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Video of Good Friday arrests 26 Apr 2011

See the next item for a full report of the protest, plus pics.

Three CWers arrested on Good Friday 25 Apr 2011

Three CWers were arrested after they breached the security gate at the entrance of 10 Downing St. in London, the home of the UK Prime Minister in a "Free Bradley Manning" Protest. The three arrested were Steve Jacobs of the Columbia MO CW, Frank Cordaro of the Des Moines IA CW and Ciaron O'Reilly of the London CW.

The witness took concluded the annual Good Friday Stations of the Cross organized by the London CW, the London CW Farm and the Oxford CW. In the introduction to the booklet prepared for this years Stations, the CW'ers note that Christians around the world remember that Jesus was crucified, suffered and died to show God's love for us on this day. CW'ers believe that Christ continues to be condemned and crucified today, in those who suffer as a result of:

The Arms Trade � which crucifies the poor;
Climate Change - which crucifies creation;
War � which crucifies the innocent;
Torture � which is a form of crucifixion;
Nuclear Weapons � which threaten to destroy the earth;
International Debt � which is like the burden of the cross to the poor;
Homelessness � which reveals the ragged face of the crucified Christ;
Immigration Policy - which condemns innocent people fleeing persecution, poverty and violence.

To highlight each of these forms of modern day crucifixions a �Geography of Suffering� was mapped out in the heart of London. Using the scripture reflections of Fr Emmanuel Charles McCarthy of the Center for Christian Nonviolence's Stations of the Cross as a template, 15 sites within walking distance were mapped out to correspond to the 15 traditional Stations of the Cross.

Starting with the first station at 10 Downing Street, a procession of 20 people moved to the Ministry of Defense building, the Dept. of Energy and Climate Change offices, the arms dealer Matra BAE Dynamics Alenia headquarters, the Foreign Office, the Parliament, the Milbank � home of the Committees on Arms Export Controls, the Security Service MI-5 building, a Home Office building � responsible for immigration control, former headquarter offices of Lockheed Martin � arms manufacture, the headquarters of Qinetiq � a British global defense technology company, offices of Rolls Royce � its military contract branch, the Defense and Security Organization offices, the Treasury Office and ending back at 10 Downing St.

When the group returned to 10 Downing Street. Ciaron O'Reilly made his way to the front of the crowd of tourists, close to the security gate. Frank Cordaro and Steve Jacobs followed close behind. At the same time a London police security officer open the security gate to let a car out of the Prime Ministers compound. That was all Ciaron, Frank and Steve needed to slip past the security officer and set up their protest inside the security space separating the public and the Prime Ministers compound. (Stroke of luck? Act of God? There are no accidents... )

What followed was a 40 minute stand off between the London police and the three CW'ers. The time was not wasted. As soon as it was clear that the police were not going to remove the three CW'ers immediately, Ciaron started doing what he is know best for - �Soap Box� speaking. As hundreds of tourists made there way past the site, Ciaron started to inform them of why we were holding our protest to free Bradley Manning. When he stopped Frank and Steve stepped in to fill in with the public education moment, with help from NYC CW'er Carmen Trotta and Oxford CW'er Sr Susan Clarkson.

At one point Frank was able to read the Gospel of Mark's Good Friday account � stopping to remind the crowds were Jesus was being tortured in the text.

Through out the stand off, different London police officers tried to negotiate with Frank, Steve and Ciaron to remove themselves from the site, informing them that they were illegaly occupying space that could get them arrested and taken off to jail. All three CW'ers told the officers that they were perfectly aware of the possibility of arrest and jail and that despite this they were not going to remove themselves voluntarily.

Armed police showed up immediately, followed by a couple of vans of riot police.Police repeatedly informed Steve, Frank and Ciaron that they were going to be placed under arrest.

The 40 minute stand off concluded when the three CW'ers were escorted away from the prime ministers residence. All three were taken across the street, questioned and released � no charges have as yet been made. More pics: 1 | 2.

Some recent events and Good Friday 22 Apr 2011

As I write members of the LCW are involved in a Stations of the Cross vigil. The vigil is taking place at the Geography of Suffering: it is beginning at 10 Downing Street, London. Moving throughout Westminster Borough. Arms Dealers, Climate Office, MoD, Parliament, Mi5, Home Office etc.... A report will be forthcoming

Some significant recent events have taken place since the last website update:

  • We had a Free Bradley Manning! End the War! Meeting & Gig at Giuseppe Conlon House. The event kicked off at 2pm with information stalls and refreshments, space and time to network with others and music from the Bow Creek Ramblers Old Time String Band. People were also invited to sign a card from the gathering or write an individual letter of solidarity and support to Bradley Manning. A shrine representing Bradley Manning�s cell was also set up in the front porch of the venue, which was previously a Roman Catholic church. Imagine a free Bradley Manning� Full report here.
  • Earlier this month in Dublin, Ciaron O'Reilly from the LCW joined Frank Cordaro and Steve Jacobs from the worldwide Catholic Worker movmeent in a series of events. Their aim was to encourage the Irish people to demand of President Obama to stop the torture of Bradley Manning and end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Full report here.
  • The LCW had a Faith and Resistance retreat on Palm Sunday week-end which was well-attended and enjoyed by all.

