Tuesday 30 December 2008

Comment from Les, now released from custody

Three arrests occurred yesterday at the nerve centre of british power (Northwood, North West London) where questions were asked about the authorisation of killings of civillian, and any militarised obedient persons from Gaza, and in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A number of nonviolent creative anarchists vigilled and memorised the killings of military and civillians and three were arrested for alleged criminal damage. Priest Martin Newell, Susan Clarkson and Les Gibbons were arrested for the direct entry of top secret NATO base.

Questions were aimed at asking who is responsible, who approved and who authorised the killings, the many killings - ..the ability to observe objectively is universal if blame is not apportioned through questions - this creates the climate for reflection and inner questioning.

We asked those authorising others to go to war, kill and be killed to reflect on Gaza and disobey to come forward instead they stayed hidden - maybe they make themselves the gods of earth doing fine in their killing mandates.

This nonviolent calm intervention - forced by starvation, injustice and need to breach in a flint faced fashion the inner circles of empire and low quality power for the sake of preserving innocent, the real treasures are people not oil or security.

Hope will be Happening on 4th January in the first Palestine Cafe in Southampton - messages in arabic greatfully received for cards and pictures - no violent messages will be authorised for dispatch. Please ask your friends to assist with this - this is a human rights shout for assistance for palestine and particurly Gaza.

For further details please contact Les: 07766904547

Image: Les by Lizzie Jones

Monday 29 December 2008

Three arrested at Northwood: two for praying one for chatting

Catholic Priest, former British Marine and Catholic Worker Arrested in "Peace Break In" at Northwood Permanent Joint Headquarters.

Two Catholic peace activists were arrested Monday 8 a.m. after cutting through a perimeter fence at Northwood Permanent Joint Headquarters in suburban London. Fr Martin Newell 41 and Susan Clarkson 62 are from the London and Oxford Catholic Worker communities where they live and work with refugees from wars in Afghanistan, the Middle East and Africa. While the two were arrested praying inside the base, other members of Catholic Worker communities held vigil at the front entrance reading the names of British and Afghani war dead. Former British Marine Les Gibbons was arrested while engaging armed guards, M.O.D. police and other Base employees making their way to work at the base. During the arrests, sirens and public address messages from within the base could be heard announcing "Operation Round Up" and a return of all staff to buildings as the base's security response was put in place.

Northwood Military Headquarters is the command centre for all British forces deployed abroad in Afghanistan and Iraq. It is a 43 acre site in suburban London accommodating over 2,000 military and civilian personnel. In recent weeks, two British soldiers committed suicide in Basra while the 136th. British soldier to die in Afghanistan was killed on Christmas Eve. The Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission estimates over 750 Afghani civilians have been killed by Western forces in 2008.

The Catholic Worker is an international pacifist movement focused on work with the homeless and nonviolent anti-war activity. The Catholic Worker has sustained a constant peace presence and nonviolent resistance at Northwood Headquarters since the initial 2001 bombing and invasion of Afghanistan. This recent action coincided with the Catholic "Feast of the Holy Innocents" that commemorates the massacre of the children by King Herod who saw the birth of Christ as a threat to his power.

The three arrested have been taken to Watford police station.

(Image: Les and police at Northwood)

Sunday 28 December 2008

Jewish Voices for Peace

Jewish Voices for Peace tell me that around 1,000 Israeli's took the streets in peaceful protest at the ongoing genocide the Israeli state is inflicting in their names.

They write:
"Israel's slow strangulation of Gaza through blockade has caused widespread suffering to the 1.5 million people of Gaza due to lack of food, electricity, water treatment supplies and medical equipment. It is a violation of humanitarian law and has been widely condemned around the world.

In resisting this strangulation, Hamas resumed launching rockets and mortars from Gaza into southern Israel, directly targeting civilians, which is also a war crime. Over the years, these poorly made rockets have been responsible for the deaths of 15 Israelis since 2004."

Israel is not alone all states use the protection of their citizens as an excuse to ignore the real needs of the same and use innocent people as scapegoats.

Jesus was the scapegoat for the Roman and Temple authorities of first century Palestine. The temple authorities continue to crucify the innocent in Palestine today in the name of "peace and security."

but St Paul warns:
While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape." (1 Thess. 5:3).

