Catholic priest sent to prison for Christmas for anti-war action

By staff writers
December 10, 2011

Fr Martin Newell of the London Catholic Worker community was sentenced to 24 days imprisonment yesterday (Friday) at Highbury Magistrates Court.

Newell was brought before the court for refusing to pay a fine arising from cutting into the Northwood Headquarters in December 2008.

The anti-war direct action was timed for the "Feast of the Holy Innocents" on the Catholic liturgical calender.

From the dock Fr Newell said: "I work with refugees from Iraq and Afghanistan at the Catholic Worker. I am opposed to the wars we have been waging on these countries. I have nonviolently resisted these wars since they began. I'm refusing to pay this fine as a form of further non-cooperation with these wars."

Northwood Headquarters is the command centre for British forces deployed overseas. The base has been the location of a number of nonviolent direct actions by the pacifist Catholic Worker community over the past decade.


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