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Catholic Schoolgirls Against the War Disrupt Easter Mass

By Kevin Gosztola  Posted by Kevin Gosztola (about the submitter)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 3 pages)
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At this moment, updates on the action are coming in regularly. The latest is that, according to one of the defendant's lawyers, at least one of the activists is being spat upon by the guards. Guards are also encouraging other inmates to "mess with" and abuse the defendant. As soon as enough funds can be raised, the activist being spat on will be the next activist bailed out of jail.

Those conducting jail solidarity for the activists are asking that people from the Chicagoland area willing to help bail the activists out of jail monetarily contact Tim Salemme at (773) 759 - 8399 to arrange a donation or email holyname6@riseup.net.

Now for those unaware of what started all of this or how several members of the antiwar movement in Chicago became involved in a battle to bail activists out of jail so they are not abused or "messed with", the story is as follows.

Six members of the anti-war group "Catholic Schoolgirls Against the War" staged a dramatic die-in on Sunday during the 11 AM Easter mass at Holy Name Cathedral. The group, in addition to calling for an immediate end to the illegal and immoral war in Iraq, decried Cardinal George's January 7th meeting with Chicago's Mayor Daley and President Bush.

Holy Name Cathedral is Chicago's largest parish and one where Chicago's most prominent Catholic citizens attend. The protesters knew these people would be in attendance and knew that press, which usually extensively cover the services, would be present when the "die-in" was conducted.

Easter services at Holy Name are traditionally one of the most heavily attended masses of the year, and this mass was no exception, with people packed wall to wall for today’s Easter morning holiday service.
The group of young activists, dressed in their Easter best, sat through the 11AM mass until George reached the homily. A few seconds into the cardinal’s main holiday message, the protesters rose from their seats, turned to address the thousands of parishioners in the auditorium, and talked about the continuing death of both Iraqis and Americans in Iraq as the war enters its sixth year.

The protesters then laid down in the aisles and discharged packets of fake blood that covered them in red. Stunned ushers rushed in after a moment or two to try to remove the protesters, and also brought in some Chicago police officers who were stationed in the lobby to help with traffic control for the overflow crowd. The protesters did NOT resist arrest, agreeing to stand up and walk out of the auditorium, where they were subsequently arrested by cops outside.
During a ten minute wait for the police to show up, the activists conducted a series of media interviews with local television outlets. When the police arrived, the cuffed protesters were loaded and taken to an area police station.

On Monday, the activists attended a hearing. The details, which happen to be posted in the comments section of this article, show just how hard the system is working to make an example of these activists.


(The) hearing was in regards to charges of felony defacement of property
at a place of worship in excess of $300; that makes the charge a Class III
felony. The fake blood allegedly used in the action stained the
auditorium's carpet and 14 chairs, incurring a $400 cleaning bill.
According to the prosecuting attorney, the cleaning failed and the carpet
will need to be replaced at a cost of $3000. Special conditions have been
set for all the arrestees which prevent them from having any contact with
Cardinal George, Holy Name Cathedral, or the area of 735 N. State Street.


The bond for Ephran, Regan, Mercedes, Ryane, and Angela is set at $25,000
each. Donte's bond is set at $35,000. In order to be bailed out, each
arrestee needs to post 10% of their bond. All told, we need to raise
$16,000.

All arrestees are scheduled to appear in court at Branch 42 on March 31st.

The six activists were put back in jail and people began mobilizing to get these young patriots out of jail. After all, as many will attest to, it was a nonviolent direct action. Being disruptive was the point and making a point, which they did, was also the plan. That this action was effective and that it has produced this editorial from Kathy Kelly (which can be found in the comments section) is a testament of how great of an action it was.

Dear Editors,

The six activists who raised their voices, during Cardinal George's Easter homily in Holy Name Cathedral, recalled suffering and carnage caused by the war in Iraq. They screamed. They poured "stage blood." They fell to the floor.

Under U.S. occupation, and as a result of U.S. economic sanctions and military war waged since 1991, Iraqis have seen horrific bombings outside and within their worship places, along with the physical and social destruction of their country. Iraqis have endured mass killing, kidnappings, torture, incarcerations without cause, and an almost complete breakdown of vital infrastructure services including electricity, sewage treatment, and health care delivery.

Take Action Now --- Call Cardinal George and demand charges are dropped: 312-751-8230 and submit letters of support to the local newspaper, Chicago Tribune

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Here is a less corporatized mainstream media take ... by Kevin Gosztola on Monday, Mar 24, 2008 at 4:28:30 PM
Kevin,     I'd like to mak... by Bob Gormley on Tuesday, Mar 25, 2008 at 7:28:16 AM
Donate if you canFour of the six are stil in jail.... by Kevin Gosztola on Tuesday, Mar 25, 2008 at 9:00:46 AM
Thanks for the link.... by Bob Gormley on Tuesday, Mar 25, 2008 at 10:14:05 AM
Here's what Kathy Kelly, arguably one of the ... by Kevin Gosztola on Tuesday, Mar 25, 2008 at 9:12:32 AM
You mess up somebody's house, you pay for the ... by Scott on Monday, Mar 24, 2008 at 11:43:59 PM
If it stops the killing of thousands of innocent p... by Bob Gormley on Tuesday, Mar 25, 2008 at 5:55:32 AM
its still damage to property that is not theirs. h... by Benjamin Muth on Thursday, Mar 27, 2008 at 3:03:33 PM
"There’s a time when the operation of t... by Kevin Gosztola on Tuesday, Mar 25, 2008 at 9:18:09 AM
"Stop interputing mass with your message of p... by Scott Ledger on Tuesday, Mar 25, 2008 at 1:39:57 AM
They strain out the gnat and swallow the camel.Not... by Bob Gormley on Tuesday, Mar 25, 2008 at 5:57:30 AM
Chicago's leading the anti-war movement by for... by Kevin Gosztola on Tuesday, Mar 25, 2008 at 9:09:54 AM
I just called the Cardinal and urged that charges ... by Angelo on Tuesday, Mar 25, 2008 at 10:52:06 AM
I suggest that all of us re-read Dr. Martin Luther... by Paul Roden on Tuesday, Mar 25, 2008 at 11:53:16 AM
And of course if we all knew the truth about 9/11,... by gravity32 on Tuesday, Mar 25, 2008 at 9:07:29 PM
And it's crystal clear that all this protest a... by Scott on Wednesday, Mar 26, 2008 at 2:14:56 PM