Catholic Agitator - Los Angeles Catholic Worker

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Catholic Agitator - Los Angeles Catholic Worker

RULES IN FAVOR OF

SUPREME

C A T H O L I C

COURT

SHOPPING CARTS p.2

LACW

AGITATOR

INTERVIEWS

JULIAN ASSANGE

Graphic by Rufo Noriega

PFC. BRADLEY MANNING, JULIAN ASSANGE, EDWARD SNOWDEN:

ANGELS OF

TRUTH


INCREASED COMMUNICATION MEANS YOU HAVE EXTRA FREEDOM

ANGEL

OF

TRUTH

CATHOLIC AGITATOR INTERVIEW WITH:

WIKILEAKS’

JULIAN ASSANGE

By JEFF DIETRICH

It was a chilly May evening in

London, and security around the

building was very high as two

polite but insistent officers from

the Metropolitan Police escorted

me to the front door of the Ecuadorian

Embassy, where I, despite my

intimidation, spoke firmly into the

intercom. “My name is Jeff Dietrich.

I have an appointment with

Julian Assange.”

My friend, London Catholic Worker

Ciaron O’Reilly, had arranged

the meeting for me while I was on a

recent speaking tour in England. I

had fully expected Ciaron to go with

me. However, at the last minute he

explained that it was not possible.

Now I was on my own to meet with

the man some have called the “most

wanted fugitive in the world.”

I was a little nervous, after all I am

not ABC or BBC or CNN; I am just

the Catholic Agitator. A pleasant

young woman met me at the door as

the security guard patted me down.

Almost immediately Julian Assange

came down a side corridor in his

stocking feet to greet me. He and

the young woman escorted me into a

comfortable sitting room and a few

minutes later she brought us a pot of

tea and a plate of snacks.

The first thing I noticed about Julian

is that, while he has quite a light

complexion, he is not the washed-out

vampire some news photos make

him appear. The other thing is that,

despite descriptions of him as introverted

and difficult, he is quite the

opposite—cordial if not jovial, and

certainly friendly and welcoming.

Yes, he was aware of the Catholic

Worker and appreciated their support

of the movement, and yes he had

seen our Jesus Wikileaks bumper

sticker and had sent some to friends.

Unfortunately, I was not able to

bring in a camera or tape recorder.

Some portions of this article are

quoted from Julian’s new book Cyberpunks.

As I began the interview, Julian

explained that the so-called “rape

charges” pending against him in

Sweden had been repudiated by the

two women involved in the case and

yet the Swedish government refuses

to drop the charges, refusing as well

to interview him in England rather

than demanding extradition. I asked

him if the U.S. government was pressuring

Sweden. He said that it does

not work that way. The majority of

those in power in Sweden are conservative,

many of them having

The first thing I noticed

about Julian is that, while

he has quite a light

complexion, he is not the

washed-out vampire some

news photos make him

appear. The other

thing is that, despite

descriptions of him as

introverted and difficult,

he is quite the opposite—

cordial if not jovial, and

certainly friendly and

welcoming. Yes, he was

aware of the Catholic

Worker and appreciated

their support of the

movement, and yes he had

seen our Jesus Wikileaks

bumper sticker and had

sent some to friends.

attended school in the U.S., and also

the American conservative Karl

Rove is an advisor to the government.

“There is no overt pressure,”

he said. “It’s just that friends know

what their friends want.”

He went on to say that the press

and the U.S. government have done

everything possible to demonize

him. “They have called me every

name in the book. I have been called

anti-Semitic and pro-Zionist; I have

been called a terrorist, a communist,

and anti-capitalist.” This demonization

and character assassination is,

in fact, as we have seen with Edward

Snowden, a well-coordinated and

well-organized government policy

purposefully designed to diminish

public support for whistle blowers

and deflect attention away from the

government’s own wrongdoing.

Regarding his personal security at

the Embassy, Assange told me that

recent elections in Ecuador re-elected

the anti-American government

that supported him and originally

gave him asylum, so that for the time

being he feels pretty secure. However,

on a darker note, he told me that

Wikileaks had recently gotten wind

of a British commando plan to raid

the Embassy and extract him. When

news of the raid was posted on the

Internet, the response, particularly

from British ambassadors, was outrage

because they know the security

of every British embassy around the

world would be jeopardized if the

asylum rights of the Ecuadorian Embassy

were so egregiously violated.

It was not surprising that Assange

has a well-formed reflective ideology

about the practice of democracy

and the need for transparency. He

noted that historians have all of the

information and documents needed

to write a truthful articulation of the

past, but this kind of information is

not available to contemporary writers:

“Increased communication,” he

says, “means you have extra freedom

relative to the people who are

trying to control ideas and manufacture

consent. Increased surveillance

means just the opposite” (Cyberpunk,

p.21).

Assange stated that the Internet is

an invention equivalent to, and even

transcending, the printing press,

which precipitated the Protestant

Reformation, the Russian, French,

and American Revolutions, and

every revolution since. It freed the

manacled mindset of humanity and

allowed individuals to conceive of

possibilities beyond slavery and serfdom.

Continued on page 2

JULIAN HAS A WELL-FORMED DEMOCRATIC IDEOLOGY

CATHOLIC AGITATOR / 1


PFC. BRADLEY MANNING, JULIAN ASSANGE, EDWARD SNOWDEN: ANGELS OF TRUTH

SUPREME COURT

RULES IN FAVOR

OF

L.A. CATHOLIC

WORKER

SHOPPING CARTS

By JEFF DIETRICH

On June 24, the highest court

in the land ruled to let stand

the Ninth Circuit Court

decision protecting the

property rights of homeless people,

including their right to possess the

red shopping carts the L.A. Catholic

Worker has been purchasing and giving

to homeless people for the last 15

years.

Despite rulings by the local Federal

Court, the Ninth Circuit Court

of Appeals, and despite numerous

dismissals of city requests for

“relief” from the original injunction

by Judge David Gutierrez, and now,

finally, a ruling by the U.S. Supreme

Court, our shopping carts continue

to be confiscated and the personal

property of homeless people continues

to be seized.

Oh, to be sure, the LAPD does

indeed abide by the injunction; they

no longer seize the so-called “unattended”

property of the homeless as

they eat, shower, or relieve themselves.

However, that does not mean that

such actions no longer happen. Almost

immediately after Judge Gutierrez’s

federal court ruling, the LAPD did

desist from taking LACW shopping

carts as well as the personal property

of homeless street people, but their

surrogates, the “Red Shirts,” private

security guards employed by the

business community, boldly carried on.

The “Red Shirts” had three of our

legal shopping carts, filled with the

possessions of the homeless, stashed

in their pick up truck, right at the

corner outside our soup kitchen.

Like Joan of Arc I felt emboldened,

not by a message from God, but by

Judge Gutierrez’s recent ruling. I

was emboldened by the power of

the U.S. Constitution. “Those are

my carts,” I said. “You are stealing

my property. Take them off of your

truck immediately.”

“I am sorry, sir. This is abandoned

property and our regulations do not

allow us to remove property once

it is on our truck. You will have to

come to our warehouse in order to

claim your property.”

In the meantime, the actual owners

of the property in our carts, who

had been eating at our soup kitchen,

showed up clambering for their

possessions. Further emboldened, I

hoisted my senior citizen body onto

the truck and put my hand on what

was actually the property of the

LACW. A young security guard was

behind me and said that I was trespassing

on his truck. In a moment

of inappropriate outrage, I looked

him in the face and said, “Yeah, well

what are you going to do about it?”

He pulled out his handcuffs and

called out to his companions, “Alright,

take him down.”

Fortunately his comrades were

slow on the uptake and with the

assistance and victory cheers of the

homeless, I pushed the carts off of

the truck and into the hands of their

proper owners.