Report on vigil for Brad Manning 21 Mar 2011

A demonstration was held outside the US Embassy in London yesterday in solidarity with alleged Wikileaks whistle-blower Bradley Manning as part of a day of action around the world, including in the US and other parts of Europe and the UK. Around 80 people attended.

Bradley Manning is a dual US-UK national. His mother is Welsh and he attended secondary school in Pembrokeshire. The British government is therefore obliged to make representations for him. Plaid Cymru has shown its support for Manning and Labour MP Ann Clywd has compared his detention to that of Guantanamo Bay prisoners. Young people from Pembrokeshire joined the demonstration and asked why he was facing such abuse when no evidence had been presented to back up the charges. One young woman stated that when it becomes �illegal to [act to] stop the killing of innocent people in Iraq, we need to question the laws we have�.

The demonstration was also addressed by Bruce Kent (vice-president, CND) and former SAS soldier Ben Griffin. Griffin, who had refused to return to the illegal war in Iraq, said that while people had been optimistic when Obama became president, we are now seeing a more secret war � Guantanamo Bay is still open, extraordinary rendition is still happening, extrajudicial killings and drone attacks in Pakistan are increasing. He stated that the treatment of Bradley Manning was a direct result of the normalisation of the behaviour of the US around the world, such as in Afghanistan and the Middle East, over the past ten years. He praised Manning as a �brave young man�.

Human rights activist Peter Tatchell said that the issue was essentially that we have a right to know what the government is doing in our name. He also demanded that the government must act for Manning who is �not a law breaker but a law enforcer�, citing the law breakers as being the governments who have acted illegally �in our name�.

The main part of the demonstration ended with a reading of a recent letter by Manning describing his treatment and a minute�s silence. Full report and pics on indymedia.

Join us this Sunday to demand they stop torturing Bradley Manning 17 Mar 2011

This Sunday March 20th from 2pm at the U.S. Embassy, London... Join Bruce Kent, Peter Tatchell, Ben Griffin & the LCW to demand they Stop Torturing Bradley Manning!

Why? To demand the end of the torture of Bradley Manning in Quantico U.S. Marine Base, Virginia USA. Although 23 year old Bradley Manning is a U.S. Army intelligence officer he is being held without explanation in the largest U.S. Marine Base in the world! Bradley is being held, in effect, in isolation and sensory deprivation, his conditions are torturous. Techniques finetuned at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo have been unleashed on what U.S. authorities see as a nonviolent dissident within the U.S. war machine.

U.S. anti-war and human rights activists, lawyers, military veterans and the former commander of Quantico are heading down to Quantico this Sunday March 20 to demand justice for Bradley Manning. Others of us around the world will go on Sunday March 20 to U.S. embassies and sites of siginifiance in the U.S. wars on Iraq and Afghanistan and do like wise. Consider joining us or initiating your own activity for Bradley Manning on Sunday March 20.

Vigil at MOD for Ash Wednesday 10 Mar 2011

Catholic Workers marked the MOD with ash as Trident is poised to reduce the world to nuclear ash! Five CWs were detained by police, and may face charges at a later date. Full story and photos on IndyMedia.

Vigil at the law courts for Assange Verdict 18 Feb 2011

This video shows a recent vigil at the London law courts where Julian Assange is being tried.

Action aplenty for Assange and Manning 11 Feb 2011

Catholic workers have been vigilling outside the extradition trial of Julian Assange. They spent the day dressed in Guantanamo outfits labelled Bradley Manning, Quantico; Saker Aamer, Guantanamo; Julian Assange ????????? and You Next, ???????????... and read out a litany of the dead. They read the names of Afghani and British people killed in the war, the true nature of which Julian Assange & WikiLeaks have exposed and Bradley Manning is accused of exposing. More info here.

Lover's Electric recently performed a song in support of Bradley Manning at our own Guiseppe Conlon House. Check it out:

Report on action at Australian High Commission in London 7 Feb 2011

Solidarity activists from Adelaide, Aotearoa/NZ, Brisbane, Chicago, London, and Melbourne returned to the Australian High Commission on the Strand on Friday night (Feb 4th) to demand that they lift their game and advocate for the civil rights of Australian dissident and founder of WikiLeaks Julian Assange. The Australian government continues to service the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and co-operate in the persecution of anti-war dissidents. Assange faces an extradition hearing in London this Monday and Tuesday (Feb 7 & 8). He was initially denied bail after self -urrendering in Kentish Town police station in December. Opposition to bail came from the British government, in service to the Americans, rather than the Swedes who seek his extradition. Assange is presently electronically tagged and living under a curfew.

