Monday 20 August 2012

Yeah, votez - ne l'oubliez pas s.v.p.

L'anarchisme chrétien has arrived - it has not got a subject or person index so it has to be swallowed whole to permit an opinion. You decide what should get my priority - two huge biographies of the most (in)famous anarchists in NL of the last one hundred years and more; L'état by Bernard Charbonneau which has also arrived and which Jacques Ellul called the only analysis of the state worth mentioning; - and several other things, including writing my own biography of an outstanding Dutch (christian) anarchist of the past century.
Alright, I know your answer.


Always a bit odd to read about websites in a book. Especially this one, apparently from Québec - not mentioning the very inspiring movement against the deconstruction of education in that part of the world at all. An English blog is entertained by Ursus arctos horribilis as well.
The only anarchist blog I encountered lately which calls the reader to vote...

Jusqu'à toute à l'heure...

Friday 17 August 2012

Pussy Riot and the Kingdom of God

London Protests in Solidarity: courtesy of Indymedia
When Leo Tolstoi was finally excommunicated by the Russian Orthodox Church he was applauded in the streets by masses of disaffected Christians who recognised the prophetic voice in his dissent.

Today the band Pussy Riot have been found guilty of "hooliganism" by a Moscow Court for their Prayer of Protest in the Cathedral denouncing the cosy relationship between Church and State.

Perhaps they could tour the UK, their message would certainly ring as true here as it does in Russia.

Tolstoi, renounced the Church long before it renounced him so his excommunication was an odd and impotent gesture on the part of the Church. He believed, wrote, and lived as though the Kingdom of God was not above, ahead of us, or inside us, but rather "among" us.

The established church will always crucify dissenters eventually, it's almost an inescapable fate for those who have chosen the way of compromise. I say that as a Priest in the Church of England who sits uncomfortably with a vocation that calls - for now at least - for creative compromise. I suspect that, one day, the decision as to whether or not I am licensed will be taken out of my hands. But enough about me!

Pussy Riot are likely to face a prison sentence and there is a global sense of injustice at this, and not just from activists. Like Toltstoi before them, and Jesus the Nazarene Agitator, and the prophets before him, Pussy Riot have discovered the deliciously liberating force of a well aimed heresy. 

Thursday 16 August 2012

Assange and the Farce of British Justice

Today, according to Ecuadorian officials, the UK government has threatened to remove Julian Assange from their embassy by force. Julian Assange stands accused -but not charged - of rape and sexual assault in Sweden. He is also charged - but in secret and without evidence or trial - of crimes against the state in the USA.

The USA want Julian Assange and their client kings in Sweden and the UK are willing to lose face to hand him over. Just as they were willing to lose credibility over the wars with Afghanistan and Iraq.

Meanwhile, the sort of atrocities committed by UK and US troops in Iraq, revealed by Assange's Wikileaks may still be going on around the world. Indeed Barack Obama continues to fund armed drones to assassinate civilians in other countries without trial or evidence. 

In medieval Britain, if someone was accused of a crime they could seek sanctuary in particular churches and often were given the opportunity to forfeit any rights and citizenship in order to be exiled from the country.

The Church was an appropriate place for this right of exit from the excesses of the realm: it was seen as a place of citizenship elsewhere - citizenship in heaven - so it was beyond the jurisdiction of any ruler.

Since the "Wars of Religions" the honour given to ideas of God have been transferred to the state. Naturally this means that the role of offering sanctuary and asylum now falls with Embassies rather than Churches.

Julian Assange, after being under house-arrest for nearly two years, which followed voluntarily remaining in Sweden to help police with their investigations, is now in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

British government officials have offered assurances that, were Assange to be extradited to Sweden, he would not be then passed on the USA, without due process. Ahem! But how can we trust a government or even a judiciary who have pursued one man with such enthusiasm despite the fact that he has never even been charged with anything, let alone found guilty.

Now, the UK government have threatened to force their way into the Ecuadorian embassy in order to arrest a man who has not been charged with any crime. And yet they still claim there is no political motivation for hounding him? Who are they kidding?

Our government took us to wars in Afghanistan and Iraq based on the lies and promises of the US government. Now they are chasing the leader of the only news agency worthy of the name because freedom of speech and information threatens the licentious violence of governments and corporations.

Today the UK government has shown its full hand. There is little pretence of either justice or goodness in the actions of a government who would rather risk the integrity of every embassy in Britain to secure the arrest of a man of peace than allow justice to be seen to be done. 

Tuesday 7 August 2012

Woe to the empire of blood - 3

A history of the Ploughshares Movement

A transcript of the words from soft-spoken Megan Rice in part One:

Your assistance is much appreciated. You have the mission of spreading the truth. The truth will heal us and heal our planet, heal our diseases, which result from the disharmony of our planet caused by the worst weapons in the history of mankind, which should not exist. For this we give our lives — for the truth about the terrible existence of these weapons.

Which has only escalated in the last seventy years. I was aware of it before it was even made, because I was 82, when I was nine years old I was aware that a huge secret thing happening three minutes from where I lived in Manhattan. The man next door was a physicist and a mathematician, his name was Dr. [Seeley Katt?]. Next door, as near as that door is, to our apartment. We knew he was doing something secret in his work. He couldn’t even tell his wife what he was doing, nor his daughter. To me, that the first message that here must be something very evil happening, because how could a husband keep something secret from his wife or children, or vice versa. This secrecy has predominated this industry. This is why the whole country and whole world has not stopped it, it’s gone on for seventy years.

We have the power, and the love, and the strength and the courage to end it and transform the whole project, for which has been expended more than 7.2 trillion dollars. Which has gone into that which is only to be transformed and regretted.

