Thursday, June 21, 2007

Award-winning "Hellraisers" at it Again

It’s been a busy week. Yesterday, I participated in an action outside of the corporate headquarters of Alliant TechSystems – the largest Minnesota-based military contractor.

A peace vigil has been taking place outside of Alliant TechSystems every Wednesday morning since 1996. Yet every now and then we host a special “action.” These actions draw a larger crowd than usual and often involve nonviolent civil disobedience.

The theme of our action yesterday was “A Transformation of Hate to Love, Fear to Understanding.”

In its recent “Best of the Twin Cities” issue, City Pages awarded Alliant Action its 2007 Best Hellraiser or Activist Award.

Here’s how City Pages describes Alliant Action in its “Best of the Twin Cities” issue:

Every Wednesday at 7:00 a.m. – come rain, snow, bitter cold, or summer heat – members of Veterans for Peace and Women Against Military Madness, and many other peace activists, gather outside the front entrance of the Alliant TechSystems corporate headquarters in Edina.

The mission is to challenge the company’s manufacturing of various advanced weapon systems, including missiles, cluster bombs, and landmines.

The activists count among their dedicated number the McDonald sisters – nuns from the St. Joseph of Carondelet order who are also actual sisters – and fearless longtime antiwar protesters. Many have probably lost count of how many times they’ve shown up outside Alliant Tech’s doors requesting meetings only to be turned away by security guards.

They do know that they have accumulated well over 650 arrests for nonviolent acts of civil resistance over the past 10 years, including, last fall, when 78 protesters were taken away during an action commemorating Gandhi’s birthday. Some have spent a night or more in jail, and they are familiar with many a local courtroom, but these activists always return faithfully to their post, week in and week out, resolute in a shared commitment to end violence and war.

“Who profits and who dies?” they ask. Someday, perhaps, the Alliant Tech leaders will give them an answer – or at least an appointment.

Above: The message on Rich’s t-shirt reads: “The America I believe in does not torture people or run secret prisons. The America I believe in leads the world on human rights.”

Above: At one point during the action, John Hynes, a former employee of the Honeywell corporation, approached the security guards and police officers with his wife Jeanne so as to present and share Alliant Action’s award with management officials of the Alliant TechSystems corporation.

Both John and Jeanne were

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Alliant Action
It Sure Was Cold!

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