A Review of Ongoing Campaigns...
The Des Moines Catholic Worker (DMCW) community annually hosts a two-day retreat in Omaha that ends on December 28, the Feast of the Holy Innocents. 2003 marked the 25th year of commemorating this day with a prayer service and line crossing at Offutt Air Force Base. December 28th is the day that the Catholic Church remembers the killing of the Innocents by King Herod, which is found in the Christmas story as told in Matthew's gospel. Offutt is home of the Strategic Command (STRATCOM), the command center for all land, air and sea strategic nuclear weapons systems.
Seven people crossed the line and were briefly arrested, issued "ban and bar" letters, and released.
Last March, the annual Midwest Catholic Worker Gathering, held in Iowa, ended with a peaceful line-crossing at Offutt. Eight people were arrested and released with ban and bar letters. Weeks later, in a break from prosecutors' long-standing practice not to charge first-time line-crossers at Offutt, all eight were indicted for trespass and ordered to federal court for arraignment.
At hearings in May and June, six pled guilty or no contest, and were fined $100-$200 and placed on probation for one to two years. Paul Gallagher and Greg Boertje-Obed pled not guilty, but were convicted in less than an hour on June 25. They face up to a maximum six months sentence and $5,000 fine when sentenced on August 25.
For more information about a generation of nonviolent resistance at STRATCOM, contact Frank Cordaro at the Phil Berrigan Catholic Worker House, 713 Indiana St., Des Moines IA 50314, (515)282-4781, email@example.com