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LOCAL News :: Civil & Human Rights : Globalization : Imperialism : International Relations : Missouri : Peace : Protest, Resistance and Direct Action

Midwest Catholic Workers Arrested for War resistance in Columbia

Four Catholic Worker anti-war activists entered an armed forces recruiting station in Columbia, Missouri and offered a rose to each military branch recruiter along with a short note explaining that since recruiters were prohibited as military personel from engaging in political activity it was activists job to do it for them especially since their commander-in-chief started an illegal war and authorized torture as one of the means to prosecute the war.
Steve Jacobs, a Catholic Worker from Columbia, MO told one Navy recruiter, "We love you guys and we don't want you to go to Iraq and get killed or have to kill anyone else in our name". In an ensuing dialogue between the activists and the recruiters, Jacobs noted the recent Zogby poll of military personel in Iraq which found that more than 70% of those stationed in Iraq felt that the U.S. should not be there and Jacobs told the naval recruiter that "We're doing this for you and for Americans in Iraq. It's our job as citizens to use our Constitutional freedoms to protest when corrupt leaders do unethical things that get you guys killed in an immoral war."
The activists taped photos of torture victims from Abu Ghraib and bloodied Iraqi children whose parents were killed by U.S. troops at a checkpoint on the recruiting station walls and the office doors of recruiters along with another sign that read, "Who Would Jesus Bomb?" and "Christians cannot love their enemies and kill them, too".
The four arrested were part of a gathering of nearly 60 Catholic Workers from 7 states who held a retreat over the weekend at Our Lady of Sorrows Shrine in Starkenberg. They caravaned to Columbia this morning for the civil disobedience action. After arriving in Columbia they started a funeral procession through the downtown area carrying coffins draped in an American flag and an Iraqi flag respectively and held photos of war crimes victims commited in the ongoing Iraqi war.
Brian Terrell, a Catholic Worker from Des Moines, Iowa urged on the civil disobedience as a way of following in Jesus's footsteps and being a truth teller and a Peacemaker. "Some people consider civil disobedience an extreme measure for extreme times. If these aren't extreme times, I don't know what are" said Terrell.
Catholic Worker activists cited numerous war crimes by the Bush administration as reasons for their opposition to the wars. "I don't feel I'd be much a Christian if my only response to U.S. torture, and pre-emptive war is to pray quietly for it in church on Sunday. Jesus urged us to be peacemakers; not to be torturers or killers of innocent civilians at checkpoints and inside Muslim mosques. So, we came here to ask people of faith, 'Who would Jesus bomb?' " said Steve Jacobs.
Those arrested were: 1) Eddie Bloomer age 56 from Des
Moines, Iowa Catholic Worker
2) Chrissy Kirchhoefer, age 25 from St.
Louis, MO Catholic Worker community
3) Joseph Black from the St. Louis, MO
Catholic Worker community
4) Steve Jacobs, age 51, of the St. Francis
Catholic Worker in Columbia, MO

After blockading the doorway of the army recruiters they were booked by Columbia police and issued summons to appear in court May 4 and charged with first degree trespass and released without bond. For more info contact Lana or Steve Jacobs at 573-875-7878 or 875-4913.

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