Thanks to Judge Gutierrez, I was

able to do what U.S. citizens are

supposed to do: protect and defend

the Constitution on the streets of Los

Angeles.

The “Red Shirt” security guards

believe that the Ninth Circuit ruling

applies only to the 50 square blocks

of Skid Row. However, I sat in the

courtroom for all Ninth Circuit

Court proceedings in this case.

And the court was in fact reluctant

to rule on the issue, because they

recognized that the real issue was

about distinguishing between what is

trash and what is personal property.

This is why they requested that the

City and homeless advocates submit

the issue to arbitration. The City

refused to arbitrate and the Ninth

Circuit Court reluctantly ruled

against the City. The court also

understood that their ruling would

affect every man, woman, and child

in the entire Southwest region; that

it had ramifications for drug cases,

terrorist cases, lost luggage, and

Paris Hilton’s personal bed frame

deposited in front of her Beverly

Hills home: Is that trash, a souvenir,

or personal property? They did not

want to open that can of worms, and

neither did the U.S. Supreme Court.

However, City Attorney Carmen

Trutanich did. He did not care to

negotiate trash and non-trash and

thus he opened the entire city and all

of the cities in the Southwest region

from San Diego to San Francisco,

from Los Angeles to Albuquerque

to the problems of a few hundred

people on LA’s Skid Row.

Thank God the Ninth Circuit Court

Justices and Judge Gutierrez thought

that the Fourth Amendment rights of

a few hundred people pushing shopping

carts on Skid Row was worth

all the cans of worms in the cities

and states where they will indeed be

opened. And now all we have to do

is to finally persuade the LAPD and

their “Red Shirt” surrogates to recognize

the law of the land instead of

the law of handcuffs and badges. Ω

Jeff Dietrich is a Los Angeles Catholic

Worker community member and

editor of the Agitator.

DIETRICH, cont’d from p.1

For better and worse, the Internet

has only begun to set fire to the

human imagination. It has ignited

the desire for inter-communication

around the globe, the desire for

unity amongst all of humanity that

transcends national borders, national

controls, and sovereignty. That is

why every state spies on its citizens

and every other national and

corporate entity in the world. That is

why every state wants to control the

Internet; within its open realm they

see the real possibility of their own

demise.

Governments want to control and

neutralize this technology before

it makes them superfluous and

antiquated. According to Assange,

governments “see the Internet like

an illness that affects their ability to

define reality, to define what is going

on.” “We need to control it totally

(they say), we need to filter, we need

to know everything they do…and

that is what has happened in the past

twenty years. There was massive

investment in surveillance because

people in power feared the Internet

would affect their way of governance”

(p. 23).

Cyber spying has become extremely

ubiquitous. Assange writes, that

“...now it is being done by everyone

and by nearly every state, because of

the commercialization of mass surveillance.

And it’s totalizing now,

because people put all their political

ideas, their family communications

and their friendships on the Internet…there

is a battle between the

power of this information collected

by insiders, these shadow states that

are starting to develop, swapping

with each other, developing connections

with each other and with the

private sector, versus the increase of

the commons with the Internet as the

common tool for humanity to speak

to itself” (pp. 21-22). Just as the

common lands of medieval Europe

were common to all people, so too

do Assange and his “cyberpunks”

conceive of the Internet as a “commons.”

But unfortunately most of us

are so infused with the notion of private

property that we do not understand

that the radio and television

airwaves belong, not to commercial

entities, but to all citizens within

every nation.

Assange explains that rather than

an Internet commons, “the natural

efficiencies of surveillance technologies…will

mean that slowly we will

end up in a global totalitarian surveillance

society” (p. 62). He says

that “communications is at the core.

Your private life now moves over the

Internet. So in fact our private lives

have entered into a militarized zone.

It is like having a soldier under the

bed. This is the militarization of civilian

life” (p. 33).

We know from the work of Wikileaks,

now confirmed by Edward

Snowden, that meaningful oversight

of this technology is virtually

impossible because the legislators

and judges who are supposed to be

in control have virtually no technical

background and often do not have

a clue what they are signing. This

is made even more complicated by

the technology, which allows an

operator, with the flip of a switch, to

easily obtain private and personal information

that obviates the need for

an old-fashioned warrant. Snowden

has made it clear that he could obtain

the personal information of even the

President of the United States.

Assange argues that “this is a

really big threat to democracy and

freedom all around the world that

needs a response, like the threat of

atomic war needed mass response, to

try and control it while we still can”

C AT H O L I C

(p. 47). I do not hold out much hope

for large numbers of U.S. citizens

to rise up in a mass movement to

protest the loss of their basic human

rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

In fact, polling results indicate

that the majority of Americans

are comfortable with bureaucrats and

so-called experts being the arbitrators

and dispensers of their Constitutional

rights.

I can recall scores of times over the

past forty years of anti-war protests

where I have been confronted by enraged

veterans and active duty service

personnel with the same mantra:

“I really disagree with you, but I

fought for your right to say it.” Yes,

there are many who have served and

given their lives to protect our Constitutional

rights from the intrusion

of nefarious foreign powers. However,

very few of those individuals are

willing or even able to protect those

rights from the intrusion of what is

possibly the most nefarious power of

all: our own government.

Assange writes of once walking

past a U.S. gun shop. The words under

the large neon sign GUNS said:

“Democracy Locked and Loaded.”

While Republicans and gun advocates

are willing to go to the mat for

the Second Amendment, they are

willing to roll over like wimps on

issues of Habeas Corpus, the Fourth

Amendment right to security in your

person and property, and frankly the

entire Bill of Rights.

AUGUST 2013 Vol. 43/No.4

Editors: Jeff Dietrich, Martha Lewis, and Mike Wisniewski

Managing Editor: Donald Nollar

Staff: Faustino Cruz and Rev. Elizabeth Griswold

The Catholic Agitator (ISSN-0045-5970) is published bi-monthly

February, April, June, August, October, and December for $1 per year by the

Los Angeles Catholic Worker, 632 N. Brittania St., Los Angeles, CA 90033-1722

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POSTMASTER: Send address changes to:

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The LACW is not a 501(c).(3) non-profit organization and donations to the LACW are not

tax-exempt. Editorial communications, new subscriptions, and address changes to:

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It is probably trite to mention that

what we are up against makes 1984’s

Big Brother look like a benign kindergarten

teacher.

According to Assange: “There

has been a shift in the last few years

from intercepting everything going

across from one country to another

and picking out particular people you

want to spy on and assigning them to

human beings, to now intercepting

everything and storing everything

permanently…just record everything

and sort it out later using analytic

systems” (p. 38). That means the

government stores the dates and

times and content of every phone

call, every internet session, every

Google query, every Facebook entry,

and every e-mail on mega computers

at a secret location in perpetuity.

Unfortunately, I fear that most

people in this country are not overly

concerned, thinking that “if you

haven’t done anything wrong then

you have nothing to fear.” However,

if you merely voice opposition to

government policy, such opposition

could easily trigger a search through

all of your personal life information

as you come under investigation for

sedition or even terrorism, which

is exactly why we have a Fourth

Amendment right to security in our

“person, property and papers,” to

protect us against just such intrusion

by government or corporate entities.

When George Orwell wrote his

novel 1984 in the year 1949, the

technology to keep constant surveillance

over millions of individual citizens,

as well as the ability to reach

into the mind of a particular individual

in order to recognize their most

secret phobia seemed impossibly far

off. Well, it is time to say hello to

Big Brother. We must not forget the

entire reason for 24/7 surveillance in

the novel was the eternal and neverending

war on terrorism—a war

without end, perfect for the growth

of the state, the war machine, and the

total surveillance of all citizenry.

