January 26, 2008

Last of the Elevator 9 Nominated for Nobel & Ghandhi Peace Awards

Busted for "unlawful elevator blockage and "failure to comply with official signs" ... This is our New World Order.
Catholic priest protester in Santa Fe sentenced and fined
By Joline Gutierrez Krueger, Friday, January 25, 2008
There was little peace, love and understanding as a federal judge castigated a nationally known activist and Roman Catholic priest for an Iraq war protest that blocked a Santa Fe elevator in 2006.
[...] [Rev. John] Dear was the last of the group known as the Elevator Nine to be sentenced.
[...] Dear's attorney, Penni Adrian, had asked the court for mercy, saying Dear had a "lifelong commitment to peace and human decency." His action that day was "but a legal misstep," she said.
Adrian also said she received word Wednesday that Dear had been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and the Gandhi Peace Award.
But Dear asked for no mercy, using his time before the court to condemn the Iraq war.
"This war is unjust, morally sinful and just downright impractical," he said.
[...] But [U.S. District Judge Don] Svet would have none of it, calling Dear a "renegade priest," "a coward" and "no Gandhi."
"Mr. Dear, you frankly are a phony," Svet said. "You preach nonviolence but you are the same man who took a hammer and a can of paint against a U.S. aircraft." [What's up with THAT comparison?]
Those in the crowded courtroom, filled mostly with members of Dear's Pax Christi peace group, gasped and shook their heads at the judge's comments.
[...] The Elevator Nine had been found guilty of failure to comply with official signs and directions, a petty misdemeanor, for remaining in the elevator of the Joseph M. Montoya Federal Building in Santa Fe on Sept. 26, 2006, after being denied access en masse to [Sen. Pete] Domenici's third-floor office. They had wanted to present him with a "Declaration of Peace" to end the war.
Svet ruled earlier that while it was their right to seek redress from their lawmaker, they could not break the law while doing so, and they had by "unreasonably" obstructing the elevator.
Here's a little bit more about Rev. John Dear:

Rev. John Dear, S.J. is a Jesuit priest, peace activist, organizer, lecturer, retreat leader, author, and editor of books about peace and justice. From 1998 until December 2000, he served as the executive director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the largest interfaith peace organization in the United States. After the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, he volunteered as a Red Cross Chaplain and became one of the coordinators of the chaplain program while at the same time speaking out against the bombing of Afghanistan. From 2002 - 2004, he served as pastor of several parishes in northeastern New Mexico. Currently, he coordinates Pax Christi New Mexico, and lectures to tens of thousands of people each year in churches and schools across the country.
A longtime practitioner and teacher of nonviolence, John Dear has written hundreds of articles and given hundreds of talks on nonviolence. His work for peace has taken him to El Salvador, where he lived and worked in a refugee camp in 1985; to Guatemala, Nicaragua, Haiti, the Middle East, and the Philipines; to Northern Ireland where he lived and worked at a human rights center for a year; and to Iraq, where he led a delegation of Nobel Peace Prize winners to witness the effects of the deadly sanctions on Iraqi children.
A native of North Carolina, John Dear was arrested on December 7, 1993 at the Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, North Carolina for hammering on an F15 nuclear fighter bomber in an effort to "beat swords in plowshares," according to the biblical vision of the prophet Isaiah. Along with activist Philip Berrigan, he spent eight months in North Carolina county jails. Dear has been arrested over 75 times in acts of nonviolent civil disobedience for peace, and has organized hundreds of demonstrations against war and nuclear weapons at military bases across the country. He has also worked with Mother Theresa and others to stop the death penalty.
[my bold]

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