Thomas Drake, the NSA whistleblower, is scheduled to be sentenced on Friday, July 15 at 3 PM at the
Let me know if you can attend the sentencing. And would you be interersted in standing outside the courthouse around 2 PM with signs? We may get some media attention. Let me know if you can be at the
Thu, Jul 14, 2011
We had our arraignment today in federal court for our Good Friday liturgy. Trial is set for October 13. Meanwhile, I thought your readers might enjoy this reflection from one of our group, 21 year old Peter Gallagher, a former
Witness to Empire
by Pete Gallagher on July 14, 2011
Today, I’ll be going up in front of a judge at the federal courthouse downtown for an indictment hearing. This is an unprecedented moment in my life
I write this to inform, to process, to reflect on what I have done, but more importantly, to discern and share why I have done it. There’s no use keeping this to myself
So far, reflecting on my impending foray into the federal legal system has not been fun. It has injected an unwelcome current of uncertainty and fear into my consciousness, given how I had been envisioning the post-collegiate chapter of my life. It took us so long to receive a notice to appear in court that we had assumed it would never come, and I had planned my life accordingly. I had made arrangements to return to
The realization that an extended trial might keep me in
But, thanks be to God, through contemplation and the loving support of my friends, I’ve come to a deeper understanding of the trial, my witness and what it means for how I want to live my life. The crux of which is the following
I’ve just finished up a wonderful university education, and I’m so grateful to have been pushed and stretched, to have experienced so much growth in my values and worldview. Borne out of love for humankind that has inspired me in unprecedented ways, I’ve grown into an extremely critical and “radical” perspective on politics and society-radical only because our broken world needs fundamental change. I have come to embrace the dismantling of systems and institutions of power and oppression (referred to by some as “anarchism”, referred to by Jesus as “Heaven”) as a path that would lead humanity to societies wherein it is easiest to be good, easiest to love one another.
But what use is all that growth trapped up in my head? Such growth must beget a change in how I relate to the world and the institutions that dominate it. And that’s the hard part
When many years have passed and I’ve arrived at a period of repose and reflection, I don’t want to have to regret my prudence and caution. I want to give the movement everything I have. I want to experience the foolishness of putting yourself on the line for people you will never even meet, to share in the suffering manifested by our world and its wretched institutions. I want to act and live in accordance with what I so deeply believe
I’ve come to believe that it is no “coincidence” or “bad luck” that I may go to trial and have to rearrange my life around it. It happened as a direct consequence of one of the most spiritually significant actions of my life, and accidents do not follow from such graces. It’s tangible evidence that life can do right by us in ways that seem paradoxical, that God need make us hurt in order to fully feel.
To most, smearing fake blood on a building (and facing the modest legal repercussions) may not seem like much more than a symbolic gesture that heaps unnecessary burden and inconvenience onto myself. I won’t pretend that our witness will singlehandedly herald a new revolutionary spirit, but I do believe that it plants the seeds for a shift in consciousness, a different paradigm for life as it relates to our world’s urgent need for courage and action.
At least, that’s what it has done for myself. And it’s indescribably wonderful. There is a joy to be found deep within ourselves, found only through plunging deep into the folds of suffering and loss in the name of Truth
Especially as a person of immense privilege and blessing, the recognition that being of service entails suffering and sacrifice is instrumental to how I perceive my purpose in life. But above all, it’s an integral component to the realization of my own freedom
So please, send us your prayers/good vibes Thursday morning, as this story continues to unfold. We will need them. And by all means, let’s continue to come together and figure out bolder and more audacious ways of resisting empire and lifting up our own beloved communities.