Reconciliation is available. Relying on all people of good will, creation, god’s life, we are all sacred and we will together respond and keep our planet sacred, alive, whole and healthy by transforming this into sustainable alternatives — which exist. To create better jobs! a cleaner environment! and a future for the seventh generation.

When asked if it was easier to get onto the property than she thought it would be…

Far easier! We were led, miraculously. (pause) But it was difficult. But we had to — we were doing it because we had to reveal the truth of the criminality which is there, that’s our obligation.

How’s it feel to be free again today?

More empowered to continue with the great people of humanity and all creatures in transforming this into life-sustaining and enhancing alternatives.

The video ends with Mike exclaiming from the midst of a group hug:

Nuclear weapons will be eradicated as antichrist scourge from the earth soon! Isaiah will be vindicated, weapons will be destroyed, warmaking will be abolished!


- Site of Transformplowshares.

Woe to the empire of blood - 2


“Come let us go up

to the mountain of God

to the house where God lives.

That God may teach us God’s ways

That we may walk in God’s paths….

For God will bring justice among the nations and bring peace between many peoples. They will hammer their swords into plowshares

and their spears into pruning hooks. Nations will not lift swords against nations. No longer will they learn to make war.

Come, let us walk in the light of God.” Isaiah 2

Brothers and sisters, powers that be, we come to you today as friends, in love. We, like many of you, are people of faith, inspired by many who have gone before us, people like the prophets, Isaiah and Micah, Jesus as well as Gandhi, and the countless who call us ‘to beat swords into plowshares’. May we now transform weapons into real, life-giving alternatives, to build true peace.

We come to the Y-12 facility because our very humanity rejects the designs of nuclearism, empire and war. Our faith in love and nonviolence encourages us to believe that our activity here is necessary; that we come to invite transformation, undo the past and present work of Y-12; disarm and end any further efforts to increase the Y-12 capacity for an economy and social structure based upon war-making and empire-building.

A loving and compassionate Creator invites us to take the urgent and decisive steps to transform the U.S. empire, and this facility, into life-giving alternatives which resolve real problems of poverty and environmental degradation for all.

We begin together by preparing our minds and hearts for this transformation. And so we bring gifts to symbolize this transformation, instruments that serve life, peace and harmony, truth and healing to this nuclear weapons plant and everywhere.

We bring our life-symbols: blood, for healing and pouring out our lives in service and love. Our very humanity depends on lives given, not taken. But blood also reminds us of the horrific spilling of blood by nuclear weapons.

-our hammers, to begin the transforming work of deconstructing war machines, creating new jobs which address real problems, eliminate poverty, heal and foster the fullness of life for all.

We bring our truth-symbols: candles, for light transforms fear and secrecy into authentic security;

-flowers, the White Rose of forgiveness, acceptance of friendship and genuine reconciliation.

-the crime tape and an Indictment, which point out truth and end lies which have blinded and dulled the very conscience of nations, and serve the interests of justice for healing global relationships.

-a Bible, to remind ourselves to become sources of wisdom and to inspire our acts of conscience as we carry on.

Lastly we bring food, symbolized by this bread, strengthening us as we build this new world where people do not feel compelled to build nuclear weapons in order to feed their families. So may we break and share this bread together in joy and genuine friendship as we work together, empowered by our Creating God


Michael Walli Greg Boertje-Obed Megan Rice shcj


Woe to the empire of blood

Sr. Megan Rice upon temporary release after she was jailed, making headlines for intruding on the US storage of weapons of mass destruction material in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

I know sr. Megan [she pronounces her name as "Meegan"] from the Nevada Desert Experience/Pace e Bene/Catholic Worker, Las Vegas, NV, where I had my home away from home the last couple of years. She moved out about a year ago and I thoughtthat would be about the last we would see from our beloved activist nun (she was witness to our marriage ceremonial in Las Vegas, in the chapel belonging to Pace e Bene).

How wrong can you be in expectations...
On July 28th Megan and two others passed the fence about this "facility" (oh, these filthy euphemisms) and - well, here is the story:

Calling themselves Transform Now Plowshares they hammered on the cornerstone of the newly built Highly-Enriched Uranium Manufacturing Facility (HEUMF), splashed human blood and left four spray painted tags on the recent construction which read: Woe to the empire of blood; The fruit of justice is peace; Work for peace not for war; and Plowshares please Isaiah.

Under the cover of darkness they intermittently passed beyond four fences in a walk for over two hours through the fatal force zone. “We feel it was a miracle; we were led directly to where we wanted to go” said Greg.

After navigating through the complex they came to a long, white, windowless building marked HEUMF. “It was built like a fortress”, Greg said describing the four guard towers.

Unimpeded by security, they attached two banners to pillars of the building. “Transform Now Plowshares” read the first with a green and black icon showing part bomb part flower. A second stated “Swords into Plowshares Spears into Pruning Hooks–Isaiah”. In addition, between the pillars they strung red crime tape.

When confronted by a guard they read aloud their statement. “He was on his walkie-talkie but he heard it” Megan confirmed. Before receiving orders to halt they had opportunity to offer guards bread, and display a bible, candles and white roses. Though initially forced to endure a kneeling posture for an extended period, guards responded to complaint and allowed the activists to stand off and on. Meanwhile they continued singing.

At this time they have been interviewed by the DOE investigative unit and have conditional charges of two felony counts for vandalism and trespass. They spoke to supporters from Blount County Jail at 12:30 pm saying they had not been processed yet. All four are scheduled for arraignment in Blount County Court on Monday.
“We’re still opposing the filthy rotten system” Michael said. “Jesus has no nukes in heaven and no torture in heaven.”