More and more Israeli's are refusing to take part in this genocidal state fundamentalism. Christ is risen. A group is linked on the image above.

To donate please follow this link.

Thursday 25 December 2008

Blessed Christmas

Two hymns in the tradition of the lands where Christ and christianity were born

A Chaldaeic hymn

A Rum-ortodox hymn

For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding.

Monday 22 December 2008

An intentional community

Two glasses of their fine wine made me reckless and I can cowardly blame these for landing on my wrist in a hellishly reeking ditch, such as there are so many in my country... (It may have been the slippery grass, it had just started to rain).
Maybe it is my wrist which took a long time to heal - I still cannot bear my watch, which miraculously survived the mud and water - which prevented me from writing more about the intentional community of Longo mai - a community of communities nowadays. By putting on this posting I commit myself to doing it in the very near future.

Radical young starting a communal life in places abandoned by Empire - now that does sound familiar, does not it? They did it in 1973, in the longlasting post-1968 days. I read an interpretation of their name which according to some means "longlasting May" - but it actually is a Provençal wish meaning "May it last long". They managed to survive as a community, still radical, still doing agricultural work and participating in all kinds of actions "in the outside world": against persecution of immigrant workers, for organic farming - traditional farming, as a matter of fact, which Empire has made "an alternative lifestyle"- and much more.

Here is a report about them in English, more on them soon.

They did not have and still do not have connections to any religious denomination, but members of the community are studying French personalism at the moment, which is one of the driving ideas behind the Catholic Worker. Swiss philosopher Denis de Rougemont studied the movement and wrote sympathetically about them, which sparked their interest in his ideas.

Two Longo Mai-communities are included in this story about concrete utopias in Europe.

Saturday 20 December 2008

Nuclear Bomb factory sold to American's

The sale of a British National Fuel Limited's share of AWE Aldermaston means it is now completely out of the hands of UK government and owned by two USA based private companies. There is no reason to think that the government has abandoned its plans to plough billions into the development of the site and of more nuclear weapons.

All this despite the states historic committment to arrest and regress our nuclear weapon programme (International Non-proliferation treaty).

Money and violence has been partly contracted out it seems but you and I will still be paying for the right of US companies to profit massively from our fear.

What is our fear based on? Are we scared that other nations hate us because we are so rich? Perhaps it would help if we were a bit less rich.

Jacobs Engineering group, who bought the state's third of AWE Aldermaston.

If you want to know where your nearest Jacob's office is so you can let them know you know and what you think about there latest acquisition in some creative and loving way.... then click here.

Friday 19 December 2008

New monasticism

We are not tolstoyans, we are christians, was the objection of Dutch christian anarchists a century ago against a way of labelling which is still common nowadays. They however used the label of christian anarchists for themselves. In the USA these days there is a current manifesting itself, rejecting any other description but christian, which fits completely to the paradigm of christian anarchism. So much even that I have to conclude they are wilfully avoiding the term. People quoting - amongst others - Jacques Ellul, Peter Maurin and the Jesusradicals must be familiar with the expression.

It takes some swallowing when you follow this current with attention and sympathy - they are so-called evangelicals, christians calling themselves reborn, a brand (!) of christianity which does not give the USA a good reputation at the moment. They themselves write that it is difficult to be christian in the US these days. And this they say referring to their actions against imperialist warfare, discrimination, death penalty and other things furthered by a government which likes to call itself christian. Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw reject identification with worldly politics in Jesus for president! (a title based on a song of Woody Guthrie's).

It is a catching manifesto, a kind of Christian anarchism for reborn, against which nothing can be objected viewed from the commonly held standpoint of older christian anarchist currents, quite the contrary. To quote Maurin: these ideas are so old they look new.

Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove in New Monasticismdescribes a tendency in the US Рwe apparently should not call it a movement Рtoward communal living in the spirit of the early christians. This tendency he places in the perspective of older communal strivings such as the (Anabaptist) Bruderh̦fe and the Catholic Worker, a spirit which is also moving the reborn РClaiborne is a prominent example of someone living in such a community. It is called new monasticism, and to be part of it you may be married, you do not have to vow to keep silent - above all it is about the idea of living together in the spirit of the Sermon on the Mount and having property in common. Christian anarchism is well and truly alive, even if it does not call itself that way. Signs of hope from the heart of Empire.

