Today two Christians, a Dominican priest and a member of the Catholic Worker movement, made a cross with their own blood on the floor of the U.S. Consul’s office, after reading to him the following statement.
Statement to the US Consul, by Peter Murnane O.P., and Nicholas Drake, Catholic Worker.
Mr. Berry, we thank you for your generosity in allowing us to meet with you today. We are here as Catholic Christians, to address you as Consul of the United States of America for our city, Auckland, New Zealand.
We have family in Iraq: Dominican sisters and friars communicate with us regularly; but you too have family in Iraq. Every human being, of whatever race, is your brother or sister, as they are ours.
We come to speak to you about your country’s invasion of Iraq. We deplore it as an immoral and criminal act .The crimes attributable to your government against that country - 2 million Iraqi dead, the country’s economy and infrastructure destroyed – dwarf the many and serious crimes of Saddam Hussein, the worst of which were supported by your government. This war has gone on for 12 years. In 1991 your government specifically targeted basic infrastructure: hospitals, water treatment plants, and electricity stations. Sanctions have denied food and medicine to civilians. By 1997 your government had claimed around 2 million Iraqi lives.
Your military used, and is now using again, Depleted Uranium munitions, which are causing an epidemic of cancer and birth defects, and will continue to kill for thousands of years. They are a terrible weapon of mass destruction.
It is simply lying to say that the massive death and suffering caused by your government’s actions are the unfortunate side effect of benign policies. The predictable consequences of one’s actions are not ‘accidental’. Rather, the atrocities that your government has visited upon the people of Iraq reveal that whatever the motives of the U.S. government might be, human suffering is irrelevant to them.
Mr. Berry, by continuing to work for the U.S. government in this capacity, you are actively supporting imperialism and genocide. We urge you and the rest of the Consulate staff to resign in protest at your government’s actions. Some people working in crucial positions for the United Nations, and for other governments, have already done so. We cannot stand by as your government, against the majority of world opinion, once more unleashes weapons of mass destruction upon the people of Iraq, and prepares to take direct control of a sovereign state.
Jesus Christ teaches us never to spill other people’s blood for ourselves, but rather to offer our own blood for others.
Your government is spilling great quantities of blood on the soil of Iraq. Therefore:
+ In solidarity with those people whose blood you are shedding, and
+ To make present to you the consequences of the US war, and
+ As a covenant of our opposition, We now make the sign of the cross with our blood on the floor, in this outpost of the United States of America.
Peter Murnane, Dominican friar
Nicholas Drake, Catholic Worker.