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Interupting the Oxford Recruting Office with wool and arguments

Sarah L | 16.02.2005 10:55 | Anti-militarism | Oxford

Ash Wednesday Demo

Anti War Protest in St Giles Oxford - one of several held around the country for Ash Wednesday the 9th Feb.

In Oxford the Catholic Worker community organised a peace liturgy at the War Memorial. About 20 people came to share in this service. The traditional ashes of repentance were placed on the participants foreheads by Rev. David Platt who is a long standing peace activist. We asked for forgiveness for all the ways our lifestyles support war. Brenda Boughton whose case for withholding her tax for military purposes will be going to the House of Lords was present.

As soon as the service was finished five people went over to the Army Recruiting Office to ask them to close down and stop recruiting. Two women went in to speak to them and to deliver a letter. Outside three other women wove a dream catcher of many coloured wools across the entrance connecting it to the railings on either side. Meanwhile others gave out leaflets to passers by to explain what we were doing. Anyone coming in or out of the office had to crawl up or down the steps under this cat’s cradle type dream catcher on which were hung cards reading NO MORE WAR and CLOSE DOWN THE WAR MACHINE THAT IS SUPPORTING GLOBAL DOMINANCE.

A soldier encouraged applicants to treat the obstruction as an army exercise and even the two police women who eventually arrived had to crawl up the steps under the dream catcher. They went inside the locked office while we discussed some issues with Sergeant Jamie Evans who had eventually been brave enough to meet us. A letter was handed in. Finally another police officer came and asked us to remover the obstruction, as we declined the police women then came out and cut the wool with large scissors supplied by the army while I complained that they were taking away our dreams and leaving us all with the nightmares of war.
Sarah L

Sarah L