Father Daniel Berrigan, S.J.
The Passing of a Legend! 1921-2016
Father Daniel Berrigan, a Jesuit priest and giant of nonviolent activism for justice and peace, died on Saturday, April 30, 2016, at the Jesuit infirmary at Fordham University in New York city. He was 94. Dan Berrigan was a poet, educator, playwright and lifelong resister to what he called ‘American military imperialism.’ Along with his late brother Phil, Dan Berrigan played an instrumental role in inspiring the antiwar and antidraft movement during the late 1960s, as well as the movement against nuclear weapons. He is the author of 50 books.
In early 1968, Dan made international headlines when he traveled to North Vietnam with U.S. historian Howard Zinn to bring home three U.S. prisoners of war. Later that year, Dan, his brother Phil and seven others took hundreds of draft files from the draft board in Catonsville, Maryland and set the files on fire in the parking lot, using homemade napalm, to protest the Vietnam War. They became known as the Catonsville Nine and inspired over 100 similar acts of protest. In 1980, the Berrigan brothers and six others began the Plowshares Movement when they hammered nuclear warhead nose cones at a General Electric nuclear missile facility in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, and became known as the Plowshares Eight.
Resistance was a way of life for Dan. He was arrested dozens of times and spent years in prison for his witness. A few years ago he was asked when he would stop. His answer –”the day after I’m embalmed.” Dan did not believe in heroes. For him, it was the movement and community of people standing together that was important. His passing is an invitation for us to carry on the work of justice and peace. He once said, “Just don’t do something, stand there.” And so we invite you to stand with us in Dan’s memory in this ongoing weekly Friday witness for peace. Dan had Hawaii connections. He spoke at the University of Hawaii about peacemaking, supported Hawaiian leprosy patients at Hale Mohalu, and blessed us by staying several days at our Malu ‘Aina peace farm. Democracy Now just produced a one hour program in tribute to Dan. Links to this and other material about the life of Dan Berrigan are on our website www.malu-aina.org.
Resistance Means Life!
- Mourn all victims of violence. 2. Reject war as a solution. 3. Defend civil liberties.
4. Oppose all discrimination, anti-Islamic, anti-Semitic, anti-Hawaiian, etc.
5. Seek peace through justice in Hawai`i and around the world.
Contact: Malu ‘Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action
P.O. Box 489 Kurtistown, Hawai’i 96760 Phone (808) 966-7622. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Hilo Peace Vigil leaflet (May 6, 2016 – 763rd week) – Friday 3:30-5PM downtown Post Office