This website has been a little quiet of late, so there are a number of things to report...
Solidarity vigil: A vigil has been maintained at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since Wednesday 20 June in solidarity with Julian Assange who took refuge there on Tuesday and is seeking political and protective asylum in Ecuador. Members of the LCW have participated, and more detail can be found at the Veterans for Peace website.
Newsletter: Our summer newsletter is out now. There is news of our annual appeal, a report from Burma, a very moving interview with one of the residents of the LCW farm, and much more...
Facebook: Yes, they're a big nasty corporation with some serious privacy issues, but a lot of people use them, so we've got ourselves a presence. If you use facebook you can find us here and keep updated with what we're up to...
Solidarity with the people of Je Ju
15 May 2012
On May 9th four London Catholic Workers were joined by 10 Swedish students
on a day visit to Giuseppe Conlon House as we travelled into the South
Korean Embassy. We went to the embassy to express solidarity with the people of
Je Ju non-violently resisting the destruction of their traditional lands &
the construction of a new U.S. warfighting naval base. A video of the protest can be seen here.
We arrived at the embassy to join long time resister/
ploughshares activist Angie Zelter who was recently arrested on Je Ju.
45 other folks were also gathered in solidarity. They included folks.from the Korean
community, Pax Chrisit, CND, Trident Ploughshares, the
Sisters of St Joseph of Peace, Veterans for Peace UK. Three musicians
kept us entertained with political songs and several people read out the
letters they had written to hand in to the Embassy.
Angie Zelter and two other ativists went into the Embassy at 3 p.m. for around forty minutes to meet with Mr. IM, Byungho, the Consul/1st Secretary. They told
him in detail of our three major concerns – militarisation; human rights abuses and lack of democracy; and environmental destruction. They also told him about the growing international concerns and that there were demonstrations in at least eight other cities in five different countries this week.
The Ambassador stated
times that he did not know anything about the situation in Jeju and does
not have an opinion about it. He did not know about the environmental
protection issue or the human rights issue (and did not seem to care
about it either!) but he was sure that Chinese and Japanese naval power
is increasing and Korea needs more naval bases especially in the south
of the country. He said his Government's intention is to protect its
people using military tactics which was their right and that the
Ambassador has no right or power to ask the Government to change its
The Ambassador asked why British people were protesting. The activists said it was of
concern to all people if human rights abuses took place, environmental
protections were not respected and when countries were preparing for war
– we said much more of course and asked that our concerns be sent to the
President. He did not seem very interested and said he did not think the
President would read any report even if they decided to make one. He
only came to London last year, is a diplomat and has to support his
Government and is terribly busy with serious things to consider. He was
very dismissive but the three activists thought it was important that they insisted on the meeting and are fairly sure he did know much more than he let on.
Solidarity protests were held in Berlin and Frankfurt
(Germany), San Francisco (US) on May 9th. There has been ongoing solidarity from U.S. Catholic Workers and
Veterans for Peace in and with the Je Ju struggle that has seen many
priests nuns, lay Catholics & international solidarity activists arrested in acts
of nonviolent civil disobedience.
This youtube video by Californian Catholic Worker Denis Appel shows the beauty and courage of Je Ju and the threat the military poses. Thanks to Angie Zelter for help with this report!
Stations of the Cross
7 May 2012
Apologies for the delayed report of this event... Webmaster mea culpa!
On Good Friday, 6th April, seven people associated with the Catholic Worker communities based in Harringay,
Rickmansworth and Oxford, undertoook a five hour contemporary Stations of the Cross procession through downtown Westminster/ London on Holy Thursday.
Processing behind a banner reading “Tortured and Murdered by Empire”, the group
carried a cross, images of the crucified Christ, victims of the UK wars on Iraq and Aghanistan, Jimmy Mubenga killed by GS4 at Heathrow during his 2010 deportation, Bradley Manning & Julian Assange of WikiLeaks presently in the crosshairs of empire for exposing war crimes.
The procession paused for prayer, shared reflection and song outside of Downing St.,
Ministry of Defence, Dept of Energy, MBDA, BAe Systems, Qinetiq, Defence Export
Services Organisation, Rolls Royce, Home Office, MI-5, Arms Export Committee,
Treasury Office, Parliament, Foreign Office before returning to Downing St.
By the time the group had left the MI-5 building they had picked up an armed
response unit tail. Their return to Downing St was greeted with a van load of armed
offices tumbling out of their van. The government is presently seeking 10 year ASBOs
banning two Catholic Workers, Chris Cole and Fr. Martin Newell C.P, from Westminster
in relation to their nonviolent anti-war activity.
