Good Friday 2012

Dec 6, 12 • ArticleComments OffRead More »

“Let us pray that we will break the chains of violence and war; that we may resist war-making and stop Lockheed Martin with acts of justice and Jesus’ love. May the cross, which over time was transformed from a means of violence to a symbol of liberation and peace, be our symbol of nonviolence and justice, a sign of nonviolent resistance to greed, militarism, empire, violation of the earth, and war…” (*From the Good Friday Stations of Justice & Peace, Lockheed Martin, April 6, 2012)

People gathered again at Lockheed Martin this past Good Friday as part of the Brandywine Peace Community’s continuing campaign of nonviolent direct action resistance to the world’s largest war profiteer (about $42 billion annually, that includes being U.S.’s #1 contractor in nuclear weapons – all weapons systems for that matter – space-based weapons and designs, among the top manufacturers of unmanned drones – armed drone weaponry, satellites for drone remote-control – #1 international arms dealer).

Last fall, when the Occupy began in a massive, worldwide movement to openly challenge the reality behind the facts of economic injustice and Corporate America’s 1% Super Rich, we began to speak of Lockheed Martin as the Top-Gun of the 1%, a corporation that is the cross of war and violence for the very empire whose greed it so profitably protects at the expense of human life and community. As in our previous Good Friday demonstrations over the past four decades, we sought to remember and mourn humanity crucified today while claiming our cross of Jesus Christ today as a counter symbol of nonviolent resistance and hope. For us the traditional Good Friday observance of the “Stations of the Cross” has become “Stations of Justice & Peace.”

On April 6, 2012, again, people gathered at noon on Good Friday, in front of Lockheed Martin in Valley Forge,PA, behind the King of Prussia Mall, one of the largest shopping malls in country. Each station was accompanied by a reading, or the audio broadcast of an excerpt of a sermon by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (the anniversary of whose assassination we observed just two days before with a rally in front of the Phila Federal Building) or a song by Tom Mullian, and the planting in the ground of wooden crosses each with Lockheed Martin logos at the crucifixion nail points. Next to a much larger cross, on which an earth flag hung, people held banners and signs. At the 10th station – Jesus Dies on The Cross – our large bell of peace was rung as we stood in silence. As Adagio for Strings was broadcast, eleven of those gathered began standing with crosses in the main driveway entrance to Lockheed Martin, behind us stood a line of Upper Merion police and Lockheed security guards.

We had decided that instead of immediately walking up to the “security” line, we would try to dispel a notion that our intention was “to simply get arrested.” So instead of immediately walking up the Lockheed drive, a group representative approached the security line and loudly announced that if we were allowed (even escorted) up to the company’s main doorway entrance, some distance from the driveway entrance, and allowed to do a short ten minute Good Friday and Passover prayer, we would leave the property forthwith. Lockheed Martin security chief would have none of it, even as our representative pressed our proposal repeatedly – at one point even asking that the general manager be called. The Lockheed security chief wouldn’t hear it, saying that she “couldn’t do anything”, except prevent us from bringing our prayer to the site and ordering arrests as all eleven people in the drive crossed onto “company property” and moving toward the security line.

The eleven people arrested were: Fran Sheldon, Drexel Hill, PA; Mary Ellen Norpel, Ambler, PA; Tom Mullian, Wyncote, PA; Annie Geers, Media, PA; Father Patrick Sieber, OFM, Carroll Clay, Joseph Clay, Gene Cleaver, Bernadette Cronin-Geller, Mary Jo McArthur, and Robert M. Smith (staff, Brandywine Peace Community), all from Philadelphia, PA. They were each cited for Disorderly Conduct and released from the Upper Merion Police Station.

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Good Friday Stations of Justice and Peace – April 6, 2012, Lockheed Martin, Valley Forge, PA

Luke 23:33-49

All: Let us pray that we will break the chains of violence and war; that we may resist war-making and stop Lockheed Martin with acts of justice and Jesus’ love. May the cross, which over time was transformed from a means of violence to a symbol of liberation and peace, be our symbol of nonviolence and justice, a sign of nonviolent resistance to greed, militarism, empire, violation of the earth, and war.
*Litany*
Leader: By the cross and resurrection…All: We Stand Against War!
Leader: By Jesus’ witness to the truth…All: We Act for Justice and Peace!
Leader: By Jesus’ passion and death…All: We Resist Lockheed Martin!
Leader: By Jesus’ victory over the grave…All: We Declare Peace!