Over half a century ago, the antitechnology

prophet Jacques Ellul

observed that one of the essential

characteristics of technology is that it

Continued on page 6

2 / AUGUST 2013


THE TRAYVON MARTIN MURDER

Previous experiences of being presumed guilty had so affected his trust in white people, in the world

really, that Zimmerman following him struck the wrong chord: a dangerous chord. And Trayvon,

a child who felt pursued and trapped, believed he had no choice but to confront his aggressor.

STRIKING CLOSE TO HOME

By DAVID OMONDI

Put your hands

in the air!”

It was late at night

“Freeze!

and the CVS Pharmacy

in Columbus, Ohio only had three

people in it: my brother Samuel,

the cashier, and the police officer

Sam had noticed in the aisles. The

cashier had just wrung up his items:

milk for the cereal in his dorm room

and a hole punch to complete an architecture

portfolio he was working

on late at night while other students

celebrated Thanksgiving with their

families. He was reaching for his

wallet when the command paralyzed

him—the policeman had his gun

pointed directly at him, Samuel.

Pointed at my brother, a hardworking

architecture student at OSU.

Why? Because, he was obviously

about to rob the store, being black

and all. The policeman searched my

brother, found nothing, and told him

he was “free to go.”

Not the same outcome as Trayvon,

thankfully, yet the similarities

are too eerie: young black man

buying groceries at night, suspected

of criminality simply due to his existence.

It was a harrowing experience

for Samuel, something akin to mortal

fear; it strikes hot in your veins

and grips your chest like a vice. And

then easy dismissal with no apology,

as if you are somehow not so human.

After that comes relief, disbelief, anger,

then an enduring pain and sadness.

This whole Trayvon Martin

saga just strikes too close to home.

“Hey You! Come here!

Even before hearing those words, I

knew the policeman was coming for

me. Walking up the front steps of

the house, which belonged to a longtime

friend of our family, I wondered

why there was a police car screaming

down the main road of a residential

area, a well-to-do subdivision in

northern Indiana, and the thought

entered my mind that it might have

something to do with me. It had

seemed strange, the SUV going up

and down the block earlier as I sat

outside in the yard, slowing at certain

points, and then pulling slowly

into a garage a few houses away.

When the police car screeched into

our cul-de-sac, it was no longer just

a thought.

Sure enough, the vehicle stopped

outside the house my family was

staying in over Easter weekend. My

back was turned to the street as I

reached for the screen door to enter

the house, anger already on the rise,

just trying to keep composure. The

policeman slammed his door shut,

issued his command, and I turned to

meet him on the steps as he rushed

up the driveway. “Who are you?

What are you doing here? Do you

know the owner of the house? Is he

home? I need to speak to him, let’s

go in the house and talk to him.”

“Can I just go in the house and get

my ID and come show it to you? Or

get the owner…”

“No! That’s not possible. I need

to see the owner. Let’s just go in the

house now and find him…come on.”

My body shook with anger as

officer J. Beck escorted me through

the door, down the corridor, into the

living room where my mother and

brother were seated. I said nothing,

while my mother asked what the

problem was. “There’s no problem

Ma’am. I’m just wondering if you

know this gentleman?”

“That’s my son.”

Officer Beck thanked her, said that

would be all, and left without any

words in my direction. Never mind

that he never had a warrant to enter

this private residence. Never mind

that my mother is not the owner of

the house—she is white, and that

seemed to make all the difference.

Turns out the SUV was owned by a

member of the Neighborhood Watch

who had reported a suspiciouslooking

person walking around the

house. I am ‘suspicious,” like Trayvon,

but my mother is not.

This is the reality of the United

States of America in which we live.

Entire classes and races of people

are every day denied dignity and

excluded from equality in basic

respect. Over one lifetime, it can

breed anger, bitterness, and serious

violence. Over generations and generations,

it breeds rage and loathing,

which unfortunately are most often

turned inward.

There is no doubt in my mind that

Trayvon was responding to Zimmerman

with a similar kind of rage

that I felt towards Officer Beck on

Good Friday, with the same frustration

that propelled Samuel’s gallon

of milk onto a pharmacy wall in

Columbus.

Previous experiences of being

presumed guilty had so affected his

trust in white people, in the world really,

that Zimmerman following him

Trayvon Martin

Trayvon Martin

struck the wrong chord: a dangerous

chord. And Trayvon, a child who

felt pursued and trapped, believed

he had no choice but to confront his

aggressor.

George Zimmerman is guilty—at

least guilty of precipitating the conflict

that ended Trayvon Martin’s life.

He profiled him through and through

and followed him on foot without

identifying himself, which is against

Neighborhood Watch protocol. He

was infected by stereotypes of

criminal black youth, infected with

the deluding power of the gun, and

infected with his own selfish desire

to be a hero.

Yes, there’s a larger context involved,

beginning with seven robberies

in the neighborhood. However,

the truth is, our whole fucking

society is guilty. We have a justice

system that looks backward instead

of forward, seeking to ascribe legal

guilt, which is by far not the same

thing as moral guilt, and assess the

appropriate amount of pain to the

perpetrator. Rules and intentions are

given more significance than actual

outcomes. That is, it is more important

that Zimmerman was defending

himself and seeking to “protect” the

neighborhood than that he took the

life of an innocent seventeen-yearold

child. What would restitution

look like here? What is justice in

this situation?

I do not wish death or prison upon

this man. I pray for his awakening to

the rotten nature of the justice system

and the fallacy of his supporting it,

of his pretense to being a protector. I

am sickened by those who want him

to feel that he did nothing wrong.

Our justice system is all too eager to

convict him of his innocence. But if

he has a heart, if he has a soul, if he

has a conscience, he would know that

Trayvon’s blood is on his hands. Ω

David Omondi is a Los Angeles

Catholic Worker community member.

WE WERE JUST

SITTING THERE

TALKING

By DOROTHY DAY

We were just sitting there

talking when Peter

Maurin came in.

We were just sitting

there talking when lines of people

began to form, saying, “We need

bread.” We could not say, “Go, be

thou filled.” If there were six small

loaves and a few fishes, we had to divide

them. There was always bread.

We were just sitting there talking

and people moved in on us. Let

those who can take it, take it. Some

moved out and that made room

for more. And somehow the walls

expanded.

We were just sitting there talking

and someone said, “Let’s all go and

live on a farm.”

It was as casual as all that, I often

think. It just came about. It just

happened.

I found myself, a barren woman,

the joyful mother of children. It is

not easy always to be joyful, to keep

in mind the duty of delight.

The most significant thing about

the Catholic Worker is poverty, some

say.

The most significant thing is community,

others say. We are not alone

anymore.

But the final word is love. At times

it has been, in the words of Father

Zossima, a harsh and dreadful thing,

and our very faith in love has been

tried through fire.

We cannot love God unless we

love each other. We know Him in

the breaking of bread, and we know

each other in the breaking of bread,

and we are not alone anymore.

Heaven is a banquet and life is a banquet,

too, even with a crust, where

there is companionship.

We have all known the long loneliness

and we have learned that the

only solution is love and that love

comes with community.

It all happened while we sat there

talking, and it is still going on. Ω

Postcript from The Long Loneliness.

EASY ESSAY

By PETER MAURIN

SHARE YOUR WEALTH

What we give to the poor

for Christ’s sake

is what we carry with us

when we die.

As Jean Jacques Rousseau says:

“When a man dies

he carries

in his clutched hands

only that

which he has given away.”

Ω

CATHOLIC AGITATOR / 3


PFC. BRADLEY MANNING, JULIAN ASSANGE, EDWARD SNOWDAN: ANGELS OF TRUTH

The truth is not a secret. It cannot be hoarded and doled out as a common tyrant’s treasure trove. Its value, like love, lies only in the sharing, and

increases as more people discover it, own it, and join to it. But lies require darkness, and the more pernicious the evil, the blacker the darkness.

