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

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3 Comments on “Day 4: ‘We Are All in Extreme Danger’”

  1. Love America Says:

    OK, now I get it. Sister Mary Evelyn Jegen has explained everything — America is the terrorist state and we’re holding the world hostage. If we just abolished our military and dismantaled our nuclear weapons, the world could live in peace. War and terror attacks would be a thing of the past. Right Sister, if that had been our foreign policy over the past 30 years we would all be speaking Russian. And if we follow your advise today, do you really think that the terrorists, the Russians, the Chinese and everyone else with weapons of mass destruction will follow our lead? Of course not. If we’re not standing up for freedom and democracy, who would?

  2. jane when i order coffee Says:

    “if that had been our foreign policy over the past 30 years we would all be speaking Russian.”
    *makes a scary monster face and wiggles fingers over head*

  3. Marilyn Says:

    LA, were you one of those folks who just couldn’t believe what was happening on 9/11?

    Everyone I know was totally caught by surprise. Me? I had often wondered when it was going to happen. Why should we, the people who actually train and arm other countries to kill, be exempt from attack?

    I can’t imagine any country would listen to, much less heed, us about disarmament while we continue to amass billions in arms.

    Think about it.

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