Eight Catholic Workers Arrested at Qwest Center
- News & Views for Anarchists & Activists:
Midwest Catholic Workers: Eight arrested during demonstration
News Release For Immediate Release
Woman, 89, and 7 Others Arrested at Qwest Center
Contact: Jerry Ebner, Omaha Catholic Worker 402-502-5887 cwomaha@...
Photos at this link:
Eight were arrested about noon yesterday, Wednesday, October 8, 2008,
Midwest Catholic Workers and their friends were charged with "Failure to
Leave" while they were participating in a "Die-In" inside of the Qwest
Center. Among those arrested was long-time peace activist Peg Gallagher
who will turn 90 next Wednesday.
Omaha-area peace activists who were arrested and released include: Peg
Gallagher, 89; Kathy J. Peterson; 54, Mark Kenney, 51; and Jerry Ebner
(Omaha Catholic Worker), 58. Also arrested were: Frank Cordaro, 57, Des
Moines Catholic Worker; Greg Boertje, 53, Duluth, Minnesota, Catholic
Worker; Michael Walli, 60, Duluth, Minnesota, Catholic Worker; and Steve
Jacobs, 53, Columbia, Missouri, Catholic Worker.
In the action, participants lay down near the entrance to the Qwest
Center to symbolize the thousands of people who die each year at the
hands of the rampant global militarization. STRATCom continues to be a
primary, international promoter of space weaponry.
Those participating in the "Die-In" said their principal reason for
being there was to "expose the lie of legitimacy given by the City of
Omaha and the Qwest Convention Center to the 2008 Strategic Space and
Defense Conference and to name this an unholy alliance which can only
end in global death and destruction." The group also wanted to draw
attention to the United Nations' "Prevent an Arms Race in Outer Space"
(PAROS) resolution that is currently opposed by only two nations--the
United States and Israel.
Further the Midwest Catholic Workers and their friends pledged to keep
returning each year in the future as long as STRATCom's Space Weapons
Bazaar, (officially named the "Strategic Space and Defense 2008
Conference") continues to be held in Omaha.
Detains of the action include:
Prior to the "Die-In," carrying a banner that read "Space Weapons =
Death," members of the actions shared personal reflections that
influenced their reasons for coming. We gathered in a circle and shared
personal reflections on why each were there. Just outside the door,
Steve Jacobs (Columbia, Missouri, Catholic Worker) read the following
Midwest Catholic Worker and Friends statement:
Strategic Space and Defense 2008 Conference Qwest Convention Center
"We recall Martin Luther King, Jr.'s admonition that, "…a nation which
spends more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift
is approaching spiritual death". We are here to expose the lie of
legitimacy given by the City of Omaha and the Qwest Convention Center to
the 2008 Strategic Space and Defense Conference and we name this an
unholy alliance which can only end in global death and destruction.
We refuse to surrender the land, sea, air and the heavens above to those
who have given their allegiance to the gods of war and greed. For the
scriptures remind us of the hypocrisy of those who put their faith in
"gods of metal" to protect them.
We call on the city of Omaha and this conference's sponsoring
organizations to turn away from this unholy collaboration with global
death and evil and to choose life. So, we stage this "Die-In" to say as
clearly as we can, that "Space Weapons = Death."
Then the eight arrested lay down for the duration of thirty minutes.
After thirty minutes when no one from the Qwest Center or the police had
approached them, they rose, and proceeded to enter the Qwest Convention
Center, read the statement again and continued with the "Die-In." The
"Die-In" was somber and respectful and the police were very respectful
as the group entered. As the statement was read inside an employee of
the Qwest Center, Rebecca Kleeman, tried to interrupt Steve Jacobs from
reading the statement. When Steve Jacobs finished reading the statement
eight of us lied down and continued with the "Die-In". Rebecca Kleeman
asked us to leave.
A police officer announced to the eight that they were in violation of
City of Omaha Ordinance 20-155 "Request to Leave." The eight were
arrested after refusing the order and taken to Central Omaha Police
For more information about the action contact: Jerry Ebner Omaha
Catholic Worker 1104 N. 24th St. Omaha, NE 68102
402- 502- 5887 --
Frank Cordaro Phil Berrigan CW House 713 Indiana Avenue, Des Moines, IA
50314 (515) 282-4781
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Skipper: Professor, will you tell these people who is
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Professor: Why, no one.
Skipper: No one?
Thurston Howell III: No one? Good heavens, this is anarchy!
-- _Gilligan's Island_, episode #6, "President Gilligan"