SAINTS, WHISTLEBLOWERS, AND ANGELS

By FAUSTINO CRUZ

Let us speak of saints,

whistleblowers, angels,

devils, and mortals. As

this issue goes to press,

the United States Army lawyers

prosecuting Bradley Manning are

putting the final touches on their

case. I confess that I am having

some trouble following the endless

legal maneuvering, as brief and

counter-brief, motion upon motion,

pile up. However, I do understand

that Judge Colonel Denise Lind’s recent

ruling, allowing that Wikileaks’

involvement in the publication on the

internet of top secret files provided

by Manning most assuredly qualifies

as aiding and abetting the enemy,

does not bode well for PFC Bradley

Manning.

And yet even stuck in jail these

past few years, Manning, truly, does

remain free. Perhaps not physically,

but whether imprisoned, holed

up, exiled, or in limbo, he, Julian

Assange, and Edward Snowden are

quite free to complete their lives

knowing that they are among the

ever-so-few who can claim a clear

conscience. Indeed, they can lay

claim to that elusive Freiheit sought

by all other nonviolent resisters

whose words and more importantly

deeds echo the statement of the

members of the White Rose: “We

will not be silent. We are your conscience…[we]

will never leave you

alone.”

We have arrived at the apex of

the North American and Western

European good life. So how is it

that every year over 30,000 U.S.

citizens kill themselves, including

eight active duty personnel suicides

each week and another 22 veterans

every single day? Add to this the

16,000 murders, and 40,000 drug

overdose deaths (22,000 using their

own prescription drugs). It turns out

that modern “civilization” is not only

adept at slaughtering its foes, but

also, it seems, at killing its own.

The deepest despair has settled in

on those who have lost hope of ever

living that oh so authentic life. It

has been said that every cup of coffee

has a drop of peasant blood in it

(Juan Valdez not withstanding). So

I ask you, how much blood in a gallon

of gas or a quart of oil or in that

onion, tomato, melon on your dining

room table, or that factory-fresh cut

of rib-eye on your plate? How much

pain and suffering is staring back at

you from the Ipod screen? And do

you really think you can avoid having

others’ agony seep seamlessly

into your psyche?

We don’t like death, especially if it

is messy, yet as finite bodily beings

we have become adept at dealing

with it. With disastrous results we

have come to fully embrace the

moral reality of death. And death

does indeed reign apparent, most

cruelly, most wantonly, in all its sickening

glory together with its consort,

that filthy monstrous lie which hotly

contends that nothing can be done,

that all that is holy and powerful

wants us to live this way.

Yet hope in the distance appears.

Before deliverance, had not the

Israelites forgotten God and the truth

that God wanted them free? Something

was stronger than Pharaoh and

empire.

Nuclear secrets, trade secrets,

secret kill lists, military secrets,

classified top secret, NSA (No Such

Agency) secrets have all conspired to

hide the biggest secret of all: We, as

a nation, a global alliance of nations

and the powerful, deal strictly in

death, a veritable culture of death.

The numbers are mind-boggling.

Our military can kill millions and

sustain thousands of dead, tens of

thousands of horrifically wounded,

and hundreds of thousands more

(nearly one-third of all combat veterans)

mentally and emotionally traumatized.

Our military can apparently

tolerate countless rapes and sexual

abuses, illegal killings, friendly fire,

green on blue attacks. But what our

vaunted weapons systems and armies

cannot survive is one single nobody

low-level intelligence analyst spilling

the beans. Nor can the spectacularly

bloated, multi-billion dollar bureaucratic

minions of the NSA combat

one fellow saying what everybody already

knows: Your own government

is spying on you!

Those in power are adept at cleaning

up the bloodstains and moving

on, shoveling the dirt over the now

silent bodies. They can get along

just fine without any of those people,

and even though they do not like

it, they can even put up with those

misguided suicidal impulse mass

murderers who might visit your local

school hallway, theater, or fast food

restaurant.

Yet try defying the collective

mindless nattering of a million tiny

voices whispering, “You don’t matter.

Join us in death and murder.”

Still the mighty voice of conscience

roars truth, and God and life

reverberate like thunder in a refreshing

rainstorm. I AM returns again

to break iron bonds, to tumble down

crowns and kingdoms, to lead his

people to freedom. The truth is not

a secret. It cannot be hoarded and

doled out as a common tyrant’s treasure

trove. Its value, like love, lies

only in the sharing, and increases as

more people discover it, own it, and

join to it. But lies require darkness,

and the more pernicious the evil, the

blacker the darkness.

Passage 21 of the Tao Te Ching:

“At the center of everything is

the life force. And at the center of

the life force is truth.” That ancient

awesome living wisdom echoed in

the voice of the prophets counters

the modern madness which counsels,

“Don’t be a fool; don’t lift your

head; do as I do; say as I say; look

down and despair; join the others in

a sea of desperation, an uninspired

trail of terror and tears. There is no

hope, no chance of reform or change.

You’re only throwing your life

away.” Quite an insistent chorus of

“It won’t make a difference” versus

the nobility and the bravery of the

few determined to overturn this slavering

death-dealing beast, to strike

down the many lies which buttress

this merciless culture of death.

Regarding Manning, Assange, and

Snowden, they have done their part.

But what will you do in service of

the truth and defense of the Lamb’s

own to help end this murderous reign

which feasts on the innocent poor,

the weakest, the marginalized, the

little ones?

Continued on page 6

But I do understand that Judge Colonel Denise Lind’s

recent ruling, allowing that Wikileaks’ involvement

in the publication on the internet of top secret files

provided by Manning most assuredly qualifies as

aiding and abetting the enemy, does not bode

well for PFC Bradley Manning. And yet even

stuck in jail these past years, Manning,

truly, does remain free. Maybe not physically,

but whether imprisoned, holed up, exiled, or

in limbo, he, Julian, and Edward are quite

free to complete their lives knowing that

they are among the ever-so-few who

can claim a clear conscience.

THE TRUTH SHALL

SET YOU FREE

EDWARD SNOWDEN

By MIKE WISNIEWSKI

On June 6 and 7 of this year,

something significant happened

in this nation that

had some people reeling

in shock, while others slipped into

strong resentment and vindictive

anger. Yet others, like myself, had

our long-held suspicions confirmed:

Our government’s secret data mining

and Internet surveillance program

encompasses nearly every person living

in the U.S. and untold numbers

of people and governments around

the world, both friend and foe alike.

The National Security Agency

(NSA) has kept track of all our

phone calls (both landline and cell),

text messages, e-mails, posts on

blogs and social networks, and queries

on search engines like Google.

Moreover, with the Apple Iphone,

they have been able to track where

our cell phone calls and text messages

originate and even keep a record

of our location. Nothing, repeat

NOTHING is secret nor is anything

private. Not one service provider

has resisted government pressure;

all (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, et al)

have willingly provided our personal

information when asked by the NSA

or other government agencies, with

or without a FISA court (Foreign

Intelligence Surveillance Act) search

warrant. Apple, Google, Microsoft,

Skype, and Yahoo, among others,

have been equally forthcoming.

The person responsible for revealing

this information, which many

consider to be the most important

government leak in U.S. history, is

whistleblower Edward Snowden,

a 29-year-old high school dropout

turned CIA and NSA analyst and

employee of private security specialist

Booze Allen Hamilton (whose

current vice chairman, Mike Mc-

Connell, is a former NSA director).

Snowden spent nearly a decade in

the U.S. intelligence world.

He lived his younger years in Elizabeth

City, North Carolina; then his

parents moved to Maryland, near the

NSA headquarters in Fort Meade. In

2003, he enlisted in the U.S. Army

and began training for the Special

Forces. During training, he had an

accident and broke both his legs,

which earned him a discharge.