1st Station: Pilate Condemns Jesus to Death – Reading and Litany

Except where noted, after each station, reading, and litany, a cross will be driven into the ground, remembering all the casualties of war and Lockheed Martin,

2nd Station: Jesus Carries His Cross (CD, Song by Tom Mullian, and Litany)
3rd Station: Jesus falls the 1st time (Reading and Litany)
4th Station: Jesus meets his most afflicted mother (Reading and Litany)
5th Station: Simon of Cyrene is forced to help Jesus carry the Cross
(Reading and Litany)
6th Station: Veronica wipes the face of Jesus (Song by Tom Mullian, and Litany)
7th Station: Jesus falls the 2nd time (Reading and Litany)
8th Station: Jesus consoles the women of Jerusalem (Reading, CD, and Litany)
9th Station: Jesus falls the 3rd time (Reading and Litany)
10th Station: Jesus is stripped of his garments (Reading and Litany)
11th Station: Jesus is nailed to the Cross (Song by Tom Mullian, and Litany)
(Readings, Songs below)

12th Station: Jesus Dies on the Cross
Period of silence/bell-tolling /Adaggio for Strings; Civil Disobedience (all – except those prepared to face arrest – should remain on sidewalk).

13th and 14th Stations: Jesus is taken down from the Cross and laid in the tomb

All: We mourn all the victims of war. We know that the profits of Lockheed Martin rest on war, militarism, and the violation of the earth. We have far too long suffered the policies of war and the social ravages of empire, corporate greed, and a war economy. We insist that where war is business, as here at Lockheed Martin, there cannot be business as usual. We resist Lockheed Martin with of Jesus’ love and a continuing commitment to justice, to honoring the earth, to peace, to the cross of nonviolent resistance.
Leader: By Jesus’ love and sacrifice…All: We Stand Against War
Leader: By Jesus’ witness to truth…All: We carry the cross of nonviolent resistance
Leader: By Jesus’ passion and death…All: We Resist Lockheed Martin
Leader: By the cross and resurrection…All: We Act for Justice and for Peace

Luke 23:33-49
33When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
35The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.”
36The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar 37and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”
38There was a written notice above him, which read:| THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
39One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!”
40But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
42Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.[b]”
43Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”
44It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, 45for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.
47The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” 48When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. 49But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

1st Station: Pilate Condemns Jesus to Death Reading #1

In another time of empire and military occupation, stood Jesus

Betrayed, denied, tortured, facing death, Jesus knew where he stood and what he faced. He faced the Cross, a means of execution, a symbol of imperial rule, of Rome’s might, an announcement of the empire’s will to maintain itself the only way it can: violence and war.

What we see depends on where we stand.

We stand before Lockheed Martin and see the cross of empire and human neglect, of greed and environmental destruction.

We see the cross of war that is Lockheed Martin, the world’s #1 weapons manufacturer, the U.S.’s #1 war profiteer, the Top-Gun of Corporate America’s 1% Super Rich. We mourn the absence of basic economic justice and peace and what that means in real human terms for the rest of us – the 99% – and for people around the world.

There is an uncompromising difference between the privileged wealth secured through every weapon built by Lockheed Martin and the faithful demands for justice and peace. It is nothing less than the difference between, war and peace, crucifixion and resurrection, cooperation and resistance.

2nd Station: Jesus Carries his Cross – CD of Dr. King’s “I’ve Been to the Mountain Top Speech, “I May Not Get There With You”, Tom Mullian

i may not get there with you

don’t you get tired
don’t stumble down
or ever give up
or get turned around

time gives us wings
truth gives us light
if you believe it
we’ll make it through the night

we will march, we will sing
we will let freedom ring
all the dreams that we dared will come true
but when you see the promised land
and you reach for my hand
well, i may not get there with you

welcome the dawn
the sun sees no tears
so carry it on
and move without fear

they can’t jail the truth
with a prison of lies
they can’t shackle justice
or beat down love’s cry

we will march, we will sing
we will let freedom ring
all the dreams that we dared will come true
but when you see the promised land
and you reach for my hand
well, i may not get there with you

words and music by tom mullian
copyright 2006

3rd Station – Jesus Falls the First Time Reading

Jesus carried a heavy cross of wood. At a cost of nearly one trillion dollars per year, we too carry a cross. We carry the weight of militarism and empire–the weapons it builds, the wars it wages, the earth it poisons, the lives it destroys, the societies and economies it cripples. Certainly, no less our’s.

Among the numerous Pentagon weapons contracts here in Valley Forge, PA, Lockheed Martin builds Weapons Control Systems for U.S. Navy Tomahawk Cruise Missiles and battlefield computer systems as well as “field support” equipment for Minuteman III missiles Mark 12A nuclear warheads.

Lockheed Martin is the common denominator in the production of every major weapon system–nuclear and non-nuclear–in the U.S. arsenal and sold by the U.S. around the world. Lockheed Martin received from the public treasury more than $42.7 billion this year.

