On December 28th, the feast day of the Holy Innocents, Max and I took part in a witness at the Pentagon
and I was one of seven arrested. The Atlantic Life Community has been protesting at the Pentagon for over 40 years.
It was cold and windy as about 50 people, including youth, gathered in a circle on Army Navy Drive outside the Pentagon
Reservation.Here, I reconnected with longtime friends, including Megan
Rice, Chris Spicer, Kathy Boylan, Paul Magno and others. Megan and Paul will be in Europe soon for three weeks,
giving talks on resistance to nuclear weapons.
|Janice Sevre Duszynska, ARCWP, in middle after arrest for civil disobedience at Pentagon|
After a procession onto the reservation, most of the group entered the "free speech zone," but seven of us stayed on the sidewalk
holding a banner which read: Wage Peace - Practice Nonviolence. Soon thereafter, the Holy Innocents 7, while kneeling began to
recite the Lord's prayer. Before we finished, we were told to stand up and then were handcuffed. While we were being frisked,
Max asked a police officer why we were being arrested. He also indicated they were simply exercising their First Amendment right to free speech.
In response the officer said: "We have our own regulations here. They're outside the free speech zone." Max reminded the officer that he took an oath
to uphold the Constitution.
We were placed into a police van and taken on the Pentagon Reservation which has a jail on site. Because we were processed by
police officers who were in training, the procedure took longer. I was put into a clean cell with two other women. Liz, who is in her twenties, complained about
the tightness of the handcuff on her left hand. It was her first arrest. "It hurts when it's on the bone," I said as I rapped on the door
and told the police officers. An officer came in and adjusted the cuffs. Ten minutes later, an officer removed the handcuffs from all three of us.
The men and the women were held for about two-and-a-half hours and released.
|Janice Sevre Duszynska and Max Obuszewski.|
Before leaving I felt the call to address the police officers. We were here because of the vulgarity of the Pentagon budget.
I reminded them that 50-60% of the federal discretionary budget goes to the military whileour children in the inner cities
are dying from poverty and violence. I asked them if they remembered that Jesus was the Nonviolent One.