A short time later he was hired as

a security guard at the University of

Maryland, an NSA covert operations

facility. From there he went

to the CIA, where he worked on IT

security. His extensive computer

programming background and his

understanding of the Internet enabled

him to rise in position fairly

quickly.

By 2007, the CIA stationed him

with diplomatic cover in Geneva,

Switzerland, where he gained clearance

to access a wide range of classified

documents. That access, along

with nearly three years of association

with CIA officers, led him to begin

questioning the legality and morality

of what he observed.

In 2009, he left the CIA to work

for a private contractor that assigned

him to an NSA facility on a military

base in Japan. Over the succeeding

three years, he learned the deep

functioning aspects of the NSA’s

surveillance programs and realized

they were an existential threat to democracy.

Snowden discovered that

what U.S. intelligence was doing to

terrorist suspects around the world,

it was also doing to nearly three

hundred million unsuspecting U.S.

citizens here at home. The militaryindustrial,

intelligence-industrial

complex has turned our nation into a

massive surveillance state by bringing

home the intrusive techniques

of a militarized empire, with its

hundreds upon hundreds of bases

and special-ops forces garrisoned in

dozens of countries.

The U.S. government can keep

the warrantless data collected on its

citizens forever and do with it whatever

it deems necessary as long as it

obtains a follow-up warrant from the

FISA court, which has granted nearly

100% of the warrants requested.

Some consider the FISA warrant as

an unconstitutionally sweeping warrant

because of the court’s secrecy.

The FISA court is always in session,

yet its proceedings are always secret.

Therefore, no real guidelines exist as

the government moves from collecting

data to spying on citizens with

no oversight and no accountability.

It has been likened to a “kangaroo

court with a rubber stamp.”

The Obama administration, under

Attorney General Eric Holder, has

charged Edward Snowden with

three felonies, including two under

the Espionage Act, the antiquated

1917 statute enacted to criminalize

dissent against World War I. Before

Obama’s presidency, there were three

prosecutions of leakers under the

Espionage Act, including the case

against Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked

what became known as the “Pentagon

Papers” during the Nixon years.

However, during Obama’s tenure,

there are now seven such prosecutions—more

than double the number

under all his predecessors combined.

How is this justifiable? Especially

by a politician who, prior to his

inauguration, made repeated pledges

of transparency and vows to protect

“noble” and “patriotic” whistleblowers—both

in government and the

corporate world?

It is certain that Snowden kept

close watch on those prosecutions,

as well as on Bradley Manning’s

torturous treatment and military

trial. Snowden wanted to be certain

he did not endure Manning’s fate,

saying: “I carefully evaluated every

single document I disclosed to ensure

that each was legitimately in the

public interest. There are all sorts of

documents that would have made a

big impact that I didn’t turn over, because

harming people isn’t my goal.

Transparency is.”

He thought long and hard on how

Continued on page 6

HUNGER

STRIKERS

GUANTANAMO

and

CALIFORNIA

By HEATHER MOLINE

At first I felt superfluous,

brandishing a CLOSE

GUANTANAMO sign,

edges worn, outside the

federal complex in downtown L.A.

Lexus and BMW’s spewing exhaust,

hardly hotter than the air, and trash

trucks forcing their refuse up my

nose in airborne particles, glided

carelessly past. My blackened feet

and resolve wobbled with every gust

of automobile wind.

Catherine Morris, whose witness

makes me feel very small, may have

sensed my uncertainly. She leaned

towards me from the stubborn sidewalk

place on a black stool she has

staked out every other day for forty

years, where she thrusts her JESUS

LOVES WIKILEAKS sign onto oncoming

traffic. “You know, on the

100th day of prisoner fasting, we did

a special vigil for the detainees, and

the prisoners in the federal detention

center behind us were rattling their

slit windows and shining light from

their mirrors onto the street. Prisoners

understand prisoners. They

wanted us to know we were not alone.”

Those who suffer understand each

other. This is the beginning of radical

compassion. And the struggle for

justice is unified across geographical

and thematic boundaries. On July 8,

30,000 California prisoners began a

hunger strike in protest of inhumane

conditions. Two weeks later, 2,300

continue their strike, organized by

a leading group at Pelican Bay State

Prison just south of the Oregon border.

They are demanding an end to

indefinite stays and tortuous practices

of solitary confinement, which

includes isolation for 23 hours each

day, including the single hour permitted

outside. They are demanding

an end to group punishment, by

which members of an individual rule

breaker’s racial group are all punished

for his violation.

And some have affirmed that they

are fasting in solidarity with their

unjustly detained brothers in Guantanamo

Bay.

Previously, on May 17, the LACW

and other peacemakers across the

country and world united in fasting

and activism, honoring 100 days

of hunger strike by more than 100

GTMO detainees, who are protesting

their continued detention without

charges, 11 years after the founding

of the prison and six years after then-

Presidential hopeful Barack Obama’s

initial promise to close it. For the

United States public, and for Congress

in particular, how to “deal”

with the prison, a topic that has all

vestiges of the human suffering it

implies, has become an exasperating

tug-of-war at best. President Obama

has signed two unfulfilled executive

orders regarding the prison, both of

which have imploded in legislative

complexities.

In April 2011, suspected September

11 collaborator Khalid Sheikh

Continued on page 6

4 / AUGUST 2013 CATHOLIC AGITATOR / 5


PFC. BRADLEY MANNING, JULIAN ASSANGE, EDWARD SNOWDEN: ANGELS OF TRUTH

DIETRICH, cont’d from p.2

is “monistic,” meaning that it is of a

single piece and the various pieces

cannot be separated. “Every technical

application,” he says, “presents

certain unforeseeable secondary

effects which are more disastrous

than the lack of the technique would

have been” (p.105 Propaganda,

Vintage Books, 1964). Of all of

Ellul’s difficult concepts, this one

is the most difficult for people to

grasp, because we are under the

illusion that technology is a neutral

tool that can be used for either good

or evil. However, Ellul tells us that

all individual “tools’ are inescapably

integrated within the totality

that he calls the “technological ensemble,”

which has its own gravity

and sets its own direction, and we

cannot separate the positive aspects

of technology from the negative

aspects. For example, the invention

of the automobile is experienced

as positive, but its positive elements

cannot be sepa-rated from

its negative elements: air pollution

and traffic fatalities that outnumber

deaths from heart attacks and cancer,

and of course, endless wars in

the Middle East for control of oil.

When I think of loss of privacy

and ubiquitous spying, I am

reminded of one of my favorite

poems by the environmentalist/

farmer Wendell Barry who wrote:

“As soon as the generals and

politicals can predict the motions

of your mind, lose it. Leave it as a

sign to mark the false trail, the way

you didn’t go. Be like the fox who

makes more tracks than necessary,

some in the wrong direction. Practice

resurrection” (“Manifesto: The

Mad Farmer Liberation Front”).

Generally speaking, I am a fan

of practicing resurrection; but

for those who seek more tangible

approaches to our surveillance

problems, I suggest that the outlook

is not all that bright. The best hope

we have to protect our rights is

a bunch of anarchist cyberpunks

on the front line—which is like

saying that our best hope for ending

nuclear weapons is a bunch of

Catholic Workers and Plowshares

activists on the front line. We are in

big trouble.

On the other hand, the Pentagon,

as well as the NSA and the CIA,

have recruited 50,000 “cyber warriors”

since 2001. The only people

who are capable of engaging them

in cyber warfare are hackers who

break into Pentagon and corporate

computer systems just for fun.