We all carry the intolerable weight of Lockheed Martin and will continue to do so until we decide to stop it by acting for justice and peace. And Yes, God help us, we can and must!

4th Station: Jesus meets his most afflicted mother 4th Reading

(A poem by Fr. John McNamee, poet and author of Diary of a City Priest, this past December 30, as the exit of U.S. combat troops was heralded as the “end of the war in Iraq.”)

Here at year’s close our hope for one war’s close
A strange Christmas observance for some of us
The Holy Innocents a sad bible story

A king a newborn child
An imagined threat to the kingdom
A grim image among joyous Christmas Feasts

Soldiers wresting infants from mothers’ arms
Matthew’s Gospel mentions Jeremiah’s lament
For the mayhem of an Assyrian invasion:

A voice was heard in Rama
Weeping and loud lament
Rachel weeping for her children
She would not be comforted
Because they are no more

We do or should know Rachel’s tears
Ours came and stay these thirty years
The death of children mothers as well
The elderly and innocent the bystanders

A demonic litany now familiar to us:
Pre-emptive strike Drones
Abu Grabh Blackwater
Waterboarding Guantanamo
Mercenaries (called contractors)
Displacement (the exile Rachel wept)
Collateral damage
(the hugely disproportionate civilian death)

Our hand candles our tolling bells
Lament all of these and all of us:
The warlords the complicit the indifferent
We powerless for anything but protest

The New Year soon with us needs stronger voices
More protestors to the war that still rages

Peace for our own who will never come home
Peace for those who return wounded body spirit or both

For all
Casualties conspirators the innocent the silent the guilty
Mercy upon mercy upon mercy.

An anything but poetic postscript:
The exit of U.S. troops from Iraq left behind the largest diplomatic embassy in the world, with 16,000 State Department, more than half of which are private security contractors. And barely had the tracks of the departing troop convoys disappeared than the Obama Administration was announcing the sale of nearly $11 billion worth of arms and training to the Iraqi military, including Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter jets.

5th Station: Simon of Cyrene is forced to help Jesus carry his cross. Reading:

Unmanned aerial drone bombings in Afghanistan and Pakistan have killed untold thousands of civilians. These remote-controlled, near daily drones have become central to policy of war in Afghanistan, and the so-called “war on terror”, and have introduced a whole new approach to war policy from Afghanistan to Yemen and Somalia. Secret U.S. drone bases are operating in across North Africa and the near east.

Lockheed Martin is among the largest manufacturer of surveillance and armed drones as well as the missiles they fire and the military satellites that direct and control the drone bombings from the Continental United States at the Creech Air Force Base in Nevada outside of Las Vegas.

The phenomenal, unimaginable, rise in drone technology and application from war and domestic surveillance uses over the past has decade has thousands of research firms, weapons manufacturers, security businesses, police departments around the country, as well as colleges and universities across the county, lining up to get in on drones, and the billions in the drone machinery of killing with impunity – and a degree of domestic surveillance and spying that would make Orwell’s Big Brother wonder about the constitutionality of it all.

6th Station: Veronica wipes the face of Jesus. – “The Needed Time, Tom Mullian

the needed time

now is the needed time
now is the needed time
now is the needed time

brothers, won’t you walk with me
brothers, won’t you walk with me
brothers, won’t you walk with me

now is the needed time
now is the needed time
now is the needed time

sisters, won’t you pray with me
sisters, won’t you pray with me
sisters, won’t you pray with me

now is the needed time
now is the needed time
now is the needed time

people, won’t you come with me
people, won’t you come with me
people, won’t you come with me

now is the needed time
now is the needed time
now is the needed time

verse lyrics by tom mullian

7th Station: Jesus falls the 2nd time. Reading:

The ceremonial groundbreaking for the Pentagon, the most powerful agency of violence and war in the world today, took place on September 11, 1941, sixty years almost to the minute before American Airlines flight 77 arrowed into the side of building that faces Arlington Cemetery.

Like the child who was able to see that the Emperor was without clothes, can we see what’s before us today? Can we see the greed, the lies, the violence? Can we see the illusions of security that come from making war?

September 11, 2001, all of our imperial illusions of security based on nuclear weapons, Star Wars shields, or trillion dollar military budgets, shattered in a wink.

We were vulnerable, just like everybody else on this fragile planet. If there be such a thing as real security then it must rest on something more than what we can do for ourselves with muscle or weapons, something that has to do with relationship with others and the earth, with fairness, with honoring the commonweal and the commonwealth, with being neighbor not the overlord. And that means justice.

Bombs may win wars and bring the false peace of victory (whatever that may mean today), but justice will never be achieved with bombs and drone strikes nor with Star Wars and out of this world plans (however profitable) for the militarization of space. The only victor in war is still war itself.