Launch of Veterans for Peace
4 May 2012
The group Veterans for Peace was launched last month at Guiseppe Conlon House. Eleven veterans attended the meeting and the aims of VFP UK were laid out:
To resist war through non-violent action.
To support war resisters.
To counter militarism and educate on the true nature of war.
5 pm Tuesday April 24th (tomorrow):
"Free Bradley Manning" Vigil
U.S. Embassy, London
Manning is facing 23 charges one carrying the death penalty, accused of exposing war crimes of the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Bradley is being brought back to Ft. Meade Maryland on March 15 & 16 for a
pre-court martial prosecution motions hearing. Bradley is in jail for
us, we're on the streets for him. End the Wars! Free Bradley Manning!
Drop the Charges!
Please RSVP if you can - helps us organise the event! (Email: ciaronx AT yahoo.com or Ph./ text 079 392 90576.) If you can't make it to London or Ft. Meade, consider standing publicly where ever you are in solidarity with Bradley Manning!
The March 16th. Vigil at London's U.S. Embassy organised by
London Catholic Worker http://londoncatholicworker.org/
and Veterans for Peace UK. Closest tubes are Bond St., Marble Arch, Oxford St. Hyde Park Corner. A map to get to the embassy is here.
Easter Monday launch of Veterans for Peace
6 April 2012
Veterans for Peace UK - Our Stories, Our Aims, Our Actions.
Celebrate the launch of Veterans for Peace UK. Easter Monday 09 April 2012 1400hrs (2pm). Come and hear veterans speak the truth about war.
Michael Lyons - Royal Navy Veteran - After reading WikiLeaks’ Afghan War Diaries (that Bradley Manning is charged with
disclosing), Michael refused to deploy to Afghanistan and was sentenced to seven
months in Colchester Military Prison.
Gerry Condon - US Army Veteran - Refused deployment to the war in Vietnam, went underground in Europe and Canada.
Gerry is a prominent organiser for Veterans for Peace and the Bradley Manning
Matthew Horne - British Infantry Veteran - Matthew served in Iraq with the Scots Guards and spent over 100 consecutive nights
on the ground at Occupy London.
Ben Griffin - SAS Veteran - Ben left the Army after refusing to continue serving in Iraq; he is the founder of
Veterans for Peace UK.
Jim Radford - WW2 D-Day Veteran -
A celebrated folk singer, Jim has been involved in veteran’s peace groups since the
days of Ex-Services CND.
FREE ENTRY - ALL WELCOME (Donations appreciated).
Location - Giuseppe Conlon Hall, 49 Mattison Road, London, N4 1BG.
Transport – Tube - Piccadilly Line - Manor House.
Bus - 29, 341, 141 - Mattison Road Bus Stop.
Timings - 1400hrs - Arrive from 2pm.
1500hrs - Launch of Veterans for Peace UK with speakers / music.
1700/1900hrs - Party BYO drink and some food to share.
Video background: Ben Griffin Matthew Horne, Michael Lyons outside the U.S. Embassy in Solidarity with
Bradley Manning (3 mins 30 secs)
Jim Radford singing "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda" (5 mins)
Newsletter out now
12 March 2012
Our latest newsletter is out now. A .pdf version can be read here. To see older newsletters go here.
The newsletter includes an article about Michael Lyons, the British naval medic who refused orders to deploy in Afghanistan and as a consequence spent seven months in jail. The LCW visited Michael in jail, vigiled outside the jail, and held a party when he got out!
There is also an account of Paolo Oliveira's ``Christmas in Palestine". Paolo is currently living with us as an intern at Guiseppe Conlon House. And there's loads more...
Don't forget the vigil for Bradley Manning coming up this Friday. See the article below...
``Free Bradley Manning" vigil coming up
6 March 2012
At 5pm, Friday 16th March we'll be holding a Free Bradley Manning vigil Outside U.S. Embassy, London. We will demand that all charges be dropped against Bradley Manning
Bradley Manning is facing 23 charges one carrying the death penalty, accused of
exposing war crimes of the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan. Bradley
is being brought back to Ft. Meade Maryland on March 15 and 16 for a
pre-court martial prosecution motions hearing. Bradley is in jail for
us, we're on the
streets for him.
End the Wars! Free Bradley Manning! Drop the Charges!
The March 16th. Vigil at London's U.S. Embassy organised by
London Catholic Worker
and Veterans for Peace UK.
Closest tubes Bond St., Marble Arch, Oxford St. Hyde Park Corner (download a map to the embassy here). For more info contact Ciaron on ciaronx AT yahoo.com, 079 392 90576. More info on the campaign at WiseUp and CollateralMurder.