Photos and more pics here. London Catholic Workers, WikiLeaks London Support and others in opposition to the extradition of Julian Assange will be outside Woolwich Court/ Belmarsh Prison on Feb 7 and 8th between 9am and 5 pm.

Four Days of Action announced for Assange and Manning 4 Feb 2011

Cyber, anti-war and human rights activists will today descend on the Australian High Commission and on Monday on the Woolwich magistrates court, attached to the Category A Belmarsh Prison, to demand freedom for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, presently on restrictive bail and facing extradition, and also for Bradley Manning, the young soldier who is being held in solitary confinement in Quantico Marine Base in USA.

On Saturday 5 February, a public meeting will be held at Harringay's Giuseppe Conlon Hall, which also serves as a 'house of hospitality' for refugees and others in need of help and support. Speakers will include former political prisoner of the US, Ciaron O'Reilly, and a speaker from the support group 'UK Friends of Bradley Manning'. Footage from the 'Collateral Murder' video Manning is accused of leaking will be shown and there will also be live music.

On Monday, the activist groups will join others from WikiLeaks London Support group outside Woolwich magistrates courts attached to Belmarsh Prison where the extradition hearing of Julian Assange is due to be heard.

Here's the timeline:

  • Friday Feb. 4th: 4.30pm-6.30pm Vigil and Speak Out at the Australian Embassy on The Strand, central London.
  • Saturday Feb. 5th: 3pm Public Meeting at Giuseppe Conlon Hall 49 Mattison Rd, Harringey London N4.
  • Monday and Tuesday Feb. 7th. and 8th: 9am-5pm Vigil outside Julian Assange's extradition hearing at Woolwich Courts, Belmarsh Rd. London SE28.

For further information, please contact Ciaron O'Reilly by phone - 07939 290576 - or email: ciaronx AT yahoo.com.

Newsletter and new site 15 Jan 2011

Our latest newsletter is now out. There are reports of recent acts of resistance, reflections written by members of the London Catholic Worker, and extensive coverage of the opening of our newest project Guiseppe Conlon House.

As well as the newsletter you may notice that we have also substantially redesigned our website. We've slimmed it down a bit, and hopefully it's easier to use. If you want to access content from the old site, it's all still available here. If you have any difficulties using the new site (or any positive feedback!) please let us know.

LCW participating in Gulf War commemmoration 14 Jan 2011

People are gathering tomorrow at Guiseppe Conlon House to commemmorate the 20th anniversary of the 1991 invasion of Iraq. After the gathering at GCH people will move to the US embassy to vigil exactly 20 years on from when the bombs started falling. More details on IndyMedia.

Catholic Worker interviewed on Press TV 4 Jan 2011

Ciaron's interview starts 2 1/2 mins in...

If you have trouble watching the video here, you can go to the original site.

CWs in anti-war protest at Northwood military HQ 29 Dec 2010
Catholic Workers from St Francis House/ Oxford, Farmhouse/ Rickmansworth and Giuseppe Conlon House, London communities, were joined by 20 anti-war activists, in solidarity with the imprisoned Pfc Bradley Manning, and in resistance to the continued war on Afghanistan, at the gates of Northwood HQ/ London on Wednesday morning Dec 29th. More reports: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

War is over... Merry Christmas from the LCW 24 Dec 2010

CWs "close" Dalston's "Arcade of Death" 23 Dec 2010
Pre-Christmas peace vigil in front of Dalston army showroom in east London by London Catholic Workers and friends, in opposition to the war in Afghanistan and the perceived cynical establishment of a military recruitment centre within this impoverished community during a time of economic hardship. Full story on IndyMedia.

CWs at protest in support of Assange 15 Dec 2010
on monday afternoon a group of protestors delivered a letter at the australian embassy calling for the australian government to support its citizen, julian assange. after being removed by armed police and riot police, the vigil continued peacefully outside the embassy. Full story on IndyMedia.

Guiseppe Conlon House opens 21 Nov 2010
yesterday's opening of the of the 'guiseppe conlon house' was attended by around 200 people including a wide mix of refugees, advocates, punks, hippies, vicars, activists, lawyers, squatters, academics, muslims, christians, atheists, buddhists, musicians, locals and internationals. the internationals introduced themselves in a welcoming ceremony with representatives from outer hebrides to japan, kosovo to france, and sweden to uganda among many others. Full story on IndyMedia.


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