Today, September 14th, 2010, fourteen people (including four priests) went on trial for walking onto Creech Air Force Base through the open main gate on April 10, 2009, Holy Thursday.
“They were seeking to engage in dialogue with the Air Force service members controlling the Predators and Reapers used in Central Asia. In a gesture of good will, they offered to break bread and share Passover pizza with Air Force personnel.”
Creech Air Force Base is one of the unholy places from which the U.S. military controls – from thousands of miles away – the drones (aka: unmanned aerial vehicles) that have killed untold innocent women, children and men in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan (and perhaps elsewhere for all we know). The use of drones is increasing dramatically, and for the U.S. military it is the wave of the future.
Well, this is not (neither is endless war) the “wave of the future” for the fourteen people who engaged in nonviolent, civil resistance against this new and improved (and horrible) tool of warfare. The resisters only tools (in the spirit of nonviolence) – a letter, roses and pizza.
Today the Creech 14 faced trial in Nevada state court. They went to Creech to speak for justice for those with no voice, and now they face the mock justice of a nation so steeped in militarism that it cannot (or will not) tolerate anyone who steps outside the confines of its militaristic ways.
One of the Creech 14 is also a member of Disarm Now Plowshares. Fr. Steve Kelly will face arraignment with his fellow Disarm Now defendants on September 24th for their November 2, 2009 Plowshares action at the Bangor submarine base and nuclear weapons storage facility.
Interestingly enough, after hearing all the testimony in today’s trial – which included former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, Bill Quigley who is a Loyola University law professor and legal director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, and retired Army Col. and former U.S. diplomat Ann Wright – the judge delayed his decision until 8:30 a.m. Jan. 27, 2011. It seems that those who spoke for the defense gave the judge some significant points to ponder.
So today we hold up our brothers and sisters of the Creech 14, stand with them in solidarity, and pray with and for them:
- Fr. John Dear, S.J. (New Mexico)
- Dennis DuVall (Arizona)
- Renee Espeland (Des Moines, Iowa Catholic Worker Community)
- Judy Homanich (Binghamton, New York)
- Kathy Kelly (Chicago Illinois, twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize)
- Fr. Steve Kelly, S.J. (California)
- Mariah Klusmire (Trinity House Catholic Worker, Albuquerque, New Mexico
- Brad Lyttle (Chicago, Illinois)
- Elizabeth Pappalardo (Crystal Lake, Illinois)
- Sister Megan Rice, SHCJ (Nevada Desert Experience, Las Vegas, Nevada)
- Brian Terrell (Strangers & Guests Catholic Worker, Maloy, Iowa)
- Eve Tetaz (Washington, D.C.)
- Fr. Louis Vitale, O.F.M. (Oakland, California)
- Jerry Zawada, O.F.M. (Tucson, Arizona)
And let us pray that one day it will be the architects of war who will go on trial rather than the carpenters of peace.
Read today’s post-trial article, Judge delays decision in ‘Creech 14’ drone trial, in the Las Vegas Sun. Read John Dear’s article on today’s trial at the National Catholic Reporter Online. Keep up with the Creech 14 at Nevada Desert Experience. More also at Voices for Creative Nonviolence and http://sacredpeacewalk.blogspot.com/.