London, Turnpike Lane: Friday 30 August
On the brink of another U.S. bombing spree in the Arab world, London Catholic Workers from Giuseppe Conlon House staged an anti-war vigil on Friday at their local tube station Turnpike Lane. The anarchist Catholic Workers decided that it was not time to declare victory and stay home after the Prime Minister’s defeat in Parliament the previous day.
A Catholic Worker stated
“We believe that hope resides in community not in the state. The real decision made about British involvement in yet another U.S. war will not be made in Parliament. Such decisions will be made by people entrenched in power who never face a ballot or a bullet in the wars they initiate.”
The Catholic Worker has hosted many refugees from U.S./ British wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and is now experiencing a wave of Syrian refugees.
The London Catholic Worker has been one of the few groups that has provided on the street solidarity for WikiLeaks publisher Assange and WikiLeaks source Manning over the past three years.
A Catholic Worker reflected
“Both Manning and Assange are in custody of different sorts. They are in trouble for exposing the nature of U.S/British wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They have been abandoned by those who marched against the wars in 2003. When you march against a war, you implicitly incite civilians and soldiers to nonviolently resist that war. We believe you are therefore obligated to accompany the resister in jeopardy through the courts and jails. We know from our own experiences of imprisonment the significance to the resister of solidarity from the outside. The more solidarity experienced by the prisoner, the easier it is to maintain the resistance in jail. We believe if 1% of those who marched against the war in 2003 had gone into nonviolent resistance to the point of imprisonment and the other 99% who marched had been in proactive solidarity, we could have stopped the war. That would have meant 15,000 anti-war resisters in the 80,000 British prison population that contains 8,000 former members of the British military. As in the United States during the Vietnam War this would have radicalised the jails.”
We encourage people to go to their local tube stations and other public places in their communities to make their feelings known about this war rather than be led into another dead end by the self-appointed leadership of the British anti-war groups.
Central London: Saturday 31 August
On Saturday, Catholic Workers joined the London Syrian protest and collected money for Manning’s family towards their prison visiting travel costs to the U.S. and within the U.S.
Wrexham, Wales: Friday 30 August
Manning and Assange supporters were amongst those who gathered in Wrexham on Friday to oppose western military action against Syria.
A report from the day noted:
The first casualty of war is truth
All wars are started and sustained with lies. We have to hope that what’s different this time is that we have the benefit of evidence from behind the scenes of the war-making states, for example the vast volume of documentation released by Chelsea (Bradley) Manning and others and disseminated by Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks, for which public spirited action both Manning and Assange continue to be persecuted. More people won’t be fooled this time round. Let’s hope that we have the strength collectively to say NO to this latest threat to our fellow human beings and to mean it.