Date: Sunday October 2, 2011 2:30 pm Location: Bellevue, Nebraska. Approximately 150 life-long Peace Activists from around the United States and Midwest converge in Nebraska at the gate of the infamous STRATCOM (Strategic Command) Offutt Air Force Base to demonstrate actions for world peace. Among the groups represented are the Dubuque Franciscans, Briar Cliff College, Midwest Catholic Workers, Veterans for Peace, Physicians for Social Responsibility, the Catholic Peace Ministry, The Catholic Worker Farm, Dubuque Peace and Justice, Nebraskans for Peace, various campus ministry organizations, as well as long-time Omaha peace activists Fr. Jack McClasin, Frank Cordaro, Jerry Ebner, Peg Gallagher, Mark Welsch, Candella and way too many more to mention.
The group gathered in celebration and hope for world peace and to bring an end to the untold death and destruction brought by U. S. Militarism. As Peace Activists with true convictions, 3 persons have volunteered to literally cross the line for peace, risking likely arrest and possiably 6 Months in an United States Federal Prison.
This pubic prayer and action for peace was initiated by the Sisters of St. Francis of Dubuque, Iowa, who invite the public to join in protesting American militarism; the warfare in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, and Libya; as well as nuclear weapons. The location of this action was chosen because STRATCOM / Offutt Air Force Base houses and maintains weapons of mass destruction, that result in untold fatalities. The weapons of STRATCOM could very well cause a death toll that would out number the Holocaust of Germany's Nazi regime. As Peace Activists, we feel it is our moral and ethical obligation in this life to express and convey our distaste and fear for world-wide Militarism.
This event was in commemoration of the 25th anniversary (Oct. 4th, 1986) Ecumenical Peace Gathering in Assisi, Italy and the annual Feast Day of Francis of Assisi, a Patron Saint of Peace Activists. Also, the gathering was to mark the tragic 10th anniversary of the beginning of the US war with Afghanistan (on October 6th).
This public prayer and action for peace includes singing, dancing and various honored speakers, including Martha Hennessy, the grand daughter of Dorothy Day - the founder of the Catholic Worker. At the end of the service the group moved onto the drive leading the the main gate at Offutt AFB. Traffic was blocked while a statement was read and three people crossed the property line and were immediately detained by base security and local police.
The three heroic line crossers for Peace are the following:
Marilyn Ryan, a career educator and Principal from Omaha, Nebraska.
Gilbert Landolt, disabled Vietnam Veteran, Chapter President of
the Des Moines Veterans For Peace and Des Moines Catholic Worker
Sister Marian Klostermann OSF, a Franciscan Sister from Dubuque, Iowa, a long time Peace and Justice Activist and teacher of nonviolence to the imprisoned.
We celebrate and honor their courage and sacrifice.
Filmed & edited by me, some may find this film disturbing, as its content shows actual peace activists standing up to history's most powerful and morally corrupt military power, with a handful of paid goons staring us down. I'll do damn near anything for Peace! Shalom, Salaam.
Special Thanks to Our security, provided by St. Francis and his crew.