2007, Premier PLC Gathering, Nevada Test Site, Indian Spring, Nevada


Fr. Daniel Berrigan, SJ speaking to the Pacific Life Community in a tent at the Peace Camp area across from the Nevada Test Site, one of the most bombed places on Earth.

Quite an inaugural event. Fr. Dan Berrigan, SJ, much beloved, outspoken activist and proponent of widespread nonviolent direct action, poet, theologian and friend to many was the keynote speaker. To hear his talk, click on one of the players below.

For devices that play mp3 files:

For devices that play ogg files:

Although the group didn’t demonstrate at Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs, we did send some love and healing to the land there. Drone warfare was not front and center in the activist mind in 2007.

1 Response to 2007, Premier PLC Gathering, Nevada Test Site, Indian Spring, Nevada

  1. haberjim says:

    On the occasion of Dan Berrigan’s passing, I listened to the recording on this page and took the following notes. I also noted approximately where some of the questioners start their remarks. The following message (more or less as is) was sent to the PLC listserve and to Frank Cordaro to share on the CW listserve.

    Dear Friends in Faith,

    What follows are a few pieces I pulled out as I just listened to it again. Then there is a little announcement about my trip to Palestine/Israel in July. Thank you very much for a lifetime of support from the CW and the PLC and for inspiring and educating me with love and purpose.

    The 2007 gathering was in Nevada, the network recreating itself at the behest of Fr. Steve Kelly SJ. We stayed in Indian Springs near Creech Air Force Base where armed drones are operated from. At the time though, we didn’t demonstrate against drones. We focused on nukes and the Nevada Test Site (NTS) another 18 miles up highway 95.

    This recording was made in a tent at the historic Peace Camp across the highway from Mercury a the NTS. The quality is pretty good, but you can hear some rustling and some breeze at times. I’m happy that it is so easy to listen to and understand.

    The theme of the gathering was “Walking with Our Sorrow,” and Dan speaks to that. He mentions the need for “sweetness and strength” and that sorrow need not be debilitating, immobilizing or paralyzing.
    He reminds us that walking is a vocation and a calling. He points out that there are things we need not to adjust to and get used to or accept.

    Isaiah II, Chapter 19 is a source for his further reflection because it comes after chapters 1 to 18 which are much more dire. We must not stop short of the full story or we risk despair. All hell is breaking loose in Egypt. God is coming in a cloud, the Holy Shechina. God is stirring up civil war there, and it sounds some like he’s talking about the here and now.

    What does scripture tell us “about our selves, our predicament and our opportunity?” And then he goes to Isaiah II about idolators, mediums and spirits of the dead. Chapter 1 verse 7 to 9 (speaking about Egypt). He talks about all the material wealth of the Egyptians, the “silver and gold coins” and “all the chariots.” and how they “worship objects they have made with their own hands, idols.” The phraseology is such that Dan points out that they worshipped not “coins, chariots and idols” but coins and chariots–wealth and military might–AS IDOLS. Sound familiar?

    As he continues relating the sacred stories that motivate him, he asks us to consider why we show up. Why go to jail for justice and peace? What good comes of it if we can’t tell what good comes of our actions? He answers in the words of his brother Phil from one of their jail cell conversations at some point: Of the oppressors (“invaders”) we work to stop, he quotes his brother Phil saying, “We owe them our prayers for their well-being, and we owe them our resistance.” (around minute 32),and also that “We’re their only hope.”

    Dan went on saying, “We are bound by every sacrament and every cord of our heart, we are bound to tell the truth, but we are not bound to be heard. That is not a responsibility I will take on, or that Phillip would take on.”

    Great to hear questions and further reflections from some of the people gathered in the tent that year: Sr. Megan Rice (minute 35+); Jim Haber (minute 37:10); Peter Stielher (I think it’s him. San Bruno CW; minute 31:30+), Donald Nollar (LACW; minute 39:20+), Fr. Louis Vitale (minute 41:10+); John Amidon (minute 44:15); Fr. Jerry Zawada (minute 47+); Chelsea Collonge (Sheep Ranch CW farm; minute 49:15+); Peggy Coleman (San Jose CW; minute 52:05); Fr. Bix (late now, was of Tacoma CW; minute 53:40); Marylia Kelly (Tri-Valley CARES, I think; minute 55:40); Lorin Peters (minute 57:30); Julia Occiogrosso (LVCW: minute 59:40); Tensie Hernandez (Beatitude CW; 102:58) There were a few other shares too, but I’m not sure who the voices belonged to.

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