Government officials have noted

that this demographic is prone to

non-authoritarian tendencies, a less

than patriotic attitude. What they

do not say is that they have grown

up, like Edward Snowden, admiring

Julian Assange. So there is indeed

some hope that many more of these

young, anti-authoritarian “hacktivists”

will come forward with further revelations

about government spying. Ω

Jeff Dietrich is a Los Angeles

Catholic Worker community member

and editor of the Agitator.

CRUZ, cont’d from p.4

Oh, yes, I know you. I see you

death and you are not God. You are

a lie, a demon, a figment, a terrible

illusion.

As for the showcase trial—a

greater exercise in futility I know

not of—for Manning is guilty…

guilty of telling the truth!

All our lives we want to do great

things, but of course it is the little

things that matter the most! Wait

for your own opportunity to do

good, to serve truth like the prophets

of old, and remember to hold fast,

even if the powerful and the rulers

of this world will have none of it.

Darkness cannot abide light at all,

for even the smallest spark or the

tiniest sliver of truth exposes it for

what it truly is. It is light and truth

that overcome darkness. Darkness

added to darkness is darker still, but

one flash of light is enough to bring

hope, and as it has been written,

“All that is hidden will be made

known; all that is dark now will

be revealed,” and “What you have

heard in the dark, proclaim in the

light. What you hear in whispers,

shout from the housetops.” Ω

Faustino Cruz is a Los Angeles

Catholic Worker community member.

WISNIEWSKI, cont’d from p.5

to distribute the documents he

would release, how to convey his

own motives before the government

and corporate-owned and controlled

media initiated their smear

campaign against him. His choice

was constitutional lawyer turned

journalist Glenn Greenwald, with

The Guardian of London. Immediately

after the first stories broke,

a twelve-minute interview with

Snowden was released. In the interview

he explained in detail how his

choice was based on basic theories

of civil disobedience: that the

powers-that-be who control the law

have become corrupt, that the law

in this situation is a tool of injustice,

which compelled him to break the

law in order to expose these appalling

acts and facilitate public debate

and possible reform of what is now

referred to as an “executive coup”

against the U.S. Constitution.

Over the past few years, Snowden

has been very open with his friends

about his troubled conscience concerning

his intelligence work and its

violation of the Constitution. The

system he was part of, he believed,

is incompatible with the democratic

model. He observed, from the

inside, how the system was growing

more oppressive and he knew he

could not remain silent and continue

in his position. And as with all people

of conscience, he took a huge

risk and carried out an extraordinary

heroic act that now forces him

to live under the pressure of fear, a

fear that would cause most of us to

lose our bearings.

Snowden made a solitary decision

and sacrificed a prosperous stable

career earning about $200,000 per

year and a very comfortable home

in Hawaii that he shared with his

fiancée. He severed ties with a

family he dearly loves for the sake

of principles that all who value personal

autonomy should respect. He

stated: “The government has granted

itself power it is not entitled to.

There is no public oversight. The

result is people like myself have the

latitude to go further than they are

allowed to. I’m willing to sacrifice

all of that because I cannot in good

conscience allow the U.S. government

to destroy privacy, Internet

freedom, and basic liberties for

people around the world with this

massive surveillance machine they

are secretly building.” Snowden

did what he did because he knows

that the largest and most secretive

surveillance organization in the

U.S. is the NSA, and he recognized

the NSA’s surveillance programs for

what they are: dangerous, unconstitutional

activity that runs very close

to a form of fascism.

He has repeatedly insisted that

he has no desire to be in the media

spotlight; rather, he wants everyone

to know what the U.S. government

is doing. “I know the media likes

to personalize political debates,

and I know the government will

demonize me. My sole motive is to

inform the public as to that which is

done in their name and that which

is done against them.” His biggest

fear “is the harmful effects on my

family, who I won’t be able to help

anymore. That’s what keeps me up

at night.” When asked why he did

it, Snowden said: “There are more

important things than money. If I

were motivated by money, I could

have sold these documents to any

number of countries and gotten very

rich.” After the first weeks into the

political controversy he said: “I feel

satisfied this was all worth it, I have

no regrets.”

Snowden has revealed, through

Glenn Greenwald, that if anything

should happen to him, enough information

will be released through various

sources “that would cause more

harm to the U.S. government in a

single minute than any other person

has ever done in U.S. history.” He

has very sensitive “blueprints”

detailing the inner workings of the

NSA that would allow someone who

studied them to evade or duplicate

NSA surveillance.

The thousands of documents involved

constitute “the instruction

manual for how the NSA is built.”

These documents, which have been

encrypted for safekeeping, would

not be made public unless something

happens to Snowden that

would incapacitate him. This is his

insurance policy.

Snowden also has documents

that detail how the United States

captures transmissions in Latin

America and the programs used in

this practice. “This is accomplished

through an undisclosed telephone

company in the U.S. that has

contracts with telecommunications

companies in most Latin American

countries.” This information is what

prompted several Latin American

nations to dare challenge the U.S.

and offer Snowden asylum.

Critics of Snowden insist that he

has “greatly exaggerated the amount

of information available to people

like him.” Glenn Greenwald recently

responded to this by stating,

“I defy the NSA to deny Edward

Snowden’s most radical claims

under oath.”

Snowden, as of this writing,

was granted asylum in Russia for

one year. He remains “calm and

tranquil” as he now considers his

options. He hopes to travel, unimpeded

under international law, to a

Latin American nation, most likely

Venezuela, where he has already

been granted conditional asylum.

However, it is worth noting that the

U.S. tends to treat international law

as binding on everyone except the

U.S.A. (and Israel). This has forced

Snowden to have a deep concern

about traveling since the plane carrying

Bolivia’s President, Evo Morales,

was forced to land in Vienna

and held for 14 hours on July 2, on

orders from the U.S., who (wrongly)

believed Snowden was a passenger.

With the government and media

lambasting his behavior, it is clear

his real crime was humiliating the

State. He stood up to power and

embarrassed it. For this, Snowden

will be remembered in history as

one of the United States’ most consequential

truth-tellers. Please keep

him, and all whistleblowers, in your

prayers.

Ω

Mike Wisniewski is a Los Angeles

Catholic Worker community member

and an editor of the Agitator.

MOLINE, cont’d from p.5

Mohammed was returned to GTMO

for trial, a move The Washington

Post called “the effective abandonment

of the president’s promise to

close the military detention center.”

In January 2012, the State Department

shut down the office of the

envoy for closing the prison. More

than 100 prisoners began their strike

in February 2013. The strike revitalized

U.S. consciousness about the

forgotten torture chamber.

On May 23, in response to public

solidarity with the suffering prisoners,

the President renewed his

promise to close the prison during

a national security speech. A new

envoy was appointed in June 2013,

three days after an overwhelming

vote in the Republican-controlled

House to keep the prison open.

However, for the 166 detainees,

the tug-of-war is no congressman’s

quibble; it is a fatal pendulum. More

than half of the prisoners, due to

the lack of an approved relocation

system, have been cleared for release

but are denied that right. The

number of detainees finally slated

for trial has dropped from 36 to 20.

More than a third of the 120 hunger

strikers are being torturously forcefed

through nasal tubes, an action

which, together with Koran defamation

and cruel punishments instigated

by U.S. troops during the past

11 years, has been condemned as an

egregious violation of human rights.

It is now late July 2013, marking

five months of fasting, and the

month of Ramadan, during which

Muslims everywhere testify to their

faith by abstaining from food from

sunup to sundown. However, these

detainees are (supposedly) criminals

in a system that swallows rights and

opposition. They had no right to

justice, nor to practice their faith.

In fact, according to an Oakland

attorney, some hunger strikers have

dropped their fast “because they

have been threatened with deprivation

of the right to perform special

communal Ramadan prayers if they

do not eat.”

