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Penn Magazine November 2017

The inaugural issue of Penn Magazine

Frank Cordaro has been

Frank Cordaro has been arrested many times, as evidenced by the mug shots from the Des Moines city jail, Yankton federal prison, the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in Colorado Springs, a Plowshares action at the Northrop Grumman offices in Bellevue, Nebraska, Offutt Air Force Base, Andrews Air Force Base. 42/Penn Magazine/November 2017

I spilled this blood NOW to help us all to see the priority in which Death has control of our culture. Nagasaki. At about 11:00, the hour that the Bomb was dropped thirty-two years ago, we gathered in front of the main entrance for a symbolic Rite of Exorcism , a Catholic rite used to articulate what the Pentagon really is–EVIL, man made, but evil nevertheless–and our desire to call on God to help us rid ourselves of its control of our lives. At this time, five people who had been standing at the central pillars holding signs with large letters which spelled out DEATH were replaced by 5 designated blood-spillers. And I was one of them. After the Rite or Exorcism, twelve people went to block the main driveway–an act of civil disobedience symbolizing our desire to block the business of DEATH carried on in the Pentagon. One person dumped a large bag of ashes (a symbol of the people–well over 100,000–reduced to ashes in ten minutes thirty-two years ago) across the front of the main entrance. He was arrested very quickly. At the same time, we blood-spillers, dropped our signs, and spilled our blood on our respective pillars. I was being cuffed before my blood hit the pillar. BLOOD, the most powerful symbol a universal one, spilled on these Pillars of Death now to speak the Truth–to demand an end to the MADNESS and the REALITY of the constant threat of NUCLEAR WAR and GLOBAL DEATH. I spilled this blood NOW to help us all to see the priority in which Death has control of our culture. We waste ·our limited human and ecological resources in WAR-MAKING while so many BASIC HUMAN NEEDS are neglected at home and abroad (the price of one Trident Submarine would do away with poverty in the whole state of Iowa). I spilled this blood NOW to remind myself and others that before the Bomb was ever made there was something in us that allowed it to exist and, therefore, we really need –each one of us–to deal with our own personal violence. I spilled my blood NOW so that when nuclear madness explodes again (whether in a Bomb or an Energy Plant), I will be able to say to the next generation that I did something. All who were arrested were taken away, hand-cuffed and singing, in a yellow school bus. Meeting my 8 th Grade teacher on the steps of the Pentagon: As soon as I had replaced the person at the pillar, an hour before the action I started to stressed out. I was carrying a baby bottle of my own blood in the front pocket of my bib-overalls over. I felt sure everyone could spot the bottle a mile away. I walked up the steps with a stiff right leg so it would not be so revealed. For the whole hour, I felt like everyone was looking at my right leg. Paranoid for sure! However, from my pillar I did get a November 2017/Penn Magazine/43

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