Saturday, November 25, 2006

Devinely Inspired Political Action

Here is the link to the page where you can find out about the Faslane 365 Demonstration (365 day non violent direct action based protest outside the Faslane Nuclear Weapons Base)on the 48 hrs that were nominated for Clergy & Laity to take a stand. There is something very inspirational reading their press release about it, and something quietly moving about the pictures. That said, we don't all need to wear a dog collar to stand firm in our beliefs. This leads me nicely into a discovery about the man behind the desk, the president that never was, Mr Martin Sheen who played President Bartlett in the West Wing. The character of President Bartlett had always been a very religious character, and been from catholic extraction. What hasn't been clear is that this is a mirror of Martin Sheen, the actor who plays him. The actor has often been involved in protests against nuclear weapons, in favour of workers rights etc... Beneath is an article from Los Almost National Laboratory News Bulletin about an action he was involved in
Several hundred march to the Lab Several hundred demonstrators organized by Peace Action -- an activist group based in Washington, D.C. -- marched from Ashley Pond in the town site to the Laboratory's main technical area Monday to express their opinion about nuclear weapons and weapons-related activities. The march coincided with the 54th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan. In news releases issued by the group, Peace Action stated that the purpose of their demonstration was to protest the planned manufacture of plutonium pits for the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile at Los Alamos. The Lab's limited manufacturing role is scheduled to begin with an initial stockpile unit by late 2002 and up to 20 pits a year by 2007. In addition to chanting slogans and waving banners, several members of the group came to the Lab to engage in nonviolent civil disobedience. The group had been granted permission to gather for a limited period of time in the parking lot east of the Otowi Building, but group organizers were warned that any members of the group who exited the pre-assigned gathering area could face arrest on trespassing charges. Actor and activist Martin Sheen was the first to be taken into custody for crossing the boundary. Sheen walked to the edge, stepped over quietly, knelt and recited the Lord's Prayer, and walked quietly toward the detention area under escort by security officers from Protection Technology Los Alamos. More than 70 other demonstrators crossed the line and were detained. They were taken back to Ashley Pond and released. The marchers at times were vigorously outspoken, as illustrated by the photo, which shows a member of the group attempting to engage Gene Tucker, deputy director of the Lab's Safeguards and Security (S) Division, into a debate on the value of work at Los Alamos.
Upon a bit of further investigation I turned up this profound interview with him which nails him on his faith and what he believes it inspires him to do. I would recommend you read it all - but I wish to leave you with the following quote from it:
I have a conscience. And I feel moved to be present at various sites to call attention to peace and justice issues. And so I kind of blame it on the Holy Spirit for the route I've taken to these places and asked to just stand to be a presence to the marginal and a voice to the voiceless. And sometimes it's very costly. But it's also very freeing because in every one of the arrests I've been involved in, I have been satisfied in my conscience that I did everything I possibly could, and I did it nonviolently, and I tried to do it humanely and even joyfully. So that's the major criteria I use for involvement.
Take Care Y'All John


  1. Great post, John. Great to read about Martin Sheen. He sure demonstrates a more Christlike approach than the reprobate currently in the White House

  2. I'm liking that...Wait, hey, I'm randomly from youth conference *does a dorky wave* my name is...Laura. so hey :D