Journal Entry #24
NORFOLK, CONN., 12 JULY—When I am made aware of people and the things they do such as the following, there is always some humiliation in it. I will be brief. I ought to have posted this days ago and am eager to get it up now.
Ray McGovern I count a friend since meeting him at a seminar in D.C. where we both spoke several years ago. By then I had heard a speech Ray gave that the good-souled David Barsamian had recorded for Alternative Radio. I ordered half a dozen copies from David and gave them as Christmas presents.
Ray, the C.I.A. analyst turned whistleblower and keeper of the flame, is one of those people who not only says and writes. He also does. And he is in court this week for things he did a winter ago and this past spring. This Cú Chulainn entry is simply to onpass the news. If “thoughts and prayers” had not been turned into such an offensively dismissive phrase by offensive people worthy of dismissal, I would propose them. Maybe thoughts alone, if you are given to them, or prayers, if you say them. Or maybe simply ask, What might I do that I don’t bother doing? It is that time in our great country. The street: Nothing wrong with it, as Ray regularly demonstrates (a perfect way to put it, actually).
RAY AND LIKE-MINDED FRIENDS have the admirable habit of practice of demonstrating at an air base in Syracuse where drone operators direct automated bombs in Afghanistan. Parenthetically, I cannot help but note the extreme abstraction of contemporary American violence: You spend your day killing people a world away with a stick in your hands and then go home to mow the lawn or fix a grilled cheese sandwich.
In January 2016, the group to which Ray belongs blocked the entrance to the air base. They did the same on Good Friday going into this past Easter weekend. These actions were in violation of some kind of restraining order declared at the request of the base commander. Arrests were made, charges filed, court dates set.
The schedule is this: Today, July 12, there is a trial relating to the January 2016 action, which was in honor of the late Jerry Berrigan, brother of the late Danny and Philip. Tomorrow, July 13th, there is a trial for the Good Friday action this year.
I need not say more, because Ray has sent links to two videos (text with each) explaining it all. I find them very inspiring, even as they induce the aforementioned humility. Here they are:
The Jerry Berrigan Brigade, January 28, 2016:
Crucified by Drones: Good Friday, April 14, 2017:
WHEN RAY WROTE the other day he asked me, “Can you hold us dissidents up to the light, as my Quaker friends say?”
The very least I can do for so honorable a man and so honorable an action. Dominus vobiscum.