Christians convicted after nonviolent protest - news from ekklesia

By staff writers
June 8, 2005

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Christians convicted after nonviolent protest

-08/06/05

Four Christians have been convicted of Criminal Damage following an anti-war protest they staged outside the Ministry of Defence in December last year.

Their trial took place at Bow Street Magistrates Court in central London.

The four; Liz Yates, Scott Albrecht, Fr. Martin Newell and Chris Cole, dug graves in the lawn of the MoD and sprayed ëRemember the Innocentí on the Christian feast of Holy Innocents in protest at the continuing war in Iraq.

It is estimated that the war has costs the lives of over a hundred thousand people.

One of the protestors, Chris Cole, runs the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FoR), a Christian initiative which began as a response to the challenge of the First World War.

While opposing war and militarism the FoR strives to promote those things which make for peace and justice. It Supports and affirms all those with a commitment to peace and nonviolence, undertakes education work with the Christian community on peace, war and conflict issues and advocates and campaigns in favour of nonviolent conflict resolution and on behalf of the victims of war and injustice.

Speaking on behalf of the protestors, Chris Cole said ì2,000 years ago the innocent were massacred in an attempt to keep the powerful secure. Today, the powerful continue to massacre the innocent with the same motives. There can be no innocent bystanders ñ we must do what we can to defend the poor and vulnerable.î

Mr Cole and Fr Newell were ordered to pay compensation of £416 each. Mr Albrecht and Miss Yates were ordered to pay £80 compensation. They were also told to pay Court costs of £200 each and conditionally discharged for two years.

The magistrate, in her judgement, recognised the actions of the defendants as an act of witness, and the integrity and dignity of the defendants in presenting their case.

Scott Albrecht and Liz Yates had been digging graves, with a child's coffin ready to be placed in one. Chris Cole and Fr Martin Newell had begun to inscribe a wall as a memorial with the words "Remember Iraqi War Dead", "Slaughter of the Innocent" and "Stop the War" in red paint. "Father Forgive Us" was also written on the ground. Prayers of repentance and remembrance were said.

Scott Albrecht said in court: "We acted to uphold human law and the law of God. The human law is the United Nations Charter. The law of God is "love your enemies."

In his statement, Chris Cole said: "I acted to try to bring home the truth that war and violence are sinful and inevitably leads to the massacre of innocents. The prophet Jeremiah castigated hypocritical leaders: 'They have treated the wound of my people carelessly, saying, "Peace, peace," when there is no peace. They acted shamefully, they committed abomination; yet they were not ashamed, they did not know how to blush.'" (Jer 6:14-15)

Fr Newell said: "I believed that the best way I could try to prevent the high crimes of our government and country in Iraq, was to disturb the consciences of the military and political decision makers in the MoD and Whitehall: to remind them of the death and destruction, the grief and the blood that is still being shed in Iraq."

Under cross examination, Liz Yates said: "It is important to act as well as communicate a message. Action without communication is cynical. Communication without action is sentimental."

Scott Albrecht lives in St Albans. He is 41 years old and married with four children. Liz Yates lives in Kent. Chris Cole lives in Northamptonshire. He is 41 and is married with three children. Fr Martin Newell lives in Hackney. He is a Catholic priest and member of the Passionist Order.

Christians who have maintained an almost continuous presence in Iraq have documented and highlighted the deaths of numerous civilians.

Source: Independent Catholic News

Find books now:

Christians convicted after nonviolent protest

-08/06/05

Four Christians have been convicted of Criminal Damage following an anti-war protest they staged outside the Ministry of Defence in December last year.

Their trial took place at Bow Street Magistrates Court in central London.

The four; Liz Yates, Scott Albrecht, Fr. Martin Newell and Chris Cole, dug graves in the lawn of the MoD and sprayed ëRemember the Innocent' on the Christian feast of Holy Innocents in protest at the continuing war in Iraq.

It is estimated that the war has costs the lives of over a hundred thousand people.

One of the protestors, Chris Cole, runs the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FoR), a Christian initiative which began as a response to the challenge of the First World War.

While opposing war and militarism the FoR strives to promote those things which make for peace and justice. It Supports and affirms all those with a commitment to peace and nonviolence, undertakes education work with the Christian community on peace, war and conflict issues and advocates and campaigns in favour of nonviolent conflict resolution and on behalf of the victims of war and injustice.

Speaking on behalf of the protestors, Chris Cole said '2,000 years ago the innocent were massacred in an attempt to keep the powerful secure. Today, the powerful continue to massacre the innocent with the same motives. There can be no innocent bystanders - we must do what we can to defend the poor and vulnerable.'

Mr Cole and Fr Newell were ordered to pay compensation of £416 each. Mr Albrecht and Miss Yates were ordered to pay £80 compensation. They were also told to pay Court costs of £200 each and conditionally discharged for two years.

The magistrate, in her judgement, recognised the actions of the defendants as an act of witness, and the integrity and dignity of the defendants in presenting their case.

Scott Albrecht and Liz Yates had been digging graves, with a child's coffin ready to be placed in one. Chris Cole and Fr Martin Newell had begun to inscribe a wall as a memorial with the words "Remember Iraqi War Dead", "Slaughter of the Innocent" and "Stop the War" in red paint. "Father Forgive Us" was also written on the ground. Prayers of repentance and remembrance were said.

Scott Albrecht said in court: "We acted to uphold human law and the law of God. The human law is the United Nations Charter. The law of God is "love your enemies."

In his statement, Chris Cole said: "I acted to try to bring home the truth that war and violence are sinful and inevitably leads to the massacre of innocents. The prophet Jeremiah castigated hypocritical leaders: 'They have treated the wound of my people carelessly, saying, "Peace, peace," when there is no peace. They acted shamefully, they committed abomination; yet they were not ashamed, they did not know how to blush.'" (Jer 6:14-15)

Fr Newell said: "I believed that the best way I could try to prevent the high crimes of our government and country in Iraq, was to disturb the consciences of the military and political decision makers in the MoD and Whitehall: to remind them of the death and destruction, the grief and the blood that is still being shed in Iraq."

Under cross examination, Liz Yates said: "It is important to act as well as communicate a message. Action without communication is cynical. Communication without action is sentimental."

Scott Albrecht lives in St Albans. He is 41 years old and married with four children. Liz Yates lives in Kent. Chris Cole lives in Northamptonshire. He is 41 and is married with three children. Fr Martin Newell lives in Hackney. He is a Catholic priest and member of the Passionist Order.

Christians who have maintained an almost continuous presence in Iraq have documented and highlighted the deaths of numerous civilians.

Source: Independent Catholic News

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