If you want real peace (as the words of Dr. King would remind us) — not dominion or empire, or more wealth for the already filthy rich ­— then work for justice: justice for one another, for the community, for the earth.

8th Station: Jesus consoles the women of Jerusalem

April 4, 1967. Exactly one year before his assassination Dr. King spoke in New York City at Riverside Church. He condemned the war in Vietnam, calling the U.S. government “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today” and drew a connection to the war and its domestic fallout – the impoverishment of people in this country, the export of racism, and an arrogant belief in the absolute rightness of U.S. policy around the world. Moreover, Dr. King in called for nonviolent resistance to “the evil triplets of American society: racism, materialism, and militarism” was seeking an inseparability and continuum of action for social justice and peace.

Hear now some of Dr. King’s words of 45 years ago…(CD)

9th Station: Jesus Falls the 3rd Time

DAYENU (dah-YAY-noo, meaning approximately, “it would have been enough for us”) song/poem that is part of the

THE PATH OF MANY STEPS TOWARD FREEDOM
(With care, singable to the traditional tune. Do Mic-check style.)

Each Passover Seder Teaches:
Celebrate each step toward Freedom,
Dayenu! Wonderful!

One Tunisian Died despairing,
Thousands Rose to win their Freedom:
Dayenu! Wonderful!

Egyptians overcame their tyrant
Appealing peacefully to the Army:
Dayenu! Wonderful!

At the Capitol – Madison, Wisconsin
100,000 Resisted Union-busting:
Dayenu! Wonderful!

In New York City Dozens Tented
Calling out to “Occupy Wall Street”:
Dayenu! Wonderful!

Then Hundreds Walked on Brooklyn Bridge:
Police attacked and the World took notice.
Dayenu! Wonderful!

Across the Continent the People Saw,
They Occupied space in a myriad cities:
Dayenu! Wonderful!

In London and Australia, in Africa and Israel,
The many, many Thousands Gathered:
Dayenu! Wonderful!

Police Attacked and the People Bent;
The people bent but did not Break:
Dayenu! Wonderful!

The Godly and the Secular
Stand Arm in Arm to Free our Land:
Dayenu! Wonderful!

The Generations Intertwine
And here We Are at Lockheed Martin
Dayenu! Wonderful!

You Who Interbreathe all Life
Give Us, the 99%,
The Strength to Overcome through Love
For Justice and Community.
Dayenu! Wonderful!

Dai, dayenu, dai dayenu, dai dayenu –
Dayenu dayenu!

10th Station: Jesus is stripped of his garments. Reading:

“The revulsion against war not too long hence will be an insuperable obstacle for us to overcome and for that reason I am convinced that we must set in motion the machinery of a permanent war economy…It must be an ongoing program and not the creature of some emergency.”

So spoke the president of General Electric, Charles E. Wilson, in July 1944, one year before the first atomic bomb was tested in the desert area of Alamogordo, New Mexico named Jornada del Muerto or Dead Man’s Trail.

Today, we stand before Lockheed Martin in the social order which Wilson called for – a culture of weaponry and militarism, a permanent industry of war, embedded so deep in our society that it is quite immune to political change and democratic oversight – and extends itself into virtually every society on earth.

That is empire which could be likened to the Orwellian notion of unending war – hot, cold, low-intensity, endless – in which we become so accustomed to it that we don’t even realize it any longer.

“Our problems stem from our acceptance of this filthy, rotten system.”, said Dorothy Day, founder of the Catholic Worker movement.

And so our first acts of truth are ones first of realization and then of resistance.

These crosses before us today represent the suffering and crucifixion of a suffering humanity, of Jesus Christ today. Lockheed Martin, War and Weapons, Christ Crucified!

We embrace the nonviolent cross: resistance to empire, war and militarism, community organizing and the works of peacemaking and service to the victims of war and injustice, resistance to the injustice that is Lockheed Martin. Today, we remember Jesus’ words: “Peace, I leave with you; my peace I give to you…”(John 14:2)
11th Station: Jesus is nailed to the Cross – “We Declare Peace”, Tom Mullian

we declare peace

this is our time, this is our choice
there is no better day to raise our voice
the arc of the sun, crest of the moon
the pendulum swings, history resumes
power is people, people are might
we will stop the war ’cause the people are right

we declare peace, we affirm life
we will stop the violence to end this strife
we declare peace in faith somehow
bring the troops home
bring ‘em home now

see the waters rise, rivers of truth
hear the hearts of old and the mind of youth
the world’s on our side, holding prayers as one
we will stand here until peace is won
power is people, people are might
we will stop the war ’cause the people are right

we declare peace, we affirm life
we will stop the violence to end this strife
we declare peace in faith somehow
bring the troops home, bring ‘em home now

words & music by tom mullian
copyright 2006

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