Reflections – Thirty Years

January 7, 2016

While watching the docudrama film “Romero” (1989) today, Thursday, January 7, 2016, I flashed back 30 years ago this weekend when I was in Esteli, Nicaragua. The Reagan Contra terrorists attacked three nearby cooperatives, killing 11 campesinos. That weekend the war became viscerally real for me and I have never been the same since. It was like Viet Nam and Nicaragua converged in my spirit psyche producing a newly impassioned activist energy.

I also remembered that it was Archbishop Romero’s assassination in El Salvador on March 24, 1980 that had been a trigger in Catholic FBI agent Jack Ryan’s journey toward becoming politicized that eventually led to his being fired from the FBI in 1987 after his 21-and-a-half years of commendable service. He had refused to investigate six peace activists as domestic “terrorist” suspects, all nonviolently protesting Reagan’s terrorist policies in Central America. Four of those activists were veterans participating in the water only, open-ended Veterans Fast For Life on the Capitol steps, of which I was one.

That expression of conscience, in turn, led to other political experiences in late 1986 and early 1987 that further led to Nuremberg Actions at the Concord, CA Naval Weapons Station in the summer and fall 1987. There I was nearly killed in a famous assault on September 1. This traumatic event catapulted me into another realm of notoriety as a peace activist, a label I did not seek, and for which I was certainly not prepared. It is a mysterious journey this thing called life.


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