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  • Writer's pictureLondon Catholic Worker

Catholic Worker released from prison

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.

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