Friday, December 28, 2007

Peace on Earth?

It is with great sadness that I write of Pakistan's former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s assassination Thursday. The familiar phrase of “peace on earth, good will to all” that we sang for Christmas seems if not silenced, at least over taken by the ring of a gunshot and the blast of a bomb. Peace seems now a distant dream, and even perhaps an unachievable one in the wake of such a violent act. The foundation of this dream of peace of which we sing, is built through non-violent, risky compassion. It is still my belief that this risky compassion is the only way that offers the world a way out of its self-destructive track on which violence sets us. Redemptive love, ultimately is our only hope. While today’s act of violence sends shock waves around the world, it is a reminder of the cruelty of violence. Violence has always been a part of the political landscape. When power feels threatened, it moves to secure itself unremorsefully of the death it causes and the means it must use. The innocent are victims to this age old, all too familiar paradigm. This week’s reading from Matthew 2: 13-23, tells of the brutality of power again reminds us of the paradigm.
May the song of “ peace on earth, good will to all” continue to ring in our ears, pond in our hearts and fuel our work to be agent of that peace as we mourn the death of Benazir Bhutto.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Story of Stuff

It's a short film - 20 minutes.

"What is the Story of Stuff?From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It'll teach you something, it'll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever."

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Frank's reflections at the School of the Americas

Hi, All:

To those of you interested in my adventures, I have just competed the weekend of protests at the School of the Americas (SOA), now known as the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC). There were approximately 25,000 people in attendance, including more that 150 from the Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America (CRLN). On Saturday were were entertained by protest musicians and heard inspiring speeches from Fr. Roy Bourgeois, founder of SOA Watch, Rep. Jim McGovern, who is the primary sponsor of HR 1707, which seeks to suspend funding for SOA/WHINSEC and examine the effect the School has had on Latin American foreign policy, and many Latin American indigenous representatives who told us about the horrors SOA has caused to their individual countries. We also had the chance to attend teach-ins on Latin America, Iraq and other foreign policy disasters.

Sunday was the highlight of the weekend. We all gathered in front of the gates of Ft. Benning to remember the victims of SOA/WHINSEC violence and place our memorials on the fence which served as the barrier to the base. Eleven people engaged in civil disobedience and were arrested for trespass on a Federal facility for a political purpose. These eleven will be tried beginning January 28, 2008, and I will be there with the other lawyers of the Legal Collective of SOA Watch to defend them and allow them to tell the Federal Court (and the world) why they deliberately violated the law.

If you want more information on the activities at Ft. Benning, SOA Watch has a website,

Peace to all.