- Shane Claiborne & Chris Haw, Jesus for president! – politics for ordinary radicals. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2008. 335 p.
- Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, New monasticism – what it has to say to today’s church. Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2008. 147 p.


Back in June 2006 at the conference of the UK Jesusradicals in Leeds somewhere somehow the decison was made by a few people to revive the paper A pinch of salt, a former Christian anarchist journal from Britain. I would or should have been correspondent from the Continent.

Now is the time for me to be that correspondent. Before placing a serious entry I thought it to be appropriate to introduce myself. I should have been the Northern Soul deejay at the conference mentioned above - especially went to Chicago to buy loads of danceable gospel 45s for the occasion (the phrase "especially" is used for dramatic effect - the rest of the sentence is true) - and then there were no wheels of steel at the conference... There were two guitars, however, so we had no lack of music.

So here I am, starting a rare Indorocker record from 1963, sometime early 2006, in my capacity of RG de 50-quidman. And I am the man behind christianarchy.org and Christianarchie. It may be a pity you cannot understand most of what is on there, but never fear - AdR tries his best over here in a language that is not his. I understand English is not Keith's first language and there is a fair chance that it is not your first language either, dear Reader. Let's away with the first entry of the day...

Thursday 18 December 2008

Hammered by the Irish

I've just finished reading Hammered by the Irish: How the Pitstop Ploughshares Disabled a US Warplane - With Ireland's Blessing by Harry Browne.

It charts the wider build up of Irelands various anti-war groups leading up to and after five Christian peace activists disabled a US military plane costing millions of dollars and saving lives.

The book honestly and frankly charts their four courtroom dramas (pre-trial and twice thrown out due to judges prejudicing the case) and their evetual acquital.

These five who began as near strangers but together risked up to ten years in prison give the reader a gripping read and an honest opportunity to reflect on the good and bad of direct action.

Political police

What would happen if the police were politicized and what are the principalities and powers so afraid of? It's the same fear that means the military have been traditiaonally banned from unionising.

If you get the sharp end of state-violence discussing their views and values, forming into groups, thinking about their rights and the rightness of their actions. If you had a grown-up autonomous police force doing some serious introspection then how could you maintain it's present role as living out someone else's agenda? You just couldn't.

"We need to be on the beat more?"
"It's what the voters want."
"It's not what we want we get hurt and abused"
"Why do we get hurt and abused."
"Because of all the fascists."
"What's a fascist?"
"Someone who subsumes there identity into a group in order to gather enough force to impose their morality on others and .... oh,.... I see."

Monday 15 December 2008

Politicians spin Kingsnorth protest

Well done to the Lib' Dem's for forcing the issue when the home office claimed that heavy-handed police presence at the climate camp was justified by the 70 police officers injured by protestors.

It now turns out there were 12 reportable injuries none of which was caused by a protestor but one was caused by a bee and another by sitting in a car!

Monday 8 December 2008

BBC spin airport protest

Whether it's rare industrial action or action on behalf of our marginalised evironment the BBC, like much of the media like tell a very different story.

So today the focus is not on why so many people would suffer hours in the cold, certain arrest and probable custodial sentence for blocking a runway. Oh no, the BBC website headlines with the inconvenience to passengers suggesting, without good grounds, that with one voice the passengers considered the protest pointless.

It used to be religion that lay down and mystified the sacred stories of empire. Now the new media of state is the "media": text, radio, t.v., internet. These are the High Priest's whom Jesus challenged in his own propaganda of the deed.

Wednesday 3 December 2008

The Politics of "Change"

"Even before the election was decided, we already knew a few things about the next president of the United States. First, we knew that he would be the commander of the world’s largest and most dangerous military state. Second, we knew that he would protect the interests of global capitalism with any means at his disposal. Third, we knew that he would implicitly present himself as the first bishop of the American civil religion—a religion that has always assumed that Christianity is the founding philosophy of American militarism and laissez-faire capitalism. But to go even further, we know that neither major political party will now seriously question the president’s current job description, making it obvious that the imperatives of the militarized and now hypercapitalized American state will disallow the procession of any fundamental changes from Washington itself."

- Michael van Dyke in his essay, "Anarchist imperatives and fundamental change" in which he outlines in story-form some of the important religious and political events that shape US worldviews to this day. A fascinating read for those new to the subject and those who already know a thing or two.