Feb 1980 v.p. Whats Happening p. 2
Cordaro, VP, Vol. 4, No. 1, Feb-Mar 1980, What’s Happening
By Frank Cordaro
Visitors and Friends: During her Christmas break we were helped by Donna Henderson. Donna was with us for six weeks last summer. She is hoping to get a summer job here in the Des Moines area at a law office, so she may be with us for this coming summer. She will be on vacation from St. Louis University Law School. We are keeping our fingers crossed. We were most privileged to have with us for one of our Friday night discussions Maureen O’Shaughnessey & Pat Smith from Ireland to share with us about Irish Anti-Nuclear Movement. Our friends from Ireland were touring the U.S., touching base with the many no-nukes groups in this country and exchanging resources. It is most encouraging to see that the anti-nuclear movement is truly an international movement made up of ordinary people like ourselves. For a few days before the Iowa caucuses we were most blessed to have John Shiel with us. John is from the Community of Creative non-violence in Washington, D.C. The last time he was out this way he climbed over the fence at S.A.C. with three of us to say a rosary on the anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan on August 9th. John was in town to help with the Kennedy campaign. Despite that, John was most welcome. The night before he headed back east for a court date that he was to make in February, John did manage to do something a little mischievous. Only hours before Carter’s announcement of his intention to reinstate registration for the draft, the words “NO DRAFT” were painted on the large office window of the Carter election headquarters in downtown Des Moines. Rumor has it that John Sheil may have information concerning the culprit responsible for this deed. J. Dudgeon has his own opinions on the upcoming election, “I won’t even be paying much attention to all of it,” he says in a recent letter from jail. “What’s to choose from? Kennedy who can’t seem to live down past sins, Carter who doesn’t believe in sin, Connelly and Reagan who believe in and support sin…I think it all is sick, sick, sick…” J. is completing a six month jail term that he received for his action at Rocky Flats last Sept. You may want to write to J. He isn’t going anywhere up ‘til the end of March. The address is 15896-0103 Dorm 5/6, Box 1000 Montgomery, PA 17752. We received a check for $135 from Tom Gervais recently. Tom divided the percentage of income tax that he would ordinarily pay to the federal government for military purposes and gave it to the C.W. in Davenport and Des Moines. We salute you, friend, in your personal effort to resist the war tax. We encourage others to do what ever they feel called to do in resisting any participation in the great moral evil of our time–preparation for war. Rev. Bob Cook and Brent V. are piecing together the second floor of the Doyle Hansen House for Ex-Offenders. They are hoping to be able to start hospitality in the next few weeks, as long as the city code people don’t come down on them too hard. Jamal Long, Brent, and Tim went to the regional meeting of the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression in Chicago recently. Jamal is hoping to start a local chapter of the Alliance here in Des Moines. Ten members are required to establish a local chapter. The group is working against the new federal criminal code revision, currently designated S.1722. It is a dangerous revision which would make many of the demonstrations that we’ve been involved in major offenses. Anyone interested in finding out more about the Alliance and revision of the federal criminal code should contact Jamal Long at the Justice and Peace Center in Ligutti House. Brian Terrell of Davenport C.W. was arrested at the Rock Island Arsenal while praying for peace with a group of friends. Brian has been charged and found guilty of violating a barring letter that he received on Dec. 28th of last year. He will be sentenced of Feb. 15th. Please keep him in your prayers. Our friends in the Rock Island area are beginning a campaign to convert the Rock Island Arsenal. We will keep you posted as to their progress. Folks from Omaha, Ames, and Iowa City met with us here in Des Moines the weekend of Feb. 1-3. We shared the whole day Saturday working on forming community and drawing up goals, objectives, and strategies for the S.A.C. project. We are tentatively planning a large regional action on August 9th. We are also hoping to put together a slide show about S.A.C. as an educational tool. We are hoping to broaden the group to other major cities in the region. Anyone interested in the effort should contact us at the C.W. Bishop Thomas Gumbleton came to Des Moines for a few brief hours on Friday, January 11. Chuck Day had the foresight to ask the bishop if there was any possibility of him coming back to D.M. to share with us about his recent Christmas visit with the hostages in Iran. Luckily, the bishop was going to be flying to St. Louis, and he managed a flight into D.M. a few hours earlier. With quick organization from many of us in the peace community in D.M. and personal help from Bishop Dingman we scheduled the bishop for a press conference, an ecumenical prayer service, a radio talk show, and a TV meet-the-press program. Bishop Gumbleton shared his personal reflections about his Christmas visit to Iran. He expressed his deep concern that we in America not resort to violence to settle the Iranian crisis, but that we seriously try to look at the situation from the eyes of the Iranian people and their long experience of repression and violence. The bishop offered us some needed words of reconciliation in this most difficult time.
The Committee to Support the Marion Brothers will be planning convocations on Marion Prison and the control unit in many cities early this spring, hopefully having one in the Des Moines area sometime in March. We are also planning to have a demonstration in Washington, D.C. in April at the office of Mr. Caralson, the head of the federal prison system. We are hoping to get a congressional hearing into Marion and the control unit.
Community: A new yet old member of the community, Steve Marsden is back. Steve has taken up where he left off, but he has changed his personal space from the basement of the Ligutti House to the basement of the C.W. Welcome, good friend! Tim has just acquired employment at our public library. Just in time, his first checks will help pay for the repair of the car that was a bit banged up on its way to Chicago. Patience is getting settled in. She is now in charge of the everyday operational things around the house, plus seeing to it that we keep ourselves well stocked in the food area. Gary is doing his own car repairs. In what might be considered the great insurance scam of the decade, our friend from Yakima has gotten closer to his dream of going to Africa, and I don’t mean in miles. Good Peter is now well established in Ligutti House and we have jointly moved the weight room into the attic. It is now fondly known as the “pray, play, and push room.” And as for me, I am in the midst of a three ring circus as usual. Along with the draft, Marion Prison, Disarmament Task Force, January Thaw, and the MFS, I have been raising $1700 so that we can expand our J & P Center, and working as a substitute teacher three times a week. I am hoping to take a three week vacation in the middle of this month and spend some leisure time in Cedar Falls, Iowa with my good friend Fr. Jack Kissling, imposing on his gracious hospitality. This will be the longest vacation away from the houses that I’ve taken since they opened. Gary has assured me that once I leave I will not be allowed back into the house until my three weeks are up. God bless a loving, caring community!