John Dear in Melbourne!

Finally got all the John Dear promotional material done and sent. As a Myers Briggs iNtuitive and Perceptive, the detail almost killed me, but it looks like I’ll live to see him arrive. Which is good because it’s almost guaranteed that he will now. Until last week we weren’t sure because he had a trial January 25th for a recent action he did against the Iraq war (along with a 15 year old and several grandparents – the inclusiveness of nonviolence). He described it as follows:

I joined eight other New Mexicans — several grandparents, a few Pax Christi people, and a fifteen-year-old, outstanding people each of them – who entered the Santa Fe Federal Building Sept. 26 bearing a copy of the “Declaration of Peace.” Ours was one of 375 actions at various local government offices around the nation. Our destination was the office of Senator Pet Domenic, a prominent warmaker. Would he consider signing our declaration? Might he promise to help bring an end to the war? Reasonable requests, we thought. We also thought our chances unlikely. Still, such a gambit warranted a try, for nonviolence, if it goes deep enough, melts hearts, transforms politics and wins friends.

We got as far as the elevator. Police forbade us from continuing and pulled the plug. So in the elevator we sat, the doors opened to the lobby. The police confided their sympathy for our cause and, while they obstructed us, they refused to arrest us. So we resorted to Plan B. From the elevator floor we read aloud the name of every U.S. soldier killed, and some 10,000 Iraqi civilians. We read for seven hours.

Finally the head of Homeland Security in New Mexico arrived and personally arrested us. Stuffed into our hands were the federal misdemeanor citations, the charge: “failure to conform with signs and direction.”

This week we were supposed to stand trial in federal court. But the government has now postponed things until spring. Seems they hope to expand the case against us — and make sure I cool my heels in jail.

Alas, it’s all too likely. But it’s also a small price to pay, considering the 1.5 million Iraqis who’ve been killed over the last 16 years. But more than that, for Christians it’s the normal price to pay in the nature of things. Paying up is part and parcel of the Christian’s job description. We’re supposed to take up the cross of nonviolent resistance to the empire of war, and to accept the consequences.

After all, the person we follow suffered arrest, suffered an abusive stint in jail, brutality and torture, and finally execution. Such is the path for his followers, the way of daring non-violence with all its risks.

Wow. So the trial has been postponed, which means the tour will probably go ahead, assuming the government doesn’t pull a Scott Parkin on us. He still reckons he’s looking at a one to two month stretch in prison when he gets back.

So go here and download all the promotional material (or the summary of all the events). He’ll be well worth your time.

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