As conscientious citizens we are

once again exposed to the mayhem

of power, to the illusion that democracy

is a fair synthesis of all voices,

that distant political agendas have

room for the marginalized.

As Christians we mourn with our

brothers in GTMO, in whom Christ

voicelessly waits, as long lines and

red tape threaten to—or already

do—erase them. We recognize the

illusion of the political system, the

buffoonery of those four bold words

imprinted mindlessly on our daily

transactions, IN GOD WE TRUST.

And so, on my first day as a summer

intern, instead of humoring

the fleeting credo of a dollar bill, I

clenched a poster-board and stood

quietly on a sidewalk, amid the

busyness of daily citizenry. I felt

less alone when I glanced upward

toward the three-inch glass slits in

the federal detention center fortress

walls. My sweat and salvation, I

realize, are tied to theirs, and to all

those who inconvenience or sacrifice

themselves for the forgotten. I wonder

if those inside, whether behind

me, at Pelican Bay, or condensed

into an empire’s dubious stronghold

in Cuba, can hear my prayer, as Jeff

Dietrich daily intones, “...that what

we do may in some small way further

your Kingdom.”

Ω

Heather Moline is a 2013 summer

intern with the Los Angeles Catholic

Worker.

6 / AUGUST 2013


ON

THE LINE

TRANSFORM NOW

PLOWSHARES UPDATE

Sr. Megan Rice, Greg Boertje-Obed,

and Michael Walli, currently are in the

Irwin County Detention Facility awaiting

their sentencing on September 23,

2013. (See page 2 of June 2013 Agitator.)

You can write to them at:

Sr. Megan Rice 22100

Irwin County Detention Center

132 Cotton Drive

Ocilla GA 31774

Gregory Boertje-Obed 22090

Irwin County Detention Center

132 Cotton Drive

Ocilla GA 31774

Michael Walli 4444

Irwin County Detention Center

132 Cotton Drive

Ocilla GA 31774

Be sure to include your entire return

address on the outside of the envelope.

No staples or paperclips can be

included in your mail; no oversized

envelopes. Magazines and books must

be sent directly from the publisher or

Amazon.com Photocopies of brief

articles are likely to be permitted. If

you include inappropriate material or

fail to comply with these rules, your

mail will be returned to you.

PROVOKING CHINA

The United States Air Force will dramatically

expand its military presence

across the Pacific this year, sending

jets to Thailand, India, Singapore and

Australia as bases are being prepared.

The so-called “pivot to Asia” is

very real. And the idea behind its

pivot is simple: surround China with

U.S. and allied forces. In Australia,

for example, the Air Force will

dispatch “fighters, tankers, and at

some point in the future bombers on a

rotational basis.

In addition to the Australian deployments,

the Air Force will be sending

jets to Changi East air base in Singapore,

Korat air base in Thailand, a site

in India, and bases at Kubi Point and

Puerto Princesa in the Philippines and

airfields in Indonesia and Malaysia.

The Navy and Marines have already

started their pivot to Asia, with the

Navy basing combat ships in Singapore

and the Marines sending troops

on their aforementioned deployments

to Australia.

Meanwhile, the Marine Corps is

also refurbishing old World War II

airfields on Pacific Islands.

—stripes.com

CLIMATE CHANGE

The world’s climate is changing 10

times faster than at any other point in

the past 65 million years, Stanford climate

scientists Noah Diffenbaugh and

Chris Field have found in a new study

published in Science Magazine.

If climate change continues at this

pace, temperatures will jump 5 to 6

degrees Celsius by the end of the century,

placing ecosystems and species

around the world under severe strain

and forcing them into a struggle for

survival.

The study shows that the world is not

only going through one of the greatest

climate shifts in the past 65 million

years but is hurtling towards this

warming at an ever-accelerated and

troubling speed. —sciencemag.org

OMAHA CW SENTENCED

Omaha Catholic Worker Jerry Ebner

was sentenced to six months in federal

prison on July 25 for a line-crossing

on Dec 28, 2012, the Feast of Holy

Innocents, at Stratcom at Offutt AFB

near Omaha, Nebraska. Jerry will

self-surrender at an assigned prison

within 30 days.

TWENTY-FOUR ARRESTED

IN KANSAS CITY

On July 13, over 80 people sang and

prayed at the entry road to a new

facility in the U.S. nuclear weapons

complex. By 10:15 a.m., two-dozen

protesters had crossed the property

line and were arrested. The fivebuilding

facility will soon house the

operations of where 85 percent of the

non-nuclear parts for U.S. nuclear

weapons are made or procured. Of the

24 arrested, 14 are Catholic Workers

from across the nation.

FAST FOOD WORKERS STRIKE

Thousands of low wage fast food

workers showed that they are ready for

a fight as they walked off their jobs in

seven cities across the nation from

July 29 to August 1—the largest strike

by fast food workers in U.S. history,

and part of a growing movement calling

for a living wage and the right to

unionize.

This is a mammoth industry and it

will not concede quickly or easily.

Therefore, we will see these types of

actions continue to escalate, according

to representatives of the Service

Employees Int’l Union (SEIU)

Workers in retail chains across New

York City, Chicago, St. Louis, Detroit,

Milwaukee, Kansas City and Flint

staged actions Monday through Thursday.

—democracynow.org

HUNGER STRIKER DIES

On July 22, 32-year-old Billy “Guero”

Sell was found dead in his cell at

Corcoran State Prison, in California,

the first apparent casualty of a widespread

hunger strike organized by

state prisoners. Sell’s fellow prisoners

reported to outside advocates that he

had been asking for medical attention

since July 16. He died six days later.

The strike was in its third week

when Sell was found. It began on July

8, when more than 30,000 prisoners

throughout California refused meals

and more than 3,000 refused to attend

work or educational programs. The

combined strike and work stoppage

spread across a full two-thirds of California’s

state prisons.

—thenation.com

On The Line is compiled and

edited by Mike Wisniewski.

THE

HOUSE

JOURNAL

Young Maria Zamora, more than

twenty-four years after her initial time

with us as a young guest with her

family, has flown the coop for greener

pastures in Bailey, Colorado, where

she will begin nursing school.

Grace, Jayme and Jeremy Kronmiller

also moved on after an extremely

helpful residence with us. They are

off to the heartland where they will

tend mother and hopefully not get too

wilted in the 100° Kansas heat.

We scored a cool batch of youngsters

for our summer intern program from

various locales throughout the nation.

Dave Hayes, a local yokel out of Victorville,

has put truck driving school

on the back burner while he learns

the intricacies of our weekly donation

pick up at Little Sisters, in San Pedro.

David also enjoys food flow and cart

repair, as well as sautéing mushrooms,

eggplant, potatoes, and snicker bars.

We also picked up another nearby

neighbor, Jedidiah Poole, who

was kicking it with Occupy Santa

Ana, where he became interested in

advocating for the homeless. After

spending some time picking up skills

in electrical work and sales, Jed found

his niche as an audio engineer for

both studio and live sound. He enjoys

chopping onions, serving oatmeal, and

toasting bagels on our kitchen grill.

Young Erin “Killer” Kast pines for

a position in some priestly or veterinarian

school. He currently attends

Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania.

An avid “Cheesehead,” giggler, and

a cat-snuggler, Erin loves learning

everything he can about cooking, and

does a fine job of cleaning up everything

afterward.

Betsy Schmitz has temporarily left

her job as a professional cheerleader/

dancer to attend Loras Lorax College.

Betsy’s gifts include smiling, dancing,

singing, gardening, and promoting

world peace. The job she likes best

on our breakfast line is passing out

sweets to the sweets.

Heather Moline recently returned

from Nicaragua, where she perfected

her Spanish and helped youngsters to

enjoy reading and writing. After an

idyllic childhood spent in McMinnville,

Oregon, Heather attended LMU

on a full scholarship, majoring in English.