Report from last Wednesday's MOD protest
27 January 2012
Seven Catholic Workers, a Quaker, a
doctor and a priest were detained and searched following the marking of
the M.O.D. Buiding in Whitehall in an anti-nuclear weapons action on Ash
140 others gathered at an Ash Wednesday event organised by Pax Christi, London Catholic Worker in repentance and resistance to British nuclear weapons. The group
proceeded to M.O.D. building on White Hall as activists broke off to
mark the building that controls British Nuclear wepaons
During a procession and liturgy those taking part heard how the UK
Government's commitment to nuclear deterrence is an on-going challenge.
The UK alone has 225 nuclear weapons and the Royal Navy boasts a proud
record of over 40 years of uninterrupted nuclear deterrence, as at least
one of the four Vanguard-class submarines is on patrol at any time.
They that the government might have a change of heart and direction.
A Catholic Worker stated,
British troops on the ground have recently
withdrawn from an illegal invasion of Iraq based on the fiction of that
country's possession of WMD. The British government and parliamentary
opposition expect us to swallow the same lies in a lead up to a war on
Iran. Yet the M.O.D. and British government continue to manufacture and
deploy nuclear weapons.
Ash Wednesday reminds us of the ash that nuclear weapons promises to
reduce the world to. Lent is a season of repentance "turning around"
from our silence and complicity with these high crimes. The appropriate
response continues to be nonviolent resistance to these high crimes and
solidarity with our brothers in chains and before the courts for such
We act in solidarity with Jesuit priests Bill Bischell and Steve Kelly
and also Susan Crane and many others presently impisoned in the U.S. for
resistance to nuclear weapons We are inspired by the resilience of
Bradley Manning and the price he continues to pay for speaking truth to
power, accused of exposing the war crimes of empire.
This is the 30th. year the M.O.D. has been confronted by christian peace activists on Ash Wednesday. More coverage, including pics, here.
Solidarity vigil for Bradley Manning planned for this Thursday
22 January 2012
5pm – 6pm: Stand in solidarity with Bradley Manning in London as he is arraigned for Court Martial in the US. The Vigil will take place at the hour the arraignment is starting at Fort Meade, Maryland.
Meet in front of the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square. Nearest tube: Bond Street. (more details).
If you can't make feel free to text the vigil while it is on - 079 392 90576
- sign off name and town eg. "Ciaron, London" and we'll read out ya solidarity text at the vigil.
You can read a statement from the US Lawyers Guild for the charges to be dismissed here.
Harringay protest against Guantanamo
19 January 2012
On January 11th on the 10th. anniversary of the opening of Guantanamo, folks
from Veterans for Peace, No Borders, Harringey Solidarity Group and
Giuseppe Conlon Catholic Worker House gathered in our neighborhood of
Harringey, London to the demand the immediate closure of Guantanamo and
other U.S. gulags. More pics here.
gathering included three former prisoners and a British veteran of the
wars on Iraq and Afghanistan. We made a specific call for the release
of Londoner Shaker
Shaker Aamer was cleared for release by the US military in 2007. He
claims to have been tortured repeatedly during his time in US custody,
on one occasion in the presence of a British intelligence agent. He has a
British wife and four children living in Battersea, south London. He
has never met his youngest son, who is almost 10 years old. Former Prime
Minister Gordon Brown sought his release in August 2007, along with
four other residents held at Guantánamo Bay, the last of whom was
released in February 2009. His lawyer, Clive Stafford-Smith, has
recently expressed grave concerns for his physical and mental health due
to prolonged arbitrary detention. More info here
Catholic Workers block military HQ
29 December 2011
Catholic Workers closed and occupied the Main Entrance of Northwood
Military Headquarters. Scott and Maria Albrecht, Henrietta Cullinan,
John Lynes and Rachel Wood pitched tents, knelt and prayed in front of
the main gate for 2 hour while others vigiled holding signs. One tent
had the words, “The Prince of Peace pitched his tent among us” John
1:14. A sign said, “War is not a Solution” which is a direct message
from the Young Afghan Peace Volunteers and another Pvt. Bradley
Manning’s Quote, “Exposing the true nature of 21st Century asymmetrical
Warfare”. A banner stating, Occupy Northwood HQ not Afghanistan” was
hung on the fence. The gate remained closed for the duration of the
The Catholic Worker group had
gathered to mark the Feast of Holy Innocents; when Catholics remember
the children murdered by king Herod in his search for the infant Jesus.
