Monday, April 13, 2009
Will we have to rely upon religious progressives, as opposed to secular ones, to press the struggle against US military operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan? It would appear so, at least for now.
Late this afternoon, fourteen peace activists were arrested at Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs, Nevada. The arrests occurred during a ten-day vigil whose goal is to raise public awareness of the increasing use of unmanned drones in the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Air Force personnel based at Creech AFB pilot the Predator and Reaper drones being used in Central Asia.
The 14 people walked through the open main gate shortly after 3:00 p.m. Air Force security rsonnel stopped them after they walked into the base. They were seeking to engage in ialogue with the Air Force service members controlling the Predators and Reapers used in Central Asia. In a gesture of good will, they offered to break bread and share Passover pizza with Air Force personnel.
The Nevada State Highway Patrol esponded, as did the Las Vegas Metro Police Department. Police officers and Air Force security rejected the dinner offered by the 14 activists.
Meanwhile, 20 other activists continued the vigil. The 14 were arrested on the charge of trespass and transported to the Clark County Detention Facility, from where 13 were booked and released
by 7:30 the following morning.
One priest refused to sign his paperwork, and expects to be arraigned before April 15th.
This Jesuit (named Steve Kelly), says he’s disappointed he’ll miss today’s prayer-action of the Stations of the Cross at Creech AFB, “It’s inconvenient for all of us, we’re disturbing the war and I’ll be pleading ‘not guilty’.” The other 13 will be arraigned on June 9th 2009.
Those arrested include:
Fr. John Dear, S.J. (New Mexico)
Dennis DuVall (Arizona)
Renee Espeland (Des Moines, Iowa
Catholic Worker Community)
Judy Homanich (Binghamton, New York)
Kathy Kelly (Chicago Illinois, she has been
nominated twice for the Nobel Peace Prize)
Fr. Steve Kelly, S.J. (California)
Mariah Klusmire (Trinity House Catholic
Worker, Albuquerque, New Mexico)
Brad Lyttle (Chicago, Illinois)
Elizabeth Pappalardo (Crystal Lake, Illinois)
Sister Megan Rice, SHCJ (Nevada Desert
Experience, Las Vegas, Nevada)
Brian Terrell (Strangers & Guests Catholic
Worker, Maloy, Iowa)
Eve Tetaz (Washington, D.C.)
Fr. Louis Vitale, O.F.M. (Oakland, California)
Jerry Zawada, O.F.M. (Tucson, Arizona)
Hat tip to Catherine for drawing my attention to it.