parked. This 24/7 police presence has beenmaintained for the past year at a cost of 4 million quid. On a significantly smallerbudget, a daily vigil of solidarity activists has been sustained (presently 4-6pm).
Sunday June 16th. 2013 was chosen as a time to mobilise as Ecuador'sForeign Minister Ricardo Patino was to visit Julian Assange before his meeting withBritish Foreign Minister William Hague the following day.
The first sight that greeted activists on exiting the Knighstbridgetube station was Sue & Roland's motor home transformedinto the "Free Tea, Free Assange" takeaway. The caboose was parked next toan exclusive Gran Cafe facing Harrods, serving folks throughout the afternoon.We started setting up banners and were soon joined by the Ecuadoriancommunity. Support grew to about 130+ by about 4pm. Word came through that theforeign minister had been delayed with an ETA of 6.30pm. We were blessed withfine weather and settled in for the duration. Fortunately, John McClean hadbrought his guitar! Songs alternated between an Aussie Kiwi combo and the Ecuadorian community.
In breaks between songs, media interviews were conducted and the Ecuadorian folksled us in chanting. At 6.30 the Ecuadorian foreign minister arrived waving to thecrowd and entered the embassy. Singing resumed and after a while curtains were drawnback and Ricardo Patino and Julian Assange appeared at the window of the embassy.Between us and them were the London Metropolitan Police, mainstream media and asealed U.S. Grand Jury indictment for the WikiLeaks founder.
In other places, Jeremy Hammond & Bradley Manning are already in chains,Edward Snowden is hotly pursued by the same powers. The courage of these people,the WikiLeaks crew and the Ecuadorian people inspires us all. Hopefully suchcourageous and solidarity is contagious. The world literally depends on itstransmission. If that sunny afternoon on a sidewalk in Knightsbride/ London with theEcuadorian community and friends is anything to go by, it's worth the effort.
Six protestors, including members of the LCW, broke into RAF Waddington a couple of weeks ago to protest the use of drones in Afghanistan. The six are pictured below (from left to right): Rev Keith Hebden, Chris Cole, Fr Martin Newell, Penny Walker, Susan Clarkson and Henrietta Cullinan. What follows is (the start of) a report of the action by Chris Cole.
Six anti-drone protesters (myself included) were arrested inside RAF Waddington on Monday (June 3). The protest had three aims; 1) to symbolically breach the secrecy and silence surrounding the British use of armed drones; 2) to bring information about the impact of airstrikes on Afghan civilians and 3) to symbolically begin conversion of the air base to peaceful purposes. We did this by creating a peace garden within the base, displaying information on buildings, hangars and sign posts about the impact of airstrikes on Afghan civilians (see bottom of post) and trying to find out information about the day-to-day use of drones at Waddington.
We were in the base for over an hour before being detained and arrested on suspicion of criminal damage. After being held on the base for some time we were driven off the site and saw large queues of traffic. Our presence had meant the base was `locked down' with all activity coming to a halt and no one was allowed to enter or exit the base.
We were detained by the police for over two hours before being processed. At this point we were told that we were being held incommunicado and not allowed a phone call to inform anyone of our arrests or to contact a solicitor. Unbeknown to us permission was being sort to gain entry to our houses in order to seize computers, mobile phones, diaries, and documents. In the afternoon we were each interviewed and told that we would be released and bailed pending further enquiries. By 10pm however it was becoming clear that we would be held overnight. Read full report here.