Catholic Workers make the connection with the powerful who continue to
kill the innocents today in war, specifically Afghanistan. Northwood HQ
is the command and control center for British forces in Afghanistan, all
joint forces and NATO operations abroad. Northwood HQ has recently
experienced a £1.2 billion building project; these funds could have
otherwise benefited the community.
The five occupiers were: Maria Albrecht (50), Scott Albrecht (49) from the
Catholic Worker Farm, Hertfordshire, Henrietta Cullinan (50) from the
Catholic Worker in Hackney, John Lynes (83) Quaker from Hastings and
Rachel Wood (28) from the Catholic Worker group Sheffield.
A group statement said,
At a time when government cuts are affecting
innocent children, pensioners, teachers, the sick and refugees the last
thing we need to be doing is to continue spending billions on warfare.
Human lives are the deepest cost. The government complains about a few
tents occupying a small square outside St. Paul’s cathedral while we’ve
sent thousands of soldiers to occupy other people’s countries and
destroy their lives. This government needs to get its priorities
London Catholic Worker Martin Newell got out of prison for Christmas, thank goodness. So no need to write to him in jail. Instead, here's the LCW Christmas message from last year - it's still relevant, maybe one day it'll be out of date...
Martin from LCW sentenced
12 December 2011
Father Martin Newell of the London Catholic Worker community was sentenced to 24 days imprisonment Friday Dec 9th 2011 at Highbury Magistrates Court. Martin was
brought before the court for refusing to pay a fine arising from cutting
into the Northwood Headquarters, London in December 2008. The anti-war direct
action was timed for the "Feast of the Holy Innocents" on the Catholic
liturgical calendar. The feast day follows Christmas and commemorates the massacre
in a search and destroy mission by King Herod who saw the birth of
Christ as a threat to his power.
From the dock Fr. Newell stated
with refugees from Iraq and Afghanistan at the Catholic Worker. I am
opposed to the wars we have been waging on these countries. I have
nonviolently resisted these wars since they began. I'm refusing to pay
this fine as a form of further non-cooperation with these wars.
Northwood Headquarters is the command
centre for British forces deployed overseas. The base has been the
location of a number of nonviolent direct actions by the pacifist
Catholic Worker community over the past decade of war on Iraq and Afghanistan.
Martin is in HMP Pentonville.
Solidarity messages can be sent to
c/- Giuseppe Conlon House,
49 Mattison Rd,
We'll forward messages to Martin.
Martin from LCW in custody
8 December 2011
Yesterday Chris Cole and Fr. Martin Newell were formally charged at West
End police station with "criminal damage". The charges result from the NVDA taken at Downing Street on 7th Oct 2011 marking the
10th anniversary of the war on Afghanistan. For background on the action take a look at this video or read this report.
Chris and Martin have been given a court date at Westminister Magistrates at 10 a.m. on 19th Dec 2011. Police
have decided to take "no
further action" on four others arrested in the October action - Maya
Evans, Ben Griffin, John Lynes and Ciaron O'Reilly
taken into custody this morning on an old warrant relating to nonviolent anti-war
resistance. He is presently being held at the West End/ London police station and
will be taken to a court for sentencing on the old warrant today or
tomorrow. At the present time we have no further word from the police on
We've got two forthcoming events that you might be interested in...
Free Bradley Manning! End the wars!
From 2pm, Saturday 17th Square, US embassy, Grosvenor Square: The closest tube is Bond Street; there will be speakers, music and an open mic. This solidarity event outside the U.S. embassy in London will be on Bradley's
24th. birthday - a day that many of his supporters will gather outside of Ft.
Meade and U.S. embassies worldwide. We invite you to join us in London to
demand FREEDOM FOR BRADLEY MANNING and an END TO THE WARS!
Bradley Manning, a U.S. Army intelligence analyst, faces life in prison for
allegedly sharing a video of a U.S. helicopter attack that killed 11 civilians
and seriously wounded two children in Baghdad, Iraq with the WikiLeaks website.
The footage had been withheld by the U.S.military from those trying to discover
the truth about the attacks.
This year marks 30 years of continuous faithful Christian anti-nuclear witness at the Ministry of Defence (MoD) on Ash Wednesday. Many people have risked arrest, been arrested and served prison time over the years as an act of repentance for nuclear terror, and to call for repentance from this terrorism.
We are helping to organise an event on Saturday 7th January 2011 to celebrate this witness and, for those who wish, to plan for the future. This is a good opportunity to find out more about how to begin taking challenging action for peace and justice. All welcome.
Wishing you all a very peaceful and hope filled Advent season as we prepare for the coming of the Prince of Peace, who came among us poor and powerless to bring down the mighty from their thrones, and raise up the lowly.