Nonviolent Resistance Acts
Voices for Creative Nonviolence (Co-Coordinator)
October 2, 2007
The Bonhoeffer Moment of nonviolent civil resistance and disobedience to the world war being waged by the United States is clearly at hand. As Congress considers an additional $190 billion to fund the Iraq – Afghanistan war through September 2008 and as the threats of war against Iran become increasingly loud, it is time for us to learn lessons from the German resistance to Hitler, to the Nazi regime and to the war waged by the German nation-state. We must engage in the Long Resistance to this current world war, using every nonviolent means to bring about its end.
I was set to be tried on October 2 for an act of nonviolent civil resistance at the U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command. The judge dismissed the charge the day of the trial. Following is the closing statement I prepared for the jury trial in Waukegan, Illinois.
October 2, 2007
WAUKEGAN —A judge in the 19th Circuit Court of Illinois today dismissed trespassing charges against an antiwar activist stemming from a civil disobedience demonstration last year at the nation’s command center for processing military recruits.
Before jurors were even picked in the trial of Jeff Leys, co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, the Illinois State Attorney in the case moved for dismissal of the charge. Referring to yesterday’s bench trial before Judge Patrick Lawler which resulted in the acquittal of a reporter arrested at the July, 2006 demonstration with Leys, as well as the absence of the police officer who was the state’s key witness yesterday and presumably would have been today, the prosecutor moved the charge be dismissed. Judge Lawler granted the motion and Leys, prepared to represent himself “pro se,” walked out moments later.
See also: The Capital Times article, 7 war protesters arrested
By Joy First
Sept 7, 2007
On September 7, 2007, seven peace activists were arrested in Madison as they blocked the sidewalk with crime scene tape in front of Wisconsin Senator Herb Kohl’s office. The seven arrested were Cassandra Dixon, Flo Evans, Joy First, Jamie Haack, Janet Parker, Karin Sandvik, and Susan Spahn. This was the first arrest for nonviolent civil resistance for Flo Evans, Jamie Haack, and Karin Sandvik.
August 21, 2007
Three social justice advocates with the “Occupation Project” visited Senator Durbin’s Chicago office seeking his pledge to vote against any additional Iraq war funding beyond that required for the immediate and safe withdrawal of U.S. troops. They were arrested by federal authorities and charged with causing a disturbance.
“As a minister, I believe that we have a moral imperative to end our country’s occupation of Iraq,” says Le Anne Clausen, a seminarian at Chicago Theological Seminary. “I was a human rights worker in Iraq, investigating U.S. abuse of Iraqi prisoners during the first year of the occupation, including abuse at Abu Ghraib. It is our actions that did the most to put us in this terrible mess, and we have no hope of the situation healing until we leave Iraq.”
August 20, 2007
August 7, 2007
Five peace activists were arrested on Monday in Bath, NY after refusing to leave the district office of Republican Congressman Randy Kuhl. The protesters submitted a petition signed by 3,000 people urging Kuhl to sign a pledge to vote against further funding of the war in Iraq.
Aug 1, 2007
On Monday, 23 July, 2007, CPT trainees enacted a mock trial of US Senator Dick Durbin at his Chicago office. They demanded a final piece of evidence that would acquit or convict the senator: Would he approve funds for life, or for more war in Iraq and Afghanistan? As other CPTers announced the trial on signs, banners and leaflets outside Chicago’s Kluczynski Federal Building, police arrested all eight who demonstrated inside because they refused to leave without a “yes” or “no” response from Durbin’s office.
July 27, 2007
This past March, New Jersey Occupation Project activists sought to meet with their Senators, Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez. Denied access to the Senators offices, they continued with their action in the lobby of the building. Eight people were arrested in this act of nonviolent civil resistance / civil disobedience.
In late July, the Newark 8 were acquitted—the third time in less than a month that activists were found “not guilty” in trials following arrests made during the Occupation Project campaign. Following is a video of the action.
July 9, 2007
by John Deeth
“This sucks!” said Lara Elborno, walking out of the Wells-Fargo building in downtown Cedar Rapids at about 5:30 on a Friday afternoon. “It’s so anticlimactic!” Lara’s Friday night plans had suddenly changed. She’d announced at a 1:00 rally “I’m so excited to get arrested with all you guys!” and minutes earlier she’d been in custody, jauntily flashing a peace sign at her supporters. But now she wasn’t going to get to spend the night in jail.
Elborno and eighteen others had prepared for arrest as part of an “extra-legal lobbying” effort — otherwise known as a sit-in — at the Cedar Rapids offices of Iowa Senators Chuck Grassley and Tom Harkin. But in the end, the only person who went to jail was not among the nineteen who had expected to.