Day 4: ‘We Are All in Extreme Danger’
Jurors heard the final witnesses today in the trial of four anti-war protesters charged with trespassing during a sit-in at U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot’s office.
Sister Mary Evelyn Jegen returned to the stand, talking about U.S. foreign policy and why she feels obliged to oppose it.
“Weapons of mass destruction — the largest arsenal is on our country,” she said. “When we talk about terror, the United States of America is, in my view, a state terrorist, because we are holding the world hostage to nuclear weapons.
“We are all in extreme danger. The future of the human race is at stake. We need to get out of this war so we can put this issue back on the front burner, the weapons of mass destruction.”
Barbara Wolf, a documentary filmmaker, testified about the Bush regime’s invocation of the terror attack on Sept. 11, 2001 as a reason in 2003 to attack Iraq — even though all evidence indicates Iraq had nothing to do with it.
“I kept hearing them say, ‘9/11, 9/11, 9/11 was the cause and the reason we had to do this,” Wolf said. “As a filmmaker, I know how this works. If you repeat something often enough, it becomes true.”
Ellen Dienger, a community organizer with Working in Neighborhoods, testified that her upbringing and Catholic values compelled her to resist the war.
“I’ve been taught for so long that you have to treat people with respect, every human life has value and you have to stand up for things that you believe in,” Dienger said.
Emphasizing our belief that we acted out of necessity, the need to save human lives, Dienger used the analogy of a burning building: No one would be convicted of trespassing if she ran into a burning building to save people.
“Iraq is the burning building, and the people that are in that building are mothers and children, fathers and sisters and brothers,” she said. “We felt we had to be there. We had tried every other way. More people had died.”
The trial resumes at 1 p.m. for closing arguments, and then the case goes to the jury.
— Gregory Flannery