Seven Twin Cities activists arrested in nonviolent civil disobedience marking 225 years of solving conflicts with violence.
The group issued the following statement:
ON WHOSE HANDS?
Today, June 14th, as the US army celebrates their 225th anniversary, which represents 225 years of solving conflicts with violence, we gather as community members to communicate nonviolently our concern.
Every product Alliant Techsystems produces results in a victim. At this time in history we recognize weapons are hi-tech and the conflicts are more global in scope but individuals are still at the center, at the heartbeat.
Individuals make the decisions to use violence as a solution and individuals are the ones who suffer and die as a result of those decisions.
Whatever the reasons may be, we as a community are demonstrating here today in front of this weapons merchant, that there are victims even though the results are very far away and impersonal.
Story and reflections of those participating in the action will be posted here soon.
Those arrested at the 9 AM action were Tom Bottolene, St. Paul, Tom Hooley, Forest Lake, Cecilia Loome, Stillwater, Jane McDonald, CSJ, Minneapolis, Betty McKenzie, CSJ, St. Paul, Kathleen Ruona, Minneapolis and Mary Vaughan, White Bear Lake.
Here's some reflections on the action...
As we sat on the pavement waiting for the police to come, I was so struck by the whole action. I was incredibly touched by the faith and support of all those gathered there, especially that of Tom, Steve, and Alison, my friends and classmates who had come for the very first time. I couldn't stop looking at the red paint on my hands and thinking, "What if it really were blood? What if it were MY blood?" I thought of how it would feel to never walk again because of a landmine or another weapon, and so when the officer came to arrest me, I told him that I wouldn't walk, because some children my age can never walk again because of the weapons. He carried me away, and the gravity of the situation was so real, so present right then. For just one moment, I knew what it felt like to be helpless, to be unable to walk. As we sat there next to the bodies encircled in "blood of the victims," I felt so much love towards everyone there. What if they were really dead? How can anyone have the right to do this to another human being? My heart goes out to thefamilies and friends of the victims of Alliant's weapons. To sit beside the bodies of the victims at the action was an opportunity for me to step inside the shoes of the victims and their families. I feel so much more compassion towards them, and so much determination to raise awareness and to show people what is happening, and to show everyone how much our little community can do in striving for peace and justice.