She dances as if she were a native

Brazilian and plays both the guitar

and the conga drum. At our kitchen

Heather’s favorite job is wiping tables,

sweeping up and offering a compassionate

ear to our guests.

MacBride Loftin, sporting a tengallon

hat over his Hollywood coif,

moseyed in from Houston. Mac now

attends Boston University where he

has perfected his chip n’ dip and has

become a salsa dance aficionado. A

junior mop and mom boy, as well as,

a prolific napper, Mac aspires to be a

future desperate house-husband or an

Episcopal priest.

Joyous news reached the Karan

Benton household with the birth of a

bouncing baby boy, London Michael,

six ounces and twenty inches weight.

Grandma was able to spend a good

ten days helping feather the nest and

get mom and baby settled in. We offer

heartfelt congratulations to Karan and

her family.

L.A. Catholic Worker historian

and Episcopal priest, Larry Holben,

keeps getting better and better as he

refines probably the best talk ever on

the means and motivations of Dorothy

Day and Peter Marin, founders

of the Catholic Worker movement. A

gifted celebrant, Larry also led a fine

Wednesday evening liturgy. Standouts

Reverend Heidi Gamble, Fathers

Tom Rausch, Vince Schwan, and Chris

Ponnet, with our own Patty Carmody

and Martha Lewis rounded out a fine

summer line up of liturgical excellence.

Rebecca joined long-time friend and

kitchen volunteer, Pat Bonner, on a

Witness for Peace trip to Colombia,

where the effects of the U.S.’s failed

drug war and the notorious Plan Colombia

continue to have disastrous consequence

for the indigenous peoples and

forests of South America. We are grateful

for all of Pat’s hard work on behalf

of the forgotten victims of U.S. hubris.

In June and July, visitors Anne

and Manuel Beyer-Rogers, from the

Hamburg Germany CW, joined us for

a week, as did Emma, from our sister

house the Open Door in Atlanta.

Former community member Sarah

Fuller, back from an extended stay at

the London Catholic Worker, unleashed

a wave of nostalgia during a

three-week stay with us. Also stopping

by for a visit, former community member

Sheena Tseko, with cutie pie-curlyhaired

Ian in tow, delighted all with

reminiscences of old times and details

of her life in Mexico.

Josephine Burns and chant master

Rufo Noriega organized several

evenings of salsa dance instruction in

preparation for an evening of fun filled

festivities at the sizzling Salsa Night

at the Gene Autry Museum. Interns

Heather, Mac, Betsy, and friends of

the community, Jennifer and Susan

Anderson, and I joined Rufo, Josephine,

and Sarah as we kicked up

our heels and loosened our hips to the

rhythms of live Latin music. A fantastic

time was had by all.

We were overwhelmed by a generous

and heartfelt presentation from friend

and artist John August Swanson.

John, and the chaplains at St. Camillus,

prepared a stunning visual display

of his most eye-catching work. We

give thanks for the gift and inspiration

that John’s life has been for so many

years and wish him continued joy and

success.

Nearly to the day of the sixty-seven

year anniversary of the infamous Able

Baker double nuclear bomb detonations

at Bikini Atoll, theologian Ched

Meyers, and Dennis Apel, from

our sister house Guadalupe Catholic

Worker, teamed up on a presentation

detailing the systematic human rights

violation of the indigenous people

of the Marshall Islands. These longsuffering

Islanders have been subject

to forced evacuation from their home

islands, now made uninhabitable by

nuclear radiation on land and in water.

Join us as we protest this unconscionable

abuse of power at the gates of

Vandenberg Air Force Base and pray

for an end to the scourge of nuclear

weapons.

House Journal is written by

Faustino Cruz.

CATHOLIC AGITATOR / 7


• CHANGE OF ADDRESS •

If you move or change your mailing address, PLEASE notify us before the change

occurs, or as soon as possible, to save us return postage. With each issue this has

been a drain on our finances. We would like to use the money you donate for more

important matters rather than unnecessarily giving it to the USPS. Thank you.

NEEDS

We are in need of the following toiletries: Bar Soap; Lotions; Shampoo; and Toothpaste,

which can be either personal size, similar to items found in hotels, or large

size, both are needed— also needed are Anti-Fungus Cream; Toothbrushes; Maximum

Strength Antacid Tablets; Multi-Vitamins; as well as small and medium pill

containers; NEW Reading Glasses; and Mens White Socks (Medium and Large).

Please send or bring them to Hennacy House. Thank you. Many Blessings.

JOIN US

FOR OUR WEDNESDAY EVENING LITURGY

If you are not aware, or aware but never seriously thought about it, or have not attended

in awhile, we invite and welcome you to join us for our ecumenical home liturgy every

Wednesday, 6pm at Hennacy House, followed by a potluck dinner. Our liturgies vary from

having ordained ministers/priests presiding or a lay presider depending on availability of

our ordained friends. Our homilies/sermons are shared participation, which means

everyone is welcome (but not obligated) to briefly share their thoughts and insights on the

scripture passages used. After liturgy we socialize over dinner. It is a pleasant and

rewarding evening. A good way to spend Wednesday evenings this summer...and beyond.

632 N. Brittania St., Los Angeles, 90033 • Phone 323-267-8789

HELP NEEDED

Veterans for Peace, who each weekend, just north of the Santa Monica pier, set up Arlington West, a stunning

and moving memorial for U.S. military personnel killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, desperately needs

volunteers to help erect and take down the thousands of crosses and other symbols and memorabilia that remember

and honor the dead. Please consider giving some of your time for this meaningful and momentous

project. See: www.arlingtonwestsantamonica.org for more info.

C A T H O L I C

AUGUST 2013 Vol. 43/No. 4

SISTER HOUSE NETWORK:

LOS ANGELES CATHOLIC WORKER:

http://lacatholicworker.org

1. Ammon Hennacy House of Hospitality

632 N. Brittania St., Los Angeles, CA 90033-1722

(323) 267-8789

2. Hospitality Kitchen

821 E. 6th St., Los Angeles, CA 90021

(213) 614-9615

ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST HOUSE OF HOSPITALITY

500 W. VanBuren Ave., Las Vegas, NV 89106

(702) 647-0728

ISAIAH HOUSE OF HOSPITALITY

316 S. Cypress Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92701

(714) 835-6304

SADAKO SASAKI HOUSE OF HOSPITALITY

1321 W. 38th St., Norfolk, VA 23508

(757) 423-5420

HOUSE OF GRACE CATHOLIC WORKER

1826 E. Lehigh Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19125

(215) 426-0364

PETER MAURIN CATHOLIC WORKER

1149 Crestwood St., San Pedro, CA 90732

(310) 831-3480

KIERAN PRATHER HOUSE OF HOSPITALITY

672 2nd Ave., San Bruno, CA 94066

(650) 827-0706

BEATITUDE HOUSE

4575 9th St., Guadalupe, CA 93434

(805) 343-6322

ST. BENEDICT HOUSE OF HOSPITALITY

4022 N. Cheryl Ave., Fresno, CA 93705

(559) 229-6410 — lizaOSB@aol.com

HIGH DESERT CATHOLIC WORKER

P.O. Box 3157, Apple Valley, CA 92307

(760) 247-5732 - sbremser@charter.net

CASA COLIBRÌ CATHOLIC WORKER

http://casacolibrimx.blogspot.com

011-52 - 386-744-5063 - jmhe76@gmail.com

HALF MOON BAY CATHOLIC WORKER

160 Kelly Ave., Half Moon Bay, CA 94019

(650) 726-6621 - ericdebode@gmail.com

BURDOCK HOUSE

Anderson, IN 46016

(765) 274-1776 - http://burdockhouse.org

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