April 25, 2008
Missoula , MT
Peace activist to share experience
Story by Stefanie Kilts
30 years, will share his personal experiences of his non-violent peace
efforts in the U.S. and Central America during a speech at the
University of Montana on Tuesday, April 29.
His speech, "Criminalization of Dissent," will cover increased
governmental surveillance, intimidation, and prosecution of
non-violent peace efforts. The lecture will start at 7 p.m. in the
Castle Room at the UM Law School .
"The line between what is legal, what are protected activities, and
violent criminal activity has steadily eroded," Terrell said.
Terrell has been arrested more than 100 times over the last 30 years
for staging anti-war protests and bringing attention to nuclear
weapons, victims of war, and other injustices. He has been voluntarily
arrested in protests against U.S. military interventions in places
such as Honduras and Puerto Rico .
Terrell received significant media attention in 2004 when the Joint
Terrorism Task Force subpoenaed him for testimony about his
participation in an anti-war forum. The investigation was eventually
stopped due to public pressure, but it sparked a debate on the
government and rights of protest groups.
"The best way to talk about what is happening broadly is to talk about
our experiences," Terrell said.
The peace activist said he is coming to Missoula at an appropriate
time, especially in light of events at UM.
Terrell is aware of the recent sit-in at Main Hall by the Students for
Economic and Social Justice and said he is especially concerned about
the seizure of their cell phones, calling it an extremely serious
Terrell said he hopes he can make local groups aware of what types of
actions are currently taken by the government on non-violent activism
and advise groups on what they can do.
Non-violent activism is extremely important, he said, citing the
significance of protests in women receiving the right to vote and the
ending of the Vietnam War.
"If you look at history," he said, "there hasn't been any major change
without civil disobedience."
Terrell is the executive director of Catholic Peace Ministry and lives
at a Catholic Worker Farm in Iowa . Catholic Worker activists
acknowledge that there will always be inherent violence in the world,
he explained, but realize "we depend on a military infrastructure
because we control the world's resources."
Therefore, the Catholic Worker Farm has gardens and farm animals so
residents can live closer to the land and grow their own food, he
Terrell will also speak in Butte on Saturday for a panel discussion
with local leaders in law enforcement and civil liberties defense. He
said the only way his speeches will make a difference during his time
in Montana is if he can reach groups protesting for change.
"If nothing else, we can show that everyone in the world is not going
along," Terrell said. "The best way to do that is to put our body on