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Letters to Editors
Statement to the State of New Hampshire,
Nashua District Court
In the Matter of the 11 Members of the Chain Reaction Affinity Group
Arrested at BAE on December 22, 2003
Presented By Clare Gillingham, Concord, NH
Your honor, I feel proud to be standing here today among a group of
loyal patriots, young and old, who love their country so much that they
are not afraid to address its errors.
When I was young, I learned about the utter devastation and dehumanization
of war in the aftermath following WWI. For three years I lived in a war-battered
town in northern France. Most of the town, including its cathedral, railway
station, and schools were still in ruins; water was available one hour
a day at a public faucet; soldiers who had not way of returning home to
their families slept in empty cellars which once had homes above them.
These sights one doesn't forget.
But what I remember most are the thousands upon thousands of temporary
wooden crosses bearing the inscriptions: "Known Only To God."
My brother, Rudy, was bom in that war torn town, and 20 years later, as
a young corporal, was killed in Normandy in WWII. It was his first - and
last - return to the country where he was born.
Yes, war is cruel. Yet here in Nashua New Hampshire, we are still manufacturing
weapons to continue this killing.
Your Honor, how can we say we believe in peace if at the same time we
relentlessly prepare for war?
Even if the weapons that BAE manufacturers are never used to kill and
maim, they still contribute heavily to the unnecessary death and suffering
of countless numbers. Companies like BAE are given billions of dollars
to make war equipment and then we are told that there is no money for
the life saving work of hospitals, the building of new schools for a growing
world population, or even the barest shelter for the homeless.
Your honor, as members of the human family, we cannot sit by while people
suffer and starve needlessly. We must raise our voices and, yes even sometimes
use our bodies, to make our voices heard. We beseech you, your Honor,
to rule that nonviolent people who try to reduce the hostility among nations
are not disorderly people. We planned our actions carefully, notified
the company and police of our intentions, and obeyed their requests.
We beg all world leaders to end war and to sit down and reason together
for the benefit of all humankind.
And your Honor,
Let there be peace on earth
Let it begin with us -
All those before you today.
People for Peace meets monthly, on the fourth Tuesday,
at 7:30 pm, at
North Parish Church, North Andover.
Merrimack Valley People for Peace (978) 685-1389
P.O. Box 573
North Andover, MA 01845
to post on the website to firstname.lastname@example.org